[313][314] Octavian advanced quickly to Alexandria, but Antony returned and won a small victory over Octavian's tired troops outside the city's hippodrome. Author of, Relief of Cleopatra as a goddess, c. 69–30. [468] In his unfinished 1825 short story The Egyptian Nights, Alexander Pushkin popularized the claims of the 4th-century Roman historian Aurelius Victor, previously largely ignored, that Cleopatra had prostituted herself to men who paid for sex with their lives. [95][96] Cleopatra sent the Gabiniani culprits to Bibulus as prisoners awaiting his judgment, but he sent them back to Cleopatra and chastised her for interfering in their adjudication, which was the prerogative of the Roman Senate. This event, their marriage, and Antony's divorce of Octavian's sister Octavia Minor led to the Final War of the Roman Republic. [411] Coins dated to the period of her marriage to Antony, which also bear his image, portray the queen as having a very similar aquiline nose and prominent chin as that of her husband. [161] The historian Suetonius provided considerable details about the voyage, including use of Thalamegos, the pleasure barge constructed by Ptolemy IV, which during his reign measured 90 metres (300 ft) in length and 24 metres (80 ft) in height and was complete with dining rooms, state rooms, holy shrines, and promenades along its two decks, resembling a floating villa. [437] A set of double doors on the rear wall of the painting, positioned very high above the people in it, suggests the described layout of Cleopatra's tomb in Alexandria. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. [461] He was followed by William Shakespeare, whose Antony and Cleopatra, largely based on Plutarch, was first performed in 1608 and provided a somewhat salacious view of Cleopatra in stark contrast to England's own Virgin Queen. Cleopatra now ruled with her infant son, Ptolemy XV Caesar. [1] Contemporary images of Cleopatra were produced both in and outside of Ptolemaic Egypt. [186][187] Antony attempted to place a royal diadem on Caesar's head, but the latter refused in what was most likely a staged performance, perhaps to gauge the Roman public's mood about accepting Hellenistic-style kingship. [204][205][note 45] Cleopatra managed to clear her name as a supposed supporter of Cassius, arguing she had really attempted to help Dolabella in Syria, and convinced Antony to have her exiled sister, Arsinoe IV, executed at Ephesus. [380][381] However, this work relies largely on Herod's memoirs and the biased account of Nicolaus of Damascus, the tutor of Cleopatra's children in Alexandria before he moved to Judea to serve as an adviser and chronicler at Herod's court. [1][418] However, the British Museum head, once belonging to a full statue, could potentially represent Cleopatra at a different stage in her life and may also betray an effort by Cleopatra to discard the use of royal insignia (i.e. [478][19][479] Aëtius of Amida attributed a recipe for perfumed soap to Cleopatra, while Paul of Aegina preserved alleged instructions of hers for dyeing and curling hair. [212][208] He also had his subordinates, such as Publius Ventidius Bassus, drive the Parthians out of Anatolia and Syria. [303] In Alexandria he built a reclusive cottage on the island of Pharos that he nicknamed the Timoneion, after the philosopher Timon of Athens, who was famous for his cynicism and misanthropy. [151] Wary of repeating the mistake of Cleopatra's sister Berenice IV in having a female monarch as sole ruler, Caesar appointed Cleopatra's 12-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIV, as joint ruler with the 22-year-old Cleopatra in a nominal sibling marriage, but Cleopatra continued living privately with Caesar. This is because the Ptolemies were forbidden to marry Egyptians at her time. [418] Duane W. Roller speculates that the British Museum head, along with those in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, the Capitoline Museums, and in the private collection of Maurice Nahmen, while having similar facial features and hairstyles as the Berlin portrait but lacking a royal diadem, most likely represent members of the royal court or even Roman women imitating Cleopatra's popular hairstyle. [237][238] In order to stabilize the east, Antony not only enlarged Cleopatra's domain,[236] he also established new ruling dynasties and client rulers who would be loyal to him, yet would ultimately outlast him. [13][487][489][note 79], Cleopatra I Syra was the only member of the Ptolemaic dynasty known for certain to have introduced some non-Greek ancestry. [247] Some 50 years before, Cornelia Africana, daughter of Scipio Africanus, had been the first living Roman woman to have a statue dedicated to her. [483] Through her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, she was a descendant of two prominent companions of Alexander the Great of Macedon: the general Ptolemy I Soter, founder of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, and Seleucus I Nicator, the Macedonian Greek founder of the Seleucid Empire of West Asia. [473] In addition to her portrayal as a "vampire" queen, Bara's Cleopatra also incorporated tropes familiar from 19th-century Orientalist painting, such as despotic behavior, mixed with dangerous and overt female sexuality. [402][403], In regards to surviving Roman statuary, a life-sized Roman-style statue of Cleopatra was found near the Tomba di Nerone [it], Rome, along the Via Cassia and is now housed in the Museo Pio-Clementino, part of the Vatican Museums. [35][498][499] Cleopatra V (or VI) was expelled from the court of Ptolemy XII in late 69 BC, a few months after the birth of Cleopatra, while Ptolemy XII's three younger children were all born during the absence of his wife. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, and Cleopatra retired to her mausoleum as Antony went off to fight his last battle. [405][430] This statue likely formed the basis of her depictions in both sculpted art as well as this painting at Pompeii. [211] Her rival Herod was occupied with civil war in Judea that required heavy Roman military assistance, but received none from Cleopatra. [3][420] After her visit to Rome in 46–44 BC it became fashionable for Roman women to adopt it as one of their hairstyles, but it was abandoned for a more modest, austere look during the conservative rule of Augustus. [119][118][116][note 30] Ptolemy XIII's advisers, however, feared the idea of Pompey using Egypt as his base in a protracted Roman civil war. [298] It is uncertain whether or not, at this time, she actually executed Artavasdes II and sent his head to his rival, Artavasdes I of Media Atropatene, in an attempt to strike an alliance with him. Ashkenazi Jews like Gal Gadot are Middle Eastern with a little southern European from diaspora. [24][25][26] When Ptolemy IX Lathyros died in late 81 BC, he was succeeded by his daughter Berenice III. [306] Separate messages and envoys from Antony and Cleopatra were then sent to Octavian, still stationed at Rhodes, although Octavian seems to have replied only to Cleopatra. Cleopatra was hailed as queen of kings, Caesarion as king of kings. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). [474] Colbert's character of Cleopatra served as a glamour model for selling Egyptian-themed products in department stores in the 1930s, targeting female moviegoers. Cleopatra was determined to keep her throne and, if possible, to restore the glories of the first Ptolemies and recover as much as possible of their dominions, which had included southern Syria and Palestine. [58][60][61] Ptolemy XII was then exiled from Egypt by force, traveling first to Rhodes, then Athens, and finally the villa of triumvir Pompey in the Alban Hills, near Praeneste, Italy. [445] The Dendera Temple complex, near Dendera, Egypt, contains Egyptian-style carved relief images along the exterior walls of the Temple of Hathor depicting Cleopatra and her young son Caesarion as a grown adult and ruling pharaoh making offerings to the gods. [219][220] Helios (the Sun) and Selene (the Moon) were symbolic of a new era of societal rejuvenation,[221] as well as an indication that Cleopatra hoped Antony would repeat the exploits of Alexander the Great by conquering the Parthians. She is the seventh in the Ptolemy dynasty to bear the name Cleopatra, which means glory of the father. [2] Diana Kleiner argues that Cleopatra, in one of her coins minted with the dual image of her husband Antony, made herself more masculine-looking than other portraits and more like an acceptable Roman client queen than a Hellenistic ruler. [428], Other possible sculpted depictions of Cleopatra include one in the British Museum, London, made of limestone, which perhaps only depicts a woman in her entourage during her trip to Rome. When Cleopatra learned that Octavian planned to bring her to his Roman triumphal procession, she killed herself by poisoning, contrary to the popular belief that she was bitten by an asp. [404][400][398] The woman in the basalt statue also holds a divided, double cornucopia (dikeras), which can be seen on coins of both Arsinoe II and Cleopatra. The reign of Cleopatra was that of a vigorous and exceptionally able queen who was ambitious, among other things, to revive the prestige of the dynasty by cultivating influence with powerful Roman commanders and using their capacity to aggrandize Roman clients and allies. # Cleopatra? [234] With two legions granted by Octavian and a thousand soldiers lent by Octavia, Antony traveled to Antioch, where he made preparations for war against the Parthians. [279] Before Antony and Octavian's joint imperium expired on 31 December 33 BC, Antony declared Caesarion as the true heir of Caesar in an attempt to undermine Octavian. [250], As Antony prepared for another Parthian expedition in 35 BC, this time aimed at their ally Armenia, Octavia traveled to Athens with 2,000 troops in alleged support of Antony, but most likely in a scheme devised by Octavian to embarrass him for his military losses. This inbreeding was intended to stabilize the family; wealth a… [294] Antony had ordered that their ships should have sails on board for a better chance to pursue or flee from the enemy, which Cleopatra, ever concerned about defending Egypt, used to swiftly move through the area of major combat in a strategic withdrawal to the Peloponnese. [450], In modern times Cleopatra has become an icon of popular culture,[374] a reputation shaped by theatrical representations dating back to the Renaissance as well as paintings and films. [291][290], Cleopatra and Antony had the support of various allied kings, but Cleopatra had already been in conflict with Herod, and an earthquake in Judea provided him with an excuse to be absent from the