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Crocodile Denarius of Cleopatra Selene II

Crocodile Denarius of Cleopatra Selene II

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Reign of Cleopatra

The reign of Cleopatra VII of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt began with the death of her father, the ruling pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes, by March 51 BC. It ended with her death on 10 or 12 August 30 BC. [note 1] Following the reign of Cleopatra, the country of Egypt was transformed into a province of the Roman Empire and the Hellenistic period came to an end. [note 2] During her reign she ruled Egypt and other territories as an absolute monarch, in the tradition of the Ptolemaic dynasty's founder Ptolemy I Soter (r. 305–283 BC) as well as Alexander the Great (r. 336–323 BC) of Macedon, who captured Egypt from the Achaemenid Persian Empire.

Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIII acceded to the throne as joint rulers, but a fallout between them led to open civil war. Cleopatra fled briefly to Roman Syria in 48 BC but returned later that year with an army to confront Ptolemy XIII. As a Roman client state, Roman statesman Pompey the Great planned Ptolemaic Egypt as a place of refuge after losing the 48 BC Battle of Pharsalus in Greece against his rival Julius Caesar in Caesar's Civil War. However, Ptolemy XIII had Pompey killed at Pelousion and sent his severed head to Caesar, while the latter occupied Alexandria in pursuit of Pompey. With his authority as consul of the Roman Republic, Caesar attempted to reconcile Ptolemy XIII with Cleopatra. However, Ptolemy XIII's chief adviser Potheinos viewed Caesar's terms as favoring Cleopatra. So his forces, led first by Achillas and then Ganymedes under Arsinoe IV (Cleopatra's younger sister), besieged both Caesar and Cleopatra at the palace. Reinforcements lifted the siege in early 47 BC and Ptolemy XIII died shortly afterwards in the Battle of the Nile. Arsinoe IV was eventually exiled to Ephesus and Caesar, now an elected dictator, declared Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIV as joint rulers of Egypt. However, Caesar maintained a private affair with Cleopatra that produced a son, Caesarion (later Ptolemy XV), before he departed Alexandria for Rome.

Cleopatra traveled to Rome as a client queen in 46 and 44 BC, staying at his villa. Following Caesar's assassination in 44 BC Cleopatra attempted to have Caesarion named as his heir. Caesar's grandnephew Octavian (known as Augustus by 27 BC, when he became the first Roman emperor) thwarted this. Cleopatra then had her brother Ptolemy XIV killed and elevated her son Caesarion as co-ruler. In the Liberators' civil war of 43–42 BC, Cleopatra sided with the Roman Second Triumvirate formed by Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. She developed a personal relationship with Mark Antony that would eventually produce three children: the twins Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II, and Ptolemy Philadelphus. Antony used his authority as triumvir to carry out the execution of Arsinoe IV at Cleopatra's request. He became increasingly reliant on Cleopatra for both funding and military aid during his invasions of the Parthian Empire and the Kingdom of Armenia. Although his invasion of Parthia was unsuccessful, he managed to occupy Armenia. He brought King Artavasdes II back to Alexandria in 34 BC as a prisoner in his mock Roman triumph hosted by Cleopatra. This was followed by the Donations of Alexandria, in which Cleopatra's children with Antony received various territories under Antony's triumviral authority. Cleopatra was named the Queen of Kings and Caesarion the King of Kings. This event, along with Antony's marriage to Cleopatra and divorce of Octavia Minor, sister of Octavian, marked a turning point that led to the Final War of the Roman Republic.

After engaging in a war of propaganda, Octavian forced Antony's allies in the Roman Senate to flee Rome in 32 BC. He declared war on Cleopatra for unlawfully providing military support to Antony, now a private Roman citizen without public office. Antony and Cleopatra led a joint naval force at the 31 BC Battle of Actium against Octavian's general Agrippa, who won the battle after Cleopatra and Antony fled to the Peloponnese and eventually Egypt. Octavian's forces invaded Egypt in 30 BC. Although Antony and Cleopatra offered military resistance, Octavian defeated their forces, leading to Antony's suicide. When it became clear that Octavian planned to have Cleopatra brought to Rome as a prisoner for his triumphal procession, she also committed suicide, the cause of death reportedly by use of poison. The popular belief is that she was bitten by an asp.


