ALEXANDRIA - "The Pearl of the Mediterranean"
The well-known Egyptian city of Alexandria is often called, "The Pearl of the Mediterranean." It ranks as the second largest city in Egypt, and is located only 225 km from the ancient city of Cairo.
Alexandria, also the birthplace of Cleopatra, its last ruler, was found by the Macedonian King Alexander the Great, on or about 331 BC near the fishing village Rhakotis - a move clearly motivated both by political and commercial interests, since its location offered a natural harbor. Later, they erected a grand lighthouse on the Island of Pharos that came to be considered one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
Following Alexander's discovery, Alexandria soon became the capital of Graco-Roman Egypt, and later, the center of learning of the ancient world. Alexandria remained Egypt's capital for nearly a thousand years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641 AD when a new capital was founded.
Of great importance is the documented fact that the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek by Jewish scholars in Alexandria, Egypt as early as 250 AD. Later, under various Roman rulers, Christians faced unspeakable persecutions while worshipping their God in this city. There exists a wealth of evidence for the early Israelites, including the Merneptah Stele and Moabite Stone. []
In ancient times, Alexandria was no doubt one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, enjoying a very long period [over 1,000 years] of grandeur. Its decline in importance, however, was much shorter, lasting only centuries.
During the city's three earliest centuries, it was the leading cultural centre of the world, housing people of different religions and philosophical orientations. One of city's greatest accomplishments was its extensive library. Here, the city could proudly boast of having a collection of 500,000 volumes.
Additionally, Alexandria was renowned for the lighthouse of Pharos, listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World in antiquity. A third landmark of Alexandria, the Mouseion, was a centre of research, with laboratories and observatories.
Another great achievement of Alexandria was its architecture. In terms of beauty and esthetics, Alexandria could easily compete with Rome and Athens. In time, it became the main Greek city of Egypt, with an extraordinary mix of Greeks from many cities and backgrounds.
In keeping with its role as the learning center for the ancient world, Alexandria was also the very first centre for Biblical studies and it was here that the Old Testament came to written in a form very close to its present one. Yet, Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenic studies [Greek Learning], it housed a major Christian community during early Christianity where it was noted for its scholarship and its high-quality copies of Scripture. Important historical figures such as St. Clement of Alexandria and Origen, debated and studied here. Finally, Alexandria was home to the largest Jewish community in the world.
The early Ptolemies kept the city in order and fostered the development of its museum into the leading Hellenistic center of learning (Library of Alexandria), but sought to maintain the separation of its three largest ethnicities: Greek, Jewish, and Egyptian. From this division arose much of the later turbulence, which began to manifest itself under Ptolemy Philopater who reigned from 221–204 BC. The reign of Ptolemy VIII Physcon from 144–116 BC was marked by purges and civil warfare.
The city passed formally under Roman jurisdiction in 80 BC, according to the will of Ptolemy Alexander but only after it had been under Roman influence for more than a hundred years. It was captured by Julius Caesar in 47 BC during a Roman intervention in the domestic civil war between king Ptolemy XIII and his advisors, and usurper queen Cleopatra VII. It was finally captured by Octavian, future emperor Augustus on August 1, 30 BC, with the name of the month later being changed to august to commemorate his victory.
Later rulers of this city would find themselves intolerant of the new religion established by Jesus Christ of Nazareth -- the Way [aka Christianity] in or around 33 AD. Waves of persecutions of Christians would continue until the time of Constantine the Great when, in 313 AD, he and Licinius Augustus granted religious freedom to Christians throughout the Roman Empire. In addition, the Edict of Milan ordered the restitution of property confiscated from Christians. A portion of this edict reads,
"When I, Constantine Augustus, as well as I, Licinius Augustus, fortunately met near Mediolanurn (Milan), and were considering everything that pertained to the public welfare and security, we thought, among other things which we saw would be for the good of many, those regulations pertaining to the reverence of the Divinity ought certainly to be made first, so that we might grant to the Christians and others full authority to observe that religion which each preferred whence any Divinity whatsoever in the seat of the heavens may be propitious and kindly disposed to us and all who are placed under our rule."
In their efforts to continue strong in the Faith taught to them by the Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles, Christians fled to underground caves. Here, they sought to find refuge from the harsh persecutions that were taking place all around them. Yet, in spite of the many dangers that they still faced, they would boldly gather together to honor and worship the only one true God Yahweh and the only One whom He sent forth for mankind's redemption, Jesus Christ - even to the point of death. Many Christians suffered and died during this time, yet few, if any, forsook the God of Creation or the Truth that was presented to them by God's only Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Archaeologists have discovered the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa (meaning 'Mound of shards' or 'Potsherds'), a historical archaeological site located in Alexandria, Egypt, physical evidence in support of the persecutions that once took place.
. about the Catacombs
One source provides the following details about the Catacombs of Kom el Shoqafa on their site:
"The catacombs date from the Roman period and were allegedly discovered accidentally when a donkey fell into one of the underground tunnels." "Deep inside the main shaft there is a series of rooms where the remains of the dead were kept. Now all that can be seen are the rectangular niches. There's a triclinium room, where feasts were held for funerals and on each death anniversary. Most of the walls are bare rock, but there are also some elaborate wall paintings." "One of the more gruesome features of the Catacombs is the so- called "Hall of Caracalla". According to tradition, this was a mass burial chamber for the humans and animals massacred by order of the Emperor Caracalla Marcus Aurelius (April 4, 188 – April 8, 217), born Lucius Septimius Bassianus and later called Marcus Aurelius Antoninus and Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus. He was the eldest son of Septimius Severus and was Roman Emperor from 211 – 217. He was one of the most nefarious of Roman emperors" . [Also see Ώ] 
Notable Figures of Alexandria's Past
Several key figures who were associated with Alexandria in some way or other and contributed much to its past achievements should perhaps be mentioned at this point.
Clement of Alexander
A key figure in Alexandria's past was [Clement of Alexandria]] (born Titus Flavius Clemens) (c.150 - 211/216). According to one source, Clement "was the first notable member of the Church of Alexandria, and one of its most distinguished teachers" . He was also a Greek theologian, born in Athens.
