The Memoirs of Cleopatra Part 134
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At last Octavian himself appeared in his chariot, being saluted as the conqueror of the world, wearing the crown, rather than having it merely held over his head by a slave. And then . . . O shame! Walking behind the chariot, in chains, were Selene and Alexander, with little Philadelphos between them, followed by a lurid, huge depiction of their mother, snakes twined around her arms.
She looked fierce, her eyes blazing, her fists clenched. Was she supposed to be dying? She was stretched on her couch, but not limply. She radiated power and purpose. Was it to depict her as the rapacious enemy who had posed such a threat to Rome? Whatever it was, it caused the crowd to cry out, to cheer. Were they applauding her or rejoicing? Possibly both. The snakes suggested Isis as well as her death. It was not unworthy of her. So she had eluded Octavian's victory parade, and this was his way of saluting her for it: the enemy larger than life.
Beside the picture an actor walked, reciting some of Horace's poem about Actium: .
She preferred a finer style of dying: She did not, like a woman, shirk the dagger Or seek by speed at sea To change her Egypt for obscurer shores, But But gazing on her desolated palace gazing on her desolated palace With a calm smile, unflinchingly she laid hands on The angry asps until Her veins had drunk the deadly poison deep: .
And, death-determined, fiercer now than ever, Perished. Was she to grace a haughty triumph, Dethroned, paraded by The rude Liburnians? Not Cleopatra.
As the parade concluded, Octavian dismounted from the chariot and motioned to the children. Now was when prisoners were taken off to a prison cell to be strangled while the victor gave solemn thanks at the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. But Octavian took Antony and Cleopatra's children with him to mount the steps up to the Temple. Thereafter they vanished back into his household. the parade concluded, Octavian dismounted from the chariot and motioned to the children. Now was when prisoners were taken off to a prison cell to be strangled while the victor gave solemn thanks at the Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. But Octavian took Antony and Cleopatra's children with him to mount the steps up to the Temple. Thereafter they vanished back into his household.
There were yet two ceremonies to be observed, tacked onto the end of the Triumph. The doors to the Temple of Janus were formally closed, pronouncing an end to war. And Octavian made his way to Caesar's temple, there to dedicate a statue of Victory and present Egyptian spoils.
Then it was over, and the general celebrations could begin--the eating, drinking, dancing. I shall not describe it; all crowd celebrations are the same. But I pushed my way through the mob to reach Caesar's Temple of Venus Genetrix in his Forum. I had to see if... it would be surprising if. . . but Octavian was a surprising man, I grant him that.
And he surprised me now--pleasantly. For standing where Caesar had placed it seventeen years ago was the gold statue of Cleopatra as goddess and consort. The enemy in the Forum still reigned supreme and honored in this house of Caesar; so revered was Caesar that no one dared attack the statue. Or perhaps it was more than that; perhaps the Romans, who admire courage and a resolute foe above everything else, secretly wished to honor their greatest adversary and keep her where, over the years, they could pay her homage.
And now I address you again, my friend, my Queen. Strange how death does not stop us from talking to our departed ones. Or, rather, there are stages we go through: At first, when the gulf is recent and therefore not so wide, we chatter freely, feeling them to be just behind us. Then something happens-- grief, gazing on the tomb, seeing the empty seat--that creates a thick wall between us. Then time itself, such a fluid thing, dissolves the barrier and we are back where we started, close again.
Such has happened to me, in regards to you. And once that separation had vanished, I was able to set out to complete the journey that you entrusted to me.
Oh yes, the scrolls are bulky and heavy. They require a stout trunk to house them. I have all ten of them--twenty, actually, since you insisted on copies going to the Kandake. You always knew that we must help chance to triumph, hence an extra set is prudent.
It was good to leave Alexandria; you were right about that. My medical practice has exploded beyond what I can manage, as I have become monstrously famous--or notorious--as the Queen's physician. They credit me with the asps, with which, of course, I had nothing to do, and with miraculously saving Mardian, which also was not my doing but his luck in being bitten last, and being so bulky. The notoriety is a nuisance, and keeps me from the anonymity I prize. So a lengthy excursion to Meroe is most welcome, and refreshing.
