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"The voyage along the coast of this sea [the Mediterranean] is exceedingly long, and any landing is especially difficult; for from Paraetonium in Libya as far as Iopê in Coele-Syria, a voyage along the coast of some five thousand stades, there is not to be found a safe harbour except Pharos. And, apart from these considerations, a sandbank extends along practically the whole length of Egypt, not discernible to any who approach without previous experience of these waters. Consequently those who think that they have escaped the peril of the sea, and in their ignorance turn with gladness towards the shore, suffer unexpected shipwreck when their vessels suddenly run aground; and now and then mariners who cannot see land in time because the country lies so low are cast ashore before they realize it, some of them on marshy and swampy places and others on a desert region."
Diodorus Siculus, Library of History (I.31.2-5)
The low and featureless coastline of Egypt, with its broad delta and endless desert, offered no prominent landmarks by which a mariner could plot a course. For Homer, the only harbor in the "long and painful way" to Egypt (Odyssey, IV.542) was at Pharos, where Menelaus was said to have been stranded on his return from Troy. "Now, there's an island out in the ocean's heavy surge, well off the Egyptian coast—they call it Pharos....There's a snug harbor there, good landing beach where crews pull in, draw water from the dark wells then push their vessels off for passage out" (IV.395ff). It was ruled by Proteus, the prophetic, polymorphic "Old Man of the Sea" who resided in caves along the shore, bedded down with his herd of vile-smelling seals (IV.430ff). Only by grappling with the seer and holding him tight was Menelaus able to learn why he had been marooned by the gods and how, by appeasing them with burnt offerings, he could return home (also Hyginus, Fables, CXVIII).
There is a variant of Homer's epic, one in which Helen, the wife of Menelaus, is herself stranded in Egypt. In this version, "which was not so suitable to the composition of his poem as the other which he followed" (Herodotus, Histories, II.112-120; also Euripides, Helen), the Helen within the walls of Troy actually was a dopplegänger. In reality, the ship in which she had been abducted by Paris was blown off course and made landfall in Egypt, where, protected by King Proteus, the real Helen remained faithful to Menelaus until she could be reunited with her husband. Callimachus, too, makes this association between Greece and Egypt when he refers to Pharos as "Helen's island" (Aetia III, Fr.54, "Victory of Berenice").
Plutarch relates that when Alexander, who wished "to found a large and populous Greek city which should bear his name," was about to lay it out, he had a dream in which Homer himself appeared, quoting his lines about Pharos. Alexander went there at once and, seeing the natural advantages of the site (a limestone outcropping in a sea of alluvial wash), admitted that the poet was "not only admirable in other ways, but also was a very wise architect" (Life of Alexander, XXVI.4-7). Alexandria, in fact, was to have been built on Pharos, but it was not large enough (Curtius, History of Alexander, IV.8.1-2). Instead, in 331 BC, he founded the city at Rhacotis, a small fishing village sheltered by the island, which had served to guard against Greek raiders and the importation of foreign goods (Strabo, Geography, XVII.1.6). Having marked out a general plan (Arrian, Anabasis, III.2), including orders "to build a palace notable for its size and massiveness" (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, XVII.52.4), Alexander left his architect Dinocrates (who had supervised the rebuilding of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus) to supervise construction of the new capital with its distinctive grid pattern (Vitruvius, On Architecture, II.Preface.1ff; Geography, XIV.1.23; Arrian, Anabasis, III.1). Alexander then returned to Tyre in Phoenicia, which itself had been founded on an offshore island, besieging the town by building a mole up to its walls.
Pharos, too, was later connected to the mainland by a long causeway. Thought by Caesar to have been built "by former kings" (Civil War, CXII), the Heptastadion (so named for its length, which was seven Greek stades or about three-quarters of a mile) was constructed by Ptolemy I Sotor or his son Ptolemy II Philadelphus, in whose reign the translators of the Septuagint were said to have crossed to begin their work on the Greek Old Testament (Letter of Aristeas, CCCI; Epiphanius, Weights and Measures, XI.53c).
