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Darius I completed the canal begun by Necho (see saïtes) to connect the Pelusiac branch of the Nile above (south of) Bubastis to the Red Sea. Ptolemy II built a longer canal, from the still undivided Nile near Heliopolis, which exploited the earlier workings of Necho and Darius. This canal, later improved by Trajan and Hadrian, enabled Alexandria, which was linked to the Nile by its Canobic branch, to become the principal centre for seaborne trade between the east and the Mediterranean. See also aemilius scaurus; irrigation.

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