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Shakespeare Connected - Ageless Cleopatra

Alexandria

The mapmaker Ortelius included particular detail around Alexandria, the famed Mediterranean city in which Cleopatra was born and died. Charles Knight’s extra illustrated version of Antony and Cleopatra (1848) includes prints of the city during various periods. The image and map appear largely imagined: the mosques indicate a time after the seventh century, when Muhammad’s companion Umar conquered Alexandria, also changing the capital (641).

Alexandria had been a capital for a millennium before that. Alexander the Great, after whom the city is named, made the city the Hellenistic capital in the fourth century BC. It became part of the Roman Empire in 80 BC, around a decade before Cleopatra was born.

 

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Alexandria, from an ancient print.

SR 39/1848

 

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Plan of Alexandria (Capitale de l'Egypte)

SR 39/1848

 

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