218 Route 1. ALEXANDRIA. Pompey's Column.
vided with gardens. Pompey's Column is easily found and forms
a convenient landmark.
The great centre of European life is the Place Mehemet Ali
(formerly Place des Consuls'), which is embellished with plantations
of trees and two fountains. It was the principal scene of destruc¬
tion in 1882. In the centre rises the Equestrian Statue of Mohammed
'Ali (PI. 35), the founder of the reigning dynasty of Egypt, designed
by Jaquemard, and cast in Paris. The statue is 16 ft. in height, and
stands on a pedestal of Tuscan marble 20ft. in height. As the
Mohammedan religion forbids the pictorial or plastic representation
of the human form , the erection of this monument was long op¬
posed by the 'Ulama, or chief professors of 'divine and legal learn¬
ing'. On the N.E. side stands the English Church (PI. 25), adjoined
by St. Mark's Building and the International Tribunal (PI. 50),
the only buildings which escaped the fury of the natives in 1882.
The wooden booths and sheds which were erected after this period
of devastation have now been removed, and their place has been
taken by temporary shops and warehouses of a more substantial
From the S.E. corner of the square we reach the triangular
Place de I'Eglise, or Square Ibrahim, the former name being derived
from the Roman Catholic church of St. Catharine (PI. 30) situated
here. The Rue de la Colonne Pompe'e leads hence to the S. to the
Porte de la Colonne Pompee, or Porte du Nil. Outside this gate we
pass a large Arabian cemetery, lying on the right, and soon Teach
an eminence covered with rubbish and fragments of ruins, on which
rises *Pompey's Column (PI. 37; E, 6). The monument is composed
of red granite from Assuan, which has withstood centuries of ex¬
posure to the elements; and it is now the only important relic
of antiquity in the city. The pedestal, composed of several
blocks which once belonged to other buildings, was formerly covered
by the earth and is much damaged. The height of the column,
together with the disintegrated, or perhaps never quite completed,
Corinthian capital, and the pedestal, is 104ft.; the shaft is 67ft.
high, and is about 9 ft. in diameter below, and not quite 8 ft. at the
top. The proportions produce an exceedingly harmonious effect.
This handsome monument does not derive its name from Pompey
the Great, who was murdered on the Egyptian coast (p. 97) after the
Battle of Pharsalia, but from the Roman prefect Pompeius, who, accord¬
ing to the inscription, erected it in honour of the unconquered Diocletian,
the 'defender of the city of Alexandria'-)-. There is no ground for sup¬
posing that this column once bore the brazen horse which the citizens
are said to have erected as a token of gratitude to Diocletian. After
that emperor had besieged Alexandria for eight months, and had
destroyed the waterworks, he at length took the city, and slew the
usurper Achilleus. According to the popular story, he then commanded
his soldiery to massacre the seditious populace until their blood should
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