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Cleopatra's Choices
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2004 11:59 pm 
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What were the choices available to Cleopatra VII of Egypt as the defeated enemy of Rome in the rule of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus?

1) She could kill herself which is what she did.
OR
2) She could have allowed Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus to take her alive and walk in his Roman triumph celebrating his victory over Egypt.

A Roman general's triumph ( a parade) was a real affair, it went all through Rome, people lining the streets cheering the victorious general and his army. Floats despicting great happenings of the battles moved slowly behing the general. Carts full of riches the defeated nation once owned were included. Also included in the triumph were any captives. They would walk dressed in their finest jewels and most royal clothes along with Roman chains. They would walk almost the entire way through Rome until the parade began its ascent to the top of the Capitoline Mount. Here the parade ended and the general and his friends would feast. While down at the bottom of the Capitoline Mount the captives would be led to a small one room building. At this building their fine clothes, jewels would again be taken from them. They would then be lead into the chamber beneath. This was Rome's execution cell at the Tullianum. Here they would be strangled until dead. Their body was then thrown into one of the sewer drain openings in the walls of this lower chamber. Left to rot.

This then was the fate Cleopatra VII, would have faced once Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus captured her. She wouldn't have been allowed to live on after Octavianus' triumph. The war had been declared against her, and Egypt. While other captives may have been allowed to live, even to return to Egypt. She wouldn't.

Her younger sister Arsinoe had walked in Gauis Julius Caesar's triumph in 48BCE. She had been allowed to live afterwards but exiled to Ephesus. Why she had been allowed to live? She hadn't fought against Rome in the first place but against her sister Cleopatra in the Alexandria War. Second, she part in that war had been minor. Whereas, Cleopatra's role was major and against Rome proper, she would have paid with her life.

Cleopatra knew all this, she knew it when in 31BCE her fleet commanded by Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) was defeated by the Roman fleet at Actium. She knew it during the year between that defeat and the many other defeats her armies suffered as Octavianus' armies marched on Egypt. Did she really have a choice then?
Not really she was a dead woman for a year, it was a year she lived for her children and nation.

Another choice she made but is laughed about by modern folks is her choice of husbands by Egyptian law.
As a Ptolomy she was divine, and needed a divine husband to satisfy her Macadonian subjects, if not her Egyptian ones. There were very few divine men round when she lived, her two younger brothers were Ptolomic and of proper divine blood. Then there was Caesar, as a Julius he was decsended from Venus, and Mars (no kidding) when he defeated the Republicans in the Roman Civil War and came east to secure Rome's holdings. He was considered by many of the peoples of the East to be divine himself. Being considered divine and with his ancesty including Gods, he became acceptable to Cleopatra and her people as a possible husband. When he was murdered, he left her with only a son of his blood. This son needed a wife one day as royally divine as himself. Cleopatra was in the process of founding a new royal line that of Ptolomy-Caesar. She needed ideally another Caesar to provide her with more children. She found this Caesar in Marcus Antonius, whose own mother was a Julius of the same line as the Great Caesar himself. This is the real reason why she married Antonius, to achieve more children of the divine mixed bloodline of Ptolomy-Caesar.

There weren't very many choices available to Egypt's last Pharaoh and Ptolomic Queen. Tradition and law had hemmed her into a corner. A snake, the traditional symbol of Royal Egypt got her out of it.

i do believe that if there had been a possibility of her living after Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus' triumph. She would have gone through the horror of the triumph if only to return to her children. But there was no choice. She had no choice once her forces had been defeated in the war. Rome declared against her and Egypt.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 6:28 am 
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If I was her, I wouldve chosen suicide as opposed to being disgraced and left to rot. I dont believe that suicide is ever the only option, but it was a better one the the other choice she was given. And I have read on other posts that people consider Cleopatra to be " a sex toy". I think thats a ridiculous statement given the fact that she was only with two men. Its not like she slept with Antony when Caesar was alive. She was a widow and found someone else, it happens all the time.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 03, 2004 2:02 pm 
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PharoahKel wrote:
If I was her, I wouldve chosen suicide as opposed to being disgraced and left to rot. I dont believe that suicide is ever the only option, but it was a better one the the other choice she was given. And I have read on other posts that people consider Cleopatra to be " a sex toy". I think thats a ridiculous statement given the fact that she was only with two men. Its not like she slept with Antony when Caesar was alive. She was a widow and found someone else, it happens all the time.


