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Author: Islam Issa

Category: Humanities

Book Format: Hardback

Publisher: Sceptre

ISBN: 9781529377583

RRP: $49.99


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‘A cornucopia of fascinating details, every page revealing a new delight’

Paul Strathern, author of Ten Cities That Led the World

A city drawn in sand.

Inspired by the tales of Homer and his own ambitions of empire, Alexander the Great sketched the idea of a city onto the sparsely populated Egyptian coastline. He did not live to see Alexandria built, but his vision of a sparkling metropolis that celebrated learning and diversity was swiftly realised and still stands today.

Situated on the cusp of Africa, Europe and Asia, great civilisations met in Alexandria. Together, Greeks and Egyptians, Romans and Jews created a global knowledge capital of enormous influence: the inventive collaboration of its citizens shaped modern philosophy, science, religion and more. In pitched battles, later empires, from the Arabs and Ottomans to the French and British, laid claim to the city but its independent spirit endures.

In this sweeping biography of the great city, Islam Issa takes us on a journey across millennia, rich in big ideas, brutal tragedies and distinctive characters, from Cleopatra to Napoleon. From its humble origins to dizzy heights and present-day strife, Alexandria tells the gripping story of a city that has shaped our modern world.

Professor Islam Issa is an award-winning British-Egyptian author, broadcaster and curator, recently named by the BBC as ‘one of the UK’s most significant new thinkers’. He is Professor of Literature and History at Birmingham City University, has written several academic books and curated internationally renowned exhibitions. As well as contributing regularly to the Guardian, New Statesman and Times Literary Supplement, he has presented television and radio documentaries on the BBC and featured on such outlets as Netflix.

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