10 Route 2. ALEXANDRIA. History.
influence of the philosophers then resident at the Museum. In
Trajan's reign (98-117) the Jews, who constituted one-third of
the whole population, caused sanguinary riots. Hadrian (117-138),
who visited the city twice, held public disputations with the pro¬
fessors at the Museum. Marcus Aurelius (161-180) attended the
lectures of the grammarians Athenseus, Harpocration, Hephaestion,
Julius Pollux, and others. Lucian also lived at Alexandria at this
period, in the capacity of secretary to the prefect of Egypt. In
199 Severus (193-211) visited Alexandria, and established a new
municipal constitution. A disastrous visit was that of Caracalla
(211-217), who revenged himself for the derision of the citizens by
a bloody massacre and also caused the academy to be closed. Still
more disastrous were the contests between the Palmyrenes and the
Imperialists (p. xci), in which a large part of the population was
swept away by the sword, pestilence, and famine.
Christianity early found its way to Alexandria. According to
tradition, the Gospel was first preached to the Alexandrians by St.
Mark (whose bones were removed to Venice in 828). The first
great persecution of the Christians, which took place in the reign
of Decius (250), was a terrible blow to the Alexandrians. The city
had for a considerable time been the seat of a bishop, and had
since 190 possessed a theological school, presided over by Pantaenus
and Clement of Alexandria, who endeavoured to combine Christ¬
ianity with the Neo-Platonism which sprang up about this period
at Alexandria and was taught hy Ammonius Saccas, Herennius,
Plotinus, and others. A second persecution took place in 257,
during the reign of Valerian; and shortly afterwards, in the
reign of Gallienus, the plague carried off a large portion of the
Christianity, however, still continued to gain ground, and Al¬
exandria was even regarded as the chief seat of Christian erudition
and of the orthodox faith under Athanasius. Alexandria was mean¬
while soon obliged to yield to Constantinople its proud position as
the centre of Greek thought and science. The sanguinary quarrels
between the Athanasian party and the Arians under their unworthy
bishop Georgius further contributed to the rapid decline of the city.
On the accession of Julian the Apostate (361-363) the pagans of
Alexandria again instituted a persecution of the Christians. In the
reign of Theodosius (379-395), however, paganism received its
death-blow, and Theophilus, the patriarch of Alexandria, displayed
the utmost zeal in destroying the heathen temples and monuments.
The famous statue of Serapis was burned and most of the temples
were converted into churches. The material prosperity of the city
also fell off so greatly that the municipality was no longer able to
defray the cost of cleansing the Nile and keeping the canals open.
The revenues of Alexandria were still farther diminished by the
proceedings of the patriarch Ovril. who led the armed mob against