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 Socrates; 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.
In 47 BCE, the Medjay, Bayek, pursued the Roman proconsul and Order of the Ancients member Flavius Metellus to Cyrene. Upon arriving in the city, Bayek met with Diocles, a friend of the Greek healer Praxilla whom he met in a farm south of Cyrene. Diocles directed Bayek to the Roman Akropolis, a fortication which Flavius was located in. Bayek infiltrated the fort and confronted the Roman in a temple, killing him and retrieving the Apple of Eden from him.
- 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.