Clement studied and taught at the catechetical school in Alexandria until the persecution of 202AD under the rule of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. Origen, one of the early Church Fathers, was his pupil there. Information is not forthcoming as to where Clement died, but it is widely held that he probably died in Caesarea, Cappadocia.
Clement was converted to Christianity, rather than born into it and was one of the first scholars to try to "synthesize Platonic and Christian thought." Only a few of Clement's works in this area survive. The Address to the Greeks sets forth the inferiority of Greek thought to Christianity. Appended to the Tutor are two hymns, among the earliest Christian poems. His homily, Who Is the Rich Man? Who Is Saved? is a well-written fragment. The Miscellanies is a collection of notes on Gnosticism. He attacked Gnosticism, but he himself has been called a Christian Gnostic. Although Clement remained entirely orthodox, in his writing he strove to state the faith in terms of contemporary thought. 
Another notable figure of ancient Alexandria was Origen (ca. 182 -ca. 251). Origen was a Christian scholar and theologian and, as stated earlier, a highly distinguished Father of the early Christian Church. He is believed to have been born to a Christian family at Alexandria, and died at Caesarea. Origen studied under Ammonius Saccas and Clement of Alexandria. His writings are important as the first serious intellectual attempt to describe Christianity .
"To Origen, Christ was the center and all Scripture must be interpreted in his light."
An extremely important work by Origen was his Hexapla, a large edition of the Bible arranged in six columns. It contained the Hebrew text, a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew, the Septuagint, and the Greek versions by Symmachus, Aquila, and Theodotion. As one source notes, "The Hexapla was a great aid in the study of the Scriptures." All of Origen's work was, at least in theory, based on the literal text of Scripture, which he believed to be historical.
Origen remained outspoken and defensive in his admiration for martyrs, and many of his students suffered in the persecutions. His life was spared because many of the pupils that he taught were non-Christians. 
Saint Pantaenus (d. ca. 200)was also a very important figure from Alexandria. One of the most significant things that he did was to found the Catechetical School of Alexandria , where Christian converts could become well-versed in Church doctrine in preparation of their Baptism. The school's major focus was on the interpretation of the Bible, the Trinity and Christology [the study of the Divine and Human Nature of Jesus the Christ] ΐ] and because of this, had a great influence on the development of Christian theology.  As far as is known, no writings of Pantaenus' exist. (Also see ) Α]
Alexandria started to decline during the 4th century as it was weakened by insurrection, civil war, famine and disease. In 391, the Patriarch Theophilus destroyed all pagan temples in Alexandria under orders from Emperor Theodosius I. The Brucheum and Jewish quarters were made desolate in the 5th century. On the mainland, life seemed to have centered in the vicinity of the Serapeum and Caesareum, both which became Christian churches.
In 619, Alexandria fell to the Sassanid Persians. Although the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered it in 629, in 641 the Arabs under the general Amr ibn al-As, captured it after a siege that lasted fourteen months.
Alexandria figured prominently in the military operations of Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798. French troops stormed the city on July 2, 1798 and it remained in their hands until the arrival of the British expedition in 1801.The British won a considerable victory over the French at the Battle of Alexandria on March 21, 1801, following which they besieged the city which fell to them on 2 September 1801.
Mohammed Ali, the Ottoman Governor of Egypt, began rebuilding the city around 1810, and by 1850, Alexandria had returned to something akin to its former glory. In July 1882 the city came under bombardment from British naval forces and was occupied. In July 1954, the city was a target of an Israeli bombing campaign that later became known as the Lavon Affair. Only a few months later, Alexandria's Mansheyya Square was the site of a failed assassination attempt on Gamal Abdel Nasser]. 
Today, Alexandria is a city and port in northern Egypt with about 4.0 million inhabitants (2005 estimate). Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, 2 kilometres from the inland Lake Mariout, it is near the outlets of the Salam canal.
Eastern harbour of Alexandria city showing a part of the Alexandria library arc, Qaitbay citadel
The city is a commercial and economic centre, and about 80% of all of Egypt's imports and exports go through its harbours. Alexandria is also a very important tourist resort, with a 20 km long waterfront, serving the rich and the middle class of Cairo where the summer heat can make life in the capital unbearable.
- Alexander the Great ordered the foundation of the city of Alexandria in the 4th century BCE with the intention of building a new city to confirm and celebrate his rule over Egypt and to act as a link between Greece and the fertile Nile valley region of Egypt.
Situated on the eastern side of the northerly tip of Pharos Island, which lies at the mouth of Alexandria's Eastern harbor, the Citadel of Qaitbay is one of the finest surviving examples of the Mamluk Empire's defensive fortresses constructed in the 15th century.
Built in 1477 by Sultan Al-Ashraf Sayf al-Din Qa'it Bay, the fortress stands on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and whose ruins were used as part of the material to build the fortress.
The citadel was extensively renovated during the rule of Muhammad Ali Pasha in the first half of the 19th century, before being damaged by the British navy during the Orabi Revolt of 1882. The building was restored to its former glory in the 1980s by the Egyptian Antiquities Organization, who turned the building into a Maritime Museum.
