Lighthouse of Alexandria
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The Lighthouse of Alexandria, sometimes called the Pharos of Alexandria (;
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used in and the from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: (), Dark Ages (), the period (), and the period (). Ancient Greek was the language of an ...
: ὁ Φάρος τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας, contemporary Koine ), was a
lighthouse A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses A lens is a transmissive optics, optical device that focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple ...

lighthouse
built by the
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...

Greek
Ptolemaic Kingdom The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient w ...
of
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the country . Ancient Egyptian civilization followed and coalesced around 3100 (according to ) with the political unification of u ...

Ancient Egypt
, during the reign of
Ptolemy II Philadelphus ; egy, Userkanaenre wikt:mry-jmn, Meryamun#Clayton06, Clayton (2006) p. 208 , predecessor = Ptolemy I Soter , successor = Ptolemy III Euergetes , horus = ''ḥwnw-ḳni'Khunuqeni''The brave youth , nebty = ''wr-pḥtj ...

Ptolemy II Philadelphus
(280–247 BC). It has been estimated to have been at least in overall height. One of the
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World 324px, Timeline and map of the Seven Wonders. Dates in bold green and dark red are of their construction and destruction, respectively. The Seven Wonders of the World or the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (simply known as Seven Wonders) is a ...

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
, for many centuries it was one of the
tallest man-made structures in the world The world's tallest artificial structure is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (of the United Arab Emirates). The building gained the official title of "List of tallest buildings in the world, tallest building in the world" and the tallest self-support ...
. The lighthouse was severely damaged by three earthquakes between 956 and 1323 AD and became an abandoned ruin. It was the third-longest surviving ancient wonder (after the
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus ( grc, Μαυσωλεῖον τῆς Ἁλικαρνασσοῦ; tr, Halikarnas Mozolesi) was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC in Halicarnassus (present Bodrum, Turkey) for Mausolus, a na ...
and the extant
Great Pyramid of Giza The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the Egyptian pyramids, pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering present-day Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt. It is the olde ...

Great Pyramid of Giza
), surviving in part until 1480, when the last of its remnant stones were used to build the
Citadel of Qaitbay The Citadel of Qaitbay (or the Fort of Qaitbay; ar, قلعة قايتباي) is a 15th-century defensive fortress located on the Mediterranean sea coast, in Alexandria ) , name = Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإس ...

Citadel of Qaitbay
on the site. In 1994, a team of French archaeologists dove into the water of Alexandria's Eastern Harbour and discovered some remains of the lighthouse on the sea floor. In 2016 the
Ministry of State of Antiquities The Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities is the Egyptian government organization which serves to protect and preserve the heritage and History of ancient Egypt, ancient history of Egypt. In December 2019 it was merged into the Ministry of Tourism (Eg ...
in Egypt had plans to turn submerged ruins of ancient Alexandria, including those of the Pharos, into an underwater
museum A museum ( ; plural museums or, rarely, musea) is a building or institution that Preservation (library and archival science), cares for and displays a collection (artwork), collection of artifacts and other objects of artistic, culture, cu ...

museum
. __TOC__


Origin

Pharos was a small island located on the western edge of the
Nile Delta The Nile Delta ( ar, دلتا النيل, or simply , ) is the delta Delta commonly refers to: * Delta (letter) (Δ or δ), a letter of the Greek alphabet * River delta, a landform at the mouth of a river * D (NATO phonetic alphabet: "Delta"), ...
. In 332 BC
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (') of the kingdom of and a member of the . He was born in in 356 BC and succeeded his ...

Alexander the Great
founded the city of
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; : Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the in after and , in , and a major economic centre. With a total population of 5,200,000, Alexandria is the ...

Alexandria
on an
isthmus An isthmus ( or ; plural: isthmuses or isthmi; from grc, ἰσθμός, isthmós, neck) is a narrow piece of land connecting two larger areas across an expanse of water by which they are otherwise separated. A tombolo is an isthmus that consist ...

