Cleopatra in Egypt 44-41 BC Once she returned to Egypt, Cleopatra organised a sound economic basis in order to face whoever turned out to be the power in Rome.
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Cleopatra in Egypt 44-41 BC Once she returned to Egypt, Cleopatra organised a sound economic basis in order to face whoever turned out to be the power in Rome. Technically she shared power with Ptolemy XIV although he had barely counted in ruling Egypt.He might have become a focus for opposition as he grew older. As it happened he was dead by September 44 BC, and Cleopatra ruled with her infant son Caesarion. There were plenty of ancient writers willing to suggest Ptolemy XIV was killed by her. In administration she worked effectively to maintain the food supply and develop trade. She extended her control to Jericho and Nabatea, gaining access to valuable balsam and bitumen trade. She re-issued coinage with only her own name against tradition. The Relationship between Antony and Cleopatra Why might some have suggested Cleopatra killed her brother Ptolemy XIV? Jericho Nabatea
Religionwas very important in Egyptian life and Cleopatra used this to her advantage. She is represented as Isis; Caesarion was identified with Horus. Horus was the avenger of his father’s murder which made the connection with Caesarion and Caesar. She is displayed with other Egyptian gods in reliefs. In Greek religion she continued the identification begun by her father with Dionysus (Ptolemy XII Auleteshad been called the New Dionysus), and identified herself with Aphrodite. • Cleopatra had sent four legions to help Dolabella against Cassius, although they arrived too late. For this act Dio Cassius says that her and Caesarion’s rule of Egypt was recognized by the triumvirs. However the legions, made up of troops left by Caesar in Egypt, decided to join Cassius. She next took herself a fleet to help Antony and Octavian ferry troops across to Greece. But storms forced them to return to Egypt, during which Cleopatra risked her life. • So this was Antony’s character when this final disaster - his love for Cleopatra - overtook him. This love stirred up to near-madness those many passions which were up till now hidden, or kept under control. • PlutarchLife of Antony 25 • She arrived in her royal barge. Plutarch (26) describes this in great detail – also how she upstaged Antony and how the people viewed it as Aphrodite meeting Dionysus (Bacchus); he describes Cleopatra’s extravagant display at dinner; he tells us that Antony could not match the splendour of the setting. • His description of her charms (27) makes it understandable when he says at 28: • In this way she so completely took control of Antony, that while Fulvia his wife was waging war on his behalf with Octavian in Rome, and a Parthian army commanded by Labienus was threatening Mesopotamia (the generals of the king had appointed Labienus Parthian commander-in‑chief over this area), and was about to invade Syria, he let himself be carried off by her to Alexandria. • PlutrachLife of Anthony 28 The meeting at Tarsus Antony summoned Cleopatra to meet him at Tarsus to answer the accusation that she helped the conspirators. In fact Antony needed money and resources, and to be sure his client kings could keep the peace as he moved into Parthia. Cleopatra certainly needed his support. She delayed obeying, until Dellius was sent to persuade her. TASK Why was religion so important to Cleopatra? Why did the relationship benefit both A and C? Who benefited most from their relationship?