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José Ramón Pérez-Accino

Alexandria. The Gate to the World URL:
The city of Alexandria, located in the western extreme of the Nile Delta, is presented in the eyes of history with a complex role. One one side, it is located in Egypt, although it is not an Egyptian city but a foreign one. It receives the denomination of Alexandria ad Aegyptum, which means Alexandria "next to" Egypt but without being part of it. Despite having an important role in the collective imagination from the point of view of the Western culture; as the city of Alexander the Great, Cleopatra, Hypatia and of Cavafy; for the Egyptians themselves, Alexandria was the entrance of an exterior world, complex and highly differentiated, which for the inhabitants of the Nile valley fundamentally meant something strange and not too desirable. As the gateway it is, the city is configured as the framework of the arrival of foreigners to Egypt, but also the framework for the export of much of Egypt's own culture, which is nevertheless ignored and distant. The city itself assumes a role of leading science and knowledge by the end of Antiquity as if it was one of its most famous monuments, the lighthouse.
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