isthmus
opposite Pharos. Alexandria and Pharos were later connected by a
mole Mole (or Molé) may refer to: Animals * Mole (animal) or "true mole", mammals in the family Talpidae, found in Eurasia and North America * Golden moles, southern African mammals in the family Chrysochloridae, similar to but unrelated to Talpidae ...
spanning more than , which was called the ''
Heptastadion The Heptastadion (Greek: Ὲπταστάδιον) was a giant causeway, often referred to as a mole or a dyke built by the people of Alexandria ) , name = Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسك ...
'' ("seven stadia"—a '' stadion'' was a Greek
unit of length A unit of length refers to any arbitrarily chosen and accepted reference standard for measurement of length. The most common units in modern use are the metric system, metric units, used in every country globally. In the United States the U.S. c ...
measuring approximately 180 m). The etymology of “Pharos” is uncertain. The word became generalized in modern Greek (φάρος ‘fáros’), and was loaned into Spanish (‘faro’). The east side of the mole became the Great Harbour, now an open bay; on the west side lay the port of Eunostos, with its inner basin Kibotos now vastly enlarged to form the modern harbour. Today's city development lying between the present Grand Square and the modern Ras el-Tin quarter is built on the silt which gradually widened and obliterated this mole. The Ras el-Tin promontory, where
Ras el-Tin Palace Ras El Tin Palace ( ar, قصر رأس التين , literally, "Cape Fig Palace") is a palace on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and a ...
was built in the 19th century, represents all that is left of the island of Pharos, the site of the lighthouse at its eastern point having been weathered away by the sea.


Construction

The lighthouse was constructed in the third century BC. After
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (') of the kingdom of and a member of the . He was born in in 356 BC and succeeded his ...

Alexander the Great
died, the first Ptolemy (
Ptolemy I Soter Ptolemy I Soter (; gr, Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, ''Ptolemaîos Sōtḗr'' "Ptolemy the Savior"; c. 367 BC – January 282 BC) was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδ ...
) declared himself king in 305 BC, and commissioned its construction shortly thereafter. The building was finished during the reign of his son,
Ptolemy II Philadelphus ; egy, Userkanaenre wikt:mry-jmn, Meryamun#Clayton06, Clayton (2006) p. 208 , predecessor = Ptolemy I Soter , successor = Ptolemy III Euergetes , horus = ''ḥwnw-ḳni'Khunuqeni''The brave youth , nebty = ''wr-pḥtj ...

Ptolemy II Philadelphus
, and took twelve years to complete at a total cost of 800  talents of silver. The light was produced by a furnace at the top, and the tower was said to have been built mostly with solid blocks of
limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate In chemistry, a carbonate is a salt Salt is a mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl), a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of Salt (chemistry), salts; salt in its nat ...

limestone
and
granite Granite () is a coarse-grained (phaneritic A phanerite is an igneous rock Igneous rock (derived from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Lat ...

granite
. In his encyclopedic manuscript ''
Geographica The ''Geographica'' (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following per ...
'',
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
, who visited Alexandria in the late first century BC, reported that
Sostratus of CnidusSostratus of Cnidus Knidos or Cnidus (; grc-gre, Κνίδος, , ) was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Sou ...
had a dedication to the "Saviour Gods" inscribed in metal letters on the lighthouse. Writing in the first century AD,
Pliny the Elder #REDIRECT Pliny the Elder#REDIRECT Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23/2479), called Pliny the Elder (), was a Roman author, a naturalist Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, ...

Pliny the Elder
stated in his ''
Natural History Natural history is a domain of inquiry involving organisms, including animals, fungus, fungi, and plants, in their natural environment, leaning more towards observational than experimental methods of study. A person who studies natural history ...
'' that Sostratus was the architect, although this conclusion is disputed. In his second century AD educational treatise '' How to Write History'',
Lucian Lucian of Samosata, '; la, Lucianus Samosatensis (: Λουκιανός ό Σαμοσατεύς), ( 125 – after 180) was an , ian and who is best known for his characteristic style, with which he frequently ridiculed superstition, religio ...
claimed that Sostratus hid his name under plaster which bore the name of Ptolemy, so that when the plaster eventually fell off, Sostratus's name would be visible in the stone. The blocks of sandstone and limestone used in the construction of the lighthouse have been scientifically analysed in order to discover where they originated, with mineralogical and chemical analysis pointing to the
Wadi Hammamat Qift, ancient Coptos, was the beginning of the route that led to Quseir on the coast of the Red Sea Wadi Hammamat ( en, Valley of Many Baths, ''India way; gateway to India'') is a dry river bed in Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), offici ...
quarries, which are located in the desert to the east of Alexandria.


