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is a legend related to the young and ambitious architect of Alexander, Deinocrates of Rhodes, who must have been responsible for the layout of several cities built by Alexander the Great, including Alexandria. According to this legend, Alexander ordered the construction of a city on the shores of the Athos peninsula in Khalkidhiki, Greece. Deinocrates came with the suggestion for a city on the flat shore of the peninsula, while the rocky mountain of Athos should be sculpted into a colossal statue of Alexander the Great.6 Thus, although this project was never completed, it presents an indication of what the ingredients of Alexander the Great’s cities ought to have been: a welldesigned and well-functioning city with a characteristic landmark. The same stimulus was also followed in the Hellenistic period city of Rhodes, which obtained its famous colossus, paid for by Ptolemy Soter and dedicated to the devotion of the Rhodeans to the king of Egypt, during the wars between Alexander’s successors. Both the Pharos and the Colossus of Rhodes, which was also one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, served as beacons for the two harbors into which these respective ports were divided in ancient times. The statue of Colossus represents Helios, the patron deity of the Island, thus apart from being jut impressive, it also includes a local reference, adjusted to the prestige of the structure. Such a relation should be also expected in the case of the Pharos, the most impressive tower of antiquity. Thus Sostratos could have been stimulated by the oblique shape of the Egyptian obelisks, and their quilted pike which like a lighthouse could reflect the sunrays in a far distance, assessing to a Hellenistic, much more monumental, version of it, the great Pharos Lighthouse. Since 1994, underwater excavations directed by Jean-Yves Empereur have been taking place in the area around the Pharos Island, revealing considerable evidence concerning the lighthouse and its surroundings. Among the finds are about 4500 architectural elements, mostly parts of columns, sphinxes and obelisks, dating in Hellenistic Roman and Pharaonic periods (in second use in Alexandria). Among the most important finds are the fragments of a colossal doorway, according to the excavators part of the lighthouse structure, and six colossal male and female statues, portraying the Ptolemies as pharaohs, in pharaonic dress, but with naturalistic portraiture (Figs. 8 and 9). Even more interesting is the female images, which depict the queens, dressed as Isis, an association that was developed during the Hellenistic period and met its peak in the reign of Cleopatra VII. Such monuments must have been set in an area that would have been visible both from the sea and the mainland (including the Pharos island), both by Alexandrians and travelers/visitors at sea. It has been suggested that they might even have been part of the processional road to the Pharos


Tarn, 1939, 125.


Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project