The Ptolemies also built the famed lighthouse on the island, Ptolemy II likely completing the project begun by his father. According to the Suda, a tenth-century Byzantine encyclopedia, the Pharos was constructed by Ptolemy I in 297 BC, the year that Pyrrhus, who had been sent to Alexandria as a hostage, returned to Epirus and, with Ptolemy's help, reclaimed his kingdom (Phi114; Plutarch, Life of Pyrrhus, VII). Jerome, in his translation of Eusebius' Chronicle, puts the date in the first year of the 124th Olympiad (284 BC, or 283 BC in the Armenian translation, where the Olympiads differ by a year), when Ptolemy II assumed the throne in his own name. Writing a decade later, Ammianus Marcellinus believed that Cleopatra had built the Pharos, thereby furnishing "the means of showing lights to ships by night" (Res Gestae, XXII.16.9; also, Tzetzes, Chiliades, II.1).
Certainly, the Pharos elicited wonder in those who saw it. Caesar, who marveled that it was "of great height, a work of wonderful construction, which took its name from the island" (Civil Wars, III.112), paraded a model of the lighthouse, complete with a semblance of its flame, as part of his triumph in Rome (Florus, Epitome of Roman History, II.13.88; Appian, Civil Wars, II.101). Almost a century later, when Scipio Africanus and other delegates visited Alexandria, they scorned the pomp of Ptolemy VIII Physcon (whose offer of marriage had been spurned by Africanus' daughter) and were interested only in "those things which were really worth their viewing; such as the situation of the city, and its prosperity, and particularly the features of the Pharos" (Library of History, XXXIII.28B.2).
When the Pharos was inaugurated, Posidippus, who resided at court, wrote an epigram commemorating the occasion, calling upon Proteus, the deity of the island.
"The Greeks' saviour god—O mighty Proteus—shines from Pharos thanks to Sostratus of Cnidos, son of Dexiphanes. For Egypt has no cliffs or mountains as the islands do but a breakwater, level with the ground, welcomes her ships. And so this tower cutting through the breadth and depth of heaven beacons to the farthest distances by day, and all night long the sailors borne on the waves will see the great flame blazing from its top—nor miss his aim: though he run to the Bull's Horn, he'll find Zeus the Saviour, sailing, Proteus, by this beam" (Milan Papyrus, CXV; cf. Callamachus, "I beseech thee by Zeus, the watcher of the harbour," Greek Anthology, XIII.10).
Pliny mentions "the generous spirit shown by King Ptolemy, whereby he allowed the name of the architect, Sostratus of Cnidos, to be inscribed on the very fabric of the building" (Natural History, XXXVI.83). Strabo, who had visited Alexandria in about 24 BC, relates that, on entering the eastern harbor opposite the promontory of Lochias, there was the island, at the end of which
"is a rock, which is washed all round by the sea and has upon it a tower that is admirably constructed of white marble with many stories and bears the same name as the island. This was an offering made by Sostratus of Cnidus, a friend of the kings, for the safety of mariners, as the inscription says: for since the coast was harbourless and low on either side, and also had reefs and shallows, those who were sailing from the open sea thither needed some lofty and conspicuous sign to enable them to direct their course aright to the entrance of the harbour" (Geography, XVII.1.6).
That the name of Sostratus and not Ptolemy should be on the Pharos could not fail to elicit comment. And it is Lucian, writing in AD 166, who provides the most intriguing story.
"He [Sostratus] built the tower on Pharos, the mightiest and most beautiful work of all, that a beacon-light might shine from it for sailors far over the sea and that they might not be driven on to Paraetonia, said to be a very-difficult coast with no escape if you hit the reefs. After he had built the work he wrote his name on the masonry inside, covered it with gypsum, and having hidden it inscribed the name of the reigning king. He knew, as actually happened, that in a very short time the letters would fall away with the plaster and there would be revealed: 'Sostratus of Cnidos, the son of Dexiphanes, to the Divine Saviours, for the sake of them that sail at sea.' Thus, not even he had regard for the immediate moment or his own brief life-time: he looked to our day and eternity, as long as the tower shall stand and his skill abide. History then should be written in that spirit, with truthfulness and an eye to future expectations rather than with adulation and a view to the pleasure of present praise" (How to Write History, LXII).
