By N.S. Gill
Alexander the Great founded what would become the cosmopolitan, culturally rich, and wealthy city of Alexandria, in Egypt, at the end of the 4th century B.C. Following Alexander's death, his generals split the empire, with a general named Ptolemy in charge of Egypt. His Ptolemaic dynasty ruled Alexandria and the rest of Egypt until the Roman Emperor Augustus defeated its most famous queen (Cleopatra).
Note that Alexander and Ptolemy were Macedonians, not Egyptians. The men of Alexander's army were mainly Greeks (including Macedonians), some of whom settled in the city. In addition to the Greeks Alexandria also had a thriving Jewish community. By the time Rome took control, Alexandria was the greatest cosmopolitan area of the Mediterranean littoral.
The first Ptolemies created the learning center in the city. This center held a cult temple to Serapis (Serapeum or Sarapeion) with Alexandria's most important sanctuary, museion (museum) and a library. Which Ptolemy had the temple built is debatable. The statue was a draped figure on a throne with a sceptre and a Kalathos on his head. Cerberus stands beside him.
"Reconstructing the Serapeum in Alexandria from the Archaeological Evidence," by Judith S. McKenzie, Sheila Gibson and A. T. Reyes; The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 94, (2004), pp. 73-121.
Although we refer to this learning center as The Library of Alexandria or The Library at Alexandria, it was more than just a library. Students came from all over the Mediterranean world to learn. It cultivated several of the ancient world's most renowned scholars.
Here are some of the major scholars associated with the Library of Alexandria.
I'm including an indication of how I pronounce the names, but without using the very useful symbols found in phonetics. It is not the right way to pronounce these names, but some may find it useful, even with this disclaimer.
One possible pronunciation of the name Euclid is Yoo'-clid.
One possible pronunciation for the name Ptolemy is Tah'-leh-me.
One possible pronunciation for the name Hypatia is: Hie-pay'-shuh.
One possible pronunciation for the name Eratosthenes is Eh-ruh-tos'-thin-nees.