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Alexandria

Alexandria, the ancient capitol city of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Roman Egypt, was founded by and named for Alexander the Great. Under Roman rule, Alexandria was the mint location for the province and became a regular imperial mint in 294 - 421 A.D. and 457 - 474 A.D. Roman mint marks for Alexandria included AL, ALE, ALEX, and SMAL. The mint was reopened by the Byzantines 525 -646 A.D.

The genius of Alexandria was featured on Roman coins as discussed in the Dictionary of Roman Coins below. 


Dictionary of Roman Coins


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ALEXANDRIA.  On the reverse of a silver Hadrian (engraved in Oiselius, TAB. xxxiv. p. 149), the type of a female standing clothed in a tunic [supposed to represent the genius of Egypt].  She holds in her right hand the sistrum, in connection with the worship of Isis [the movement of that instrument signifying the rise of the Nile.]  In her left hand she holds a bucket or water-pot (situla) by which is indicated the flow of canals or watercourses.--Rasche.

The genius of Alexandria, or of Egypt in general, is figured on a brass medal of Hadrian (struck in Egypt), as a man, wearing on his own head the skin of an elephant's head and holding in his right hand a bundle of corn ears.  He takes with the left hand that of the emperor, and lifts it to his lips, as if to kiss it, in acknowledgement of Hadrian's benefits to the city and country.  Round the coin is engraved ALEXANDREA, and in the filed LIE (year 15).--Zoega, Num. Aegpt. vii.--[Mr. Akerman, some time ago referring to a specimen of the very interesting coin, then in his own possession, had remarked that the numeral 15 denotes the year of Hadrian's arrival at Alexandria.]

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