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Death & Legacy

Pharaoh Alexander the Great - The Pharaohs - The People

The Infamous Pharaoh who built himself an Empire and was welcomed into rule Egypt with open arms after the subjugation faced by the Egyptians from the Persians

Pharaoh of Egypt, King of the Macedonians and Persians, Hegemon of the Hellenic League, Strategus Autocrator and Lord of Asia, Alexander the Great died, aged 32, on 11th June 323 BC in the Palace of Nebuchadnezzar II, Babylon. The King’s body was placed in a Gold Sarcophagus which was then filled with honey.

A fight broke out between his Generals and close advisors over where his remains should be homed. The future Pharaoh Ptolemy I won the argument by snatching the body mid funeral cortege, which had been en route to Macedonia. Originally the Sarcophagus laid at the ancient religious site of Memphis. But it appears that his body was reinterred by Pharaoh Ptolemy II in Alexandria where it remained for over 500 years. 

His Tomb in Alexandria is known to have been visited by:

  • Roman Emperor Caesar in 48 BC
  • Pharaoh Cleopatra took gold to finance her fight against Roman Emperor Octavian
  • Octavian himself after his victory against Pharaoh Cleopatra
  • Reportedly looted by Roman Emperor Caligula who reigned from 37 to 41 AD

The Tomb was sealed to visitors in 199 AD by Roman Emperor Septimius Severus

Where his Tomb and remains are now is arguable. Still in Alexandria itself? In the desert Oasis of Siwa? Or elsewhere? Roman Historians, Quintus Curtius Rufus, and Justin report that Alexander wished to be buried in the Amun Zeus Temple at the Oasis of Siwa in Egypt.

Records about the Tomb vary after 400 AD. Archbishop of Constantinople, John Chrysostom, did not find the location of the Tomb, whereas in 803 AD Ibn Abd alHakam and in 896 AD al-Masudi reported seeing the Tomb.

If in Alexandria, it could have been housed somewhere in the Royal Quarter where Archaeologist Calliope Limneos-Papakosta has been excavating the modern day Shallalat Gardens, in the middle of Alexandria for over 14 archaeological seasons. She has located buildings, roadways and in 2019 a marble statue of Alexander and is known to be excavating within the Royal Quarter. Belief within the community is that she is close to the supposed location of at least one of his Tombs.

In Siwa Oasis, the preferred burial place according to contemporaries of King Alexander, Archaeologist Leana Souvaltzi has discovered a Greek like Egyptian Tomb of a high status. Regrettably the excavation of the final parts of the Tomb were prevented, due to political implications at the time. To date the final burial chamber has not been excavated.


After King Alexander died his army seemed to be broken and at the very least could be described as aimless.

In Egypt, Pharaoh Alexander was succeeded by General Ptolemy who was challenged for the Throne by General Perdiccas who held Alexander’s Royal Seal. General Perdiccas gathered his troops and marched from Asia Minor to Egypt, but when faced with the body of Alexander being in Ptolemy’s hands his army lost heart in their right to fight for Egypt. General Ptolemy, after winning his right to Egypt he was shortly thereafter crowned as Pharaoh Ptolemy I. He settled into his Rule and once he knew that Egypt was secure, he shared the Throne with his son, Pharaoh Ptolemy II, and then retired before his death a little over 2 years later, looking to ensure a smooth succession.

To learn more about the life of Pharaoh Alexander of Egypt, click on the relevant image below

Early History

From his birth to the ascension to his Macedonian Throne

Early Reign

From when he took his first Throne to when he took the Throne of Egypt

Conquering Egypt

What Alexander did during his brief time in Egypt

Later Campaigns

How did Alexander finally forge his Empire?


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