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The Pharos is a tower of prodigious height and wonderful workmanship, built in an island, from whence it takes its name. This island, lying over against Alexandria, makes a haven, and is joined to the continent by a causeway of nine hundred paces, and by a bridge. Here dwell several Egyptians, who have built a town, and live by pillaging the ships that are thrown upon their coast, either by mistake or tempest. As it is situate at the entrance of the port, which is but narrow, it absolutely commands it. Caesar knowing the importance of this post, whilst the enemywere engaged in the assault, landed some troops there, seized the tower, and put a garrison into it; thereby securing a safe reception for the supplies he had sent for on allsides. In the other quarters of the town, the fight was maintained with equal advantage, neither party losing ground, because of the narrowness of the passes, which enabled them easily to support themselves. After a few men killed on necessary places, fortified them in the night. In this quarter was a small part of the king's palace, where Caesar was lodged upon his first arrival; and adjoining thereto a theatre, that served instead of a citadel, and had a communication with the port and other arsenals. These works he increased afterwards, that they might serve instead of a rampart, to prevent his being obliged to fight against his will. Meantime Ptolemy's youngest daughter, hoping the throne would be vacant, fled from palace to Achillas, and joined with him in the prosecution of the war. But they soon disagreed about the command, which increased the largesses to the soldiers, each party endeavouring to gain them by large presents. During these transactions, Pothinus, Ptolemy's governor, and regent of the kingdom, being discovered in a clandestine correspondence with Achillas, whom he encouraged to the vigorous prosecution of his enterprise, Caesar ordered him to be put to death. Such was the beginning of the Alexandrian war.
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