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 Rambacia (Bela, Pakistan) - 325 Alexandria Oreitide - 325 Alexandria in Opiene (confluence of Indus & Acesines, India) - 325 Alexandria on the Indus - 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, April 23, 2018

Traces of Philip III Arrhidaeus in Egypt

As strange it may seem, archaeologists have discovered a number of inscriptions praising Pharaoh Philip III Arrhidaeus and the crocodile god of the Nile, Sobek.

Since Alexander the Great had not made any arrangements for his succession, the Macedonian army elected his half brother to be their new king. As we know, the succession of Alexander led to many years of lengthy bickering and fights among his generals, the Diadochi, turning into hopeless wars that lasted for nearly forty years.

Philip III Arrhidaeus was only king in name since he was retarded and hence unfit to rule Alexander’s huge empire. Not much literature or artwork is known and traces of his “rule” are scant.

Strangely enough, a relief showing the face of Pharaoh Philip III Arrhidaeus has been discovered at the unusual double temple of  Kom Ombo dedicated to both the god Sobek, god of fertility, and the falcon god Haroeris. The archaeologists also found his name inscribed in hieroglyphs on a slab measuring 83 x 55 cm.

Although the temple is resting on a much older structure, the remains we know today with its twin entrances and symmetrical layout was probably started by Ptolemy VI. The Ptolemy’s remained present over the centuries as we also find a fine relief of Ptolemy XII, the father of the famous Cleopatra VII.

Another trace of Philip III Arrhidaeus is to be found in the Temple of Amun at Karnak, which beside a peristyle court of Thutmosis III contains a barque sanctuary filled by his granite naos. This may well be the picture Olaf Kaper showed during his lecture in 2010 (see: Alexander the Great in Egypt. Lecture of 24 November 2010).

The island of Samothrace, finally, proudly displays a joint dedication of Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV. It was part of a marble Doric building that carried the inscription “King Philip [and] Alexander to the Great Gods”, a confirmation that both the son of Alexander the Great and his half brother “officially” ruled on equal terms (see: A Dedication of Philip III Arrhidaeus and Alexander IV).

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