By William V. Harris, Giovanni Ruffini
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Additional info for Ancient Alexandria Between Egypt And Greece (Columbia Studies in the Classical Tradition)
Archaeology alone has the potential to cast some light on the urban evolution of early Alexandria, and thereby to put some constraints on sheer probabilistic modelling. Ideally (again), Alexandrian archaeologists will recognise the heuristic utility of predictive models and the comparative application of concepts derived from better documented premodern systems to the study of ancient urbanism, and seek to relate their ﬁndings to propositional constructs such as this one in order to contextualise ancient data within the wider ambit of pre-modern history, and—where feasible and appropriate—to verify or falsify speciﬁc theoretical predictions.
This, together with London’s unusual position as the axial node of an expanding world system, makes it seem unlikely that Alexandria could have attracted immigrants at a proportional rate (relative to the source population) that rivalled London’s. At the same time, and unlike Edo, Alexandria drew on immigration from outside the Ptolemaic sphere of control that may have increased the ratio of relocations to overall population size. 5 million between 330 and 300 BCE, 6 million in the third century BCE, and 5 million thereafter (Table 1 and Figure 8).
38 It seems clear that 35 For grain surpluses, see Scheidel 2001a, 231–5. Cf. Alston 2002, 330–60 for a model of urban development in Roman Egypt. 36 Jähne 1981, discusses Alexandria’s chora. Cf. Bernand 1995, 41 for swamps in its hinterland. 37 Cf. van der Woude, de Vries and Hayami 1990, 8–13. 38 See esp. Cavenaile 1972, and Green 1996. The most recent summary is Huss 2001, 63–9. 22 walter scheidel Alexandria was not set up in a complete vacuum. 39 According to various literary accounts, other initial settlers supposedly included Macedonian soldiers; the inhabitants of Canopus; the residents of 12 or 16 villages; the inhabitants of unspeciﬁed adjacent cities; or more generally everybody who lived within a thirty-mile radius from the site.