Alexandria the Great

Alexandria’s reputation as the intellectual powerhouse of the Classical world, fusing Greek, Egyptian and Roman culture, lives on, writes Paul Cartledge.

For historians of ancient Greece agora is the term for a place of gathering, a market perhaps or political assembly, one of the most basic distinguishing markers of ancient Greek culture and civilisation. In Athens, for example, hard by the Acropolis you can visit the Greek Agora, still being excavated by the American School, and its nearby successor, the Roman Agora, an eloquent jumble of ruins. But, for cinemagoers, Agora may come to mean something else, as it is the title of a new film starring Rachel Weisz set not in ancient, pagan Athens but in early Christian Alexandria around AD 400.

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