Alexandria's founded by Alexander

Alexandria's founded by Alexander the Great (by year BC): 334 Alexandria in Troia (Turkey) - 333 Alexandria at Issus/Alexandrette (Iskenderun, Turkey) - 332 Alexandria of Caria/by the Latmos (Alinda, Turkey) - 331 Alexandria Mygdoniae - 331 Alexandria (Egypt) - 330 Alexandria in Areia (Herat, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria of the Prophthasia/in Dragiana/Phrada (Farah, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar, Afghanistan) - 330 Alexandria in Caucasus (Begram, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria of the Paropanisades (Ghazni, Afghanistan) - 329 Alexandria Eschate or Ultima (Khodjend, Tajikistan) - 329 Alexandria on the Oxus (Ai-Khanoum OR Termez, Afghanistan) - 328 Alexandria in Margiana (Merv, Turkmenistan) - 326 Alexandria Nicaea (on the Hydaspes, India) - 326 Alexandria Bucephala (on the Hydaspes, India) - 325 Alexandria Sogdia - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene / Alexandria on the Indus (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Xylinepolis (Patala, India) - 325 Alexandria in Carminia (Gulashkird, Iran) - 324 Alexandria-on-the-Tigris/Antiochia-in-Susiana/Charax (Spasinou Charax on the Tigris, Iraq) - ?Alexandria of Carmahle? (Kahnu)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Alexander moved to Abu Dhabi

The recent opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi has been widely advertised in the media and although this is far from the usual tourist destination it certainly seems to be worth the visit.

It is clear that the name “Louvre” is a temporary publicity for which Abu Dhabi paid $1.15 billion and their agreement will run for the next thirty years. During the first ten years of its life, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will receive artwork on loan from four Parisian museums, the Louvre, the Musée Quai d’Orsay, the Bibliothèque Nationale and the Centre Pompidou. This should allow them to constitute their own collection in the meantime.

Among the six hundred or so artifacts on display (half of them coming from France), I was pleasantly surprised to find a statue of Alexander the Great. It is the bust of Alexander Inopos from around 100 BC recovered from Delos. However, some scholars disagree and believe it to represent Mithradates VI who was a great admirer of Alexander and tried to emulate him.

I like to see this statue as a homecoming of Alexander in the Persian Gulf. So far, there is no knowledge that he himself ever went as far as the Strait of Hormuz near today’s Abu Dhabi, but his admiral Nearchus certainly passed that narrow when he brought his fleet from the Indus River to Babylon. As far as we know, Alexander himself sailed from the gulf up the Tigris River all the way to Opis (read: The Conquests of Alexander the Great by Waldemar Heckel).

Alexander’s presence in the Gulf area is generally overlooked. We know, for instance that he founded the city of Alexandria-on-the-Tigris, also called Antiochia-in-Susiana or Charax Spasinou-on-the-Tigris at the spot where the river emptied in the Persian Gulf some 2,500 years ago (see: Excavations at Alexandria-on-the-Tigris). There are traces of Alexander’s presence at Failaka, an island off the coast of modern Kuwait (see: Alexander’s Outpost in the Gulf).

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