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Antony & Cleopatra
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King Ptolemy XIII: [presenting the head of Pompey Magnus] We were going to make him a body, with moving arms and legs, and do a mime show with real animals and everything, and...
Gaius Julius Caesar: Silence!
[long, heavy silence]
Gaius Julius Caesar: Shame on the house of Ptolemys for such barbarity. Shame.
Pothinus: But... you are enemies.
Gaius Julius Caesar: He was a consul of Rome!
[guards draw swords]
Gaius Julius Caesar: A consul of Rome. To die in this sordid way - quartered like some low thief. Shame!

The Spoils [1.11]

These being the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero [2.3]

Clerk (holding up a scroll for all to see): These being the words of Marcus Tullius Cicero: When I was a young man, I defended the State. As an old man, I shall not abandon it. I give sincere thanks to Mark Antony, who has generously presented me with the most promising theme imaginable. I adress you directly Antony. Please listen as if you.... as if you....
Mark Antony: Go on...
Clerk (shaken): ...please listen, as if you were sober and intelligent, and not a drink-sodden, sex-addled wreck. [Senators start leaving the senate hall] You are certainly not without accomplishments: It is a rare man who can boast of becoming a bankrupt, before even comming of age. You have brought upon us war, pestilence and destruction. You are Rome's Helen of Troy[1]. But then... but then...
Mark Antony (fuming in anger): Go on... GO ON!
Clerk: ..a woman's role has always suited you best.
[Mark Antony screams in rage, and proceeds to beat the Clerk to death with the scroll]

Son of Hades [2.2]

Mark Antony: Oh, and when you kill Cicero cut off his hands and nail them to the Senate doors. I told the old bugger that I would do that to him.

Heroes of the Republic [2.5]

Mark Antony is a historical figure who features as a character in the HBO/BBC2 original television series Rome, played by James Purefoy he appears in every episode. The real Mark Antony was a Roman general and politician and a close supporter of Julius Caesar. His other allies include Gaius Julius Caesar,
Atia of the Julii,
Lucius Vorenus,
Gaius Octavian,
Octavia of the Julii, and
Cleopatra, His enemies were Optimates
Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus
Cato the Younger,
Quintus Valerius ,
Marcus Junius Brutus,
Marcus Tullius Cicero, and
Gaius Octavian,

Antony and Cleopatra are in love in Egypt raising their own twins, Helios and Selene; she urges him to declare war on Rome to free himself once and for all from Octavian's tyranny. Antony is hesitant, knowing that an attack on Rome would strip him of the people's devotion, the one thing that Octavian does not have. When Antony refuses Octavian's request for increased grain supplies for a starving Rome, Octavian sends his sister Octavia and mother Atia to intervene. Antony insists to a jealous Cleopatra that he no longer loves Atia, but Cleopatra intends to publicly flaunt their love in front of the Roman women or kill them; trying to prevent Atia's humiliation or murder, Antony has his wife and former lover sent away without seeing them. He soon descends into a drunken and opium-induced self-indulgent stupor.

Historically, Cleopatra did not come to Rome after Caesar's death; she was actually living in Rome when he was assassinated in 44 BC and immediately left upon his murder, never to return. Cleopatra met Mark Antony in Tarsus in 41 BC.

The historical timeline has also been manipulated in the series. Cleopatra and Antony had their twin son and daughter, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene , in 40 BC before he married Octavia Minor. When he later left Rome, he settled in Athens, Greece with Octavia, and they had two daughters. He ultimately left his wife in Greece and reunited with Cleopatra in Egypt; he and Cleopatra subsequently had their third child, Ptolemy Philadelphus (whose existence is not acknowledged in the series).

There is also no historical evidence to support the invented subplot in which Caesarion is not actually the son of Julius Caesar and escapes execution by Octavian.


Cleopatra @
The Cleopatra Costume on Stage and in Film @david


Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912): Antony & Cleopatra

In the beginning of the year 42 B. C., Antony and Octavius, leaving Lepidus in command of Rome and Italy, started to the East to destroy Brutus and Cassius, the murderers of Caesar; but it was summer before they got all their troops together in Macedonia. Brutus and Cassius, with their united forces, had returned from Asia Minor into Europe. The two armies met at Philippi in Macedonia. The forces of Brutus and Cassius numbered about 100,000, and those of Antony and Octavius about 120,000. Two battles, twenty days apart, were fought on the same ground. In the first Cassius lost his life; in the second the army of Brutus was annihilated, and Brutus himself committed suicide.