Alexandria, named after Alexander the Great, is considered to be Egypt's second capital because of its historical importance and population. It is Egypt's second largest city. In 332 BC the young 25-year old Alexander founded the city. His chief architect, Dinocrates, was appointed to spearhead this project which was intended to see Alexandria replace Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, and to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile Valley. The Egyptian fishing village of Rhakotis (Ra-Kedet, in Egyptian) already existed on the shore, and later gave its name to Alexandria, becoming the Egyptian quarter of the new city. Only a few months following its foundation, Alexander left the city named for him, never to return. One of his favorite generals, Ptolemy, struggled with other successors of Alexander. Â
Becoming governor of Egypt, Ptolemy succeeded in bringing Alexander's body to back Alexandria (Aelian, Varia Historia, 12.64). The primary Ptolemaic work in the city seems to have been the Heptastadion and the mainland quarters, although Cleomenes was principally responsible for oversight of Alexandria's continuous development. Inheriting the trade of the ruined Tyre, Alexandria grew to be larger than Carthage in less than a generation, becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East. Only a century after its foundation, Alexandria became the largest city in the world and, centuries later, was second only to Rome. It became the major Greek city of Egypt, with an extraordinary combination of Greeks from several cities and backgrounds. In addition to being a centre of Hellenism, Alexandria was home to the world's largest Jewish community. It was here that the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint, was written. The early Ptolemies fostered the development of a temple of the Muses (whence the word Museum) into what was to become the great Library of Alexandria, the leading center of Hellenistic learning throughout the world. While the Ptolemies carefully maintained the ethnic distinction of the Greek, Jewish and Egyptian populations, these largest groups of the population created divisions and tensions beginning under the reign of Ptolemy Philopater who ruled from 221-204 BC.
The civil unrest evolving out of these tensions developed into civil warfare and the purges of Ptolemy VIII Physcon who reigned from 144-116 BC (Josephus, Antiquities 12.235,243 13.267,268 14.250). While Alexandria had been under Roman influence for over a hundred years, it was in 80 BC that it passed under Roman jurisdiction, in accordance with the will of Ptolemy Alexander. Civil war broke out between King Ptolemy XIII and his advisers, against the renowned Queen Cleopatra VII. Julius Caesar intervened in the civil war in 47 BC and captured the city. On August 1 in 30 BC Octavian, the future emperor Augustus, finally conquered Egypt. The name of the month was later changed to August to commemorate his victory. Much of the city of Alexandria was destroyed during the Kitos War in AD 115. This gave the emperor Hadrian an opportunity to rebuild the city through the work of his architect, Decriannus. Emperor Caracalla visited the city in AD 215 and, having been offended by some insulting satires directed at him by the citizens, he commanded his troops to put to death those youths capable of bearing arms. Alexandria was ravaged by a tsunami on 21 July 365 (365 Crete earthquake), . Seventeen hundred years later, this tragedy is still commemorated as a day of horror.
In the late 300's the persecution of pagans by newly Christianized Romans intensified, culminating in the destruction of all pagan temples in Alexandria by Patriarch Theophilus who was acting under the orders of Emperor Theodosius I. The city's Jewish quarters along with the Brucheum were desolate by 5th century. On the mainland, it appears that life revolved around the area of the Serapeum and Caesareum, both buildings becoming Christian churches. However, the Pharos and Heptastadium quarters remained populous and intact.  Alexandria fell to the Sassanid Persians in their conquest of 619 to be briefly recovered in 629 by Emperor Heraclius. In 641, after a fourteen-month siege, the city was captured by General Amr ibn al-As. It played a prominent part in Napoleon's military operations during his expedition to Egypt in 1798 until the French were routed by the British in a notable victory at the Battle of Alexandria on 21 March 1801. The subsequent siege of the town resulted in the fall of Alexandria to the British on 2 September 1801. The rebuilding and redevelopment of the city commenced around 1810 under Mohammed Ali, the Ottoman Governor of Egypt. By 1850, Alexandria had been restored to something of its former glory.  It was bombarded by British naval forces in July 1882, and occupied. In July of 1954 the city became the target of an Israeli bombing campaign which later became known as the Lavon Affair. An attempt to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser failed in Alexandria's Mansheyya Square in October of that same year.
MISC BRIT OVERSEAS
A - Miscellaneous British OB's in Europe
British Invasion of Hedic and Houat, 11 August 1795
British Garrison of Miorca, 12 May 1800
Proposed British Expedition to Hanover, 16 October 1805
British Expeditionary Forces to Italy, Landed in Naples
20 November 1805
2nd British Division on the Weser, 1 January 1806
Embarked Force of General Cathcart, 15 February 1806
British Forces Under General Stuart In Italy (Maida)
25 June – 6 July 1806
British Reinforcements to Sicily, December 1806
British forces under Fraser Mackenzie, Embarked 21 February 1807
KGL Arriving at Rugen, 8 July 1807
British Forces in the Fleet of Admiral Gambier, Destined for Denmark, 26 July 1807
British Invasion Force of Denmark, 16 August 1807
British Forces Embarked from Sicily, 1 December 1807
British Expeditionary Force to the Scheldt, 28 July 1809
British Forces Embarked in Milazzo, 11 June 1809
Leading Wave at Landing, British Expeditionary Force to the Scheldt, 29 July 1809
Second Wave at Landing, British Expeditionary Force to the Scheldt, 29 July 1809
New Organization of British Army, Scheldt Expedition, 1 August 1809
British Expeditionary Force to the Scheldt, 28 July 1809
British Invasion Force of Zante and Cephallonia
23 September 1809
British Forces Departing Zante under General Oswald, 21 March 1809
Alexandria was founded by Alexander the great in 332 BC as polytonic|Ἀλεξάνδρεια (Alexándreia). Alexander's chief architect for the project was Dinocrates. Alexandria was intended to supersede Naucratis as a Hellenistic center in Egypt, and to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile Valley. An Egyptian townlet, Rhakotis, already existed on the shore and was a resort filled with fishermen and pirates. A few months after the foundation, Alexander left Egypt for the East and never returned to his city. After Alexander departed, his viceroy, Cleomenes, continued the expansion. In a struggle with the other successors of Alexander, his general Ptolemy succeeded in bringing Alexander's body to Alexandria.
Though Cleomenes was mainly in charge of seeing to Alexandria's continuous development, the Heptastadion and the main-land quarters seem to have been mainly Ptolemaic work. Inheriting the trade of ruined Tyre and becoming the center of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and for some centuries more, was second only to Rome. It became the main Greek city of Egypt, with an extraordinary mix of Greeks from many cities and backgrounds. Ώ]
Alexandria was not only a center of Hellenism but was also home to the largest Jewish community in the world. The Septuagint, a Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible, was produced there. The early Ptolemies kept it in order and fostered the development of its museum into the leading Hellenistic centre of learning (Library of Alexandria) but were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three largest ethnicities: Greek, Jewish, and Egyptian. ΐ] From this division arose much of the later turbulence, which began to manifest itself under Ptolemy Philopater who reigned from 221 BC. The reign of Ptolemy VIII Physcon from 144 BC was marked by purges and civil warfare.