Height and description

Arab descriptions of the lighthouse are consistent despite it undergoing several repairs after earthquake damage. Given heights vary only fifteen percent from  , on a square base. The Arab authors indicate that the lighthouse was constructed from large blocks of light-coloured
stone A rock is any naturally occurring solid mass or aggregate of minerals or mineraloid matter. It is categorized by the minerals included, its chemical composition and the way in which it is formed. Rocks form the Earth's outer solid layer, th ...
. The tower was made up of three tapering tiers: a lower square section with a central core; a middle octagonal section; and, at the top, a circular section.
Al-Masudi Al-Mas'udi ( ar, أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن عَلِيّ ٱبْن ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْمَسْعُودِيّ, '; –956) was an Historiography of early Islam, Arab historian, geographer and Explorer, traveler. He is ...
wrote in the 10th century that the seaward-facing side featured an inscription dedicated to Zeus. Geographer Al-Idrisi visited the lighthouse in 1154 and noted openings in the walls throughout the rectangular shaft with lead used as a filling agent in between the masonry blocks at the base. He reckoned the total height of the lighthouse to be 300 dhira rashashl (162 m). At its apex was a mirror which reflected sunlight during the day; a fire was lit at night. Extant Roman coins struck by the Alexandrian mint show that a statue of
Triton Triton commonly refers to: * Triton (mythology), a Greek god * Triton (moon), a satellite of Neptune Triton may also refer to: Biology * Triton cockatoo, a parrot * Triton (gastropod), a group of sea snails * ''Triton'', a synonym of ''Triturus'', ...
was positioned on each of the building's four corners, and a statue of
Poseidon Poseidon (; grc-gre, Ποσειδῶν, ) was one of the Twelve Olympians upright=1.8, Fragment of a relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The t ...

Poseidon
or
Zeus Zeus or , , ; grc, Δῐός, ''Diós'', label=genitive In grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' compos ...

Zeus
stood atop. The fullest description of the lighthouse comes from Arab traveler Abou Haggag Youssef Ibn Mohammed el-Balawi el-Andaloussi, who visited Alexandria in 1166 AD. Balawi provided description and measurement of the interior of the lighthouse's rectangular shaft. The inner ramp was described as roofed with masonry at 7 shibr (189 cm, 6.2 ft) noted as to allow two horsemen to pass at once. In clockwise rotation, the ramp held four stories with eighteen, fourteen, and seventeen rooms on the second, third, and fourth floors, respectively. Balawi accounted the base of the lighthouse to be 45 ba (30 m, 100 ft) long on each side with connecting ramp 600 dhira (300 m, 984 ft) long by 20 dhira (10 m, 32 ft) wide. The octangle section is accounted at 24 ba (16.4 m, 54 ft) in width, and the diameter of the cylindrical section is accounted at 12.73 ba (8.7 m, 28.5 ft). The apex of the lighthouse's oratory was measured with diameter 6.4 ba (4.3 m 20.9 ft). Late accounts of the lighthouse after the destruction by the
1303 Crete earthquake The 1303 Crete earthquake occurred at about dawn on 8 August. It had an estimated magnitude of about 8, a maximum intensity of IX (''Violent'') on the Mercalli intensity scale, and triggered a major tsunami that caused severe damage and loss of li ...
include
Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an et ...
, a Moroccan scholar and explorer, who passed through Alexandria in 1326 and 1349. Battuta noted that the wrecked condition of the lighthouse was then only noticeable by the rectangle tower and entrance ramp. He stated the tower to be 140 shibr (30.8 m, 101 ft) on either side. Battuta detailed Sultan
An-Nasir Muhammad Al-Malik an-Nasir Nasir ad-Din Muhammad ibn Qalawun ( ar, الملك الناصر ناصر الدين محمد بن قلاوون), commonly known as an-Nasir Muhammad ( ar, الناصر محمد), or by his kunya: Abu al-Ma'ali (أبو المع ...
's plan to build a new lighthouse near the site of the collapsed one, but these went unfulfilled after the Sultan's death in 1341.


Destruction

The lighthouse was partially cracked and damaged by earthquakes in 796 and 951, followed by structural collapse in the earthquake of 956, and then again in 1303 and 1323. Earthquakes propagate from two well known tectonic boundaries, the African–Arabian and
Red Sea Rift The Red Sea Rift is a spreading center between two tectonic plates, the African Plate and the Arabian Plate. It extends from the Dead Sea Transform fault system, and ends at an intersection with the Aden Ridge and the East African Rift, forming the ...
zones, respectively 350 and 520 km from the lighthouse's location. Documentation shows the 956 earthquake to be the first to cause structural collapse of the top 20+ metres of the construction. Documented repairs after the 956 earthquake include the installment of an Islamic-style dome after the collapse of the statue that previously topped the monument. The most destructive earthquake in 1303 was an estimated intensity of VIII+ originating from the Greek island of
Crete Crete ( el, Κρήτη, translit=, : , : '','' ) is the largest and most populous of the , the largest island in the world and the largest island in the , after , , , and . Crete rests approximately south of the Greek mainland. It has an ar ...

