Cleopatra and antonu

Bust of Cleopatra

Considered by the Romans as "fatal monstrosity" - a warning fatal Cleopatra is one of the most popular but elusive of the ancient world. The Egyptian queen was immortalized by many writers and filmmakers, the most popular of Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, and Cleopatra in Hollywood (1963) with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.

The last work includes memorable image of the attractive young Cleopatra emerging gracefully from a folded blanket in front of the Roman general Julius Caesar's. But Cleopatra is to be regarded as mere lover of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony? Or does it play an important role not only in the history of Egypt, but also that the powerful Roman Republic?

Cleopatra VII Philopator (‘father-loving’) was born in January 69 BC in the city of Alexandria, Egypt, the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes (117 BC –51 BC) and possibly Cleopatra V Tryphaena (c 95 BC –  c 57 BC). Cleopatra was to become the last monarch of the Ptolemaic Empire (established in 323 BC after the death of Alexander the Great), ruling Egypt from 51 BC to 30 BC.
In 48 BC Cleopatra had become an ally and lover of Julius Caesar and remained so until his assassination in Rome in March of 44 BC.  The death of Caesar threw Rome into turmoil, with various factions competing for control, the most important of these being the armies of Mark Antony (83 BC– 30 BC) and Octavian (63 BC – AD 14), the former a supporter and loyal friend Caesar, the latter his adopted son.

Cleopatra Meets Antony

In 41 BC Cleopatra was summoned to Tarsus (in modern southern Turkey) by Mark Antony. She is said to have entered the city by sailing up the Cydnus River in a decorated barge with purple sails, while dressed in the robes of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Antony, who equated himself with the god Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, was instantly won over. Much like the meeting between Cleopatra and Caesar, both sides saw something in the other which they needed. For Cleopatra it was another opportunity to achieve power both in Egypt and in Rome, for Anthony the support of Rome’s largest and wealthiest client states in his campaign against the might of the Parthians (Parthia was a region in modern north-eastern Iran) was highly desirable. At the meeting Cleopatra allegedly requested that her half-sister Arsino√ę, living in protection at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, be executed to prevent any future attempts on her throne.
Anthony and Cleopatra soon became allies and lovers and he returned with her to Alexandria in 40 BC. In Alexandria Cleopatra and Antony formed a society of “inimitable livers”, which some historians have interpreted as an excuse to lead a life of debauchery, though it was more likely to have been a group dedicated to the cult of the mystical god Dionysus. In that year Cleopatra bore Antony the twins Alexander Helios (the Sun) and Cleopatra Selene (the Moon).

Octavian and Rome

The political situation in Rome compelled Antony to return to Italy where he was forced to conclude a temporary settlement with Octavian, part of which was that he married Octavian’s sister, Octavia. It was to be three years before he and Cleopatra were to meet again, at the city of Antioch (near the modern Turkey / Syria border) under the shadow of the Octavian’s growing military power in the West. One result of this meeting was that Cleopatra became pregnant with her third child by Antony (the future Ptolemy Philadelphus); another was that parts of Rome’s eastern possessions came under Cleopatra’s control.

Celebrations in Alexandria

In 34 BC, despite the fact that Antony’s Parthian campaign had been an extravagant failure, Antony and Cleopatra celebrated a mock Roman Triumph in the streets of Alexandria. Crowds flocked to the Gymnasium to see the couple seated on golden thrones surrounded by their children, and Antony made a proclamation known today as the ‘Donations of Alexandria’. In this declaration Antony distributed lands held by Rome and Parthia amongst Cleopatra and their children, and proclaimed Caesarion as Caesar’s legitimate son.

Read More Other Unsolved Mysteries article!

Posted in , , . Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by