Passing through the canal, then down the Nile, I am retracing our childhood excursion of so long ago. Egypt never changes: the same palms, the same mud-brick houses, the same pyramids. It is good to remind myself of that. Here, beyond Memphis, I question whether they even know that Octavian is the new "Pharaoh."
Yes, he has embraced this identity. He is posing as your heir--isn't that amusing? By taking in Alexander, Selene, and Philadelphos, and rearing them in his Roman household, he pretends to continuity of the line. I understand carvers are busy in temples depicting him in Pharaonic crown, sacrificing to Osiris and Horus. But I do not plan to stop and look at them.
Egypt, Egypt, eternal Egypt. .. always unique. The new "Pharaoh" has declared it a special province, one that no prominent Roman may even visit without express permission. It is to be maintained as a gigantic park, Octavian's own playground. Cornelius Gallus will oversee it, but he is not its governor. It has no governor.
Timeless eddies on the river, sandbanks with crocodiles, temples, sand, papyrus reeds, and the wide bosom of the Nile reaching down into Africa. It is easy to forget everything else, and let time swirl away.
I will push on past Philae, going all the way to Meroe. There has lately been some trouble around the First Cataract between the Nubians and the Romans, and I think it safer to make my way south first. I must confess that I plan to question the physicians of Meroe and take back samples of any medicinal plants they may have, and thus I am anxious to get there.
I have arrived. It has taken me four months! Months in which to read your account of your own journey here, past all the cataracts. It is not something lightly undertaken. Now the city looms before me, and the banks are lined with the curious. I can only hope that the Kandake is still well, and reigns. Odd how we think distance can confer longevity as well.
She has received me. She lives, although arthritically, and moves her bulk in great majesty through her palace. She was rhapsodical about you, recalling your visit to her so many years ago.
"But I warned her about the Romans," she said, wagging her finger. "I told her to stay away from them, and to make an alliance with me instead." She was seated on a wide-legged bench, with the proffered chest of scrolls at her feet.
"I think it was they who could not stay away from her," I said. And it was true.
"I told her I would avenge her when the Romans--whom she insisted on trafficking with!--let her down. And I have." She nodded solemnly. "I have." She pointed to her left eye, which was blind. "I have surrendered my eye to the Romans."
When I looked puzzled, she continued, "They thought to take Philae along with the rest of Egypt! Our holy precinct, and the estates south of the cataract! They declared it a protectorate, and even put their filthy statues of Octavian in the temples! I could not allow it. No, I could not. It was not to be borne." She rose, slowly, like a mountain coming to its feet. "I will show you what we did!"
Like an island that miraculously moves through the sea, the Kandake floated through the vast halls of her palace and led me to the forecourt of a temple in the royal enclosure. She gave some commands in Meroitic to her attendants, who scurried away and then returned with shovels to start digging.
"I led my own bowmen on a raid to the temple, while the rest of my army attacked Philae itself, Aswan, and the Elephantine Island, and routed the Romans there. In the fighting my eye was injured, and later I lost the sight in it." She seemed to accept it as a badge of honor. "But I can see well enough with the remaining one!" She turned it fiercely on me.
"Oh, we scattered them and ran them off," she continued. "But that was not enough. No. We needed to do this" this" She pointed to the hole that was being dug before the temple, and to a roundish green object just coming into view deep in it. She pointed to the hole that was being dug before the temple, and to a roundish green object just coming into view deep in it.
As the men continued to dig, the object revealed itself to be a bronze head, which emerged from the sand like a waterlogged body floating to the surface. The workmen pulled it out and held it up, where it stared balefully at us, sand streaming off it.
It was a huge head of Octavian, the eyes looking sadly at us, starkly white against the green tarnish of the bronze. They must have been made of alabaster, but the effect was startling.
"We decapitated his statue, the one he had boldly set up inside the holy quarters. Then we brought it back here and did a ritual desecration on it, burying it in front of the temple to our victory."
The primitive fierceness of the gesture was unnerving. I felt myself to be in a very alien place indeed. Octavian's severed head kept looking at me.