Crete
(280–350 km from Alexandria). Finally, the stubby remnant disappeared in 1480, when the then-
Sultan of Egypt Sultan of Egypt was the status held by the rulers of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and Western Asia, southwest corn ...
,
Qaitbay Sultan Abu Al-Nasr Sayf ad-Din Al-Ashraf Qaitbay ( ar, السلطان أبو النصر سيف الدين الأشرف قايتباي) (c. 1416/14187 August 1496) was the eighteenth Burji dynasty, Burji Mamluk Sultanate (Cairo), Mamluk Sultan of E ...

Qaitbay
, built a on the larger platform of the lighthouse site using some of the fallen stone. The 10th-century writer
al-Mas'udi Al-Mas'udi ( ar, أَبُو ٱلْحَسَن عَلِيّ ٱبْن ٱلْحُسَيْن ٱبْن عَلِيّ ٱلْمَسْعُودِيّ, '; –956) was an Arab historian, geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist a ...
reports a legendary tale on the lighthouse's destruction, according to which at the time of Caliph
Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan ibn al-Hakam ( ar, عبد الملك ابن مروان ابن الحكم, ʿAbd al-Malik ibn Marwān ibn al-Ḥakam; July/August 644 or June/July 647 – 9 October 705) was the fifth Umayyad caliph, ruling from April 685 un ...
() the sent a
eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a man who has been castration, castrated. Throughout history, castration often served a specific social function. The earliest records for intentional castration to produce eunuchs are from the Sumerian city of Lagash in the 2 ...

eunuch
agent, who adopted
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling o ...
) is an religion teaching that is a of .Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , edited by J. L. Esposito. Oxford: . . (See alsoquick reference) " e Muslims' und ...
, gained the
Caliph A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state An Islamic state is a form of government based on Islamic law. As a term, it has been used to describe various historical Polity, polities and theories of governance in the Islami ...
's confidence and secured permission to search for hidden treasure at the base of the lighthouse. The search was cunningly made in such a manner that the foundations were undermined, and the Pharos collapsed. The agent managed to escape in a ship waiting for him.


Archaeological research and rediscovery

Gaston Jondet made in 1916 the first detailed description of the submerged ruins of the old port of Alexandria. He was followed by
Raymond WeillRaymond Weill (28 Jan 1874 in Elbeuf – 13 July 1950 in Paris) was a French archaeologist specialzied in Egyptology. Biography He began his career in the military before starting a career with Gaston Maspero at the École pratique des hautes étu ...
in the same year, and by Sir Leopold Halliday Savile in 1940. In 1968, the lighthouse was rediscovered.
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a List of specialized agencies of the United Nations, specialised agency of th ...

UNESCO
sponsored an expedition to send a team of marine
archaeologists Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique h ...
, led by , to the site. She confirmed the existence of ruins representing part of the lighthouse. Due to the lack of specialized archaeologists and the area becoming a military zone, exploration was put on hold. A team of French archaeologists led by
Jean-Yves Empereur Jean-Yves Empereur (; born 1952) is a France, French archeologist. He studied classic literature in the University of Paris IV: Paris-Sorbonne, University Paris IV Sorbonne (DEA (former French degree), DEA, CAPES, Agrégation, Agrégation de let ...
re-discovered the physical remains of the lighthouse in late 1994 on the floor of Alexandria's Eastern Harbour. He worked with cinematographer Asma el-Bakri who used a 35 mm camera to capture the first underwater pictures of the scattered remains of collapsed columns and statues. Empereur's most significant findings consisted of blocks of granite 49–60 tonnes in mass often broken into multiple pieces, 30
sphinx A sphinx ( , grc, σφίγξ , Aeolic Greek, Boeotian: , plural sphinxes or sphinges) is a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion with the wings of a falcon. In Culture of Greece, Greek tradition, the sphinx has the ...

sphinx
es, 5
obelisk , on the Place de la Concorde The Place de la Concorde () is one of the major public squares in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with a ...

