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It featured an oval arena and was built up against the city wall on one side. Encircling the arena were rows of seats that rose in tiers* along the earthen banks. This seating arrangement enabled all spectators to have a good view of the entertainment. Stone walls supported the earthen banks beneath the seats. Most early amphitheaters were built on natural slopes or artificially constructed mounds of earth. In time, Roman architects began building freestanding amphitheaters that did not rely on the natural landscape.

It contained perhaps as many as half a million volumes, the largest collection of books in the world at the time. Famous and distinguished scholars served as the chief librarians, helping other scholars classify works, establish guidelines for research, compile dictionaries, and undertake a variety of other scholarly pursuits. The intellectual atmosphere of Alexandria, created largely by the Museum and the Library, attracted poets, writers, and scholars from all over the world. The classical works of Greek writers from HOMER to EURIPIDES were studied as the greatest models of literary achievement.

Yet he achievedhissecond goal. As result a of his conquests and 24 ALEXANDRIA the establishment of cities and colonies, Greek civilization took root in the conquered regions, and Greek became the language of education and commerce throughout the Mediterranean world. Moreover, a new Hellenistic or Greek-influenced culture dominated Persia, Egypt, and Asia Minor for years to come. ) ALEXANDRIA lexandria was a city in ancient EGYPT. C. by the king of Macedonia, ALEXANDER THE GREAT, who named the city after himself.

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