I hear you PharaohKel. :)

The main reason why Cleopatra has that "sex toy" lable is mostly because her enemy Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus hated her. He lead one of the earliest propaganda campaigns against her painting her as an Oriental sex pot. Romans during this time really didn't care for non-Romans and Cleopatra was no Roman. Cleopatra didn't help matters with her affair with Caesar. He was married to the totally proper Roman lady Calpurnia, they had no children. But he did father Cleopatra's son Caesarion. This embarrassed horribly the proper Roman noble morality. While Cleopatra visited Rome, and Caesar with their son, rumors flew that she was pushing him to become the King of Rome. Already at this time Rome's Dictator had he wanted to be King, there was no one that could have stopped him. She was not and would never be accepted by Roman noblitiy, she Egypt's Queen and Pharaoh just wasn't good enough.

Then after his death, Cleopatra eventually, took up with Marcus Antonius of the same Julius line as Caesar. By this time he, was married to Octavia,the sister of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, the great-nephew of Caesar. This was another great embarrassment to Rome and personally again to the family of Caesar now headed by the young Caesar Octavianus. Marcus Antonius upon marriage to Octavia, had achieved control of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. While married to her, he not only married Cleopatra, but had children with her. The he proceeded to give away parts of Rome's Empire to her that he was responsibile for. This resulted in allowing Caesar Octavianus to stir up Roman hatred of her to the point they declared war against her.

These are the reasons why Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus hated her and dragged her reputation in the dirt. When he captured Egypt, he excuted Caesarion, and gave the children of Antonius and Cleopatra to his sister who raised them as her own.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 7:18 am 
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Ooh, I didnt know that last paragraph you wrote, interesting!


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:15 am 
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I think Cleopatra's descision to commit suicide was a very wise choice becuase it showed Octavius that though he won the battle....he didnt truly win Egypt...


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2004 5:08 pm 
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Yea.. I can see that


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2004 3:50 am 
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She was the last of the great pharaohs of Egypt and she must have been more than just a pretty face in order to attract the attentions of two of aoh of historys most powerful men.
It has to be understood that Cleopatra, as Pharaoh of Egypt, would have been used to the concept of polygamy. Marrying Caeser and Antonius while they were still married to their Roman wives was not unuasual to her and she may not have understood the Romans abhorance of it.
Also we cannot judge her by the standards of today where suicide is considered the easy way out as there are always solutions, people to talk to etc...... Back then suicide was considered an honourable way to end ones life.
Also while the surviving children were raised by Octavian's sister, only Selene was allowed to lived, Octavian killed Helios and Philadelphus.
My personal opinion, although I emphasise that it's just an opinion is that Octavian secretyly was in love with Cleopatra but she didn't return it, she spurned him and thats why he hated her while continuing to hide a passion for her. I find it strange that a man who supposedly hated her gave in to her request to bury Antonius's body, allowed the statue of Cleopatra Venus to remain standing and allowed Selene to live even creating her Queen of MAuretania in her own right as a wedding present to Juba King of Numidia.
Killing the males was something he had to do to avoid any further claims on the Egyptian throne although a female on egypt's throne would not have been unusual obviously. I think he had a soft spot for Selene but she may have reminded him of her mother. All just speculation obviously!


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 6:38 pm 
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Kiya wrote:
Also while the surviving children were raised by Octavian's sister, only Selene was allowed to lived, Octavian killed Helios and Philadelphus.
My personal opinion, although I emphasise that it's just an opinion is that Octavian secretyly was in love with Cleopatra but she didn't return it, she spurned him and thats why he hated her while continuing to hide a passion for her. I find it strange that a man who supposedly hated her gave in to her request to bury Antonius's body, allowed the statue of Cleopatra Venus to remain standing and allowed Selene to live even creating her Queen of MAuretania in her own right as a wedding present to Juba King of Numidia.
Killing the males was something he had to do to avoid any further claims on the Egyptian throne although a female on egypt's throne would not have been unusual obviously. I think he had a soft spot for Selene but she may have reminded him of her mother. All just speculation obviously!


I am sorry Kiya, but i am not able to find any source that states that Octavian killed Cleopatra's sons. Could you provide your source that claims otherwise, please. The following sources all agree that all three of Cleopatra's and Antony's children were given alive to Octavia, the sister of Octavian, to raise which she did.

http://www.ga.k12.pa.us/academics/MS/8t ... paper3.htm
http://waltm.net/cleopatc.htm
http://www.ha.sad22.us/BenJohnson/actium.html
And my favorite ... Colleen McCullough- The October Horse pg 752-753.

