on the Mediterranean Sea coast, Alexandria
(in Arabic, transliterated al-'Iskandariyyah)
is the chief seaport in Egypt, and that
country's second largest city, and the
capital of the Al Iskandariyah governate.
It is located at 31°12' N 29°15'
E, 208 km (129 miles) northwest of Cairo.
The Canopic mouth of the Nile (now dry)
was 19 km (12 miles) east, near the ancient
city of Canopus. It has a population of
approximately 3,341,000. It was named
after its founder, Alexander the Great,
and as the seat of the Ptolemaic rulers
of Egypt quickly became one of the greatest
cities of the Hellenistic world —
second only to Rome in size and wealth
throughout much of antiquity. However,
upon the founding of Cairo by Egypt's
mediæval Islamic rulers its status
as the country's capital was ended, and
it fell into a long decline, which by
the late Ottoman period had seen it reduced
to little more than a small fishing village.