Given that Ptolemy had allowed the name to be inscribed on the Pharos, the story likely is apocryphal, embellished by Lucian only to make his point that history should be written with a view to the future and not simply the present. Lucian also speaks of the Pharos in his satire Icaromenippus ("The Sky Man"), where the cynic philosopher Menippus, ascending to the heavens, peers down like a second Icarus. From his vantage point on the Moon, he recounts that he would not have recognized the earth had he not discerned the Pharos, so high and prominent, and the ocean glinting in the sun (XII). As to Sostratus himself, he probably was not the architect, even though Lucian and Pliny suggest that he was. They do so in trying to explain how his name came to be on the Pharos, whether by Ptolemy's magnanimity or Sostratus' own deceptive trickery. Rather, he seems to have been as Strabo described him: "a friend of the kings," a wealthy courtier and envoy of Ptolemy.
Sostratus' dedication of the Pharos to the "Divine Saviours" is obscure, perhaps deliberately so, and reference has been made to Ptolemy I Soter ("Savior") and either his son Ptolemy II Philadelphus or his wife Berenice—or even to the Dioscuri (Castor and Pollux) who, Strabo relates, "were called 'guardians of the sea' and 'saviours of sailors'" (Geography, I.3.2). Bing has argued that the reference is to all deities who protect seafarers, Zeus pre-eminent among them—just as Posidippus refers to "Zeus the Saviour" and "the Greeks' saviour god" (Zeus Soter). Too, it is the statue of Zeus that crowned the lighthouse.
Writing in the first century AD, Pliny records that "the towering structure" was said to have cost 800 talents (more than 23 tons of silver). This was an enormous sum, a tenth of the treasury when Ptolemy I assumed the throne (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History, XVIII.14.1), and one reason to assume that Sostratus dedicated only the statue of Zeus and not the lighthouse itself. (In comparison, the Parthenon is estimated to have cost at least 469 talents of silver.)
Its shining light, say Pliny, which was "to give warning of shoals and indicate the entrance to the harbour," was in danger of being mistaken for a star on the horizon, "the appearance of the fire from a distance being similar" (Natural History, XXXVI.83). Statius compares its light to the moon (Silvae, III.5.101), and Josephus records that the flame, supported by "a very great tower," was visible for 300 stadia or about 34 miles, a day's sail away (Jewish War, IV.10.5). Indeed, its visibility would have been limited only by the curvature of the earth. Given the difficulty of sailing any nearer at night, especially through the dangerously narrow harbor entrance, the light allowed ships to cast anchor off shore. Once safely moored, says Josephus, the harbor at Alexandria was a haven "into which is brought what the country wants in order to its happiness, as also what abundance the country affords more than it wants itself is hence distributed into all the habitable earth."
Early in the second century AD, Achilles Tatius, who lived in Alexandria, described the Pharos as "the most remarkable and extraordinary structure upon which it rested; it was like a mountain, almost reaching the clouds, in the middle of the sea. Below the building flowed the waters; it seemed to be as it were suspended above their surface, while at the top of this mountain rose a second sun to be a guide for ships" (The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon, V.6). These references to a beacon have suggested to some that it was added by the Romans in the first century AD, sometime after Egypt had become a province. But the "great flame blazing from its top" had been a feature of the Pharos since its dedication, as the epigram of Posidippus attests.
Wood was scarce in Egypt and one only can conjecture how the beacon fire was fueled. Possibly there were bundles of papyrus roots, which Theophrastus says were used as firewood, the roots being "abundant and good" (Inquiry into Plants, IV.8.3; also Pliny, Natural History, XIII.72). Or a naphtha-fueled fire is possible. Dried animal dung, although used in cooking, presumably would not have burned brightly enough. Whatever the source of the fire, its intensity would have been increased by a burnished bronze mirror, which in the daytime also would have reflected the sun. This, together with the towering white structure itself and smoke from the fire burning during the day would have offered further direction to the mariner.
