BackgroundIn 332 BC, Alexander the Great, King of Macedon and Greece, conquered the province of Egypt from the Achaemenid Empire, introducing Hellenistic culture to Egypt, building the libraries of Alexandria and the famous lighthouse in her harbor. Upon his death in 323 BC, Egypt had underwent a great transformation. His general, Ptolemy, took over the kingdom upon his death, but it was not until 305 BC that he proclaimed himself "Pharaoh", leader of Egypt, and the Ptolemaic Dynasty flourished under his rule. His empire not only included Egypt, but also all of the Levant.
Wars of the Diadochi
- Main article: Wars of the Diadochi
Egypt reached its height under the rule of Ptolemy II of Egypt, taking over most of the Middle East from the Seleucid Empire, Nabateans, Pontus, Artaxiad Empire, Parthia, and the Greek Cities. By his death in 246 BC, his empire encompassed all of North Africa east of the Libyan border with Algeria, northern Sudan, all of the Levant and present-day Iraq, Persia, northern Saudi Arabia, the Caucasus, and Asia Minor.
Fall of Egypt
- Main article: Roman conquest of Egypt
Later in the century came the Roman House of Brutii, who took over all of Asia Minor from the Egyptians, and the House of Scipii, who conquered North Africa from Egypt, the Libyans, Numidia, and Carthage. The Egyptian kingdom's final doom came with the fall of Alexandria in 30 BC following the invasion of Octavian; Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Mark Antony both committed suicide after the Battle of Actium, and the Ptolemies were subjugated by the House of Julii, who formed the Roman Empire.