Theoretical evolutionary biologist
If Greece was about democracy, Rome about war, then Alexandria was all about intellect and science. This is a mind blowing account of one of biggest cultural and intellectual centers the world had ever seen. It claimed to house a library that had every book printed till then in it. The place of the first museum, library and university.
Yet, this book is simply not just about listing what was great about Alexandria. It weaves a fascinating tale of how it came into existence, its political struggles, the lives of the like of Aristotle, Archimedes and Eratosthenes etc. and its eventual tragic destruction.
Its been a long time where a book left me in awe and amazement and wishing to be present at that time. Its a beautiful narrative and should be a part of everyone's library.
Non fiction- science, history,biography,80% classics 10% other fiction 5% misfits 5%
I wish that I could have given this 5 stars.the reason I cant is due to the lack of flow in the writing.. It is still an outstanding book regardless, and deals with an incredible period in time and a particularly fascinating,, rarely visited place. They seem to have packed an enormous amount of info into this comparatively small book. I had to read it twice to gleam a good handle on the info, but the subject mater is so worth it that Ill probably read it again in time. So the bottom line is that its not the best written book you'll find but it is highly informative and contains facinating subject matter.
I really enjoyed the book, very good and complete, excellent narration, highly recomended, this is a must read for anyone that loves history, Egypt or if you want to have a very good time.
If you think Rome, Athens or Judea were the center of the Ancient World--Think Again. The book describes the rise of Alexandria as the first Planned City to attract knowledge workers, traders and world leaders. A 10 Century saga that covers all aspects of life, the influence of the Ptolemy Dynasty to Cleopatra, the great thinkers from Euclid, the Great Library, the Lighthouse just for starters. A must read for history buffs et al
I enjoyed this book immensely. Written and read the way history should be; like a story. This book offers a very broad and scholarly view of Alexandria without becoming boring or seeming like just a download of information. An excellent journey through the formation and pivotal role of Alexandria in the ancient world.
I really enjoyed this book. The writing makes history very appealing.
They lay out the facts, without becoming too dry and scholarly. If you love history, you'll love this book.
OK, it IS a history book, but since I've been out of school for a number of years now and therefore am not reading for a grade, I expect to be somewhat entertained. I found this account to be rather dry and boring. Maybe this chunk of history was to large for one book. I do like the way that the Pharos permeates this history of Alexandria and provides cohesiveness for the narrative.
Only 45 minutes into this gem and I am struggling to follow the author's inept and wholy bipolar waltz (make that "spasms") between one tidbit of info and the next. Only the sheer love of ancient empires has kept me in the game, determined to try to eke out as much knowledge as possible before my eyes glaze over. Combine that with the fact that I actually paid for it and can't get a refund, I will stay the course and, hopefully, emerge on the opposit end.
Why did I give it two stars? I'm not even sure. One star just seems cruel, like leaving a penny as a tip. The author actually took the time to write it with whatever available appendage. I suppose that's something.