In AD 641, Byzantine Alexandria fell to the Muslims, and it is Arab historians and travelers who subsequently provide descriptions of the Pharos. The first substantial descriptions are by al-Masudi. In the Meadows of Gold, written in AD 944, he tells of jewels found in the sea below, thrown there by Alexander the Great (or his mother), and magical copper statues along the parapet. The loss of the upper section is attributed to a stratagem of the Byzantines. Convinced that a treasure was hidden within, the caliph demolished part of the tower in an attempt to discover it, unwittingly destroying the mirror at the summit and ruining the strategic advantage of the building. A decade or so later, in The Book of Notification and Verification, these fabulous accounts are omitted and more realistic details provided. On the Thursday before Easter, for example, Christians would picnic on the grounds of the Pharos, the deterioration of which now is attributed to natural causes, such as earthquakes and severe weather. It had been restored by then and was 230 cubits high, comprised of three superimposed sections: a lower rectangular story of masonry, an octagonal one of brick and stucco, and a final circular story. (That the second story was octagonal may be related to the direction of the eight winds, as it was in the Tower of the Winds in Athens.) Al-Masudi measured the first section to be 110 cubits in height and the second to be about 60, which suggests that the third story would have been about the same. On the eastern wall was a lead inscription in Greek. A mirror is mentioned and a wooden cupola that once (some eighty years earlier) crowned the top.
Travelers in the tenth and eleventh centuries add a few additional details. The first section, which was reached by a causeway, had numerous chambers and a passageway wide enough to allow a horseman to climb it. Once, it was suggested to the caliph that the mirror be reinstalled, but the idea was dismissed because of good relations with the Byzantines. The ramp and interior chambers again were remarked upon. The passage now was wide enough for two mounted men to pass and led to 366 compartments. Twenty-two openings diminished the force of the wind, and there was an undeciphered inscription in copper on the northern wall.
In 1117, al-Gharnati visited Alexandria, where he made a simple drawing of the Pharos, which he describes as having three tiers (one square, a second octagonal, and a third round) all of hewn stone. It shows a first story of large blocks approached by a long arcaded ramp leading to an elevated entrance which, he writes, was twenty cubits above the ground. A smaller second story is surmounted by what may be a domed pavilion or a mirror, which he says was seven cubits in diameter and intended to watch ships on the other side of the Mediterranean. If they approached too closely, the mirror was moved to reflect the setting sun and set them afire while still at sea. Numerous rooms on different floors also were explored.
Al-Idrisi, a geographer who visited Alexandria in 1154, commented on the foundation of the Pharos, which was particularly strong, its stones sealed by lead against the waves crashing against its northern wall. Inside, there was a wide staircase, illuminated by windows and narrowing as it reached the top of the lighthouse, where a fire burned, guiding voyagers at night by its brilliant glare and by smoke during the day. He estimated its height to be the equivalent of about 300 cubits.
The most detailed account of the Pharos, however, is by al-Balawi, who visited Alexandria in 1165 and, upon his return to Málaga in Spain, used his notes as part of the Kitāb alif Bā, an abecedarium or alphabet primer. (Alif bā are the first two letters of the Arabic alphabet, which may explain why the work was unappreciated for so long.) Using a string to which a stone had been attached, he meticulously surveyed the building, which recently had been restored and was in good condition.
Dropping a line from the first platform, al-Balawi measured the rectangular tower to be 254 feet high; the octagonal one, 123 feet; and the cylindrical, 33 feet (to which was added a small oratory or mosque measuring another 25 feet). He also is the only author to measure the width of the lighthouse. The rectangular tower was approximately 100 feet wide at its base, inclining slightly to 86 feet. The octagonal section was about 54 feet, the cylindrical about 29 feet, and the oratory, 14 feet. Each section, therefore, was approximately half the height and half the width of the previous one. In making her conversions, Behrens-Abouseif understood the qāma, a measurement used by al-Balawi, to be 2.5 meters and the total height of the Pharos to be approximately 132 meters or 435 feet. But the qāma also has been estimated to be about 2 meters, in which case the Pharos would have been 106 meters high (348 feet).