Ptolemy XII was the oldest son of Ptolemy IX Soter. The identity of his mother is uncertain. Ptolemy IX was married twice, to his sister Cleopatra IV from around 119 BC until he was forced to divorce her in 115 BC, and secondly to another sister Cleopatra Selene from 115 BC, until he abandoned her during his flight from Alexandria in 107 BC. However, Cicero and other ancient sources refer to Ptolemy XII as an illegitimate son Pompeius Trogus called him a "nothos" (bastard), while Pausanias wrote that Ptolemy IX had no legitimate sons at all. [1] [2] Some scholars have therefore proposed that his mother was a concubine – probably an Alexandrian Greek, [3] [4] [5] [6] but possibly a member of the Egyptian elite. [7] [8] [note 2] However, Chris Bennett argues that Ptolemy XII's mother was Cleopatra IV and that he was considered illegitimate simply because she had never been co-regent. [9] This theory is endorsed by the historian Adrian Goldsworthy. [10]

The date of Ptolemy XII's birth is thus uncertain. [11] If he was the son of Cleopatra IV, he was probably born around 117 BC and followed around a year later by a brother, known as Ptolemy of Cyprus. In 117 BC, Ptolemy IX was governor of Cyprus, but in 116 BC his father Ptolemy VIII died and he returned to Alexandria, becoming the junior co-regent of his grandmother Cleopatra II and his mother Cleopatra III. Cleopatra II died in 115 BC and shortly afterwards Cleopatra III forced Ptolemy IX to divorce his sister-wife Cleopatra IV, who was sent off to marry the Seleucid king Antiochus IX Cyzicenus. She was murdered by his rival in 114 BC. Ptolemy IX meanwhile had been remarried to Cleopatra Selene, with whom he had a daughter, Berenice III. [12] By 109 BC, Ptolemy IX had begun the process of introducing Ptolemy XII to public life. In that year, Ptolemy XII served as the Priest of Alexander and Ptolemaic kings (an office which Ptolemy IX otherwise held himself throughout his reign) and had a festival established in his honour in Cyrene. [13] [14] Relations between Ptolemy IX and his mother deteriorated. In 107 BC she forced him to flee Alexandria for Cyprus and replaced him as co-regent with his younger brother Ptolemy X Alexander. [12] Justin mentions that Ptolemy IX left two sons behind when he fled Alexandria. [15] Chris Bennett argues that these sons should be identified as Ptolemy XII and Ptolemy of Cyprus. [9]

Ptolemy IX made an attempt to reclaim the Ptolemaic throne in 103 BC, by invading Judaea. At the start of this war, Cleopatra III sent her grandsons to the island of Kos along with her treasure in order to protect them. [16] [17] There, Ptolemy XII and Ptolemy of Cyprus seem to have been captured by Mithridates VI of Pontus in 88 BC, at the outbreak of the First Mithridatic War. [14] [18] Ironically, their father had reclaimed the Egyptian throne around the same time. They were held by Mithridates as hostages until 80 BC. At some point during this period, probably in 81 or 80 BC, they were engaged to two of Mithridates' daughters, Mithridatis and Nyssa. [19] Meanwhile, Ptolemy IX died in December 81 BC and was succeeded by Berenice III. In April 80 BC, Ptolemy XI Alexander II, the son of Ptolemy X, was installed as her co-regent, promptly murdered her, and was himself killed by an angry Alexandrian mob. The Alexandrians then summoned Ptolemy XII to return to Egypt and assume the kingship his brother became king of Cyprus, where he would reign until 58 BC. [7] [20] [21]

