Volume 13 issue 5 April 2013
ANCIENT EGYPT explores the WORLD WIDE WEB ...
ANTONY & CLEOPATRA
This month’s NETFISHING continues its look at the history of Egypt by seeing what the World Wide Web has to say about the conflict between Octavian and Antony & Cleopatra VII.
In Egypt CLEOPATRA VII rules alongside her child, by Julius Caesar, PTOLEMY XV CAESARION (44-30 BC), but in the Roman world conflict still reigns. The battle of Phillippi in 42 BC sees OCTAVIAN (the heir of Caesar) and MARK ANTONY defeat the combined forces of the murderers of Julius Caesar, and under the ‘Second Triumvirate’ Octavian takes charge in Rome, whilst Mark Antony becomes the ruler of the Eastern Empire. The arrangement is a fragile one, however, for Octavian has still to confirm his authority over the Senate, whilst Mark Antony needs Egyptian wealth to fund his military campaigns to restore order in the East. Refer:
Mark Antony: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Antony
Mark Antony meets with Queen Cleopatra to obtain her financial support for his campaigns and a romance between them ensues, but he is drawn away on hearing that his brother and wife are openly defying Octavian in Rome. Although Antony’s first wife dies in the conflict, a peace is patched up between the two sides, but when he fails to return to Cleopatra she sails to Tarsus in 41 BC. Her entrance, on her famous golden barge, is well described by Shakespeare; as the barge is ‘Egyptian state territory’ this ensures that Antony has to ‘come to Egypt’ to meet with the Queen. Their romance is rekindled as Cleopatra seeks Roman support for her foreign aspirations and Antony, once again, is in need of Egyptian funds. Refer:
In 40 BC, however, Antony makes a formal peace with Octavian under the treaty of Brundisium, but is outmanoeuvred and forced into a marriage with Octavian’s sister OCTAVIA, in order to seal the treaty. Such news does not go down well in Egypt, where Cleopatra is pregnant with Antony’s twins, Alexander Hellios and Cleopatra Selene.
In 37 BC, Mark Antony rejoins Cleopatra at Antioch, and discards his Roman wife Octavia, sending her back to Italy. To placate his queen, Antony grants large portions of the Eastern Roman Empire to Cleopatra and their children. In 36 BC, Cleopatra gives birth to Mark Antony’s son, Ptolemy Philadelphus, and in 34 BC, Antony marries Cleopatra ... but this marriage is not valid under Roman law.
In 32 BC, Antony finally divorces Octavia, an act which pushes his relationship with Octavian to breaking point. Octavian (illegally) publishes Antony’s will, showing how Antony plans to divide up the Eastern Roman Empire among Cleopatra’s children. This incites the mob in Rome and war is declared, but not on Antony, rather on the ‘seductress of the Nile’ and the corrupter of ‘a good Roman general’ – Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Refer:
Cleopatra VII: http://www.touregypt.net/cleopatra.htm
How the conflict finally ended will be discussed in the next issue.
Return to Home
e- mail to: email@example.com
with questions or comments about Ancient Egypt Magazine.
or for sales, subscriptions, back numbers and advertising