A sizeable portion of the published texts from Alexandria consists of letters or administrative documents written from Alexandria to someone or other in the Nile Valley. They document in a unique way how a big city such as Alexandria was linked to the country that sustained it – the documents are the “life-lines” thrown out to the rest of Egypt to ensure a steady supply of food and taxes to sustain the capital and even the wider world beyond. Under Greek and Roman rule Egypt’s grain surplus supported a large urban population elsewhere in the Mediterranean.
The most intriguing stack of texts, however, does not document the links between Alexandria and the rest of Egypt, but addresses directly what was going on in Alexandria itself.
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