Alexandria in Arachosia (Kandahar)

The legendary city founded by Alexander the Great and delve into its fascinating past, from its Achaemenid origins to its enduring legacy.

Kandhar, Afghanistan

Coordinates: 31.60235, 65.65879

Alexandria in Arachosia

Nestled amidst the rugged terrain of Afghanistan lies Alexandria in Arachosia, a city shrouded in the mists of time yet brimming with historical significance. Join us as we embark on a quest to uncover the secrets of this ancient metropolis, from its mythical origins to its modern-day legacy.

Origins and Significance: Tracing the Footsteps of Alexander the Great

Founded around 330 BC by the legendary conqueror Alexander the Great, Alexandria in Arachosia was one of the many cities established or renamed by the Macedonian king during his epic campaign across the Persian Empire. Built upon the foundations of an earlier Achaemenid fortress, the city served as a strategic outpost in the heart of Afghanistan’s Arachosia province.

The Legacy of Arachosia: A Land of Ancient Splendor

Arachosia, the ancient province encompassing Alexandria, boasted a rich cultural heritage dating back to the Bronze Age. From the flourishing Helmand culture to the majestic fortifications of Kandahar, the region’s history is intertwined with tales of conquest, trade, and cultural exchange.

Hellenistic Era: Alexander’s Conquest and Beyond

Following Alexander’s swift conquest of the Persian Empire, Arachosia came under the rule of the Macedonian Empire. Despite its strategic importance, the region received little mention in the chronicles of Alexander’s campaigns, with the city of Alexandria in Arachosia often overlooked by ancient historians.

Unraveling the Mysteries of Alexandropolis

References to Alexandria in Arachosia are found in classical sources, shedding light on the city’s significance as a hub of trade and cultural exchange. While Alexander’s direct involvement in the city’s foundation remains uncertain, its prominence as a metropolis of Arachosia is attested by ancient geographers and historians.

Traces of the Past in Modern-Day Kandahar

Excavations at the site of Old Kandahar Citadel have unearthed artifacts and inscriptions dating back to the Hellenistic and Buddhist eras, providing glimpses into the city’s illustrious past. While Greek buildings remain elusive, coins, inscriptions, and graves offer tantalizing clues to the city’s ancient inhabitants.

Alexandria’s Decline: From Prosperity to Conquest

Despite its historical significance, Alexandria in Arachosia eventually succumbed to the tides of history. Following the Islamic conquest, the city’s prosperity waned, marking the end of an era of cultural and economic flourishing in the region.