Octavian went back to Italy very ill, so Antony was the one to watch. Her son gained his right to become king when Caesar was officially divinized in Rome on January 1, 42 BC. The main object was the promotion of Octavian, but the triumvirs knew of Cleopatra's aborted attempt to aid Antony and Octavius.

Collecting a tribute to pay the victorious soldiers was the task given to Antony, whose harshness has been recorded. The levy was doubled, and the command given that it should be paid in two installments the same year. To this the people replied, "If you force us to pay the tribute twice in one year, give us two summers and two harvests. No doubt you have also the power to do so.

" But instead of considering the distress of the people caused by these most burdensome exactions, "Antony surrounded himself with flute-players, mountebanks, and dancing-girls. He entered Ephesus, preceded by women dressed as Bacchantes, and youths in the garb of Fauns and Satyrs. Already he assumed the attributes of Bacchus, and set himself to play the part by continual orgies." -- Duruy.15


Summoned to Tarsus
While Cassius was in Asia Minor, he had compelled Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, to supply him with troops and money. As these had been used against the triumvirs, Antony sent from Tarsus in Cilicia, and called her to account for her conduct in 42 BC. She came, as the goddess Venus on a large ceremonial barge, to render her account in person. And "when she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up his heart on the river of Cydnus." 

"The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne,
Burned on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
The water, which they beat, to follow faster,
As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
It beggared all description: she did lie
In her pavilion (cloth of gold and tissue),
O'er-picturing that Venus, where we see
The fancy out-work nature: on each side her,
Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling cupids,
With divers colored fans, whose wind did seem
To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
And what they undid, did. . . .
Queen Cleopatra of Egypt - Image 2
"Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes,
And made their bends adornings: at the helm
A seeming mermaid steers; the silken tackle
Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
That yarely frame the office. From the barge
A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
Her people out upon her; and Antony,
Enthroned in the market-place, did sit alone,
Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy,
Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra, too,
And made a gap in nature. . . .
"Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
Invited her to supper: she replied,
It should be better, he became her guest;
Which she entreated: Our courteous Antony,
Whom ne'er the word of `No,' woman heard speak,
Being barbered ten times o'er, goes to the feast;
And, for his ordinary, pays his heart,
For what his eyes eat only."

--- Shakespeare.

Cleopatra VII at Rosicrucian Museum

Antony that he chose to spend the winter of 41 BC–40 BC with her in Alexandria. On 25 December 40 BC she gave birth to two children Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II.  According to some sources, Cleopatra could get out of him whatever she wanted, including the assassination of her sister, Arsinoe. Cleopatra influence over him later on. He took control of Cyprus from her. They exploited each other for Antony needed the wealth of Egypt and Cleopatra could be afford to be generous.

In the spring of 40 BC, Mark Antony left Cleopatra and returned home. He did not see her for four years. Fulvia, his first wife, died in the spring of 40 following an illness and difficulties with the soldiers over deliverance of promised lands.

The matter was patched up for a little while, by the marriage of Antony and Octavia, the sister of Octavius, B. C. 40; when the two men met in Italy to patch up the peace. To seal their new amity, Octavian pressed Antony to marry his only sister, Octavia. Antony did not hesitate. After the marriage, he and his bride moved to Athens to govern the east, and Cleopatra and her children were forgotten for three years. Octavia. She was a beautiful and intelligent woman who had been recently widowed. She had three children from her first marriage.

There, Octavia bore him two daughters, even issuing coinage bearing Octavia's portrait. Antony was determined to conquer Parthia, that area in modern Iran and Iraq which had seduced Julius Caesar and Crassus and would make him again a hero in Rome.

Octavia accompanied him partway on the journey but he eventually convinced her that she would be more use to him at home in Rome keeping peace with her brother, Octavian. However, he soon thereafter sent for Cleopatra. Their twin children were officially recognized by Antony and were given the names of Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene. Mark Antony gave her much land which was very essential to Egypt. He gave her Cyprus, the Cilician coast, Phoenicia, Coele-Syria, Judea and Arabia. This allowed Egypt to be able to build ships from the lumber from Cilician coast.

