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The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt from 323 BC to 30 BC. It was a Macedonian or Greek dynasty in origin.


This term was applied to two places. The first is at Saqqara; and it refers to the underground galleries which contained the burial chambers of the Apis bulls. The second place is at Alexandria where there has been a temple from Greco-Roman times dedicated to the cult of the god Serapis or the Apis Bull in those times.

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Royal Life in Alexandria
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Alexander the Great died in the year 323 BC., and the empire, which he had so victoriously gained, was divided among his generals. Egypt became the share of Ptolemy, who established a royal family that continued to rule until the year 30 BC. Ptolemy the First supervised the first steps in construction of the new city, which was to be called Alexandria after Alexander the Great. The city was destined for eternal glory and fame and flourished under the rule of Ptolemy's successors.

Cleopatra the Seventh was the last queen of the Ptolemaic Dynasty. She ascended the throne when she was seventeen, and her brother and spouse Ptolemy the Fourteenth was about ten years old. She also had a younger sister, who was fifteen years old, and a brother of eight years of age. The Romans sent the general Gnaeus Pompeius (Pompey), whose name was later given to the pillar that stands in the Serapeum, to protect the four children.

When Julius Caesar got rid of Pompey, he became close to Cleopatra, who gave birth to his son Caesarion "Little Caesar." After the death of Julius Caesar, Marcus Antonius became the new ruler of Egypt. He did not stay in Egypt for long. He was pursued by Octavian (Augustus), who decisively defeated him at the battle of Actium, after which he committed suicide. As a result of this event Cleopatra also committed suicide, and Egypt fell into the hands of the Romans. Egypt was not an independent state, but became a Roman province under the rule of the emperor and governed by his prefect.

The latter lived in Alexandria, which soon lost its importance as the greatest city in the Mediterranean, while Rome became the ascending star. Despite this, many Roman emperors cared for Alexandria, and some visited it. One of the emperors who visited Alexandria was Augustus, who established a new city in Epiros in Greece, and called it Nicopolis (the city of victory) to celebrate his victory at Actium.

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