The origin of the of Alexandria is obscure. The first historical attestation of the of Alexandria is around the year 180 a.d. under the direction of Pantaenus, according to Eusebius of Caesarea in his Church . The reputation of this grew with Pantanenus’ successors Clement and Origen. The scholars of this school adopted an allegorical of the Bible. Many Coptic patriarchs studied and directed this school.

Among the key figures of the was the Blind, who was the director of this institution in the fourth century. Among the famous personalities of those who studied in the of Alexandria was of Nazianzus. It is important to mention that the of Alexandria was Greek in its literature; thus, no Coptic text has been found from any of the key figures of the except for some writings by of Nazianzus, not as a scholar of the but as a Church Father. Some Coptic authors claim that St. Mark was the first founder of this school, but there is no historical to support this.