The Timeline of the Life of Cleopatra
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Cleopatra later employed a similar bit of theater in her 41 B. When summoned to meet the Roman Triumvir in Tarsus, she is said to have arrived on a golden barge adorned with purple sails and rowed by oars made of silver. Cleopatra had been made up to look like the goddess Aphrodite, and she sat beneath a gilded canopy while attendants dressed as cupids fanned her and burned sweet-smelling incense.
Antony—who considered himself the embodiment of the Greek god Dionysus—was instantly enchanted. Cleopatra joined Julius Caesar in Rome beginning in 46 B. Cleopatra was forced to flee Rome after Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman senate in 44 B.
Cleopatra and Mark Antony formed their own drinking club.
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Cleopatra first began her legendary love affair with the Roman general Mark Antony in 41 B. According to ancient sources, they spent the winter of B.
She led a fleet in a naval battle. Cleopatra eventually married Mark Antony and had three children with him, but their relationship also spawned a massive scandal in Rome. The conflict reached its climax the following year in a famous naval battle at Actium. The battle soon devolved into a rout, and Cleopatra and Antony were forced to break through the Roman line and flee to Egypt.
Cleopatra may not have died from an asp bite. A not unimportant factor in Cleopatra's attraction for Caesar was that she was rich, perhaps the richest woman in the world. Or, at least she would be once back in power in Egypt. Caesar was chronically and often disastrously in debt.
Ptolemy XIII dies of drowning while trying to escape the field of battle. Caesar returns to Rome. Cleopatra gives birth to Caesar's child, a boy who is named Ptolemy Caesar and called Caesarion.
In Rome, Caesar holds a triumphal celebration of his victories. These celebrations whenever ever possible included the parading of the defeated enemies. Cleopatra's younger sister, Arsenoe, was paraded in Caesar's triumphal celebration. Cleopatra joins Caesar in Rome. Caesar orders that a gold-plated statue of Cleopatra be placed in the temple of Venus Genetrix. Caesar's clan, the Julians, were supposedly descended from Venus.
Although Pompey had been defeated and was killed in Egypt the civil war did not end. Pompey's two sons had gained control of Cordoba in Spain and were preparing to continue the conflict. Caesar took an army to Spain to deal with this threat. After a series of retreats the Pompeys decided to do battle at Munda from some high ground.
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Caesar lured the Pompeys' forces down from the high ground. The battle was indecisive until a shift in troops by one of the Pompeys was misinterpreted as a retreat and their other troops began to retreat. This led to a decisive victory by Caesar's forces. Caesar had achieved total victory over the armies of his rivals and he had been made officially dictator politically.
His enemies in the Roman senate saw Caesar as acquiring all powers, even to the point of having himself declared a god. They arranged his assassination in which some of previous friends participated as well as his enemies. A month after Caesar's assassination Cleopatra left Rome and returned to Egypt. She wanted to make her son, Caesarion, co-regent with her as Ptolemy XV.
Caesar's enemies are defeated at the Battle of Philippi. Marcus Antonius Mark Antony emerges as the leader of the forces which backed Caesar.
Mark Antony decides for no obvious reason to attack the Parthian Persian Empire. He calls for Cleopatra to join him at Tarsus. Mark Antony needed Cleopatra's support financially and militarily for his invasion. He had met Cleopatra 13 years before when she was 14 years old. That had been an inconsequential meeting. Their meeting a Tarsus was anything but inconsequential. Cleopatra having lost the protection of the strongman Caesar needed another Roman leader to protect her.
Mark Antony was so captivated by Cleopatra that he gave up his plans for the invasion of the Parthian Empire and went with Cleopatra back to her capital of Alexandria. From the likenesses of Cleopatra on the coins of her realm she was not a great beauty so her attraction came from the charm of her personality and from her intellect.
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At Cleopatra's request Antony sent orders for the execution of Cleopatra's younger sister, Arsinoe, in Rome. Arsinoe was possible rival for the throne of Egypt. Arsinoe herself was helpless but her enemies in Egypt could have used her in a bid to depose Cleopatra. A very distant threat but Cleopatra was not one to take chances.
Octavian was Mark Antony's major rival for the command of the Romans. An agreement was reached and part of the arrangement was that Mark Antony marry the sister of Octavian, Octavia.
Cleopatra bears Antony's children. They were twins, a boy named Alexander Helios and a girl named Cleopatra Selene. Meanwhile back in Egypt another drama was unfolding.
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Herod was the king of Judea. He had accepted Roman overlordship and the Romans in turn had allowed him to continue to rule his kingdom. Herod was a competent ruler. Cleopatra was enraged and began to do whatever she could to harm Herod's interests. Mark Antony decides that he and Octavian can never work together. He decides to resume the campaign against the Parthian Empire. Cleopatra joins him at Antioch and they get married. This was not only illegal under Roman law it was a betrayal of Octavia, his legal wife and the sister of Octavian.
This makes war between Octavian and Mark Antony inevitable. He even gives Jericho, a portion of Herod's kingdom, to Cleopatra.
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This not only enrages Octavian, it infuriates most Romans and they back Octavian in the struggle between the two leaders. The Parthian campaign results in only minor conquests, notably Armenia. Cleopatra bears Antony another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Mark Antony celebrates a victory triumph in Alexandria for his gains from the Parthians. At the celebration he awards Armenia to his and Cleopatra's oldest son, Alexander Helios.
The area west of Armenia is awarded to the second son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. The daughter Selene is given Cyprus. Furthermore, at the celebration Caesarion is publically declared to be the son of Julius Caesar and thus the king of kings. The celebration of a triumph in Alexandria was a serious offense to Romans.
Such celebration were only supposed to take place in Rome, the capital of the empire. He publicizes its contents.