On his arrival in Alexandria, in April 80 BC, Ptolemy XII was proclaimed king. His reign was officially dated as having begun on the death of his father in 81 BC, thereby eliding the reigns of Berenice III and Ptolemy X. Shortly after his accession, Ptolemy married Cleopatra Tryphaena. [22] Her parentage is uncertain – modern scholarship often interprets her as a sister, [22] but Christopher Bennett argues that she was a daughter of Ptolemy X. [23] The couple became co-regents and they were incorporated into the Ptolemaic dynastic cult together as the Theoi Philopatores kai Philadelphoi (Father-loving and Sibling-loving Gods). This title was probably meant to reinforce Ptolemy XII's claim to the throne in the face of claims that his parentage meant that he was an illegitimate son of Ptolemy IX and therefore not entitled to rule. [22]

In 76 BC, the High Priest of Ptah in Memphis died and Ptolemy XII travelled to Memphis to appoint his fourteen-year-old son, Pasherienptah III, as the new High Priest. In turn, Pasherienptah III crowned Ptolemy as Pharaoh and then went to Alexandria, where he was appointed as Ptolemy XII's 'prophet'. These encounters are described in detail on Pasherienptah's funerary stela, Stele BM 866, and they demonstrate the extremely close and mutually reinforcing relationship that had developed between the Ptolemaic kings and the Memphite priesthood by this date. [22]

In August 69 BC, Cleopatra V ceases to be mentioned as co-regent. The images of her that had been carved on the main pylon of the Temple of Horus at Edfu were covered over at this time. The reason for this sudden shift is unknown, but presumably she was divorced at this time. [22] Ptolemy adopted a new royal epithet Neos Dionysos (New Dionysus) at some time after this Chris Bennett proposes that the epithet was linked to the break with Cleopatra. [14]


Following the First Triumvirate and assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, the Roman statesmen Octavian, Mark Antony, and Aemilius Lepidus were elected as triumvirs to bring Caesar's assassins to justice, forming the Second Triumvirate. [4] [5] With Lepidus marginalized in Africa and eventually placed under house arrest by Octavian, [6] [7] [8] the two remaining triumvirs divided control over the Roman world between the Greek East and Latin West, Antony taking the former and Octavian the latter. [9] [10] Cleopatra VII of Ptolemaic Egypt, a pharaoh of Macedonian Greek descent who ruled from Alexandria, [11] [12] [13] had an extramarital affair with Julius Caesar that produced a son and eventual Ptolemaic co-ruler Caesarion. [14] [15] [16] After Caesar's death she developed a relationship with Antony. [9] [17] [18]

With encouragement from Cleopatra, Antony officially divorced Octavian's sister Octavia Minor in 32 BC. [19] [20] [21] It is likely he had already married Cleopatra during the Donations of Alexandria in 34 BC. [22] [21] [note 2] Antony's divorce from Octavia, Octavian's public revelation of Antony's will outlining Cleopatra's ambitions for Roman territory in the Donations of Alexandria and her continued illegal military support for a Roman citizen currently without an elected office convinced the Roman Senate, now under Octavian's control, [23] [24] [25] to declare war on Cleopatra. [26] [27] [28]

Following their defeat in the naval Battle of Actium at the Ambracian Gulf of Greece in 31 BC, Cleopatra and Antony retreated back to Egypt to recuperate and prepare for an assault by Octavian, whose forces grew larger with the surrender of many of Antony's officers and soldiers in Greece. [29] [30] [31] [note 3] After a long period of failed negotiations, Octavian's forces invaded Egypt in the spring of 30 BC. [32] [33] While Octavian captured Pelousion near the eastern borders of Ptolemaic Egypt, his officer Cornelius Gallus marched from Cyrene and captured Paraitonion to the west. [34] [35] Although Antony was able to score a small victory over Octavian's worn out troops as they approached Alexandria's hippodrome on 1 August, 30 BC, his naval fleet and cavalry defected to Octavian soon afterwards. [34] [31] [36]

