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Ask me about Alexandria, or the broader Hellenistic world


My current writing project is heavily inspired by various events and aspects of the city of Alexandria. As such I've already been reading enough into it to know a good deal more than the average person on the city (which, to be fair, is not saying much. I asked an intelligent and well read friend of mine some basic questions about the city to try and get a baseline and found that she thought it was in Greece . . .). More than the knowledge I already have circling around in my brain, however, I also have a decent collection of books about the city and various related topics.

Both to educate interested members of the forum and to give my brain some extrinsic motivation to actually dig deeper into the literature I have accumulated, I am inviting people to ask me anything about the city of Alexandria, Hellenistic culture, how Judaism interacted with the Hellenistic and Roman worlds (more relevant to Alexandria than one might expect), the culture of the eastern roman empire, the history of early Christianity (particularly as it spread through Greece and Egypt), classical Mediterranean understandings of magic, or any other topic tangentially connected to this area of the world.

A couple caveats. As noted above, this is partially an excuse to get me to go through the academic literature I have found on these topics. A lot of relevant material is from books I haven't read through yet. As such I'll likely be somewhat slow with responding to question as I dig through relevant passages in different books to find the answers to whatever is being asked. On the plus side this does mean that you shouldn't have to deal with me misremembering details or being unable to cite my sources,. Second, my primary focus is on the 3rd and 4th centuries CE, with some additional focus being given to the City's beginings in the late 4th century BCE and the reign of Cleopatra VII in the first century BCE. I'll still be happy to try and answer questions outside of these periods if they are between the periods I'm interested in, (i.e. anything between the city's founding and the end of the 4th century CE), anything after the conquest in the 7th century is outside the scope of my current interests.

All that being said, ask me anything about the city of Alexandria!