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Alexandria Map

Alexander the Great founded his namesake city, Alexandria, in 331 B.C.E. in Egypt. The city was built on a stretch of land already occupied by a small Egyptian village between the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Mareotis (Lake Mariout). The shape of the coastline provided a natural bay that was protected by the island of Pharos, which was the site of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The city quickly became an important center for culture and education in the Hellenistic world. A very large Jewish population quickly began to develop at Alexandria: Jewish immigration to Egypt started as early as the sixth century B.C.E., and by the first century C.E. there were as many as one million Jews living in Egypt according to Philo. A large portion of them, probably in the hundreds of thousands, likely lived in Alexandria. According to the Letter of Aristeas, the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible known as the Septuagint (LXX) was first produced here.
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