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A series of major political, military and cultural events occurred in Egypt, this time related to the expedition of Napoleon Bonaparte to the East. The arrival of Napoleon in Egypt in 1798, marks the beginning of both Alexandrian Archaeology and Egyptology. Imitating Alexander the French conquer was accompanied by a contingent of 167 scholars and scientists, whose mission was to conduct an extensive survey and documentation not only of Egypt’s antiquities and monuments but also at the flora, fauna and society. The Institut d’Égypte was the academy established by Bonaparte to conduct research on the findings of his expedition. Its first gathering was on 24th August 1798, while its 47th and final meeting was on 21st March 1801. Gaspard Monge was president, Bonaparte himself vice-president and Joseph Fourier and Costaz were secretaries. The principle aim was to document every aspect of Egypt; industry, nature, culture and monuments. Therefore, forty-eight scholars were divided in groups according to their specialties. Eight scholars focused on literature and the arts, including Denon, St. Genis and La Pere. Among the duties of the Institute was the collection and transportation of antiquities, which later however, became trophies for the British after the defeat of the French navy off Nelson’s Island.113 Despite this loss, the French scholars returned to France with images and notes, which became the basis for their monumental work Description de l'Égypte. Alexandria received two exclusive descriptions in addition to the plates and maps: the first in Antiquities (Volume II) and the second in Etat Moderne (Volume VII) (Figs. 146-149). The full title of the former volume was “Description of the Antiquities of Alexandria and her Environs”, by Alexander Bourges Saint-Genis (1772-1834). It compiles a list of the ruins that scholars had found in the city, accompanied by an historical overview. In the latter volume, “Memory of the city of Alexandria”, Gratien Le Père (1769-1826) offered an historical overview and description of the geography and topography of the Ottoman Town. He then described the ruins of the ancient city within the ‘modern’ environment, contrasting the two ‘cities’. As expected, Strabo and Diodorus of Sicily is a frequent reference. Description de l’Egypte contributed to a special appreciation in contemporary Europe for ancient Alexandria and Egypt, while promoting the Western ‘patronage’ of Egypt’s Pharaonic and Graeco-Roman heritage. As a consequence, a large number of antiquities were transferred and distributed to either the British Museum or the Louvre.114 Nonetheless, the connection between Greco-Roman past and modern ‘identities’, did not start with Napoleon in the 19th century, but in 14th century, began long before the emergence of archaeology. A 113

For the people of Fayum as well as the social pyramid of Roman Egypt, see Bagnal, 2000; Walker, 2000. .Peters, 75F5004BE252/$File/Peters-Erin-A_Masters.PDF?Open. 114


Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project  
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