Myself i prefer facts to speculative opinions based upon daydreams?


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 7:20 pm 
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Quote:
The following sources all agree that all three of Cleopatra's and Antony's children were given alive to Octavia, the sister of Octavian, to raise which she did.


Ptolemy XV Caesar was not Anthonoy's son he was Caesar's so this negates your above statement. I do not know where you find your information but pick up any good book on Cleopatra and you will find references to Caesarion's murder by Octavian. Octavian, being Caesar's nephew, clearly saw Caesarion, Caesar's son, as a threat to his rule of Rome. With Cleopatra controlling things he was probably right to worry about this. Caesarion was only illegitamate in Rome but egyptian law recognised polygammy so Octavian may have had concerns here.
As for Philadelphus, we know he disapeared from history soon after his mother's suicide. This may or may not have been down to Octavian, on the other hand, he may simply have died. Considering the politics of the day, I can't see that octavian would risk letting him live.


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 7:44 pm 
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You may find 'The Last Queens of Egypt' by Sally-Ann Ashton interesting. It is one of my favourites. The start of chapter 7 covers the fate of Cleopatra's children although this egyptologist speculates that Helios and Philadelphus may have accompanied their sister when she married Juba of Numidia(in this book it states Mauretania) but he was born of numidia and became king with Selene as queen following the granting of the governing of this country to them by Octavian.
I find it unlikely that Octavian would have let two Ptolemaic princes, sons of Cleopatra and possible rivals to his power base, leave Rome alive where they may have been free to cause trouble and raise support in defence of their claims to the throne of Egypt and in some respect, to the leadership of Rome through their father.


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 10:58 pm 
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Kiya wrote:
quote: the following sources all agree that all three of Cleopatra's and Antony's children were given alive to Octavia, the sister of Octavian, to raise which she did. (Snip)
Ptolemy XV Caesar was not Anthonoy's son he was Caesar's so this negates your above statement. I do not know where you find your information (Snip)
I find it unlikely that Octavian would have let two Ptolemaic princes, sons of Cleopatra and possible rivals to his power base, leave Rome alive where they may have been free to cause trouble and raise support in defence of their claims to the throne of Egypt and in some respect, to the leadership of Rome through their father.


Please try reading my posts a little better Kiya. We had already agreed that her son Ptolemy XV Caesar, by G. Julius Caesar, had been murdered by Octavian. The snipet i took from your post was only about her sons by Anthony.
Come Kiya trying to make me look bad only makes you look cheap. My only referrence was to the three children of Cleopatra. Or perhaps you have a reading problem if so then i apologise for thinking your trying to make me look bad.

i was writting about the sons of Anthony by Cleopatra that you claim were murdered by Octavian. They were not according to at least the four different sources i provided in the post.
Where do i get my sources? Well try looking at the posts and reading them correctly. They normally tell you where my source is from i am grateful for my sources Kiya, shows what i am writing isn't just made up out of my head.

Perhaps Octavian didn't fear the Ptolemy sons of Anthony nearly as much as you dream he did. He was Master of Rome long before either of the boys grew to manhood. Nor where these sons of Cleopatra and Anthony might have gotten support against the Master of Rome if they had wanted too? You give us no clue.
The entire Mediterranean Basin belonged to the Master of Rome, Octavian by the time they grew up. Nor if you know half as much about the Ptolemies of Egypt as you claim to know... outside of Alexandria the Ptolemies weren't much loved, appreciated, or honored by the native Egyptians. So it isn't likely that Anthony's and Cleopatra's sons could have gathered much support for their case in Egypt, even if it didn't belong personnally to Caesar Augustus Octavian.
Oh yes, they were the great Anthony's sons. Do you have any knowledge of the Roman Anthony's from which Marcus was born too? Plebians first off, Marcus' father died a cowardly loser against battle with pirates. His paternal uncle was twice exiled from Rome, once for tortering slaves the 2nd time for corruption. Marcus himself was the only one of three brothers that had any promise and the Great Caesar gave him his chance. Only on account of the Julian blood relationship between himself and Marcu's mother. Marcus spent whatever honor, which was an important thing to most Roman nobles plebians or patricians on drinking, gambling, and playing sides against one another. His most glorious days as a warrior were under the Great Caesar. While he died in the arms of the woman Rome had declared war against. I doubt a single Roman would have supported either of the boys simply because he was an Anthony.
Octavian made sure that Rome didn't forget how Anthony died, he let Cleopatra and Anthony be buried together in Egypt!
Thankfully, your highly unlikely's are not what history is written from. Myself, i don't find it highly unlikely, for several reasons.
1.Octavian was a very patient and untrusting soul. Had he worries about a resurgent pro Egpytian-Anthony rebellion on his hands. His holding the surviving two sons of Cleopatra and Anthony would have forced the rebels to show their hands to him earlier than they may have wanted too.
2. Any revolt in Egypt against Roman rule would have been weakend by Octavians holding of the two Ptolomy heirs. Nor could a pretender appear when the real ones were alive in Rome.
3. There was a blood tie between the two boys and Octavian. All three of them had the same Julian blood and Romans had a real funny habit about respecting family ties.
4. Octavain after securing his victory against Anthony began his earnest attempts to make the God Julius Caesar. With this attempt, he couldn't go around killing off all the other Julius Casears without causing someone to consider well an adopted Julius Casear with even less Casear blood than Cleopatra's sons might be as easily killed.