obelisk
s and columns with carvings dating back to
Ramses II Ramesses II ( egy, wikt:rꜥ-ms-sw, rꜥ-ms-sw meaning "Ra is the one who bore him", ''Rīʿa-məsī-sū'', ; ) was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful ...
(1279–1213 BC). The cataloging of over 3,300 pieces was completed by Empereur and his team at the end of 1995 using a combination of photography and mapping. Thirty-six pieces of Empereur's granite blocks and other discoveries have been restored and are currently on display in Alexandria museums. Subsequent satellite imaging has revealed further remains. In the early 1990s, the underwater archaeologist Franck Goddio began exploration at the opposite side of the harbor from where Empereur's team had worked. Subsequent satellite and sonar imaging has revealed the additional remains of wharves, houses and temples which had all fallen into the Mediterranean sea as a result of earthquakes and other natural disasters. It is possible to go diving and see the ruins. The secretariat of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage is currently working with the Government of Egypt on an initiative to add the Bay of Alexandria (including the remains of the lighthouse) to a World Heritage List of submerged cultural sites.


Significance

Legend has it that the people of the island of Pharos were Wrecking (shipwreck), wreckers; hence,
Ptolemy I Soter Ptolemy I Soter (; gr, Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, ''Ptolemaîos Sōtḗr'' "Ptolemy the Savior"; c. 367 BC – January 282 BC) was a Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδ ...
had the lighthouse built to help guide ships into port at night. ''Pharos'' became the etymological origin of the word "lighthouse" in Greek (''φάρος''), many Romance languages such as French (''phare''), Italian and Spanish (''faro''), Catalan, Romanian (''far'') and Portuguese (''farol''), and even some Slavic languages like Bulgarian (''far''). In French, Portuguese, Turkish, Serbian and Russian, a derived word means "headlight" (''phare'', ''farol'', ''far'', ''фар'', ''фара'').


Proposed reconstruction

Since 1978 a number of proposals have been made to replace the lighthouse with a modern reconstruction. In 2015, the Egyptian government and the Alexandria governorate suggested building a skyscraper on the site of the lighthouse as part of the regeneration of the eastern harbour of Alexandria Port.


Pharos in culture

The lighthouse remains a civic symbol of the city of
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; : Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the in after and , in , and a major economic centre. With a total population of 5,200,000, Alexandria is the ...

Alexandria
and of the Alexandria Governorate with which the city is more or less coterminous. A stylised representation of the lighthouse appears on the flag and seal of the Governorate and on many public services of the city, including the seal of Alexandria University.


In architecture


The Sheraton Hotel in Batumi
(Georgia (country), Georgia) is modeled on the Alexandria lighthouse. * A well-preserved ancient tomb in the town of Abusir (Lake Mariout), Abusir, southwest of Alexandria, is thought to be a scaled-down model of the Alexandria Pharos. Known colloquially under various names – the ''Pharos of Abusir'', the ''Abusir funerary monument'' and Burg al-Arab (Arab's Tower) – it consists of a 3-storey tower, approximately in height, with a square base, an octagonal midsection and cylindrical upper section, like the building upon which it was apparently modelled. It dates to the reign of Ptolemy II (285–246 BC), and is therefore likely to have been built at about the same time as the Alexandria Pharos. * The design of minarets in many early Egyptian
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission
o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling o ...
) is an religion teaching that is a of .Peters, F. E. 2009. "Allāh." In , edited by J. L. Esposito. Oxford: . . (See alsoquick reference) " e Muslims' und ...
ic mosques followed a three-stage design similar to that of the Pharos, attesting to the building's broader architectural influence. * The George Washington Masonic National Memorial, located in Alexandria, Virginia, is fashioned after the ancient Lighthouse."*Ferris, Gary W. ''Presidential Places: A Guide to the Historic Sites of U.S. Presidents.'' Winston-Salem, N.C.: J.F. Blair, 1999. p.21"


In literature

*Julius Caesar, in his ''Commentarii de Bello Civili, Civil Wars'' (Part III, 111–112), describes the Pharos and its strategic importance. Gaining control of the lighthouse helped him subdue Ptolemy XIII's armies (48 BC): *The Romano-Jewish historian Josephus (37 – c. 100 AD) describes it in his book ''The Jewish War'' (4.10.5) when he gives a geographical overview of Egypt. *It was described in the ''Zhu fan zhi'' ("Records of Foreign Peoples") by Zhao Rugua (1170–1228), a History of China, Chinese customs inspector for the southern port city of Quanzhou during the Song dynasty. *
Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an et ...
visited the lighthouse in 1326, finding "one of its faces in ruins," yet he could enter and noted a place for the guardian of the lighthouse to sit and many other chambers. When he returned in 1349, he "found that it had fallen into so ruinous a condition that it was impossible to enter it or to climb up to the doorway." * In Robert Silverberg's science fiction novella ''Sailing to Byzantium (novella), Sailing to Byzantium'' (1985), a culture of the far future recreates ancient cities, full with every detail, among them Alexandria; several episodes of Silverberg's story take place on the rebuilt Pharos.


