Pompey's Pillar

An approximately 25m red Aswan granite column with ‎a circumference of 9m was constructed in honor of the ‎Emperor Diocletian. Originally from the temple of the ‎Serapis, it was once a magnificent structure rivaling ‎the Soma and the Caesareum. Nearby are ‎subterranean galleries where sacred Apis bulls were ‎buried, and three sphinxes. After his defeat by Julius ‎Caesar in the civil war, Pompey fled to Egypt where ‎he was murdered in 48 BC; mediaeval travelers later ‎believed he must be buried here, and that the capital ‎atop the corner served as a container for his head. In ‎fact, the pillar was raised in honor of Diocletian at the ‎very end of the 4th century. Diocletian captured ‎Alexandria after it had been under siege. The Arabs ‎called it "Amoud el-Sawari", Column of the Horsemen. ‎The Pillar is the tallest ancient monument in ‎Alexandria.‎‎‎

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