The city passed formally under Roman jurisdiction in 80 BC, according to the will of Ptolemy Alexander but only after it had been under Roman influence for more than a hundred years. In 115 AD Alexandria was destroyed during the Jewish-Greek civil wars which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. In 215 AD the emperor Caracalla visited the city and, because of some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. On 21 July 365, Alexandria was devastated by a tsunami (365 Crete earthquake), Α] an event two hundred years later still annually commemorated as "day of horror". Β]
In the late 4th century, persecution of pagans by newly Christian Romans had reached new levels of intensity. In 391, Emperor Theodosius I ordered the destruction of all pagan temples, and the Patriarch Theophilus, complied with his request. The Brucheum and Jewish quarters were desolate in the 5th century. On the mainland, life seemed to have centered in the vicinity of the Serapeum and Caesareum, both which became Christian churches. The Pharos and Heptastadium quarters, however, remained populous and were left intact.
In 616, Alexandria was taken by Khosrau II, King of Persia. Although the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered it a few years later, in 641 the Arabs, under the general Amr ibn al-As during the Muslim conquest of Egypt, captured it decisively after a siege that lasted fourteen months.
Alexandria figured prominently in the military operations of Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798. French troops stormed the city on July 2 1798 and it remained in their hands until the arrival of the British expedition in 1801. The British won a considerable victory over the French at the Battle of Alexandria on March 21 1801, following which they besieged the city which fell to them on 2 September 1801. Mohammed Ali, the Ottoman Governor of Egypt, began rebuilding the city around 1810, and by 1850, Alexandria had returned to something akin to its former glory. In July 1882 the city came under bombardment from British naval forces and was occupied.
In July 1954, the city was a target of an Israeli bombing campaign that later became known as the Lavon Affair. Only a few months later, Alexandria's Manshia Square was the site of the famous, failed assassination attempt on the life of Gamal Abdel Nasser.
The “Glorious Glosters” Greatest Battle – When 650 Glosters were up against 10.000 Chinese
Unique in all the British Army, the “Glorious Glosters” wear badges on the front and the rear of their berets. This right was earned in a noteworthy battle against Napoleon’s army in Alexandria, Egypt in 1801. The outmanned ranks of the 28 th (North Gloucestershire Regiment of Foot) were given the order “Front rank stay as you are, rear rank about turn.” They held their ground in a desperate battle and the British accepted the surrender of the French garrison a few months later.
The Glosters is a regiment that has earned battle honours in wars from Quebec to India, Crimea to South Africa, and everywhere in between. It won over 80 distinct battle honours in World War One alone. The regiment bore the brunt of the evacuation at Dunkirk, as well as the D-Day landings and the Battle of Normandy during World War Two.
For all this history, the greatest battle of all for the “Glorious Glosters” was at Imjin River in Korea in 1951. They were virtually annihilated by an enormous Chinese army that came in like “a swollen wave….breaking on the shore…” in the words of the late Sir Anthony Farrar-Hockley who served as a captain in that battle.Centurion tanks and men of the Gloucestershire Regiment advancing to attack Hill 327 in Korea. – Wikipedia
By 1951, the United Nations forces had successfully repelled the Soviet-supported North Korean army, led by Kim Il-Sung, from the southern part of the peninsula, and pushed the dividing line to north of the 38 th parallel. Alarmed, the Chinese entered the conflict on the side of communists. By April 1951, the Chinese Spring Offensive was underway seeking to cross at the Imjin River, the historical key to capturing Seoul.
The battle for Battle of the Imjin River also known as the battle for Gloster hill. The Glosters, part of the 29th Brigade, are on the left at the green arrow. – Wikipedia
The attack came around midnight on April 22, 1951 after the Chinese had marched seventeen miles and continued moving forward rather than resting. Appalled British patrols reported “huge forces” coming across the river – an entire division of 10,000 men were ready to attack about 3,000 men, including 650 Glosters, who were guarding a 12-mile line along the river bank.
Map showing the situation at 9 am, 25 April: The Glosters are isolated on Hill 235 near Solma-ri, west of Route 5Y. The brigade’s main line of retreat is Route 11. The Belgian battalion occupies blocking positions near the brigade’s command post, while RNF, RUR and 8th Hussars are still further north. Additional support is provided by elements of the U.S. 65th Infantry. Note also the escape route of the Glosters’ D Company.
The attack came around midnight on April 22, 1951 after the Chinese had marched seventeen miles and continued moving forward rather than resting. Appalled British patrols reported “huge forces” coming across the river – an entire division of 10,000 men were ready to attack about 3,000 men, including 650 Glosters, who were guarding a 12-mile line along the river bank.
The defenders fought gallantly, unleashing murderous volleys of small arms fire, grenades and mortars. The attackers continued to advance, eventually taking the hilltops overlooking the river valley and using these outposts to rain down a hail of bullets on the over-matched defenders.
Gloster Hill five weeks after the Battle of Imjin. Wikipedia
With no relief coming after two days of battle, the remaining 550 Glosters were surrounded, and every man was left to his own devices in trying to reach American positions a few miles distant. Only about forty of the men reached safety, with the remaining eventually smashing their own weapons and surrendering to the Chinese. They became prisoners of war for as long as two years in some of the most horrible conditions imaginable, The Telegraph reports.
Because of the efforts of the Glosters and the other defenders, the Chinese offensive was halted and the US 8 th Army counter-attacked, pushing the communist forces back beyond the 38 th parallel, which ever since has been the de facto border between North and South Korea.
For their heroism at Imjin River, the Glosters were awarded two of the seven Victoria Crosses that they and their illustrious predecessors have been awarded throughout their long history . The regiment was also recognized by the United States, which awarded them the Distinguished Unit Citation for their heroic last stand against overwhelming enemy forces.
