Where is Alexander?

May 10th, 2001, 06:45 AM
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Where is Alexander?

I have recently read in one of the posts that the remains of Alexander the Great was in the Topkapi palace in Istanbul. Is this correct? Does anyone know where Alexander is?

Thanks for setting the record straight!
May 10th, 2001, 07:05 AM
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I'm afraid he's not in Istanbul. He died in Babylon, and his remains were transported to Alexandria in Egypt, but their exact whereabouts is unknown. (The fact that most of ancient Alexandria is under water makes it difficult.) As you may know, the remains of his father, Philip II, were discovered in Macedonia.
Jul 1st, 2001, 03:22 PM
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I hope this isn't too late. Thank you for posting regarding my question. I appreciate your help.

Jul 2nd, 2001, 12:37 AM
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Actually the tomb of Alexander the Great has been discovered (found in 1907 but it wasn't until 1982 that enough evidence unearthed to verify whose grave it was. The results were only published last year - probably because excavations were going on).

He's in the Latin Cemetery at Alexandria in a mausoleum made of "huge blocks of golden and rose-colored oriental alabaster". The tomb once contained a golden sarcophagus and is supposedly "exception in its dimensions and beauty". It was always assumed that the tomb contained the body of someone extremely important, the question was - who?

It seems some of Alexander's lieutenants wanted to bury him in Macedonia but Ptolemy intercepted the cortege, diverted it to Alexandria and buried Alexander in his (Ptolemy's) own royal enclosure. Strabo the Greek geographer and historian witnessed the burial and wrote about it. In 1st and 2nd centuries the Roman emperors Augustus and Caligula came to visit and pay homage but two centuries later it seems people had forgotten its significance.

Siwa and Kom el Dick were once thought of as possible places of burial, but now most scholars are in agreement that he was in Alexandria all the time.
Jul 2nd, 2001, 09:11 AM
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Here's the book that Michelle is referring to:

La tomba di Alessandro : realta, ipotesi e fantasie / Achille Adriani ; a cura di Nicola Bonacasa e Patrizia Mina ; rilievi e disegni di Salvatore Giardina ; fotografie di Giuseppe Cappellani. Published: Roma : "L'Erma" di Bretschneider, 2000

I haven't seen the book myself, and there haven't been any reviews yet that I can find--in classical scholarship, reviews typically take a couple of years to appear--so I'm not sure how widely accepted the identification is. Adriani was head of the Graeco-Roman museum in Alexandria; he died in 1982, and his student Bonacasa reconstructed his work from notes.

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