Egypt Exploration Fund [Hrsg.]
Archaeological report: comprising the work of the Egypt Exploration Fund and the progress of egyptology during the year ... — 1894-1895

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Alexandria, South op the Boulevard de Rosette.


topographical data as to the position of the Museum are wanting
altogether : it is by sheer conjecture that it is placed near to, or
west of the reputed site of the Soma.

For the position of the Serapoum we have one datum only, viz. Sorapcum.
Strabo's statement that it stood in the west part of the city, but within
the channel conducting from Mareotis to the sea, which coincides pretty
nearly with the present outfall of the Mahmudieh Canal, Rufmus,
indeed, says that it was approached by 100 steps :. but its elevated
position, which served Caracalla as a point from which to watch his
massacre, may as well have been artificial as not. It must have stood
somewhere in the region of " Pompey's Pillar/' but not. on the rocky
knob which now bears the Pillar itself. The latter monument could
never have formed part of a peristyle, for it stands on no stylobato, but
over a filled-up cistern. Its style is not much earlier than the date of
the honorific inscription it bears, to wit, the reign of Diocletian; and the
remains about it, exposed by the zeal of Sig. Botti, in 1894-5, show that
the hill top was occupied by waterworks about the 1st century a.d., and
by a cemetery in Ptolemaic times. It is possible that the rhetor,
Aphthonius, had this Pillar in his mind when he alluded to a single tower-
ing column on the "Acropolis of the Alexandrians"; 1 but so far as I
could see, nothing else in the vicinity fits in with the rhetor's description;
which, indeed, I suspect to be a purely artificial exercise for the schools,
compounded from hearsay descriptions of three distinct monuments,
the Acropolis, the Pillar, and the Serapeum. Sig. Botti is finding,
however, many remains of some important Roman building below the
hill, on the east and south; and we may still hope that his industry
will be rewarded by some clue to fix the site of a Temple, which more
than all the monuments of Alexandria seems to have impressed the
contemporary world.2

To sum up the results (sadly negative it must be confessed) :—in the first
place the depth and character of the surface deposit create in Alexandria

1 Sig. Botti first directed attention to this curious passage (tit. supra, p. 22), iu
which, as a specimen of tKfppiurts, or Description, a most obscure account is given
of the " Acropolis " of Alexandria.

2 See e.g. Ammianus 22,16, 12, and Pseudo-Callisthcnes i. 31. The last named
romance, written in part at least by an Alexandrian for Alexandrians, is very good
evidence for details about the city. It alone preserves the number and names of
the villages that existed previously on the site (Cod. A , Paris), much information
about the great subterranean aqueducts, mentioned also by Iiirtius (Bell. Alex. 5),
and the names of a dozen buildings and localities.

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