He needed Cleopatra's assets. While Cleopatra remained in Egypt to bear her fourth child (Ptolemy Philadelphus), Antony set out 60,000 legionaries and 10,000 cavalry on his Parthian offensive. Antony lost a more than a third of his army and, starving and exhausted, brought his army back to Syria in January, 35 BC. The couple left the army and returned to Alexandria for the winter. They had just had a third child.

Antony had not yet abandoned Octavia, and used her as a go-between to secure additional Roman troops from her brother so that he could resume his Parthian campaign (Octavia was unsuccessful). Octavian saw that Antony's mistreatment of his wife could be politically useful; he refused the promised troops and put his sister in the impossible position of traveling to Greece to publicly tell Antony of her brother's betrayal.

PE (possibly Peter Ehemann), Cleopatra or Eurydice, 1532

Antony's wife, Octavia was in Athens with supplies and reinforcements waiting for her husband. He sent her a letter telling her to not come any further. Her brother, Octavian, tried to provoke Antony into a fight. Octavian would release troops as well as ships to try to force Antony into a war, which, by this time was almost inevitable. Antony might have been able to patch things up with Octavia and her brother had he returned to Rome in 35 BC. Cleopatra probably did her best to keep him in Alexandria. Octavia remained completely loyal to Antony through all of this.

The two twin children by Antony and Cleopatra were named the Sun and the Moon, and when Cleopatra assumed the dress and professed the attributes of Isis, Antony played the part of Osiris.

It was against nature for any Roman to be ruled by a woman. Antony appeared to be helping Cleopatra increase her lands and powers at the expense of Rome. Octavian made sure the word was spread throughout Italy that Antony was in league with Rome's enemy.
Bronze eighty drachma coin of Cleopatra. Cleopatra’s coinage hailed her as Isis, the ‘New Goddess,’ and she was actively worshipped as such in Egypt.

He publicly rejected Octavia in 35. In 34 BC, Antony had a campaign into Armenia, which was successful and financially rewarding. He celebrated his triumph with a parade through Alexandria with Cleopatra presiding over as the New Isis.Antony presented himself as the New Dionysus as part of his dream of the Graeco-Roman rule. Within a few days, a more political ceremony took place in which the children were given their royal titles with Antony sitting on the throne as well.  Cleopatra had dreams of becoming the Empress of the world. She was very close to achieving these dreams and her favorite oath was, "As surely as I shall yet dispense justice on the Roman Capital."



" ".[having] set up two thrones on a silver platform, one for himself and one for Cleopatra, and other lower ones for their children, in the first place declared Cleopatra queen of Egypt, Cyprus, Libya and Coele Syria. Co-regent with her was Caesarion, who was regarded as the son of the former Caesar.he proclaimed his sons by Cleopatra as Kings of Kings; to Alexander he assigned Armenia, Media and the lands of the Parthians to Ptolemy, Phoenicia, Syria and Cilicia. Cleopatra both then and at other times when she appeared in public, took the holy dress of Isis, and was treated as the New Isis.."

  Plutarch, Life of Antony, 54.  

 Antony divorced Octaviain 32, and war was declared the same year. The war began and ended with the naval battle of Actium, September 2, B. C. 31.

Early in 31 BC, Octavian and Agrippa surprised Antony - who had planned a leisurely war in Italy - by transporting their legions across the Adriatic, meeting his forces gathered in northwestern Greece. Agrippa attacked Antony's supply lines while Octavian marched south; Antony's forces were soon hemmed in between the two Octavian forces near the Gulf of Actium. There was no possibility of victory by land; Agrippa's Roman fleets lurked outside the Bay, barring any attempt to break out by sea. Constant pressure from the Roman forces began to cause desertions in Antony's forces, which rapidly became a flood draining his legions.

