The Light House of Alexandria

What is The Lighthouse of Alexandria?

The famous Lighthouse of Alexandria was built in the third century during the reigns of Ptolemy I and III on the Island of Pharos on the outskirts of the Alexandria Harbour. Its height of more than 100 meters or 330 feet earned it a spot on the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. At the time, only the Great Pyramid of Giza would have been taller. Inarguably the most famous lighthouse to come out of antiquity, the lighthouse is a piece of technological innovation and ingenuity. It was initially built to serve as a landmark not a lighthouse and was known by the name of the island it is located on. During the life of Alexander the Great, Greek historian Plutarch recounts that Alexander was so enamored by Egypt that he decided to found a large Greek city bearing his name. In a dream, Alexander had a wondrous vision of a man standing by his side and saying these famous verses: Now there is an island in the much-dashing sea, In front of Egypt; Pharos is what men call it.

The Usage of The Lighthouse in Ancient Egypt

Ancient lighthouses were created as navigational guides to find harbors instead of a notice of dangerous shallows or rock. Despite Alexandria’s dangerous waters, the Pharos lighthouse succeeded in keeping mariners safe. However, the lighthouse alone was not enough. The north Aegean Island had a pinnacle beacon, used by urban communities to help mariners all across the treacherous Mediterranean. The Lighthouse of Alexandria was replicated over and over to guide sailors and mariners all throughout the ancient world. It turned out to be so well known that the term ‘pharos’ is a word for lighthouse in a number of modern languages due to its extensive use used to describe any such pinnacle.



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