Al-Balawi also mentions an ancient inscription that he could not read. Positioned on the seaward wall, the hard black stone (presumably metal) stood in relief from the wall, which had been worn away by the sea and air. The doorway to the tower was approached by a long vaulted ramp measuring 223 feet and supported by sixteen arches. Spiraling clockwise around a central core, there was another ramp wide enough for two pack animals to pass. This would have allowed fuel to be hauled up to the second level, from where it could be winched or carried up stairs to the top.
On a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1182 or 1183, Ibn Jubayr traveled through Alexandria, where he marveled at the Pharos. His journey from Granada is recounted in an English translation by Broadhurst, which is one of the few from the original Arabic that is not a paraphrase from a secondary source. Ibn Jubary relates that the lighthouse was
"a guide to voyagers, for without it they could not find the true course to Alexandria. It can be seen for more than seventy miles, and is of great antiquity. It is most strongly built in all directions and competes with the skies in height. Description of it falls short, the eyes fail to comprehend it, and words are inadequate, so vast is the spectacle. We measured one of its four sides and found it to be more than fifty arms' lengths [almost 112 feet]. It is said that in height it is more than one hundred and fifty qamah [the height of a man]. Its interior is an awe-inspiring sight in its amplitude, with stairways and entrances and numerous apartments, so that he who penetrates and wanders through its passages may be lost. In short, words fail to give a conception of it."
In 1195, the lighthouse again was measured, this time the three sections were found, respectively, to be 121, 81, and 31 dhirā (about half a meter) high. A mosque at the top added an additional 10 dhirā, for a total height of about 244 dhirā or 122 meters (400 feet), an exceptional height (and approximately what Thiersch estimated it to be). But then, only several decades later, several eyewitnesses comment on the very ordinariness of the structure, which by then seemed no more than a common watchtower. Indeed, the earlier descriptions of the Pharos as a marvel were dismissed as exaggerations and outright lies. By then (about 1227), it was a simple rectangular tower with a wide platform and high parapet supporting a similar but much smaller second story, which was surmounted by a domed structure. The causeway did not exist and the watchtower was no longer accessible by land. In 1273–1274, even the first story, which had fallen into neglect, had to be restored.
One of the last authors to write of the Pharos is Al-Maqrizi (1364-1442), who reiterates much of what already had been said. Citing al-Masudi, he relates that there was an inscription in Greek on the northern side of the tower. Made from lead, the letters were one ell in height (eighteen inches) and one span in width (nine inches). The hewn stones also were clamped together with lead as well. (Al-Masudi had said that the inscription was on the eastern side, where it could be read as one entered the harbor, and al-Bawasi that it was on the seaward side.)
Ancient coins and engraved gems provide pictorial detail. Here, on a tetradrachm of Commodus (AD 180–192) struck at Alexandria, one can see the elevated doorway (as protection against a rising tide) and what have been described as Tritons blowing conch shells that served as antefixes on the corners of the first tier. Lowe suggests, however, that the figures might be personifications of the winds and that Zeus himself served as a weathervane, much as the figure of Triton did atop the Tower of the Winds. Many coins that show the Pharos also depict Isis velificans, a billowing sail (velum) before her.
In AD 394, Synesius of Cyrene, who famously corresponded with the martyred Hypatia, wrote of a lighthouse. "We perceived the beacon fire lit upon a tower to warn ships running too close. We accordingly disembarked more quickly than it takes to relate, on the island of Paros, a poor island where there are neither trees nor fruit, but only salt marshes" (Epistles, LI). But here he is referring to the Aegean home of the lyric poet Archilochus.
