How Was the Lighthouse of Alexandria Destroyed?

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Construction of the Lighthouse probably began during Ptolemy I’s reign, but was completed during the rule of his successor, Ptolemy II (284-246 BC). Although there is no consensus among modern historians, many believe that the dyke that joined the mainland to the Pharos island, known as the “Heptastadion,” was built during Ptolemy I’s reign, but most of the actual Lighthouse was constructed during Ptolemy II’s rule. <ref> Scheidel, Walter. “Creating a Metropolis: A Comparative Demographic Perspective.” In <i>Ancient Alexandria between Egypt and Greece.</i> Edited by W.V. Harris and Giovanni Ruffini. (Leiden: Brill, 2004), p. 23</ref> As was the case in many instances in the ancient world, it is not known for sure who was the architect of the Lighthouse. Ancient historians associated the name Sostratus with the Lighthouse in their writings and his name was supposedly inscribed on the edifice, so modern scholars believe that he was either its architect or one of the chief donors. <ref> Clayton, pgs. 142-3</ref>
===Ancient Descriptions of the Lighthouse===
[[File: Kom el-Dika.jpg|300px|thumbnail|left|Ruins of the Roman Amphitheater in Alexandria]]
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.