"Now your Queen can^rest in peace," she said. "She has been avenged." The Kandake lifted her chin proudly.
"Yes, indeed," I agreed. It seemed imprudent not to.
I have no doubt that your scrolls will be safe in her keeping.
And now to Philae, the final leg of the journey, where I shall discharge my solemn promise and complete my last duty to you. Then indeed you may rest, knowing all things are finished according to your wishes.
The Romans are still smarting from their thrashing at the hands of the Nubians, and are planning reprisals. But for now they are busy repairing the damage. I see the toppled statue of Octavian, its neck sawed through, lying on its side near the forecourt of the great Temple of Isis.
But I wish to think no more of Octavian or anything beyond this little island, with its exquisite temple, its sanctuary to Isis. White, small enough to be perfect, lying before me, I want to take possession of it. This is a Ptolemaic achievement, the marriage between Egypt and a great dynasty that became the country it conquered. Your ancestor Ptolemy V is carved on the walls, your father Ptolemy XII adorns the pylons guarding the inner sanctuary. And inside, in the sheltering dark, is the great statue of your goddess-mother, Isis. There I will leave the legacy you entrusted to me, to entrust to her. I will also leave my own, the pitiful addendum. This is where it belongs, the story drawn out to its conclusion.
All this temple is yours. In some recess, invisible to me, is the chamber where you stood when you united yourself with Caesar. You linger here, remaining just beyond the annihilating grip of Rome.
The old priest has accepted the scrolls without question. He showed me the hollow in the pedestal of the great statue of Isis, where sacred relics are kept. Reverently he has placed the ten scrolls there. He awaits this final one, but he is patient. Oh, very, very patient. I can well believe he has been here since the first Ptolemy.
Then he shows me his treasure: a statue of you, carved of tamarisk. It is life-size, and the voluptuous curves and colors of the wood give it such warmth that for a moment I can believe it is you, there, before me. It gives me both joy and pain to behold it.
He tells me he is covering it with sheets of gold, so that it may last for centuries, and you may be worshiped alongside Isis. Already you have many devotees who come here to pay homage.
It seems wrong, somehow, to cover the vitality of the wood, a living thing, with the stern eternity of gold. But just so are you transformed into a goddess, and only in that form can you endure, to soar into man's imagination and reign forever.
He tells me that Philae is a Greek corruption of the ancient Egyptian pilak, pilak, meaning "the end." The island was once the end of Egypt, the end of our comprehension of ourselves. So it is your end, the final resting place of your thoughts and deeds and life, guarded by gods, saved from destruction. You will never die, folded here in the embrace of Isis. meaning "the end." The island was once the end of Egypt, the end of our comprehension of ourselves. So it is your end, the final resting place of your thoughts and deeds and life, guarded by gods, saved from destruction. You will never die, folded here in the embrace of Isis.
At last I believe that, and surrender you with joy.
When I set out to write a biographical novel of Cleopatra, I kept encountering two contradictory reactions, both based on misconceptions.
The first was: Why a book about Cleopatra? Everyone already knows everything about her, don't they?--her perfumes, her snakes, her wiles, her lovers.
Indeed, no. Much of what the general public "knows" about Cleopatra comes directly from the invective of her enemies. The fact that some of her enemies were writers and poets of the caliber of Cicero, Vergil, and Horace assured that their version of events would survive and become widely known, whereas her side of the story would be officially suppressed.
The second, opposite idea: So little is known about Cleopatra and those times that it would be impossible to write meaningfully about her. Again, not so. A great deal is known about her, from the list of languages she spoke, to the names of her servants, to the timbre of her voice, to her preference for colored pottery from Rhosus in Syria. Other aspects can be deduced; for example, she must have been small and slim to have fitted undetected inside the rug. And yes, she was smuggled into Caesar's quarters inside a carpet or bedroll.
After any battle, one of the prerogatives of the winners has always been to preserve an official account of their doings and to destroy or suppress other versions. Prior to the final battle recounted in this book, both sides had their vocal partisans; after Octavian's victory, those of Antony and Cleopatra were silenced.
