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Besides their references to the Lighthouse’s possible architect, the ancient writers are the best source for the modern understanding of the Lighthouse’s size, structure, and uses. Julius Caesar mentioned the Lighthouse in his military memoirs about the Civil Wars in the first century BC. By his own admission, Caesar’s troops caused damage to buildings on the Pharos Island near the Lighthouse during the Alexandria campaign in 48 BC and according to the first century BC Greek geographer, Strabo, the damage was significant.
“And likewise the extremity of the isle is a rock, which is washed all round by the sea and has upon it a tower that is admirably constructed of white marble with many stories and bears the same name as the island. This was an offering made by Sostratus of Cnidus, a friend of the kings, for the safety of mariners, as the inscription says: for since the coast was harbourless and low on either side, and also had reefs and shallows, those who were sailing form the open sea thither needed some lofty and conspicuous sign to enable them to direct their course aright to the entrance of the harbour. And the western mouth is also not easy to enter, although it does not require so much caution as the other. And it likewise forms a second harbour, that of Eunostus, as it is called, which was dug by the hand of man. For the harbour which affords the entrance on the side of the above-mentioned tower of Pharos is the Great Harbour, whereas these two lie continuous with that harbour in their innermost recess, being separated from it only by the embankment called the Heptastadium. The embankment forms a bridge extending from the mainland to the western portion of the island, and leaves open only two passages into the harbour of Eunostus, which are bridged over. However, this work formed not only a bridge to the island but also an aqueduct, at least when Pharos was inhabited. But in these present times it has been laid waste by the deified Caesar in his war against the Alexandrians, since it had sided with the kings.” <ref> Strabo. <i> Geography.</i> Translated by Horace Leonard Jones. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2001), Book XVII, 1.6</ref>
Although Caesar’s troops caused a certain amount of destruction on the Pharos Island and also apparently to the Lighthouse itself, it took little time for the Romans to rebuild Egypt’s second entry into the Seven Wonders of the World. Alexandria continued to be an important city once its control passed from the Ptolemies to the Romans. The Romans apparently quickly repaired the damage to the Lighthouse because when the first century AD Jewish historian Josephus wrote about it, no damage was mentioned.