Gloster Memorial – Wikipedia
Sir Ralph Abercromby, 1734-1801
Sir Ralph Abercromby was the most successful British general of the French Revolutionary Wars, admittedly not a period that saw the British army at its best. He was born into the Scottish gentry in 1734, and studied civil law at Leipzig before purchasing a commission in the army in 1756. He served in the 3rd Dragoon Guards during the Seven Years War, and began an admirer of Frederick the Great of Prussia. He did not serve during the American War of Independence, as he had some sympathy with the cause of the colonists. In 1783 he retired from the army, and ended Parliament as the MP for Clackmannanshire.
He returned to the army at the outbreak of war with revolutionary France in 1793 and was soon sent to the continent, as part of the Duke of York&rsquos expedition to the Netherlands. There he commanded the attempt to recapture Boxtel on 16 September 1794, which nearly ended in a rout, but generally enhanced his reputation.
In the autumn of 1795 he was appointed to command a new expedition being sent to the West Indies. He was given 15,000 men and the support of a naval squadron, and orders to capture parts of the French and Spanish empires in the islands. He arrived in the West Indies in April 1796. He soon recaptured St. Lucia, and went on to take St. Vincent and Grenada in June 1796. Before his return to Britain in 1797 he also captured Demerara and Trinidad, although San Domingue and Guadeloupe remained in French hands.
On his return to Britain, Abercromby was appointed commander-in-chief in Ireland, but resigned after a short frustrating period in charge, leaving before the outbreak of the 1798 Irish revolt. He took part in the unsuccessful 1799 expedition to the Netherlands, and again emerged with his reputation enhanced.
In May 1800 he was appointed to command the only active British army, 20,000 men who were to be sent to the Mediterranean. This expedition attempted to surprise the Spanish naval base at Cadiz, before ending the French occupation of Malta in September 1800. In the following month it was decided to use Abercromby&rsquos army to expel the French from Egypt.
Abercromby&rsquos force was to be one of three involved in the invasion of Egypt. It would land on the Egyptian coast, and advance on Alexandria. A second British army, from India, was to land on the Red Sea coast and march down to Nile to Cairo, and a large Ottoman army, commanded by the Grand Vizier, was to invade through Palestine.
Abercromby&rsquos force moved first, landing on Aboukir Bay. The French were defeated close to the shore (second battle of Aboukir, 8 March 1801), and again at Mandora (13 March), before the British approached Alexandria. On 21 March Abercromby&rsquos army defeated an attack by the French columns (battle of Alexandria or of Canopus), splitting the French garrison of Egypt in half. Abercromby himself was fatally wounded towards the end of the battle, dying on a British warship one week later. In a period that had seen British armies suffer a series of often embarrassing defeats, Abercromby had provided most of the few British victories on land.General Sir Ralph Abercromby and the French Revolutionary Wars, 1792-1801, Carole Divall. A biography of one of the more competent British generals of the Revolutionary Wars, killed at the height of his success during the expulsion of the French from Egypt. Inevitably most of his experiences during the Revolutionary War came during the unsuccessful campaigns in northern Europe, but he managed to emerge from these campaigns with his reputation largely intact, and won fame with his death during a successful campaign. An interesting study of a less familiar part of the British struggle against revolutionary France (Read Full Review)
The Egyptian Campaign
17-18 April: Preliminaries to the Peace of Leoben.
4 September: The Royalist coup d’état of 18 Fructidor.
18 October: Treaty of Campoformio with Austria.
26 October: Bonaparte nominated commander of the ‘armée d’Angleterre’.
5 March: Bonaparte nominated commander in chief of the ‘armée d’Orient. Creation of the ‘Commission d’armement des côtes la Méditerranée’, the body charged with organising the logistics of the expedition.
13 April: The beginning of the preparations for the expedition.
2 May: Jervis decides to keep Marseilles and Toulon under surveillance.
3 May: Bonaparte leaves Paris.
9 May: Bonaparte arrives in Toulon.
17 May: Nelson captures a corsair who informs him of the imminent departure of the French from Toulon.
19 May: Departure of the French squadron from Toulon.
20-21 May: Admiral Nelson‘s ship is dismasted during the night.
21 May: Departure of the convoy from Genoa.
26 May: Departure of the convoy from Civita Vecchia.
27 May: Arrival of the squadron from Corsica.
31 May: Nelson once more off Toulon.
9 June: Arrival at Malta (the convoy from Civita Vecchia had already arrived).
18 June: Departure from Malta.
21 June: Both the British and French squadrons are to the East of Sicily.
2 July: Taking of Alexandria.
6 July: Departures of the French vans for Cairo. Creation of a Nile flotilla.
8 July: Arrival of the French at Damanhour.
10 July: Arrival of the French at Ramanieh (two days rest then back to battle stations).
19 July: Discovery of the Rosetta stone.
22 July: The Pasha of Cairo flees with Ibrahim Bey.
24 July: The arrival of the French in Cairo.
11 August: Salahieh: Bonaparte halts the pursuit of Ibrahim Bey.
13 August: The news of the disaster at Aboukir reaches Cairo.
15 August: Bonaparte returns to Cairo. Creation of the ‘Légion nautique’.
25 August: Desaix pursues Mourad Bey into Upper Egypt.
29 August: First copy of the army journal, Le Courrier de l’Egypte.
31 August: Arrival of Desaix at Beni-Suef.
2 September: Organisation of the system of local guides.
9 September: Beginning of hostilities with Turkey.
10 September: Desaix at Melawi.
12 September: Desaix at Derut-el-Sherif, at the entrance to the Joseph Canal.
22 September: First volume of the journal of the Institut d’égypte, La décade égyptienne.
24 September: Desaix enters the canal in the hunt for Mourad.
27 September: Creation of the ‘Légion grecque’.
3 October: Desaix’s van catches sight of some Mamluk detachments.
7 October: Sediman’s battle with Mourad Bey.
21-22 October: The Revolt of Cairo.