Nevertheless, enough unofficial material survives through secondhand sources for Cleopatra's side of the story to be pieced together. And in telling Octavian's tale, three ancient historians writing 150 to 250 years afterward-- Suetonius, Plutarch, and Dio Cassius--inadvertently preserved much of the other side's as well. Plutarch is especially helpful, as he relies on the memoirs of Cleopatra's physician, Olympos, for the famous story of her final days and death. At this point Plutarch's account switches from being hostile (Octavian's version) to showing some sympathy toward Cleopatra, an abrupt change that is preserved in Shakespeare. (That is why the Cleopatra of Act V is markedly different from the one in the rest of the play.) As with all characters who belong as much to legend as to history--and here we have four: Cleopatra, Caesar, Octavian, and Antony--it is important to know what is real and what is not.
Many things I have described here could pass for dramatic inventions but are in fact well documented. After hiding in the rug, Cleopatra did meet Caesar, and they did become lovers the same night; her brother and his councillors did find them together the next morning. She did bear him a son whom he allowed to carry his name.
Caesarion was said to bear a striking resemblance to his father, especially in his movements and walk. And Caesar is known to have had epilepsy in his last years.
Cicero did meet Cleopatra in Rome and, judging from his comments about her in letters, had a personal grudge against her.
Antony's famous speech at Caesar's funeral ("Friends, Romans, countrymen . . .") is Shakespeare's creation; the historical one, taken from Dio Cassius, is reproduced here.
The battlefield scenes are likewise historical, as are Octavian's juicy personal attacks against Antony and Cleopatra, and vice versa. It is one of the ironies of history that the only letter of Antony's to survive (because it was quoted by Suetonius) is the angry one he dashed off to Octavian accusing him of having multiple affairs. And yes, Octavian was an active adulterer and did wear "elevator" sandals.
Mardian, Olympos, Iras, and Charmian are all historical figures, but their appearances and personalities have been imagined by me. Epaphroditus is fictional, but we must assume that Cleopatra had an astute minister of finances. Most of the other characters are real; I have not needed to invent many, and only minor ones.
The famous scene where Cleopatra met Antony costumed as Venus actually took place--although she was not on a barge, as popular mythology has it. Barges were not seaworthy and did not leave the Nile, hence she must have used a regular ship, specially equipped. Cleopatra really did give a dinner for Antony with rose petals a foot deep for the carpet, did make a wager with him on the cost, and did pretend to drink a dissolved pearl. On another night Antony really did invite her to a rough "soldiers' dinner."
The meetings and relationship I have described between Cleopatra and Herod are all historical.
Antony's personal servant really was named Eros, and he did kill himself rather than kill Antony. Octavian did have Caesarion and Antyllus killed, and it is true that one of the only things he removed from the palace in Alexandria was an agate cup that belonged to the Ptolemies.
The coinage issues are as I described them, and they were all meant to make important political statements.
The Kandake of Meroe did raid Philae, and a bronze head of Octavian was taken away to Meroe and buried to designate desecration.
And it is true that Cleopatra ended her life by the bite of the Egyptian cobra, which, according to ancient Egyptian belief, conferred a symbolic meaning to death. She probably selected it as much for this reason as for its quick, painless action.
But this is a novel, and there are also fictional creations in these pages. One of the most important is Cleopatra's mother, and her death. Surprisingly, given Cleopatra's fame, the identity of her mother is unknown. It is assumed that she was a half sister of Ptolemy XII and that she died when Cleopatra was quite young. More than that we do not know. It is also assumed that the younger children had a different mother, but again, we do not know.
Cleopatra's visit to the Kandake is fictional, although such a visit would certainly have been in character for both of them.
I have not followed the convention that Cleopatra sent false word of her death to Antony, and that Antony felt she had betrayed him. These come from hostile traditions and seem, to modern historians, unlikely. I also omitted the traditional old man with his basket of figs being the bearer of the snakes. Exactly how she arranged for the snakes is a mystery, but we know the basket of figs--minus the snakes--was found inside the mausoleum.
Since the correspondence of Caesar, Antony, and Cleopatra to one another does not survive, I have had to re-create it.
