Rediscovering Ancient Alexandria


The sphinxes were everywhere in Alexandria. A sphinx is a mythical creature with the head of a human, falcon, cat, or sheep, the body of a lion, and the wings of an eagle. Ready with their great strength, they served as guardians often flanking the entrances to temples.

For example, in The Deadliest Lie, Miriam sees many sphinxes when she goes to the Serapeum, the temple dedicated to the Greco-Egyptian deity Serapis:

I climbed the steep, one-hundred-step spiraling marble staircase flanked by rows of sphinxes from the base of the acropolis to the vast quadrangle of white stone at its summit. Having reached the highest point in Alexandria, I was rewarded with a merry breeze and a panorama of the miniaturized city while I rested on a stone bench until the pricking in my lungs eased.

If you went to Alexandria today, however, you would see a busy, congested Egyptian city of five million. You’d hear honking cars, smell their exhaust, and see shabby concrete buildings instead of the architectural splendor that ranked second only to Rome. But if you climbed down a ladder near the harbor, you’d get a glimpse of the legendary city of Miriam’s time. You’d see artifacts from its university complex, the Pharos Lighthouse, and royal quarter.

You don’t feel like climbing down that rickety ladder? Well, you don’t have to. Instead, you can settle into an easy chair and read a Miriam bat Isaac mystery. If you haven’t read one yet, then I recommend starting with The Deadliest Lie, the first book in the series, but don’t worry, each story stands alone. Aside from a riveting mystery (according to Wiki Ezvid), you’ll enjoy a finely crafted and historically accurate (Historical Novel Society) account of the city in its prime. Just click here.

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