Most historians agree that the famous Battle of Actium was, in part, a feint to permit Antony and the Queen intended to flee from an impossible military situation behind an initial line of fighting ships. When the naval battle commenced about midday on September 2, 31 BC, Agrippa's smaller, more maneuverable vessels quickly gained the advantage over Antony's heavier warships. Antony appeared unable to break out; therefore Cleopatra (who waited with her own magnificent ships inside the Gulf of Actium) ordered her entire fleet forward to force a passage through the Roman naval lines. As the enemy wavered, the Egyptians escaped and Antony followed his queen. His ships and legions, left behind, promptly surrendered to Octavian. Octavian would later celebrate the victory as one of the gods of Rome over the gods of Egypt, which shows how clearly identified Antony had become with Cleopatra's world.

 Fleeing to Egypt, both Antony and Cleopatra attempted to regroup their forces, shattered by the losses at Actium. Almost a year later, a final battle was fought outside Alexandria. Abandoned by Romans, Antony fought alone with Egyptian supporters and was promptly defeated on August 1, 30 BC. Antony fell on his sword, dying in Cleopatra's arms.

When Octavian invaded Egypt in 30 BC, Cleopatra VII sent Caesarion, then seventeen years old, to the Red Sea port of Berenice for safety, with possible plans of an escape to India. Caesarion's guardians, including his tutor, either were themselves lured by false promises of mercy into returning the boy to Alexandria or perhaps even betrayed him; the records are unclear. Octavian had Caesarion murdered there, with the words "Two Caesars is one too many".

After Antony's death, Cleopatra was taken to Octavian her role in Octavian's triumph was carefully explained to her. He had no interest in any relationship, negotiation or reconciliation with the Queen of Egypt. She would be displayed as a slave in the cities she had ruled over. She must have had memories of her sister, Arsinoe, being humiliated in this way.

Death of Cleopatra by Rixens

She would not live this way, so she had an asp, which was an Egyptian cobra, brought to her hidden in a basket of figs. She died on August 12, 30 BC at the age of 39. The Egyptian religion declared that death by snakebite would secure immortality. With this, she achieved her dying wish, to not be forgotten.

Within an extremely short time, her son Caesarion (by Caesar) disappeared, obviously murdered by Octavian - who had no intention of allowing Julius Caesar's natural son to live. Her remaining children by Antony were sent to Rome be brought up by Antony's wife, Octavia, in

Cleopatra & her son  Caesarion, @ Temple of Denderah

 Caesar's own household.

Plutarch made a cryptic entry that, after both Antony and Cleopatra were dead and Octavian controlled Egypt, "...all his [Antony's] statues were torn down but those of Cleopatra's were allowed to stand, because Archibius, one of her friends, gave Octavius Caesar two thousand talents to save them . . ." (Plutarch, Antony, 86). Interestingly, this was an astronomical sum at the time; if true, it is likely that, instead of coming from any one man, it came from the temple treasuries of Egypt, for whom the last Pharaoh, and an incarnate goddess, deserved eternal memory.

In the meantime Lepidus had been set aside, and now, just thirteen and one-half years from the murder of Caesar, the State, having again gone through the same course precisely, came again to the exact point where it had been then, only in worse hands, and Octavius was the head of one hundred and twenty millions of people, and SOLE MASTER OF THE ROMAN WORLD.


Cleopatra & Egypt on Youtube

The high class, though, seemed to love showing off their clothing and the latest fashions - the fashions changed much over time, but always the outfits appeared with jewelry... necklaces, rings, anklets, bracelets.
Nudity in ancient Egypt, when in its correct place, was not offensive or uncomfortable. Various jobs required that people went nude - fishermen and other manual labourers for instance - as did ones social status - the very poor tended to go nude. Female servant girls, dancers, acrobats and sacred 'prostitutes' went around totally or semi-nude for their jobs.

