Caesareum of Alexandria

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General information
Status Destroyed
Type Built as a temple; converted to a Christian church (late-4th century)
Town or city Alexandria
Country Egypt
Completed 1st century BC
Renovated 4th century (converted to Christian church)
Destroyed 19th century
Client  • Cleopatra VII (started)
 • Augustus (finished)

The Caesareum in Alexandria was a temple conceived by Cleopatra VII, the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, to honour her dead lover Julius Caesar. It was finished by Augustus, after he defeated Antony and Cleopatra. He destroyed all traces of Antony in Alexandria, and apparently dedicated the temple to his own cult.[1]

Converted to a Christian church in the late 4th century, the Caesareum was the headquarters of Cyril of Alexandria, the Patriarch of Alexandria from 412 to 444.[2]

The philosopher and mathematician Hypatia was murdered at the Caesareum by a Christian mob in 415; they stripped her naked and tore her to pieces.[3]

Elements of the temple survived until the 19th century. Cleopatra's Needles, obelisks from the temple, now stand in Central Park in New York City and on the Thames Embankment, in London;.[1][4]

Today,[when?] a large statue of the Alexandrine nationalist leader Saad Zaghloul (1859–1927) stands on the Caesareum site.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b McKenzie, Judith (2007). The Architecture of Alexandria and Egypt, c. 300BC to AD 700, Volume 63. Yale University Press (via Google Books). p. 177. 
  2. ^ Staff (undated (copyright 2012)). "The Caesarium of Alexandria – Scene of the Crime". Retrieved 23 February 2012.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Socrates Scholasticus. Ecclesiastical History, Bk VI: Chap. 15. 
  4. ^ Ellis, Simon P. (1992). Graeco-Roman Egypt. Osprey Publishing. pp. 16–17. 

Coordinates: 31°12′03″N 29°53′58″E / 31.2009°N 29.8994°E / 31.2009; 29.8994