Ptolemaic Egypt

The conquests of Alexander the Great brought Egypt within the orbit of the Greek world for almost 900 years. After 300 years of rule by the Macedonian Ptolemies, Egypt was incorporated into the Roman Empire in 30 BC, and was ruled first from Rome and then from Constantinople until the Persian and Arab conquests in 616 and 639 respectively. In 332 BC Alexander the Great, King of Macedon, conquered Egypt, with little resistance from the Persians. He was welcomed by the Egyptians as a deliverer. He visited Memphis, and went on pilgrimage to the oracle of Amun at the Oasis of Siwa. The oracle declared him to be the son of Amun. He conciliated the Egyptians by the respect which he showed for their religion, but he appointed Greeks to virtually all the senior posts in the country, and founded a new Greek city, Alexandria, to be the new capital. The wealth of Egypt could now be harnessed for Alexander's conquest of the rest of the Persian Empire. Early in 331 BC he was ready to depart, and led his forces away to Phoenicia. He left Cleomenes as the ruling monarch to control Egypt in his absence. Alexander never returned to Egypt.

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