Ptolemy was the creator of the longest lasting of the Hellenistic kingdoms. He created a state whose cultural importance was unparalleled until the coming of Rome. He encouraged the erection of the Pharos Lighthouse, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as well as creating a library which eventually contained the greatest collection of books until relatively recent times. Ptolemy's institution of higher learning, the Museum, gave birth to the greatest advancements in science before the seventeenth century of our own era.
In this work, the first biography of Ptolemy in any language, Professor Ellis charts Ptolemy's extraordinary achievements in and beyond Egypt in the context of the fragmentation of Alexander's enormous empire and the creation of the Hellenistic state.