"I am the tower that helps straying mariners, lighting up the blaze of Poseidon's comforting torch. Ammonius, who is the father of our emperor, re-erected me by his labour when, borne down by the loud-roaring gales, I was about to fall. To him the sailors, escaped from the wild waves, lift up their hands as to the glorious Earth-shaker."
Greek Anthology (674)
There was an earthquake in AD 796, which left only the square section still standing. In about AD 875 a wooden cupola was built on top of the Pharos, suggesting that it no longer was being used as a lighthouse but as a watchtower. Again, there were earthquakes in AD 950/951 and AD 955/956 during Ramadan, when about thirty cubits were thrown down. There was another series in the fourteenth century, including an especially destructive tremor in 1303 that al-Mansuri said destroyed the Pharos. When Ibn Battuta visited Alexandria in 1326, he described the first tier as being partly in ruins, although he was able to measured the equivalent of almost 31 meters on a side. Visiting again in 1349, the Pharos was in so ruinous a condition that it could not even be entered, it being impossible to climb up to the doorway. Another earthquake in 1375 seems finally to have reduced whatever might still have been standing to rubble. In 1479, Sultan Qaitbay (also transliterated as Kait Bey) used the stones to build a fort on the foundation of the Pharos, its dimensions approximating those measured by Ibn Battuta.
In 1880 and later reiterated in The Arab Conquest of Egypt (1902), Butler wrote that "If the Pharos has long vanished, the tradition of its grace, and even of its use, has been preserved in the Egyptian minaret, to which it gave the name and to which it served as model." Although Thiersch accepted this notion that the Pharos was the prototype for the minaret (and, indeed, the Arabic word for both is manāra), the first minaret to imitate the structure of a square base surmounted by an octagonal and then a cylindrical story was not built until 1304, when the Pharos essentially was in ruins. Rather, the architecture of the minaret seems to have derived from the Syrian church tower.
Since 1994, Empereur has been surveying thousands of architectural pieces that litter the sea floor of the harbor, a dozen of which appear to belong to the Pharos itself, including huge stone blocks (some of the largest ever used in ancient construction), sections of red granite that framed a monumental doorway, and a marble fragment with inlaid Greek letters in bronze measuring approximately eighteen inches in height, just as al-Masudi had described.
One of the earliest catalogs of the world's wonders is by Antipater of Sidon, writing in the second century BC (Greek Anthology, IX.58). It does not include the Pharos, even if Antipater himself had been a citizen of Alexandria. Pliny speaks of septem miracula in his Natural History (XXXVI.30) but makes his own selection (including the Pharos) from traditional accounts, depending upon the material (usually marble) in which they were executed. The Pharos would not be added as one of the seven wonders of the world until the fourth or fifth century AD, when (in a work mistakenly attributed to Philo of Byzantium) it replaced the hanging gardens of Babylon.
The illustration is from the classic study Pharos: Antike Islam und Occident (1909) by Hermann Thiersch, who based it on ancient descriptions and numismatic evidence. The computer image has been constructed by the UCLA Experimental Technologies Center, with the intention of building a virtual model of the lighthouse in order to test its stability under wind loads and ground shake, and how it would collapse under such stress. From the reconstruction, one can appreciate the intricacy of the interior, which justifies the wonderment of Ibn Jubayr in 1183 that "there were gigantic stairs and passages, also so many chambers that one could become lost in them." The spiral staircase would have allowed fuel to be brought to the uppermost tier, although one does wonder whether the roaring fire threatened the stonework and statue that roofed over it. In the model, too, Poseidon crowns the tower, rather than Zeus, who was the original figure.
Any measurement of the Pharos must be approximate and different heights and lengths are given, depending upon the value attached to the ancient ell, cubit, palm, or span—even the height of a man, which is why there has been no attempt to reconcile the various figures. Traditionally, both the ell and cubit were defined as the length of a man's forearm from the "el-bow" to the tip of the middle finger, about 18 inches (46 cm, almost half a meter). But that length could vary. The "long cubit," for example, was approximately 52 cm. Thiersch calculated it to be 54 cm. or about 21 inches.
