Around two hundred years after King Cambyses II took over Egypt, north of the Mediterranean Sea a guy named Alexander the Great was busy building his own empire. Alexander was a big fan of Greece and Greek culture so of course he wanted to spread it around.
In 331 bc Alexander beat the Persians, conquered Egypt and founded a city on the Nile delta—which he cleverly named Alexandria. Alexandria became a center of Greek culture, the home of the ancient world’s biggest library and the go-to spot for top scholars (you long-time loyal readers remember those big thinkers from The Western Civ User’s Guide to Time & Space). Alexander insisted that Greek culture be spread throughout his empire. Everybody had to learn to speak Greek. All official letters were written in Greek. Every diner had to serve gyros and baklava and coffee in those paper coffee cups that have Greek designs printed on them.
Alexander went around conquering everything and eventually ruled the biggest empire the world had ever seen, bigger than the Persian Empire even. When he died, his empire got divided up between his generals. General Ptolemy got Egypt.
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