What did Cleopatra look like? The modern idea that she was actually unattractive is not borne out by the ancient historians. Dio Cassius says, "For she was a woman of surpassing beauty, and at that time, when she was in the prime of her youth, she was most striking; she also possessed a most charming voice and a knowledge of how to make herself agreeable to everyone. Being brilliant to look upon and to listen to, with the power to subjugate everyone, even a love-sated man already past his prime, she thought that it would be in keeping with her role to meet Caesar, and she reposed in her beauty all her claims to the throne."
Florus (a. D. 75-140) says that when she threw herself at Caesar's feet, "He was moved by the beauty of the damsel, which was enhanced by the fact that, being so fair, she seemed to have been wronged"; he also says later that she appealed to Octavian "in vain, for her beauty was unable to prevail over his self-control."
According to Appian (a. D. 90-165), "Antony was amazed at her wit as well as her good looks," and that "it is said . . . that he had fallen in love with her at first sight long ago when she was still a girl and he was serving as master of the horse under Gabinius at Alexandria."
Plutarch's familiar comment that "her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself so remarkable that none could be compared with her," does not imply (as some would have it) that she was plain. All these observations seem to affirm that she was quite attractive, if not a conventional beauty. No known statues of Cleopatra survive, though some are identified as such based on the resemblance to her portrait on coins. These coins are of two types, puzzlingly unalike in looks: an attractive one in the Hellenistic style, and an idol-like one on coins she shares with Antony. The carving of her on the Temple of Hathor at Dendera, which I describe her visiting, is not an individualized portrait but a generalized representation of a queen.
What was her coloring likely to have been? The Ptolemies were Macedonian Greeks and these people exhibit a range of hair and eye shades from light (blond, blue-eyed) to dark (black hair, brown eyes). Skin tone, too, can vary from quite light to the Mediterranean "olive-skinned." I have given her dark hair because her grandmother (her one non-Ptolemaic ancestor) was half-Syrian, half-Greek. There is no evidence for Egyptian ancestry; however, she did find a spiritual affinity with her Egyptian subjects, speaking their language and honoring their ancient religion.
What became of the surviving children? All were brought up in Octavian's household. Cleopatra Selene was later married to Juba II of Mauretania, the little boy who had marched in Caesar's African Triumph; she reigned as his Queen of Mauretania from 20 B. C. to A. D. 17, and had two children, Ptolemy of Mauretania and Drusilla. One source says that Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphos went to Mauretania with them.
Ptolemy of Mauretania reigned as King from A. D. 23 to A. D. 40 but made the mistake of going to Rome to visit his cousin Caligula, who had him murdered. Some sources say Drusilla was the first wife of Marcus Antonius Felix, the Roman procurator of Judaea (he is mentioned in Acts 24:1-23), but after that she vanishes. So there are no known descendants of Cleopatra beyond the second generation.
Antony fared better. Through his oldest daughter, Antonia, who married Pythodorus of Tralles, he became the ancestor of kings and queens of Lesser Armenia, parts of Arabia, Pontus, and East Thrace. And through his two daughters by Octavia, he became the ancestor of the emperors Caligula, Claudius, and Nero.
By that time, Rome was embracing the very customs it had found so abhorrent in Antony and Cleopatra--divine monarchy and eastern extravagance. So, in spite of Octavian, their way triumphed in the end.
I must confess a fascination and commitment to Cleopatra that goes back to my own childhood; in many ways I have waited forty years to write this book. I made the first of my trips to Egypt in 1952, wrote my first school-project version of her story in 1956, and since actively working on this book I have returned to Egypt four times, have traveled to Rome, Israel, and Jordan, and have haunted the British Museum on a regular basis. It has been my privilege to spend the last four years almost exclusively in Cleopatra's presence, and I leave her side reluctantly.
For those interested in some of my sources, I include them here.