With Octavian's forces in Alexandria, Cleopatra withdrew to her tomb [note 4] with her closest attendants and had a message sent to Antony that she had died by suicide. Antony ordered his slave Eros to kill him, but instead, Eros killed himself with his sword. [39] [40] In despair, Antony stabbed himself through the stomach with a sword, inflicting a fatal wound. [34] [31] [41] In Plutarch's telling, Antony was still alive as he was carried into Cleopatra's tomb, telling her in his dying words that he would die honorably and that she could trust a certain Gaius Proculeius on Octavian's side to treat her well. [34] [42] [43] The same Proculeius used a ladder to breach a window of Cleopatra's tomb and detain her inside before she could have a chance to burn herself to death along with her vast treasure. [34] [44] Cleopatra was allowed to embalm Antony's body before she was forcefully escorted to the palace, where she eventually met with Octavian, who had also detained three of her children: Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II, and Ptolemy Philadelphus. [41] [45] [46]

As related by Livy, in her meeting with Octavian, Cleopatra told him candidly, "I will not be led in a triumph" (Ancient Greek: οὐ θριαμβεύσομαι , romanized: ou thriambéusomai), but Octavian only gave the cryptic answer that her life would be spared. [47] [48] He did not offer her any specific details about his plans for Egypt or her royal family. [49] When a spy informed Cleopatra that Octavian intended to bring her back to Rome to be paraded as a prisoner in his Roman triumph, she decided to avoid this humiliation by taking her own life. [31] [50] [51] [note 5] Plutarch elaborates how Cleopatra approached her suicide in an almost ritual process that involved bathing and then a fine meal including figs brought to her in a basket. [52] [53] [54]

Plutarch writes that Octavian ordered his freedman Epaphroditus to guard her and prevent her from killing herself. [55] Nevertheless, Cleopatra was able to deceive him and kill herself. [55] When Octavian received a note from Cleopatra requesting that she be buried next to Antony, he had his messengers rush to her. The servant broke down her door but was too late. [52] Plutarch states that she was found with her handmaiden, Iras, dying at her feet and Charmion adjusting Cleopatra's diadem before she herself fell. [52] [56] [57] [note 6] It is unclear from primary sources if their suicides took place within the palace or inside Cleopatra's tomb. [50] Cassius Dio claims that Octavian called on trained snake charmers of the Psylli tribe of Ancient Libya to attempt an oral venom extraction and revival of Cleopatra, but their efforts failed. [58] [59] Although Octavian was outraged by these events and "was robbed of the full splendor of his victory" according to Cassius Dio, [59] he had Cleopatra interred next to Antony in their tomb as requested, and also gave Iras and Charmion proper burials. [52] [60] [54]

There are no surviving records dating Cleopatra's death. [61] Theodore Cressy Skeat deduced that she died on 12 August, 30 BC, on the basis of contemporary records of fixed events along with cross examination of historical sources. [61] His supposition is supported by Stanley M. Burstein, [41] James Grout, [58] and Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton, although the latter are more cautious by qualifying it was circa 12 August. [62] An alternative date of 10 August, 30 BC, is supported by scholars such as Duane W. Roller, [50] Joann Fletcher, [63] and Jaynie Anderson. [53]