In video games

* In the 1991 computer game Civilization (video game), ''Civilization'', the Great Lighthouse is one of the Wonders of the World that can be built, giving a bonus to ship movement. It appears again in all the later installments of the series. * In the city building strategy games ''Pharaoh: Cleopatra'' (2000) and ''Children of the Nile'' (2004), it can be built as a monument. * In the 2013 strategy game ''Total War: Rome II'', the lighthouse is featured as a wonder, where it gives a minor boost to the faction occupying Alexandria. * The lighthouse features in the Action-adventure game, action-adventure video game ''Assassin's Creed Origins, Assassins Creed Origins''. The game is set in
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the country . Ancient Egyptian civilization followed and coalesced around 3100 (according to ) with the political unification of u ...

Ancient Egypt
during the Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemaic period (48 BC). Ubisoft Montreal's research on
Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a of , concentrated along the lower reaches of the , situated in the place that is now the country . Ancient Egyptian civilization followed and coalesced around 3100 (according to ) with the political unification of u ...

Ancient Egypt
was done with the help of French archaeologist and Egyptologist Jean-Claude Golvin. *In the city simulation game ''SimCity 3000'', the lighthouse can be built as a landmark. *In the web-based game ''Forge of Empires'', the Lighthouse of Alexandria is available as a "Great Building". *In the strategy game Humankind (video game), ''Humankind'' the 'Lighthouse of Alexandria' is buildable and provides benefits including stability, fame and increased vision range and movement for naval units. *In the Paradox Interactive games ''Crusader Kings II'' and ''Imperator Rome'', the Pharos Lighthouse is present in Alexandria, and gives various benefits to the owner of the city. As well, in both games, additional lighthouses inspired by the Pharos Lighthouse can be built for further bonuses.


In film and television

* In the 2021 TV series ''Loki (TV series), Loki'', a version of the Lighthouse can be seen in the fifth episode, ''Journey into Mystery (Loki), Journey into Mystery'', appearing in the Void alongside several other structures and artefacts that had been removed from alternate timelines by the Time Variance Authority. It is based on Hermann Thiersch's 1909 drawing.


In vexillology

File:Flag of Alexandria.svg, The Flag of the Alexandria Governate File:Alexandria Flag.png, Flag of the city of Alexandria


See also

*Tower of Hercules, a Roman lighthouse in Spain *Minar (Firuzabad)


References

Notes Bibliography * * * * * * * Further reading *Harris, William V., and Giovanni Ruffini. 2004. ''Ancient Alexandria Between Egypt and Greece''. Leiden: Brill. *Jordan, Paul. 2002. ''The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World''. Harlow: Longman. *Polyzōidēs, Apostolos. 2014. ''Alexandria: City of Gifts and Sorrows: From Hellenistic Civilization to Multiethnic Metropolis''. Chicago: Sussex Academic Press, 2014. *Thompson, Alice. 2002. ''Pharos''. London: Virago. *Tkaczow, Barbara, and Iwona Zych. 1993. ''The Topography of Ancient Alexandria: An Archaeological Map''. Warszawa: Zaklad Archeologii Śródziemnomorskiej, Polskiej Akadmii Nauk.


External links


World History Encyclopedia – Lighthouse of AlexandriaDescription of Alexandria and the Pharos
in the ''Zhu fan zhi''
A frightening vision: on plans to rebuild the Alexandria LighthousePBS Nova program about the recovery of artifacts from the site
{{DEFAULTSORT:Lighthouse Of Alexandria Buildings and structures completed in the 3rd century BC Buildings and structures demolished in the 14th century 1968 archaeological discoveries Buildings and structures in Alexandria Demolished buildings and structures in Egypt Hellenistic architecture Lighthouses completed in the 2nd century Lighthouses in Egypt, Alexandria Ptolemaic Alexandria Transport in Alexandria Former towers Seven Wonders of the Ancient World