Ancient sources: Caesar's Civil Wars, Book Civil Wars, Book III; III; The Alexandrian War The Alexandrian War (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, numbers 39, 402); Vergil, (Cambridge: Loeb Classical Library, numbers 39, 402); Vergil, The Aeneid, The Aeneid, Book VIII; Horace, Ninth Epode, Book I, Ode 37; Lucan, Book VIII; Horace, Ninth Epode, Book I, Ode 37; Lucan, Civil War Civil War, Book Ten--a florid, lascivious, and imaginative account of Caesar and Cleopatra's time in Alexandria. Lucan fills in all the blanks the discreet Caesar left in his account of the same events.
Appian of Alexandria, in Roman History: The Civil Wars Roman History: The Civil Wars, Books II-V, written around A. D. 140, gives a relatively fair account of Antony's story, although he lays the blame for his ruin on Cleopatra, as does Velleius Paterculus, writing around A. D. 30, in History of Rome History of Rome, Book II, which is anti-Antony as well as anti-Cleopatra. Cicero provides much contemporary material in his letters to Atticus, and in his Philippics against Antony.
The three main sources for a personal feeling about the characters, though, are Suetonius's The Twelve Caesars The Twelve Caesars, written about A. D. 110 (he has a life of Caesar and a life of Augustus); Plutarch's Lives Lives, written about A. D. 120 (he has lives of Caesar, Brutus, and Antony, and is our most important single source on Cleopatra, drawing on material from Olympos as well as family knowledge), and Dio Cassius, Roman History Roman History, written around A. D. 220. Dio provides a helpful chronological framework for the episodes in Suetonius and Plutarch.
Shakespeare, of course, must be included for his Julius Caesar Julius Caesar and and Antony and Cleopatra Antony and Cleopatra, both inspired by Plutarch.
A basic modern work is Cambridge Ancient History Cambridge Ancient History (London: Cambridge University Press, 1934, volumes IX and X; second edition of volume IX, 1994). (London: Cambridge University Press, 1934, volumes IX and X; second edition of volume IX, 1994).
Modern biographies of Cleopatra include Michael Grant, Cleopatra Cleopatra (New York: Dorset Press, 1992 [reprint of 1972 edition]), a balanced, thorough, and readable life; Ernie Bradford, (New York: Dorset Press, 1992 [reprint of 1972 edition]), a balanced, thorough, and readable life; Ernie Bradford, Cleopatra Cleopatra (London: Hodder and Stoughton Ltd., 1971), a beautifully illustrated and well-written popular history of the queen; Arthur Weigall, (London: Hodder and Stoughton Ltd., 1971), a beautifully illustrated and well-written popular history of the queen; Arthur Weigall, The Life and Times of Cleopatra The Life and Times of Cleopatra (London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd., 1914), an early but engaging recounting by the Inspector General of Antiquities in Egypt; Jack Lindsay, (London: Thornton Butterworth Ltd., 1914), an early but engaging recounting by the Inspector General of Antiquities in Egypt; Jack Lindsay, Cleopatra Cleopatra (London: Cox & Wyman Ltd., 1971), especially good with the prophecies and symbolism; Hans Volkmann, (London: Cox & Wyman Ltd., 1971), especially good with the prophecies and symbolism; Hans Volkmann, Cleopatra: A Study in Politics and Propaganda Cleopatra: A Study in Politics and Propaganda (New York: Sagamore Press, 1958), one of the first to examine her legend from this viewpoint, paying particular attention to Octavian's propaganda machine; Lucy Hughes-Hallett, (New York: Sagamore Press, 1958), one of the first to examine her legend from this viewpoint, paying particular attention to Octavian's propaganda machine; Lucy Hughes-Hallett, Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions (New York: Harper & Row, 1990), a fascinating look at all the ways Cleopatra has been seen through the ages, which reveals as much about us as about her. (New York: Harper & Row, 1990), a fascinating look at all the ways Cleopatra has been seen through the ages, which reveals as much about us as about her.