No, again your speculative opinion is based soley upon your dreams as a young woman of the 21st century AD. Lacking any basis in reality, knowledge or understanding of the 1st century AD.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 5:27 am 
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Ok i'm not even going to bother reading your posts anymore! And I suggest you go check out the last few posts on the 'Queen who was Pharaoh' thread, because it appears i'm not the only one who you irritate the life out of. :twisted: :evil:


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 1:22 am 
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Kiya wrote:
Ok i'm not even going to bother reading your posts anymore! And I suggest you go check out the last few posts on the 'Queen who was Pharaoh' thread, because it appears i'm not the only one who you irritate the life out of. :twisted: :evil:


Great! i will not have to deal with your no sourced, opinionated speculations based soley upon your day dreams anymore. i am sorry Kiya that your opinion of me is as it is. But as you stated on the above referred to thread, you're the bad Christian whereas i am not even one. Bye bye, Once upon a time, i did give folks like you the pleasure they desired. i was told at that time i was wrong, it is because i was better then they they hated me so. i swore never again. Wondering if it is true again?


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2004 8:13 am 
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:shock: oh god. whats going on? can we just be in peace?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:52 am 
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zampeada wrote:
:shock: oh god. whats going on? can we just be in peace?


Hi again Zampeada,
... i have apparently offended some members of the board. That they offended me first doesn't matter. How did they?
1) Well they took a post about a Queen that was Pharaoh, and turned it into a Comparative Religion thread. Which studies what religions have in common. Instead of starting such a thread in the Coffe Lounge section as the board rules states is the correct way.
2) On this hijacked thread folks were getting so into Comparative Religion that they were missing some mighty big differences between the religions. In my religion studies differences count because we can all love, and want peace but if someone is going to get angry at me because i kill a cow for food and he doesn't. My loving and wanting peace with him isn't going to solve the problem that my eating beef causes for him. And folks better start realizing the it is the differences, that is where peace, love, understanding break down time and time again. So, i spoke up and a tiny few would like to stick my foot in my mouth, but they can't :)

What is going on? Well it is the old fashioned do as i say, not as i do thing and folks like that always get bent out of shape. When their target doesn't fall to the ground a shaking mass of tears, sorrow, and regrets.

Can we just be in peace? i am at peace within myself, i am at peace with you and most of the others on the board. Therefore, i am able to be at peace with anyone that is willing to be at peace with me. I might even stop eating beef :) if that would help because eating beef isn't a board rule that i agreed to go by. i stood up for the board rules, i have not responded to their less than lovely responses to me. Except when they outright misrepresented what i was saying on other threads, or showing again that they have not done their homework. i did what was right in the midst of a group of spoilers... so peaceful am i. Zampeada, i say let them have their fun...if they find peace in their ways... all the more power to then. For peace is precious to me.

Zampeada, some folks are here for fun, and to play games. Okay but play by the rules! i am here to learn for myself and to help as many as possible... there are young folks that have real questions, want real direction and can handle challegnes based upon research that they can't buy. Like Shoshanq I never sacked Jerusalem. :) For the others, well they might never learn nearly as much as i have. To me that is justice and very peaceful.

You keep up your studies, asking your questions. It is nice talking to you. Have a great day, and let peace be for all :wink:


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