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Pompey's Pillar

Pompey's Pillar - Egypt Tours Portal

On a rocky hilltop in the middle of Alexandria lies the biggest memorial column in Egypt "Pompey's Pillar". It is famous for being the only known free-standing column in Roman Egypt and one of the largest monoliths columns ever erected. The pillar is 28m tall and 2.7 m wide of pure red granite and on its western upper side is a greek inscription dedicated to Emperor Diocletian.

Pompey's Pillar History

The roman ruler Diocletian constructed this column between 284-305 AD to commemorate Diocletian's victory in ending the people's revolt to be freed from the Roman rule, saving the public of Alexandria from famine, exempted the public from paying tax so a memorial column was created to show gratitude to what Diocletian achieved in this harsh times. The pillar was nicknamed Pompey's pillar as in the middle ages the crusaders mistakenly believed that the remains of the great Roman general Pompey were in a pot at the very top of the pillar.

The location of the pillar is surrounded by many who remain to see the conflicts of ancient times unfold in front of its eyes. During the first centuries, the patron pagan god of Alexandria was the Serapeum (a symbol of ancient tradition) and his temple was located near the pillar also it was a time of religious conflict as the ideas of Christianity began to gain popularity which led to the destruction of many pagan temples & statues to the god Serapis dating back to the reign of Ptolemy II and Ptolemy III in 391 AD.

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