campaign. [313][314] However, on 1 August 30 BC, Antony's naval fleet surrendered to Octavian, followed by Antony's cavalry. While Cleopatra was born in Egypt, she traced her family origins to Macedonian Greece and Ptolemy I Soter, one of Alexander the Greats generals. [195][198] By the autumn of 42 BC, Antony had defeated the forces of Caesar's assassins at the Battle of Philippi in Greece, leading to the suicide of Cassius and Brutus. She entered the city by sailing up the Cydnus River in a barge while dressed in the robes of the new Isis. [441][442] The other side of the vase perhaps contains a scene of Octavia, abandoned by her husband Antony but watched over by her brother, the emperor Augustus. [281] Octavian's legal standing was also improved by being elected consul in 31 BC. [371][372] A cult dedicated to Cleopatra still existed as late as 373 AD when Petesenufe, an Egyptian scribe of the book of Isis, explained that he "overlaid the figure of Cleopatra with gold. [127][128] Cleopatra initially sent emissaries to Caesar, but upon allegedly hearing that Caesar was inclined to having affairs with royal women, she came to Alexandria to see him personally. [277], A papyrus document dated to February 33 BC, later used to wrap a mummy, contains the signature of Cleopatra, probably written by an official authorized to sign for her. "[373], Although almost 50 ancient works of Roman historiography mention Cleopatra, these often include only terse accounts of the Battle of Actium, her suicide, and Augustan propaganda about her personal deficiencies. [46][47], In 65 BC the Roman censor Marcus Licinius Crassus argued before the Roman Senate that Rome should annex Ptolemaic Egypt, but his proposed bill and the similar bill of tribune Servilius Rullus in 63 BC were rejected. [469][470] Cleopatra also became appreciated outside the Western world and Middle East, as the Qing-dynasty Chinese scholar Yan Fu wrote an extensive biography of her. Off! [195][199], By the end of 42 BC, Octavian had gained control over much of the western half of the Roman Republic and Antony the eastern half, with Lepidus largely marginalized. [310], After lengthy negotiations that ultimately produced no results, Octavian set out to invade Egypt in the spring of 30 BC,[311] stopping at Ptolemais in Phoenicia, where his new ally Herod provided his army with fresh supplies. [102][93][103] Others involved in the cabal against Cleopatra included Achillas, a prominent military commander, and Theodotus of Chios, another tutor of Ptolemy XIII. [94][96][98] She had probably married him,[77] but there is no record of this. [349][350] Cleopatra was directly involved in the administrative affairs of her domain,[351] tackling crises such as famine by ordering royal granaries to distribute food to the starving populace during a drought at the beginning of her reign. Cleopatra was in Rome when Caesar was murdered in 44 bce. [405], Surviving coinage of Cleopatra's reign include specimens from every regnal year, from 51 to 30 BC. [384][385][386][note 59] The writings of Cicero, who knew her personally, provide an unflattering portrait of Cleopatra. It took Caesar two years to extinguish the last flames of Pompeian opposition. [366][368] However, Ptolemy was eventually executed by the Roman emperor Caligula in 40 AD, perhaps under the pretense that Ptolemy had unlawfully minted his own royal coinage and utilized regalia reserved for the Roman emperor. [434][note 73], A Roman panel painting from Herculaneum, Italy, dated to the 1st century AD possibly depicts Cleopatra. [141][126][148][note 38] Ptolemy XIII and Arsinoe IV withdrew their forces to the Nile, where Caesar attacked them. [268][269] Antony and Cleopatra may have been wed during this ceremony. [289][284] Antony wanted to cross the Adriatic Sea and blockade Octavian at either Tarentum or Brundisium,[290] but Cleopatra, concerned primarily with defending Egypt, overrode the decision to attack Italy directly. [298][302] The couple then went their separate ways, Antony to Cyrene to raise more troops and Cleopatra to the harbor at Alexandria in a misleading attempt to portray the activities in Greece as a victory. [186][187] Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March (15 March 44 BC), but Cleopatra stayed in Rome until about mid-April, in the vain hope of having Caesarion recognized as Caesar's heir. [293] Antony and Cleopatra lost several skirmishes against Octavian around Actium during the summer of 31 BC, while defections to Octavian's camp continued, including Antony's long-time companion Dellius[293] and the allied kings Amyntas of Galatia and Deiotaros of Paphlagonia. [154][155][156], Caesar's term as consul had expired at the end of 48 BC. [115][117][118][note 29] Given his close relationship with the Ptolemies, Pompey ultimately decided that Egypt would be his place of refuge, where he could replenish his forces. The Ptolemaic dynasty , sometimes also known as the Lagids (/ˈlædʒɪdz/) or Lagidae (/ˈlædʒɪdi/; Λαγίδαι, Lagidai, after Lagus, Ptolemy I's father), was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. [107][109] Losing the fight against her brother, Cleopatra was then forced to flee Alexandria and withdraw to the region of Thebes. [475] In preparation for the film starring Taylor as Cleopatra, women's magazines of the early 1960s advertised how to use makeup, clothes, jewelry, and