Cleopatra's personal physician Olympos, cited by Plutarch, mentioned neither a cause of death nor an asp bite or Egyptian cobra. [67] [note 7] Strabo, who provides the earliest known historical account, believed that Cleopatra committed suicide either by asp bite or poisonous ointment. [53] [68] [69] [note 8] Plutarch mentions the tale of the asp brought to her in a basket of figs, although he offers other alternatives for her cause of death, such as use of a hollow implement (Greek: κνηστίς , romanized: knestis), perhaps a hairpin, [54] which she used to scratch open the skin and introduce the toxin. [67] According to Cassius Dio small puncture wounds were found on Cleopatra's arm, but he echoed the claim by Plutarch that nobody knew the true cause of her death. [70] [67] [58] Dio mentioned the claim of the asp and even suggested use of a needle (Greek: βελόνη , romanized: belone), possibly from a hairpin, which would seem to corroborate Plutarch's account. [70] [67] [58] Other contemporary historians such as Florus and Velleius Paterculus supported the asp bite version. [71] [72] Roman physician Galen mentioned the asp story, [72] but he advances a version where Cleopatra bit her own arm and introduced venom brought in a container. [73] Suetonius relayed the story of the asp but expressed doubt about its validity. [72]

The cause of Cleopatra's death was rarely mentioned and debated in early modern scholarship. [74] The encyclopedic writer Thomas Browne, in his 1646 Pseudodoxia Epidemica, explained that it was uncertain how Cleopatra had died and that artistic depictions of small snakes biting her failed to accurately show the large size of the "land asp". [75] In 1717 the anatomist Giovanni Battista Morgagni maintained a brief, recreational literary correspondence with the papal physician Giovanni Maria Lancisi about the queen's cause of death, as referenced in Morgagni's 1761 De Sedibus and published as a series of epistles in his 1764 Opera omnia. [76] Morgagni argued that Cleopatra was likely killed by a snakebite and contested Lancisi's suggestion that consumption of venom was more plausible, noting that no ancient Greco-Roman authors had mentioned her drinking it. Lancisi rebutted by arguing that accounts offered by Roman poets were unreliable since they often exaggerated events. [77] In his literary memoirs published in 1777, the physician Jean Goulin supported Morgagni's argument of the snakebite being the most probable cause of death. [78]

Modern scholars have also cast doubt on the story of the venomous snakebite as the cause of death. Roller notes the prominence of snakes in Egyptian mythology while also asserting that no surviving historical account discusses the difficulty of smuggling a large Egyptian cobra into Cleopatra's chambers and then having it behave as intended. [67] Roller also claims the venom is only fatal if injected into a vital area of the body. [67] Egyptologist Wilhelm Spiegelberg (1870–1930) argued that Cleopatra's choice of suicide by asp bite was one that befitted her royal status, the asp representing the uraeus, sacred serpent of the ancient Egyptian sun god Ra. [79] Robert A. Gurval, Associate Professor of Classics at UCLA, points out that the Athenian strategos Demetrios of Phaleron (c. 350 – c. 280 BC), confined by Ptolemy II Philadelphus in Egypt, committed suicide by asp bite in a "curiously similar" manner, one that also demonstrated that it was not exclusive to Egyptian royalty. [80] [note 9] Gurval notes that the bite of an Egyptian cobra contains around 175–300 mg of neurotoxin, lethal to humans with only 15–20 mg, although death would not have been immediate as victims usually stay alive for several hours. [81] François Pieter Retief, retired lecturer and dean of medicine at the University of the Free State, and Louise Cilliers, honorary research fellow at their Department of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies, argue that a large snake would not have fit into a basket of figs and it was more likely that poisoning would have so rapidly killed the three adult women, Cleopatra and her handmaidens Charmion and Iras. [82] Noting the example of Cleopatra's hairpin, Cilliers and Retief also highlight how other ancient figures poisoned themselves in similar ways, including Demosthenes, Hannibal, and Mithridates VI of Pontus. [83]

