ALEXANDER IN EGYPT ARRIAN: Alexander moved on from the Siege of Gaza to Egypt where he was warmly received by the

governor, Mazaces (who had no troops at his command). He secured the whole territory without any opposition as traditionally the rule of the Persian King had not been popular in Egypt. He moved to Memphis where he worshipped Apis (the sacred calf) and held games. He was crowned Pharoah at Thebes. Then he arrived at the site of Alexandria where he was struck by its excellence. He designed the layout of the new town and offered a sacrifice which produced good omens. There was no way of marking out the ground so he used meal from the soldiers’ packs sprinkled on the ground. Aristander said this meant that the city would prosper. News now arrived that Tenedos and Chios had revolted from Persian rule and come over to Alexander. Next, Alexander was filled with pothos to visit the shrine of Zeus-Ammon at Siwah, 400 miles west of Thebes. Its oracle had a reputation for being infallible and it had been visited by Perseus and Heracles whose fame he longed to equal as he believed that he was descended from them.He consulted it “with the deliberate purpose of obtaining more precise information on this subject – or at any rate to say that he had obtained it.” He went from Paretonium inland across the desert. There was luckily plenty of rain, but it was very hard to navigate and they got lost. According to Ptolemy the gods sent two snakes to guide them or in another version, two crows, “in any case I have no doubt whatever that he had divine assistance of some kind – for what could be more likely? When he arrived at the Siwah Oasis, a magically fertile and watered place with springs and salt mines, he visited the temple. He put his question to the oracle “and received (or so he said) the answer which his heart desired”. Then he went on to Memphis again where he received deputations from Greece, sacrificed to Zeus and held parades and contests. He reorganised the administration of Egypt. He was careful to divide up its control amongst several men for security. Doloaspis as

governor but others in charge of garrisons and treasurers. He was deeply impressed by Egypt and then moved on back to Tyre.