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Pik (used in building), 2953 inches = •75 metre
562 square metres. Cubic Pik (used in building) = 14'90 cubic feet = '42
cubic metre. Square ķaşabah = 13.04 square yards = 12'60 square
metres. Sâa (literally, hour), like malaķa, a march, any distance
between 2 and 43 miles. Very old measures of length are :-Fitr, the space between the thumb and first finger when extended ; Shibr, the space between the thumb and little finger when extended, i.e., a span ; the ķabdah, the measure of a man's fist with
the thumb erect. ķamḥah, grain of wheat = i grain. Habbah, grain of barley = 1 grain. Ķirrât, i.e., carat = 3 grains (Troy). Dirham = 16 ķirrâțs = 48'15 grains (Troy)='ll Ounce
= 3-12 grammes. 9 dirhams = 1 ounce nearly. Mithậâl = iš dirhams = 24 ķirrâțs = 72'22 grains
(Troy) = 4:68 grammes Uķîya = 12 dirhams = 1'32 ounces = '066 pint =
= 37:44 grammes. Roțl = 12 uķîya = 144 dirhams = '99 pound = 450
grammes = 79 pint. Uķķa = 400 dirhams = 2.77 roțls = 2:19 pints = 2*75
pounds = 1'25 kilogrammes. ķantâr = 100 roțls = 36 okka == 99'05 pounds =
Ardeb = 3 kanţârs = 43'95 gallons = 5:49 bushels =
198 litres = 300 pounds = 108 oķķa. The ardeb
= 6 wêba = 12 kîla = 24 rub'a = 48 malva = 96
dhurra = 135 , 300
ALEXANDRIA, Alexandria was founded B.C. 332 by Alexander the Great, who began to build his city on the little town of Rakoti, in Egyptian Raqetit To 14., just opposite to the island of Pharos. King Ptolemy I. Soter made this city his capital : and having founded the famous library and museum, he tried to induce the most learned men of his day to live there. His son and successor Ptolemy II. Philadelphus continued the wise policy of his father, and Alexandria became famous as a seat of learning. The keeper of the museum during the reign of Ptolemy III. Euergetes I. was Aristophanes of Byzantium. During the siege of the city by the Romans in the time of Cæsar, B.C. 48, the library of the museum was burnt; but Antony afterwards gave Cleopatra a large collection of manuscripts which formed the nucleus of a second library.* In the early centuries of our era the people of Alexandria quarrelled perpetually among themselves,f the subjects of dispute
* This collection numbered 200,000 MSS., and formed the famous Pergamenian library founded by Eumenes II., king of Pergamus, K.C. 197.
“..... the Alexandrian rabble took on the slightest pretext to stones and to cudgels. In street uproar, says an authority, himself Alexandrian, the Egyptians are before all others; the smallest spark suffices here to kindle a tumult. On account of neglected visits, on account of the confiscation of spoiled provisions, on account of ex clusion from a bathing establishment, on account of a dispute between the slave of an Alexandrian of rank and a Roman foot-soldier as to the value or non-value of their respective slippers, the legions were under the necessity of charging among the citizens of Alexandria ..... In these riots the Greeks acted as instigators . . ... but in the further course of the matter the spite and savageness of the Egyptian proper
being matters connected with Jews and religious questions. St. Mark is said to have preached the Gospel here. Meanwhile the prosperity of the town declined and the treasury became empty.
Alexandria was captured by Chosroes (A.D. 619), and by 'Amr ibn el--Âși, a general of 'Omar, A.D. 641. The decline of Alexandria went on steadily, until it became in the Middle Ages little more, comparatively, than a moderate sized sea. port town, with a population of some thousands of people. In the last century a little of its prosperity was restored by Muhammad 'Ali, who in 1819 built the Mahmûdiyah canal to bring fresh water to the town from the Rosetta arm of the Nile. Its population to-day is about 300,000, and includes large and wealthy colonies of Jews and Greeks.
The Christians were persecuted at Alexandria with great severity by Decius (A.D. 250), by Valerianus (A.D. 257), and by Diocletian (A.D. 304). For a large number of years the city was disturbed by the fierce discussions on religious dogmas between Arius and Athanasius, George of Cappadocia and Athanasius, the Anthropomorphists and their opponents, and Cyril and Nestorius. The Christian sects supported their views by violence, and the ordinary heathen population of the town rebelled whenever they could find a favourable opportunity.
The Lighthouse or Pharos, one of the seven wonders of the world, was built by Sostratus of Cnidus, for Ptoleniy Philadelphus, and is said to have been about 600 feet high. All traces of this wonderful building have now disappeared. The embankment or causeway called the Heptastadium*
came into the conflict. The Syrians were cowardly, and as soldiers the Egyptians were so too ; but in a street tumult they were able to develope a courage worthy of a better cause. Mommsen. Provinces of the Roman Empire, Vol. II., p. 265.
* The Heptastadium joined the ancient town and the Island of Pharos : a large part of the modern town is built upon it.
(from its length of seven stades) was made either by Ptolemy Philadelphus or his father Ptolemy Soter; it divided the harbour into two parts. The eastern port is only used by native craft, on account of its sandy shoals; the western port is the Eunostos Harbour, which at present is protected by a breakwater about one mile and three-quarters long. The Museum and Library of Alexandria were founded by Ptolemy I., and greatly enlarged by his son Ptolemy Philadelphus. When this latter king died the library was said to contain 100,000 manuscripts. These wereclassified, arranged, and labelled by Callimachus ; when it was burnt down in the time of Julius Cæsar, it is thought that more than 750,000 works were lost. Copies of works of importance were made at the expense of the State, and it is stated that every book which came into the city was seized and kept, and that a copy only of it was returned to the owner. Antony handed over to Cleopatra about 200,000 manuscripts (the Pergamenian Library), and these were made the foundation of a second library. Among the famous men who lived and studied in this library were Eratosthenes, Strabo, Hipparchus, Archimedes, and Euclid. The Serapeum was built by Ptolemy Soter, and was intended to hold the statue of a god from Sinope, which was called by the Egyptians “Àsår Hāpi,' or Serapis. It stood close by Rakoti to the east of Alexandria near Pompey's Pillar, and is said to have been one of the most beautiful buildings in the world; it was filled with remarkable statues and other works of art. It was destroyed by the Christian fanatic Theophilus,* Patriarch of Alexandria, during the reign of Theodosius II. The Library of the Serapeum is said to have contained about 300,000 manuscripts, and to have been burnt by 'Amr ibn el-'Âși at the cominand of the
*“... the perpetual enemy of peace and virtue ; a bold, bad man, whose hands were alternately polluted with gold and with blood. (Gibbon, Decline, Chap. xxvii.)