As for the other main characters, there are many biographies about Caesar. I can recommend Michael Grant's Julius Caesar Julius Caesar (New York: M. Evans & Co., 1992 [reprint of 1969 edition]); Ernie Bradford, (New York: M. Evans & Co., 1992 [reprint of 1969 edition]); Ernie Bradford, Julius Caesar: The Pursuit of Power Julius Caesar: The Pursuit of Power (London: Hamish Hamilton Ltd., 1984); Matthias Gelzer, (London: Hamish Hamilton Ltd., 1984); Matthias Gelzer, Caesar: Politician and Statesman Caesar: Politician and Statesman (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1968); Christian Meier, (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1968); Christian Meier, Caesar Caesar (London: HarperCollins, 1995 [original German edition, 1982]); J. A. (London: HarperCollins, 1995 [original German edition, 1982]); J. A.
Froude, Caesar, A Sketch Caesar, A Sketch (New York: Scribner's, 1914), an early "psychobiography." (New York: Scribner's, 1914), an early "psychobiography."
Marc Antony has not been blessed with so many biographies to choose from. The most recent, Eleanor Goltz Huzar's Mark Antony Mark Antony (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1978), is difficult to find but worth the search; Jack Lindsay's Marc Anton}': (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1978), is difficult to find but worth the search; Jack Lindsay's Marc Anton}': His World and His Contemporaries His World and His Contemporaries (London: Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1936) is well written; and Arthur Weigall's readable (London: Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1936) is well written; and Arthur Weigall's readable The Life and Times of Marc Antony The Life and Times of Marc Antony (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1931) completes the trio. (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1931) completes the trio.
Biographies aside, I can recommend a number of books about the period in general and other specific topics. Peter Green's Alexander to Actium Alexander to Actium (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990) is a huge, sweeping, brilliantly written panorama of the three-hundred-year Hellenistic Age; Paul Zanker, (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1990) is a huge, sweeping, brilliantly written panorama of the three-hundred-year Hellenistic Age; Paul Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988), is a careful and interesting study of the ways Octavian used visual images to create his own myth; Robert Alan Gurval, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1988), is a careful and interesting study of the ways Octavian used visual images to create his own myth; Robert Alan Gurval, Actium and Augustus Actium and Augustus (Ann Arhor: University of Michigan Press, 1995), is a close look at the symbols used by Octavian after he vanquished Antony. John M. Carter, (Ann Arhor: University of Michigan Press, 1995), is a close look at the symbols used by Octavian after he vanquished Antony. John M. Carter, The Battle of Actium: The Rise and Triumph of Augustus Caesar The Battle of Actium: The Rise and Triumph of Augustus Caesar (New York: Weybright and Talley, 1970), is an invaluable study of the situation, and actually quite favorable toward Antony; Ronald Syme, (New York: Weybright and Talley, 1970), is an invaluable study of the situation, and actually quite favorable toward Antony; Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution The Roman Revolution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1939), is the classic study of the period, and has no illusions about Octavian. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1939), is the classic study of the period, and has no illusions about Octavian.
On more general topics, Roland Auguet, Cruelty and Civilization: The Roman Games Cruelty and Civilization: The Roman Games (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1972), tells about the games and spectacles in gory detail; Guido Majno, (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1972), tells about the games and spectacles in gory detail; Guido Majno, The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975), offers a compulsively readable account of ancient medicine by an eminent modern scientist/physician; Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, A (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1975), offers a compulsively readable account of ancient medicine by an eminent modern scientist/physician; Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, A Taste of Ancient Rome Taste of Ancient Rome (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), reveals everything you always wanted to know about Roman dinner parties, and how to give one. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), reveals everything you always wanted to know about Roman dinner parties, and how to give one.
There is also Michael Grant's The Army of the Caesars The Army of the Caesars (New York: Scribner, 1974), covering equipment and tactics; Judith Swaddling, (New York: Scribner, 1974), covering equipment and tactics; Judith Swaddling, The Ancient Olympic Games The Ancient Olympic Games (London: British Museum Press, 1980); and Lionel Casson, (London: British Museum Press, 1980); and Lionel Casson, Ships and Seafaring in Ancient Times Ships and Seafaring in Ancient Times (London: British Museum Press, 1994), a fascinating guide as to what went on on the seas long ago. (London: British Museum Press, 1994), a fascinating guide as to what went on on the seas long ago.
The Memoirs of Cleopatra Part 134
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