22 November: Desaix at Beni-Suef is joined by Belliard.
16 December: Desaix at work in Upper Egypt. Davout with a thousand cavalrymen reinforces Desaix’s division.
2 January: Davout marches on Sawaqui.
9 January: Creation of the dromedary regiment.
22 January: Combat at Samhud (Desaix).
28 January: Desaix reaches Edde-Gireh.
1 February: Arrival at Syene (Aswan).
6 February: Beginning of the Syrian campaign.
9 February: Desaix at Esneh.
22 February: Kleber at the Zawi wells.
End of February: Arrival of the Sherif of Mecca with 3000 men at Keneh.
3-10 March: Combat at Benut. (Upper Egypt).
7 March: Assault on the port of Jaffa.
11 March: An epidemic of the plague breaks out in Jaffa.
13 March: Declaration of war between France and Austria.
19 March: Beginning of the siege of St Jean d’Acre. Taking by the English of the French fleet leaving Damietta.
30 March-7 April: Bonaparte goes to Mount Thabor.
16 April: Combat of Mont-Thabor (Kléber). Combat of Beni-Adin (Desaix). Dugua forbids Desaix from approaching Cairo.
17-18 April: Arrival of material in the bay of Jaffa.
10 May: Kléber’s attack aborted beneath the walls of Acre.
20 May: Return to Cairo via Haifa, Tantourah, Kaisarieh…
24 May: Arrival in Jaffa and destruction of the fortifications.
14 June: Bonaparte’s solemn entry into Cairo.
21 June: Bonaparte gives the order to arm two frigates in Alexandria harbour, La Carrère and La Muiron.
12 July: Arrival of the Anglo-Turkish fleet, commanded by Sydney Smith, off Alexandria. Order given to Desaix to evacuate upper Egypt.
25 July: Land battle of Aboukir.
End of July: Setback for France in Italy.
22 August: Bonaparte embarks for France. Kléber succeeds hims as Commander-in- Chief.
1-5 October: Combats at Samhoud (Morand).
9 October: Belliard victorious at Sediman. Bonaparte arrives in Fréjus.
11 November: Prevention of an attempted landing by Ottomans at Damietta. The Coup d’État of 18 Brumaire. Bonaparte provisory Consul with Siéyès and Roger Ducros.
28 January: Signature of the Convention of el-Arych (Kléber and Sidney Smith).
End of January: London refuses to ratify the convention.
19 February: Bonaparte moves into the Tuileries Palace.
20 March: Kléber’s victory at Heliopolis.
27 April: Retaking of Cairo by Kléber.
14 June: Assassination of Kléber and the succession of Menou. First Consul’s victory at Marengo
3 December: Moreau’s victory at Hohenlinden.
9 February: Peace of Lunéville with Austria.
21 March: Defeat of Menou at Canopus.
20 April: Death of Mourad Bey.
25 June: Belliard, under siege in Cairo, surrenders.
2 September: Menou surrenders in Alexandria.
20 September: Embarkation for Paris of French expeditionary force.
25 June: re-establishment of the peace with Turkey.
Alexandria ( / ˌ æ l ɪ ɡ ˈ z æ n d r i ə / or /- ˈ z ɑː n d -/  Arabic: الإسكندرية al-ʾIskandariyya  Egyptian Arabic: اسكندرية Eskendereyya Coptic: ⲣⲁⲕⲟϯ Rakodī  Greek: Αλεξάνδρεια Alexándria)   is the third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, the seventh-largest city in Africa, and a major economic centre. With a total population of 5,381,000 , Alexandria is the largest city on the Mediterranean – also called the "Bride of the Mediterranean" by locals – the fourth-largest city in the Arab world and the ninth-largest urban area in Africa. The city extends about 40 km (25 mi) at the northern coast of Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea. Alexandria is a popular tourist destination, and also an important industrial centre because of its natural gas and oil pipelines from Suez.
Alexandria was founded in c. 331 BC by Alexander the Great,  king of Macedon and leader of the Greek League of Corinth, during his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire. An Egyptian village named Rhacotis existed at the location and grew into the Egyptian quarter of Alexandria. Alexandria grew rapidly to become an important centre of Hellenistic civilization and remained the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt and Roman and Byzantine Egypt for almost 1,000 years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641, when a new capital was founded at Fustat (later absorbed into Cairo). Hellenistic Alexandria was best known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria (Pharos), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World its Great Library (the largest in the ancient world) and the Necropolis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Middle Ages. Alexandria was the intellectual and cultural centre of the ancient Mediterranean world for much of the Hellenistic age and late antiquity.  It was at one time the largest city in the ancient world before being eventually overtaken by Rome.
The city was a major centre of early Christianity and was the centre of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, which was one of the major centres of Christianity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In the modern world, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria both lay claim to this ancient heritage.
By the time of the Arab conquest of Egypt in 641 AD, the city had already been largely plundered and lost its significance before re-emerging in the modern era.  From the late 18th century, Alexandria became a major centre of the international shipping industry and one of the most important trading centres in the world, both because it profited from the easy overland connection between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and the lucrative trade in Egyptian cotton.
Recent radiocarbon dating of seashell fragments and lead contamination show human activity at the location during the period of the Old Kingdom (27th–21st centuries BC) and again in the period 1000–800 BC, followed by the absence of activity thereafter.  From ancient sources it is known there existed a trading post at this location during the time of Rameses the Great for trade with Crete, but it had long been lost by the time of Alexander's arrival.  A small Egyptian fishing village named Rhakotis (Egyptian: rꜥ-qdy.t, 'That which is built up') existed since the 13th century BC in the vicinity and eventually grew into the Egyptian quarter of the city.  Just east of Alexandria (where Abu Qir Bay is now), there was in ancient times marshland and several islands. As early as the 7th century BC, there existed important port cities of Canopus and Heracleion. The latter was recently rediscovered under water.
Alexandria was founded by Alexander the Great in April 331 BC as Ἀλεξάνδρεια (Alexandreia). Passing through Egypt, Alexander wanted to build a large Greek city on Egypt's coast that would bear his name. He chose the site of Alexandria, envisioning the building of a causeway to the nearby island of Pharos that would generate two great natural harbours.  Alexandria was intended to supersede the older Greek colony of Naucratis as a Hellenistic centre in Egypt, and to be the link between Greece and the rich Nile valley. A few months after the foundation, Alexander left Egypt and never returned to the city during his life.
