In the 3rd century BC two mighty powers were spreading their influences across the Mediterranean – Carthage and Rome. This was long before Rome was an Empire, in fact Rome barely controlled Italy at this point. Carthage was a Phoenician city who at their peak excelled at maritime trade. But only one of these powers could survive. As a young boy Hannibal Barca was exposed to war, his father Hamilcar Barca fought in the first Punic war, and legend has it that he made Hannibal promise him to always be an enemy of Rome. Hannibal was born in 247BC and at the age of 28 he began his war with Rome, he led an attack on the city of Saguntum who were allies of Rome. Why? to lure Rome into war. It worked! Rome sent an army to Saguntum. The second Punic war had begun! Hannibal was not going to wait around for the Romans though, he had other ideas. While the Roman army was sailing over to Spain, Hannibal came up with a plan to march his army to Rome!
When Alexander the Great died in 323 BC, his body was moved to Alexandria in Egypt, the city Alexander founded and named after himself.
The tomb of Alexander the Great became a tourist destination and was visited by numerous people from all walks of life. Famous examples include Julius Caesar who idolised Alexander the Great. The first Emperor of the Roman Empire Augustus, who declined the opportunity to view the tombs of the Ptolemaic Kings which were close by, saying that he came to see a King and not a bunch of dead people, and Caligula who apparently left with a piece of Alexander’s body armour.
Historical references of Alexander’s tomb continue until 390 AD, and then stopped. Maybe because of Christianity surpassed pagan religion and tombs of pagan Gods such as the tomb of Alexander, were replaced with Christian temples.
Two years after the last historical reference of Alexander’s tomb, another tomb in Alexandria seems to surface. But it is not the tomb of Alexander, the tomb belongs to Saint Mark.
Saint Mark, who was born and died in the first century AD, brought Christianity to Alexandria.
In 392 AD, Saint Mark had been dead for over 300 years, why was there no recorded reference of his tomb in Alexandria.
Andrew Chugg put a theory forward that the mummified body of Saint Mark could in fact be Alexander the Great.
After the Siege of Alexandria in 641 AD, The tomb of Saint Mark was no longer in Christian hands. In 828 AD a group of Venetian Christians travelled to Alexandria and obtained the body of Saint Mark. The story tells of the merchants using pork to prevent the Islamic authorities inspecting what they were transporting. The Venetians and the body of Saint Mark successfully made it back to Venice.
According to The Catholic Church the body of Saint Mark is toady still in Saint Mark’s Basilica.
Could it be the body of Alexander the Great?
Source – National Geographic, Mystery Files, link