Rule of the Ptolemies (304-30 B.C.), established by Ptolemy I, historian and general, after whom all subsequent rulers were named.

The capital Alexandria became the 'Hub of the World'. Ptolemy II founded the Museum of Alexandria with the largest library in antiquity.

The Ptolemies fought with the Seleucides over possession of Syria and Palestine, but in the end only Egypt could be held. Rome's growing influence led in 30 B.C. to the fall of Alexandria and Egypt became a Roman province. The last ruler, Cleopatra, committed suicide.