Alexandria and the Hellenistic Age

This bibliography is primarily the work of Poppaeus, who deserves much gratitude for sharing his work with us.

The City of Alexandria

The Vanished Library, by Luciano Canfora, University of California Press 1987, 205 pages. An account of the famous library of Alexandria, and the contradictory evidence concerning it and its ultimate fate.


Ptolemaic Alexandria, by P. M. Fraser, Oxford University Press 1972, published in 3 volumes: Volume I, 812 pages, Volume II, 1116 pages, Volume III, 157 pages. A detailed scholarly study of Alexandrian cultural achievements, with an emphasis on the Hellenistic period.

Alexandria, The Submerged Royal Quarters, by Franck Goddio et al, Periplus 1998, 274 pages, illustrated. Underwater surveys from 1992 through 1997.

Alexandria and Alexandrianism, J Paul Getty Museum 1996, 303 pages, illustrated. This is a collection of papers delivered at a symposium held at the Getty Museum in 1993. Various authors. Topics include: ethnicity, city life, cults, art, architecture, medieval and modern Alexandria.

Alexandria in Late Antiquity: Topography and Social Conflict, by Christopher Haas, Johns Hopkins University Press 1997, 495 pages, illustrated. The later development of Alexandria, its conversion from Paganism to Christianity to Islam, and its eventual decline during the Medieval period.

The Rise and Fall of Alexandria, by Justin Pollard and Howard Reid, Viking 2006, 329 pages.


Picture Books With Text (Books with more pictures than text)

Alexandria Rediscovered, by Jacques-Yves Empereur, George Braziller Inc 1998, 225 pages, illustrated.. An account of recent explorations and discoveries in and near Alexandria. Highly recommended.

Cleopatra’s Palace, In Search of a Legend, by Laura Foreman, Discovery Communications Inc 1999, 216 pages, illustrated. This contains a short but good biography of Cleopatra VII and an account of underwater explorations in the harbor of Alexandria. Produced in conjunction with a Discovery Channel TV documentary.

Sunken Egypt, Alexandria, by Franck Goddio and Andre Bernand, Periplus 2004, 192 pages, illustrated.

Alexandria Illustrated, by Michael Haag, The American University in Cairo Press 2004, 80 pages, illustrated. A nice photo guidebook to historic sights and places in modern Alexandria.

Alexandria, the Sunken City, by William La Riche, Weidenfeld and Nicolson 1996, 140 pages, illustrated. An account of underwater explorations in the harbor of Alexandria in 1994/1995. There is also a 1997 PBS television documentary about this expedition.

Alexandria, the Site and Its History, edited by Gareth L. Steen, New York University Press 1993, 126 pages. Illustrated. Short essays by various authors on various aspects of Alexandria.


The Rulers and Personalities

The House of Ptolemy, by Edwyn R. Bevan, Ares Publishers 1985, 409 pages, illustrated. Reprint of a 1927 book, old but useful.

Chronicles of the Pharaohs, by Peter Clayton, Thames & Hudson 1994, 224 pages, illustrated.

The Complete Royal Families of Egypt, by Aidon Dodson and Dyan Hilton, Thames & Hudson 2004, 320 pages, illustrated.

Hypatia of Alexandria, by Maria Dzielska, Harvard University Press 1995, 157 pages.

Cleopatra, by Michael Grant, Dorset Press 1972, 301 pages.

A History of the Ptolemaic Empire, by Gunther Holbl, Routledge 2001, 379 pages. A few illustrations and maps.

Cleopatra, A Sourcebook, by Prudence J Jones, University of Oklahoma Press 2006, 345 pages.

Cleopatra and Rome, by Diana E. E. Kleiner, Harvard University Press 2005, 340 pages, illustrated.

Hellenistic Queens, by Grace Harriet Macurdy, Ares Publishers Inc 1985, 261 pages, some illustrations. Reprint of a book from 1932, but still useful. Covers the Ptolemaic queens.

Cleopatra, by Pat Southern, Tempus 1999, 160 pages, illustrated.

Cleopatra of Egypt, edited by Susan Walker and Peter Higgs, Princeton University Press 2001, 384 pages, illustrated. Produced in conjunction with an international exhibition of Cleopatra related artifacts, sculpture, and jewelry.


Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great by Peter Bamm, McGraw Hill 1968, 320 pages, illustrated.

Alexander the Great, Son of the Gods, by Alan Fides and Joann Fletcher, J Paul Getty Museum 2002, 176 pages, illustrated.

The Search for Alexander, by Robin Lane Fox, Little Brown & Company 1980, 454 pages, illustrated.

The Genius of Alexander the Great, by N. G. L. Hammond, University of North Carolina Press 1997, 220 pages, illustrated.

Alexander the Great, The Invisible Enemy, by John Maxwell O;Brien, Routledge 1992, 336 pages.

In the Footsteps of Alexander the Great, by Michael Wood, University of California Press 1997, 256 pages, illustrated. Marred by late twentieth century political correctness, but still useful. Produced in conjunction with a PBS television documentary.


Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt

Temples of the Last Pharaohs, by Dieter Arnold, Oxford University Press 1999, 373 pages, illustrated.

Egypt From Alexander to the Early Christians, edited by Roger S Bagnall and Dominic W Rathbone, J Paul Gett Museum 204, 319 pages, illustrated. An archaeological and historical guidebook.

The Demography of Roman Egypt, by Roger S Bagnall and Bruce W Frier, Cambridge University Press 1994, 368 pages.

Egypt After the Pharaohs, by Alan K. Bowman, Britsh Museum Publications 1986, 264 pages. Illustrated.

Egypt in the Age of Cleopatra, by Michel Chauveau, Cornell University Press 2000, 226 pages, illustrated.

Religion in Roman Egypt, by David Frankfurter, Princeton University Press 1998, 314 pages, illustrated.

Greeks in Ptolemaic Egypt, by Naphtali Lewis, American Society of Papyrologists 2001, 192 pages, some illustrations. A collection of various ancient documents.

Life in Egypt Under Roman Rule, by Naphtali Lewis, American Society of Papyrologists 1999, 251 pages. Some illustrations. A collection of various ancient documents.

Island of Isis – Philae, Temple of the Nile, by William Macquity, Charles Scribners Sons 1976, 192 pages, illustrated.

The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, edited by Ian Shaw, Oxford University Press 2000, 512 pages, illustrated.

Memphis Under the Ptolemies, by Dorothy J. Thompson, Princeton University Press 1988, 342 pages, illustrated.

The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, by Richard H Wilkinson, Thames and Hudson 2999, 256 pages, illustrated.

Faces of Real People From Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt

The Mysterious Fayum Portraits, by Euphrosyne Doxiadis, Harry N Abrams Inc 1996, 247 pages, illustrated. Very highly recommended.

Valley of the Golden Mummies, by Zahi Hawass, Harry N Abrams 2000, 224 pages, illustrated. People, temples, and tombs from Ptolemaic and Roman Egypt. Highly recommended.

Mummy Portraits, by David L Thompson, J Paul Getty Museum 1976, 70 pages, illustrated.

Ancient Faces, Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt, by Susan Walker and Morrie Bierbrier, British Museum Press 1997, 224 pages, illustrated.


Ancient Texts

Metamorphoses, by Apuleius, translated by J Arthur Hanson, Loeb Classical Library 1989 in 2 volumes.  From Harvard University Press. The adventures and mishaps, both comic and serious, of Lucius in the Roman Empire of the second century ce. Lucius is cursed, but receives salvation from the Egyptian goddess Isis.

Anabasis of Alexander, by Arrian, translated by P. A. Brint, Loeb classical Library 1876 in 2 volumes. From Harvard University Press.  A biography of Alexander the Great, written in the second century ce.

History of Alexander, by Quintus Curtius, translated by John C Rolfe, Loeb Classical Library 1956 in 2 volumes. From Harvard University Press. A biography of Alexander the Great, written in the first century ce.

Lives Volume VII, by Plutarch, translated by Bernadotte Perrin, Loeb Cassical Library 1928. From Harvard University Press. Includes biographies of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar. Written in the late first or early second century ce.

Lives Volume IX, Plutarch, translated by Bernadotte Perrin, Loeb Classical Library 1920. From Harvard University Press. Includes a biography of Mark Antony.

Geography Volume VIII, by Strabo, translated by Horace Leonard Jones, Loeb Classical Library 1932. From Harvard University Press. Description of Egypt and Alexandria written in the late first century bce.


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