Cleopatra I
Cleopatra I" was a Syrian princess who has married "Ptolemy V Epiphanes" (230 – 180 AD) as a political marriage to end conflicts between Egypt and Syria.
Cleopatra II
After the death of Cleopatra I, "Ptolemy VI Philometor" ascended the throne and married his sister "Cleopatra II" in 175 BC. With further conflicts with Syria and riots against him by the Alexandrians, another diplomatic marriage took place between his daughter, "Cleopatra Thea", and the new Syrian king.
Cleopatra II & III
In 145 BC, "Ptolemy VIII" killed his nephew and usurped the throne. According to the Romans’ advice, "Cleopatra II" married him to become co-regent on Egypt. In order to limit her authorities, "Ptolemy VIII" married their own daughter "Cleopatra III", who was as ambitious as her mother. Due to his brutality, riots out broke in Alexandria, and "Ptolemy VIII" fled to Cyprus with "Cleopatra III", leaving "Cleopatra II" to reign alone. They came back 3 years later, and "Cleopatra III" had to flee to Syria seeking shelter with her daughter "Cleopatra Thea". Despite their later conciliation and her return to Egypt, conspiracies did not end. With the death of "Ptolemy VIII" in 116 BC, "Cleopatra III" killed her mother in a mysterious way, ending the history of a queen who reigned solely as well as co-regent with 2 kings.
Cleopatra III, IV & V
Cleopatra IV and V were daughters of "Cleopatra III". Their brother, "Ptolemy IX" became king of Egypt in 116 BC and married his sister "Cleopatra IV", both events against the will of his mother. He was forced to divorce her and marry his other sister "Cleopatra V" (Cleopatra Selene) in 115 BC. In 107 BC, with the aid of the Romans, "Cleopatra III" conspired against her son who fled to Cyprus. His brother "Ptolemy X Alexander" replaced him, and reigned jointly with his mother. In fact, "Cleopatra III" became the effective ruler of Egypt and Cyprus until her death in 101 BC.
Cleopatra's Consort
According to Egyptian law, Cleopatra was forced to have a consort, who was either a brother or a son. She soon dropped her husband's name from any official documents and also had her own portrait and name on coins while ignoring her brother's. Imediately after Caesar's murder on March 15, 44, Cleopatra and her household left for Alexandria. Upon her return to Egypt, he last surviving brother, Ptolemy XIV, conveniently died. Cleopatra then declared Caesar's three-year-old son as Ptolemy XV, co-ruler of Egypt.
Divinities on Earth
Queen Cleopatra of Egypt - Image 4Cleopatra and Caesar, in which his relationship with the Egyptian queen fired his aspirations to public divinity, already fuelled by the Julian family belief that their house descended from Venus. Cleopatra herself, during her stay in Rome, received recognition for this in the placing of her statue within a newly dedicated temple to the goddess. The unrest among the aristocrats in the Senate grew with the misfortune of presenting of a crown or diadem to Caesar on the statue of Caesar on the Rostra.

At the coming festival of the Lupercalia, the biggest test of the Roman people for their willingness to accept Caesar as King was to take place. On February 15, 44 BC, Caesar sat upon his gilded chair on the Rostra, wearing his purple robe, red shoes and a golden laurel. Armed with the title of Dictator for Life, and with his rather kingly appearance, it seemed the right time to stage a public display. After the race around the pomerium that was a tradition of the festival, Marcus Antonius ran into the forum and was raised to the Rostra by the priests attending the event. Antony produced a diadem and attempted to place it on Caesar's head, saying "the people offer this (the title of King) to you through me." There was, however, little support from the crowd, and Caesar quickly refused being sure that the diadem didn't touch his head. The crowd roared with approval, but Antony, undeterred attempted to place it on Caesar's head again. Still there was no voice of support from the crowd, and Caesar rose from his chair and refused Antony again, saying, "Jupiter alone is King of the Romans." The crowd wildly endorsed Caesar's actions, and it was quite obvious that they weren't yet ready for a king.

 Just before his death, Caesar had prepared legislation to be presented to the Senate which would have allowed him to marry with a foreign woman, outside Italy, and to inaugurate Alexandria as another capital of the Roman world.

At the onset of 44 BC, the honors heaped upon Caesar continued and the subsequent rift between he and the aristocrats deepened. He had been named 'Pater Patriae' or Father of the Country and Dictator Perpetuus or Dictator for Life. This title even began to show up on coinage bearing Caesar's likeness, clearly placing him above all others in Rome. Some among the population even referred to him as 'Rex' for King, but this Caesar refused to accept, at least publicly. At Caesar's new temple of Venus, a Senatorial delegation went to consult with him, and Caesar refused to stand to honor them upon their arrival.


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