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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Garfinkle, Steven J.

Second Advisor

Diehl, Peter D.

Third Advisor

Mariz, George


Hellenistic monarchs were fervently competitive with one another in the pursuit of political and cultural dominance in the Eastern Mediterranean. These rulers used their power, influence, and patronage to promote themselves as worthy successors of Alexander by building massive monuments and glorious capital cities; this is how they legitimized their rule. The ruler's attempt to outshine their opponents became a key feature of Hellenistic urbanism, typified in the city of Alexandria. One of the key reasons why Alexandria was able to become the dominant city in the Hellenistic World was the existence of learning institutions such as the Great Library, Mouseion, and Serapeum, all fostered by the Ptolemaic Dynasty. Rival libraries, sponsored by foreign royal patrons, challenged the Great Libraries' supremacy in the scholastic realm. These libraries were paradigms of Hellenism in many ways. This thesis will explore the role of these learning institutions within the city of Alexandria itself, as well as their wider implications in Hellenistic society.




Alexandrian Library; Libraries--Egypt--Alexandria--History--To 400, Culture diffusion--Mediterranean Region, Hellenism, Mediterranean Region--Intellectual life


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

Alexandrian Library

Geographic Coverage

Alexandria (Egypt); Mediterranean Region


masters theses




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