Because of vagaries in transliteration, the spelling of Arab names can differ as well. Al-Balawi (1132-1207) from Malaga in Andalusia, whose description of the Pharos in 1166 is so important to understanding its dimensions, has been identified as Abu 'l-Hajjaj Yusuf al-Balawi, Abu-l-Hajjy Yussuf Ibn Muhammad al-Balawi al-Andalusi, Abu'l Hajjaj Yusuf Ibn Muhammad al-Andalusi, Abu Hajjaj Yusuf ibn Muhammad al-Balawi al-Andalusi, Aboul Haggag Youssef Ibn Mohamed el Balawi el Andaloussi, and Abou Haggag Youssef Ibn Mohammed el-Balawi el-Andaloussi. To confound matters, he also was known as Yusuf Ibn al-Shaykh, Ibn al-Shaikh, and Yusuf Ibn al-Shaykh al-Balawi. His account was not published until 1870, the importance of which was not recognized for another 66 years, long after Thiersch had completed his own book. There was no English translation until 1988.
Several authors attribute to Lucian the assertion that the light of the Pharos could be seen for three hundred miles, whereas it is Josephus who relates that it was visible for three hundred stadia.
References: Homer: The Odyssey (1996) translated by Robert Fagles; The New Posidippus: A Hellenistic Poetry Book (2005) edited by Kathryn Gutzwiller; Caesar: Civil Wars (1914) translated by A. G. Peskett (Loeb Classical Library); Strabo: Geography (1917-) translated by H. L. Jones (Loeb Classical Library); Lucian (1959) translated by K. Kilburn (Loeb Classical Library); Pliny: Natural History (1962) translated by D. E. Eichholz (Loeb Classical Library); Diodorus Siculus: Library of History (1933) translated by C. H. Oldfather (Loeb Classical Library); Achilles Tatius [The Adventures of Leucippe and Clitophon] (1917) translated by S. Gaselee (Loeb Classical Library); The Greek Anthology (Vol. III) (1925) translated by W. R. Paton; The Travels of Ibn Jubayr (1952) translated by R. J. C. Broadhurst.
The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt: 300 BC to AD 700 (2007) by Judith McKenzie; Ptolemaic Alexandria (1972) by P. M. Fraser; The Forgotten Revolution: How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why It Had to Be Reborn (1996) by Lucio Russo; "The Ancient Monuments of Alexandria According to Accounts by Medieval Arab Authors (IX-XV Century)" (1971) by S. K. Hamarneh, Folia Orientalia, 13, 77-110; The Arab Conquest of Egypt and the Last Thirty Years of the Roman Dominion (1902) by Alfred J. Butler; "The Cost of the Parthenon" (1953) by R. S. Stanier, The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 73, 68-76; "Between Literature and the Monuments" (1998) by Peter Bing, in Genre in Hellenistic Poetry, edited by M. A. Harder, R. F. Regtuit, and G. C. Wakker; "The Pharos at Alexandria" (1988) by Peter A. Clayton, in The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, edited by Peter A. Clayton and Martin J. Price; Ancient Lighthouses (2018) by Ken Trethewey; "The Islamic History of the Lighthouse of Alexandria" (2006) by Doris Behrens-Abouseif, Muqarnas, 23, 1-14; "The Proteus Legend" (1960) by K. O"Nolan, Hermes, 88(2), 129-138; "The Evolution of the Minaret, with Special Reference to Egypt-I" (1926) by K. A. C. Creswell, The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs, 48(276), 134-40; The Arab Conquest of Egypt and the Last Thirty Years of the Roman Dominion (1902) by Alfred J. Butler; "The Influence of the Lighthouse of Alexandria on the Minarets of North Africa and Spain" (1991) by El Sayed Abdel Aziz Salem, Islamic Studies, 30(1-2), 149-156; "Twisting in the Wind: Monumental Weathervanes in Classical Antiquity" (2016) by Dunstan Lowe, Cambridge Classical Journal, 62, 147-169.
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