Fascinating World

The Pharos of All Pharos – Ancient Alexandria

Aug 20, 2017


“The Pharos of Ptolemy King of Egypt was built AM [anno mundi] 3670 at the entrance of the Port Alexandria, and on account of its magnificence has transmitted its name Pharos to all other sea Light Houses. The Tower consisted of several Stories & the Lanthorn at top was of prodigious height. Gnidius the builder dedicated it to the King by an inscription cut in Mortar, which being effaced by time another inscription appeared finely cut in Marble, viz. Sostrates Gnidius son of Dixiphenes has consecrated this work to the Gods our Preservers for the benefit of sea faring Men.” Printed on border: “Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse [in] Cornhill.”.

From Wikipedia we know:

Sostratus of Cnidus (/ˈsɒstrətəs/; Greek: Σώστρατος ὁ Κνίδος; born 3rd century BC), was a Greek architect and engineer. He is said to have designed the lighthouse of Alexandria, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (c. 280 BC), on the island of Pharos off Alexandria, Egypt. This claim is disputed.

Strabo writes that the lighthouse was dedicated and presumably funded by Sostratus, a friend of Egypt’s ruler, Ptolemy I Soter. Pliny says that Sostratus was the architect and that Ptolemy graciously allowed him to “sign” the monument.

The New York Public Library. “Pharos of Alexandria.”The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-6387-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99



Pharos at Alexandria

Description in New York Public Library:
Image depiction appears to be based on an engraving by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach in his “Entwurff einer historischen Architectur,” first published 1721. The image reflects some characteristics of travellers’ accounts prior to the building’s destruction.
Printed on border: “T.HH.” “V.ü.d.K. IAb.II.Th” “Antiq. Tom. II.”
The smoke rising from the structure is because light for sailors was created by mirrors reflecting fires kept burning within the structure.

Written on border: “Pharos at Alexandria as conceived in 1810 from early manuscript.” Source identifier: 5286 (Hades Legacy Identifier / Struc ID)

Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Pharos at Alexandria.”The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1810.


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