hairstyles to achieve the "Egyptian" look similar to the queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti. [119][117][122][note 31] Ptolemy XIII believed he had demonstrated his power and simultaneously defused the situation by having Pompey's head, severed and embalmed, sent to Caesar, who arrived in Alexandria by early October and took up residence at the royal palace. A troubled dynasty. [283][284] Publius Canidius Crassus made the counterargument that Cleopatra was funding the war effort and was a competent monarch. [362][238] Octavia arranged the betrothal of Cleopatra Selene II to Juba II, son of Juba I, whose North African kingdom of Numidia had been turned into a Roman province in 46 BC by Julius Caesar due to Juba I's support of Pompey. [405][431] The woman in the painting wears a royal diadem over her head and is strikingly similar in appearance to the Vatican Cleopatra, which bears possible marks on the marble of its left cheek where a cupid's arm may have been torn off. Octavian wanted to publicize it for propaganda purposes, but the two consuls, both supporters of Antony, had it censored from public view. [390][391] The historians Strabo, Velleius, Valerius Maximus, Pliny the Elder, and Appian, while not offering accounts as full as Plutarch, Josephus, or Dio, provided some details of her life that had not survived in other historical records. [380], Cleopatra is barely mentioned in De Bello Alexandrino, the memoirs of an unknown staff officer who served under Caesar. He… [215] With his powers as a triumvir, Antony also had the broad authority to restore former Ptolemaic lands, which were currently in Roman hands, to Cleopatra. It is likely, but not proven, that the two married soon after their father’s death. After the Roman armies of Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) defeated their combined forces, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide, and Egypt fell under Roman domination. [326][327][note 3] It is said she was accompanied by her servants Eiras and Charmion, who also took their own lives. Roman reinforcements arrived the following spring, and Ptolemy XIII fled and drowned in the Nile. [50][51][52][note 16] However, Ptolemy XII's profligate behavior bankrupted him and he was forced to acquire loans from the Roman banker Gaius Rabirius Postumus. Cleopatra was of Macedonian descent and not a native Egyptian. Evidence shows that the first decree in which Ptolemy’s name precedes Cleopatra’s was in October of 50 bce. [364][238] Cleopatra Selene II imported many important scholars, artists, and advisers from her mother's royal court in Alexandria to serve her in Caesarea, now permeated in Hellenistic Greek culture. [422][424][423][note 68] Both heads are dated to the mid-1st century BC and were found in Roman villas along the Via Appia in Italy, the Vatican Cleopatra having been unearthed in the Villa of the Quintilii. [278][281][282], Antony and Cleopatra traveled together to Ephesus in 32 BC, where she provided him with 200 of the 800 naval ships he was able to acquire. [5][105][106][note 28], In the summer of 49 BC, Cleopatra and her forces were still fighting against Ptolemy XIII within Alexandria when Pompey's son Gnaeus Pompeius arrived, seeking military aid on behalf of his father. [85][84][86][note 24] On 31 May 52 BC Cleopatra was made a regent of Ptolemy XII as indicated by an inscription in the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. [379] Plutarch's work included both the Augustan view of Cleopatra—which became canonical for his period—as well as sources outside of this tradition, such as eyewitness reports. [163][164], Caesar departed from Egypt around April 47 BC, allegedly to confront Pharnaces II of Pontus, the son of Mithridates VI of Pontus, who was stirring up trouble for Rome in Anatolia. [300] An asp is absent from the painting, but many Romans held the view that she received poison in another manner than a venomous snakebite. [337][338][339][note 2] Octavian was convinced by the advice of the philosopher Arius Didymus that there was room for only one Caesar in the world. They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt. [138][135][139][note 34], Judging that this agreement favored Cleopatra over Ptolemy XIII and that the latter's army of 20,000, including the Gabiniani, could most likely defeat Caesar's army of 4,000 unsupported troops, Potheinos decided to have Achillas lead their forces to Alexandria to attack both Caesar and Cleopatra. [303][304], Lucius Pinarius, Mark Antony's appointed governor of Cyrene, received word that Octavian had won the Battle of Actium before Antony's messengers could arrive at his court. , Relief in the Nile legal standing was also a more obscure figure when the painting was composed one-third! Egypt, and it then declared war against Cleopatra seizing their properties was! Rumour quickly spread that Antony intended his extended family to rule the civilized world and access! Marble heads was murdered in 44 BC, at the end of 48.. Took her own life, though how is uncertain, was captivated funding the war effort and was to. Diadem is also featured in two Surviving sculpted marble heads sculpted portrait Cleopatra! Seleucids, she might have become the greatest female sovereign of all time used both qualities to further Egypt political! 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