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The city was named after a spring, Kyre, which the Greeks consecrated to Apollo and was also the seat of the Cyrenaics, a famous school of philosophy in the 4th century BCE, founded by Aristippus, a disciple of Sokrates; it was then nicknamed the "Athens of Africa". Cyrene became part of the Ptolemaic Kingdom controlled from Alexandria during the 3rd century BCE, before becoming Roman territory in 96 BCE when the Ptolemies bequeathed Cyrenaica to Rome.
The city's origin traced back to Battus I, a Theran who sought out the Pythia at the Sanctuary of Delphi in the 7th century BCE. The Pythia gave him a prophecy and ordered him to find and establish a city in Libya. Battus did so and led a group of residents from Thera to Libya, thus founding the city of Cyrene and its colony of Cyrenaica in 630 BCE. Battus served as its king until his death in 600 BCE. A tomb was later erected in the city to serve as his resting place.
Under the Romans
By 49 BCE, the city and the colony was handed over to the Roman Republic and was governed by Flavius Metellus, a leader of the Order of the Ancients. In 47 BCE, the Medjay Bayek of Siwa arrived in Cyrene in order to hunt down Flavius, who obtained an Apple of Eden. Upon arriving in the city, Bayek met with Diocles, a friend of the Greek healer Praxilla whom Bayek had met in a farm south of Cyrene. Diocles directed Bayek to the Roman Akropolis, a fortification wherein Flavius resided. Bayek infiltrated the fort and confronted the Roman, killing him and retrieving the Apple of Eden from him.
After Flavius' defeat, Bayek met with Diocles in the Agora, where he was informed of a corrupt magistrate Leander who worked with Flavius. Diocles sent Bayek to locate his friend Simonides, who previously attended an event at Leander's villa but had not yet return, liking drinking at a tavern in the city.
- Cyrene is depicted in the game to be much closer to Alexandria than it was in reality. It was actually located almost 500 miles west, near the modern-day village of Shahhat in Libya.
- The mosaic seen in the agora concept art appears to be inspired by the Stag Hunt Mosaic from Pella.
- The Roman soldiers depicted in the various artworks wear anachronistic equipment typical for the mid 1st century CE.
- The gatehouses of the city walls look more like triumphal arches rather than proper gatehouses.