After Alexander's departure, his viceroy Cleomenes continued the expansion. The architect Dinocrates of Rhodes designed the city, using a Hippodamian grid plan. Following Alexander's death in 323 BC, his general Ptolemy Lagides took possession of Egypt and brought Alexander's body to Egypt with him.  Ptolemy at first ruled from the old Egyptian capital of Memphis. In 322/321 BC he had Cleomenes executed. Finally, in 305 BC, Ptolemy declared himself Pharaoh as Ptolemy I Soter ("Savior") and moved his capital to Alexandria.
Although Cleomenes was mainly in charge of overseeing Alexandria's early development, the Heptastadion and the mainland quarters seem to have been primarily Ptolemaic work. Inheriting the trade of ruined Tyre and becoming the centre of the new commerce between Europe and the Arabian and Indian East, the city grew in less than a generation to be larger than Carthage. In a century, Alexandria had become the largest city in the world and, for some centuries more, was second only to Rome. It became Egypt's main Greek city, with Greek people from diverse backgrounds. 
Alexandria was not only a centre of Hellenism, but was also home to the largest urban Jewish community in the world. The Septuagint, a Greek version of the Tanakh, was produced there. The early Ptolemies kept it in order and fostered the development of its museum into the leading Hellenistic centre of learning (Library of Alexandria), but were careful to maintain the distinction of its population's three largest ethnicities: Greek, Jewish, and Egyptian.  By the time of Augustus, the city walls encompassed an area of 5.34 km 2 , and the total population during the Roman principate was around 500,000–600,000, which would wax and wane in the course of the next four centuries under Roman rule. 
According to Philo of Alexandria, in the year 38 of the Common era, disturbances erupted between Jews and Greek citizens of Alexandria during a visit paid by King Agrippa I to Alexandria, principally over the respect paid by the Herodian nation to the Roman emperor, and which quickly escalated to open affronts and violence between the two ethnic groups and the desecration of Alexandrian synagogues. This event has been called the Alexandrian pogroms. The violence was quelled after Caligula intervened and had the Roman governor, Flaccus, removed from the city. 
In AD 115, large parts of Alexandria were destroyed during the Kitos War, which gave Hadrian and his architect, Decriannus, an opportunity to rebuild it. In 215, the emperor Caracalla visited the city and, because of some insulting satires that the inhabitants had directed at him, abruptly commanded his troops to put to death all youths capable of bearing arms. On 21 July 365, Alexandria was devastated by a tsunami (365 Crete earthquake),  an event annually commemorated years later as a "day of horror". 
In 619, Alexandria fell to the Sassanid Persians. Although the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recovered it in 629, in 641 the Arabs under the general 'Amr ibn al-'As invaded it during the Muslim conquest of Egypt, after a siege that lasted 14 months. The first Arab governor of Egypt recorded to have visited Alexandria was Utba ibn Abi Sufyan, who strengthened the Arab presence and built a governor's palace in the city in 664–665.  
After the Battle of Ridaniya in 1517, the city was conquered by the Ottoman Turks and remained under Ottoman rule until 1798. Alexandria lost much of its former importance to the Egyptian port city of Rosetta during the 9th to 18th centuries, and only regained its former prominence with the construction of the Mahmoudiyah Canal in 1807.
Alexandria figured prominently in the military operations of Napoleon's expedition to Egypt in 1798. French troops stormed the city on 2 July 1798, and it remained in their hands until the arrival of a British expedition in 1801. The British won a considerable victory over the French at the Battle of Alexandria on 21 March 1801, following which they besieged the city, which fell to them on 2 September 1801. Muhammad Ali, the Ottoman governor of Egypt, began rebuilding and redevelopment around 1810, and by 1850, Alexandria had returned to something akin to its former glory.  Egypt turned to Europe in their effort to modernize the country. Greeks, followed by other Europeans and others, began moving to the city. In the early 20th century, the city became a home for novelists and poets. 
In July 1882, the city came under bombardment from British naval forces and was occupied. 
In July 1954, the city was a target of an Israeli bombing campaign that later became known as the Lavon Affair. On 26 October 1954, Alexandria's Mansheya Square was the site of a failed assassination attempt on Gamal Abdel Nasser. 
Europeans began leaving Alexandria following the 1956 Suez Crisis that led to an outburst of Arab nationalism. The nationalization of property by Nasser, which reached its highest point in 1961, drove out nearly all the rest. 
Ibn Battuta in Alexandria
In reference to Alexandria, Egypt, Ibn Battuta speaks of great saints that resided here. One of them being Imam Borhan Oddin El Aaraj. He was said to have the power of working miracles. He told Ibn Battuta that he should go find his three brothers, Farid Oddin, who lived in India, Rokn Oddin Ibn Zakarya, who lived in Sindia, and Borhan Oddin, who lived in China. Battuta then made it his purpose to find these people and give them his compliments. Sheikh Yakut was another great man. He was the disciple of Sheikh Abu Abbas El Mursi, who was the disciple of Abu El Hasan El Shadali, who is known to be a servant of God. Abu Abbas was the author of the Hizb El Bahr and was famous for piety and miracles. Abu Abd Allah El Murshidi was a great interpreting saint that lived secluded in the Minyat of Ibn Murshed. He lived alone but was visited daily by emirs, viziers, and crowds that wished to eat with him. The Sultan of Egypt (El Malik El Nasir) visited him, as well. Ibn Battuta left Alexandria with the intent of visiting him. 
Ibn Battuta also visited the Pharos lighthouse on 2 occasions in 1326 he found it to be partly in ruins and in 1349 it had deteriorated further, making entrance to the edifice impossible. 
