Hellenistic Cosmopolis

775 Words 4 Pages
Alexandria was one of the most prominent Hellenistic cities that embraced Hellenistic culture. Established and named by Alexander the Great himself, Alexandria is what has become “a Greek polis with citizenship limited to Greeks and Macedonians”(451, Ancient Greece). However, during the reign of the Ptolemaic dynasty, Alexandria has been transformed into a flourishing Hellenistic city with new innovations. In order to preserve both Greek and Egyptian elements, Greek and Egyptian roots are embedded in every aspect of society, which was reflected in the architecture, particularly the Library of Alexandria, art, science, religion, and much more, proving Alexandria to be the new Hellenistic cosmopolis. The establishment of Alexandria is a key …show more content…
Religion has been under the influence of syncretism, the amalgamation of Greek and Egyptian religions. Through syncretism, Ptolemy I created Serapis, a Graeco-Egyptian god. Serapis, a supreme god that carried traits of Greek and Egyptian deities, is mainly worshipped at Alexandria, demonstrating the unification of Greek and Egyptian culture. Syncretism has also impacted the design in statues and sculptures. Hellenistic influences appear in the art itself as sculptors produce a variety of figures, including women, children and elderly, that accurately represents reality. Also, art was used as propaganda in order to portray the message that “Alexander and his successors are not mere mortals but incarnations of divinities” (500, Ancient Greece). Furthermore, new institutions were built to encourage advances in art and literature. In order to expand knowledge, a research center called the Museum is created to allow scholars to focus on their intellectual pursuits. Along with the Museum, one of the well-known institutions built in Alexandria is the Library of Alexandria. Carrying the largest collections of Greek scrolls in every field, the Library of Alexandria became the center of knowledge for intellectuals and was “instrumental in the preservation of Greek literature”(496, Ancient Greece). Thanks to the establishment of the Library of Alexandria, major breakthroughs occurred in many fields of study, especially in literature. Apollonius of Rhodes retold his version of Jason and Argonauts, the Argonatutica (497, Ancient Greece). In his retelling, he portrays a more in-depth storyline by providing more animate characters and more, which is quite an accomplishment as he relied on the knowledge gained from the library itself. In addition, Greek influences were also seen in architecture as illustrated by the Pharos. Constructed by an architect Sostratus of Cnidus, the Pharos

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