The most important battles and sieges of Alexandria include:
- , Julius Caesar's civil war , final war of the Roman Republic , Byzantine-Persian Wars , Rashidun conquest of Byzantine Egypt (1365), a crusade led by Peter de Lusignan of Cyprus which resulted in the defeat of the Mamluks and the sack of the city. , Napoleonic Wars , Napoleonic Wars , Napoleonic Wars (1882), followed by the British occupation of Egypt
Greek Alexandria was divided into three regions:
Two main streets, lined with colonnades and said to have been each about 60 meters (200 ft) wide, intersected in the centre of the city, close to the point where the Sema (or Soma) of Alexander (his Mausoleum) rose. This point is very near the present mosque of Nebi Daniel and the line of the great East–West "Canopic" street, only slightly diverged from that of the modern Boulevard de Rosette (now Sharia Fouad). Traces of its pavement and canal have been found near the Rosetta Gate, but remnants of streets and canals were exposed in 1899 by German excavators outside the east fortifications, which lie well within the area of the ancient city.
Alexandria consisted originally of little more than the island of Pharos, which was joined to the mainland by a 1,260-metre-long (4,130 ft) mole and called the Heptastadion ("seven stadia"—a stadium was a Greek unit of length measuring approximately 180 metres or 590 feet). The end of this abutted on the land at the head of the present Grand Square, where the "Moon Gate" rose. All that now lies between that point and the modern "Ras al-Tin" quarter is built on the silt which gradually widened and obliterated this mole. The Ras al-Tin quarter represents all that is left of the island of Pharos, the site of the actual lighthouse having been weathered away by the sea. On the east of the mole was the Great Harbour, now an open bay on the west lay the port of Eunostos, with its inner basin Kibotos, now vastly enlarged to form the modern harbour.
In Strabo's time, (latter half of the 1st century BC) the principal buildings were as follows, enumerated as they were to be seen from a ship entering the Great Harbour.
- The Royal Palaces, filling the northeast angle of the town and occupying the promontory of Lochias, which shut in the Great Harbour on the east. Lochias (the modern Pharillon) has almost entirely disappeared into the sea, together with the palaces, the "Private Port," and the island of Antirrhodus. There has been a land subsidence here, as throughout the northeast coast of Africa.
- The Great Theater, on the modern Hospital Hill near the Ramleh station. This was used by Julius Caesar as a fortress, where he withstood a siege from the city mob after he took Egypt after the battle of Pharsalus  [clarification needed]
- The Poseidon, or Temple of the Sea God, close to the theater
- The Timonium built by Marc Antony
- The Emporium (Exchange)
- The Apostases (Magazines)
- The Navalia (Docks), lying west of the Timonium, along the seafront as far as the mole
- Behind the Emporium rose the Great Caesareum, by which stood the two great obelisks, which become known as "Cleopatra's Needles," and were transported to New York City and London. This temple became, in time, the Patriarchal Church, though some ancient remains of the temple have been discovered. The actual Caesareum, the parts not eroded by the waves, lies under the houses lining the new seawall.
- The Gymnasium and the Palaestra are both inland, near the Boulevard de Rosette in the eastern half of the town sites unknown.
- The Temple of Saturn alexandria west.
- The Mausolea of Alexander (Soma) and the Ptolemies in one ring-fence, near the point of intersection of the two main streets.
- The Musaeum with its famous Library and theater in the same region site unknown.
- The Serapeum of Alexandria, the most famous of all Alexandrian temples. Strabo tells us that this stood in the west of the city and recent discoveries go far as to place it near "Pompey's Pillar," which was an independent monument erected to commemorate Diocletian's siege of the city.
The names of a few other public buildings on the mainland are known, but there is little information as to their actual position. None, however, are as famous as the building that stood on the eastern point of Pharos island. There, The Great Lighthouse, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, reputed to be 138 metres (453 feet) high, was situated. The first Ptolemy began the project, and the second Ptolemy (Ptolemy II Philadelphus) completed it, at a total cost of 800 talents. It took 12 years to complete and served as a prototype for all later lighthouses in the world. The light was produced by a furnace at the top and the tower was built mostly with solid blocks of limestone. The Pharos lighthouse was destroyed by an earthquake in the 14th century, making it the second longest surviving ancient wonder, after the Great Pyramid of Giza. A temple of Hephaestus also stood on Pharos at the head of the mole.
In the 1st century, the population of Alexandria contained over 180,000 adult male citizens,  according to a census dated from 32 CE, in addition to a large number of freedmen, women, children and slaves. Estimates of the total population range from 216,000  to 500,000  making it one of the largest cities ever built before the Industrial Revolution and the largest pre-industrial city that was not an imperial capital. [ citation needed ]
Alexandria is located in the country of Egypt, on the southern coast of the Mediterranean. It is in the Nile delta area. 
Alexandria has a hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification: BWh),  bordering on a hot semi-arid climate (BSh). As the rest of Egypt's northern coast, the prevailing north wind, blowing across the Mediterranean, gives the city a less severe climate from the desert hinterland.  Rafah and Alexandria  are the wettest places in Egypt the other wettest places are Rosetta, Baltim, Kafr el-Dawwar, and Mersa Matruh. The city's climate is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, moderating its temperatures, causing variable rainy winters and moderately hot and slightly prolonged summers that, at times, can be very humid January and February are the coolest months, with daily maximum temperatures typically ranging from 12 to 18 °C (54 to 64 °F) and minimum temperatures that could reach 5 °C (41 °F). temperature sometimes gets lower than 5 and it sometimes rains snow.
Alexandria experiences violent storms, rain and sometimes sleet and hail during the cooler months these events, combined with a poor drainage system, have been responsible for occasional flooding in the city in the past though they rarely occur anymore.  July and August are the hottest and driest months of the year, with an average daily maximum temperature of 30 °C (86 °F). The average annual rainfall is around 200 mm (7.9 in) but has been as high as 417 mm (16.4 in) 
Port Said, Kosseir, Baltim, Damietta and Alexandria have the least temperature variation in Egypt.
The highest recorded temperature was 45 °C (113 °F) on 30 May 1961, and the coldest recorded temperature was 0 °C (32 °F) on 31 January 1994.