According to Gregory Tsoucalas, lecturer in the history of medicine at the Democritus University of Thrace, and Markos Sgantzos, Associate Professor of Anatomy at the University of Thessaly, evidence suggests that Octavian ordered the poisoning of Cleopatra. [84] In Murder of Cleopatra, the criminal profiler Pat Brown argues that Cleopatra was murdered and the details of it were covered up by Roman authorities. [85] Claims that she was murdered contradict the majority of primary sources that report her cause of death as suicide. [86] Historian Patricia Southern speculates that Octavian could have possibly allowed Cleopatra to choose the manner of her death instead of executing her. [39] Grout writes that Octavian may have wanted to avoid the sort of sympathy espoused for Cleopatra's younger sister Arsinoe IV when she was paraded in chains but spared during Julius Caesar's triumph. [58] Octavian perhaps permitted Cleopatra to die by her own hand after considering the political issues that could have risen from the murder of a queen whose statue had been erected in the Temple of Venus Genetrix by his adoptive father Caesar. [58]

An alternative theory emerged in 1888 when Ambroise Viaud Grand Marais suggested Cleopatra had died of carbon monoxide poisoning. [87]

Related stories

However, a headless skeleton of a female child in a 20 BC tomb in Ephesus (Turkey) linked Cleopatra to an African lineage. The now-missing skull found together with old notes and photographs, is believed to be the body of Arsinoe IV, Cleopatra’s half-sister.

In a BBC documentary broadcast in 2009 spotlighting Cleopatra’s possible African lineage, Hilke Thür of the Austrian Academy of Sciences who in the 1990s examined the skeleton and hypothesized that Arsinoe’s mother was African and there is the possibility that Cleopatra’s unknown mother was also African, explaining why they were not mentioned at all.

“It is unique in the life of an archaeologist to find the tomb and the skeleton of a member of Ptolemaic dynasty. The results of the forensic examination and the fact that the facial reconstruction shows that Arsinoe had an African mother is a real sensation which leads to a new insight on Cleopatra’s family and the relationship of the sisters Cleopatra and Arsinoe,” said Dr Hilke Thür.

A depiction of Cleopatra…School Work Helper

Cleopatra’s rise started after a revolt in 58 BC when she accompanied her father, Ptolemy XII, to Rome. Berenice IV, Cleopatra’s sister then ascended the throne in Egypt. In 55 BC, Ptolemy XII, reclaimed the seat in Egypt with the help of Roman military forces Berenice was also killed.

In 51 BC, Ptolemy XII died Cleopatra and her brother, Ptolemy VIII were named as co-rulers. Soon, the two became enemies and a civil war broke out.

Julius Caesar, a consul of the Roman Republic at the time attempted to resolve the rift between Cleopatra and Ptolemy VIII. Ptolemy rejected the terms and in what is known as the siege of Alexandria, Cleopatra and Caesar were besieged at the palace.

In 47 BC, Ptolemy VIII died in the Battle of the Nile Caesar was elected as a dictator and he instated Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIV as joint rulers of Egypt.

All the while, Cleopatra and Caesar were engaged in an affair that produced a son, Caesarion or Ptolemy XV. Caesar was still married to a prestigious woman named Calpurnia.

In 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated. Cleopatra attempted to have Caesarion ascend the throne by naming him as her heir however, Caesar’s grandnephew Octavian was named as heir instead.

Ceramic sculpture of Cleopatra…OUP Blog

Cleopatra then devised a plan, had her brother Ptolemy XIV killed by poison and instituted Caesarion as her joint-ruler.

Later in 41 BC, Cleopatra and Mark Antony began a romantic affair. They bore three children named Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II and Ptolemy Philadelphus.

Antony held the position of triumvir a trio of rulers. He used his position to execute Cleopatra’s sister, Arsinoe IV. Cleopatra greenlighted the killing.

Antony married Cleopatra while married to his wife, Octavia. Antony used Cleopatra’s military prowess and funds to assist in his conquests such as those of the Parthian Empire and the Kingdom of Armenia.

Antony and Cleopatra’s children were deemed the rulers of various regions under Roman rule. Cleopatra was also given control over the territories Phoenicia – present-day Lebanon and Ptolemais Akko modern day Acre, Israel.

Cleopatra and Antony were defeated in the Battle of Actium Subsequently, Octavian forces invaded Egypt and Antony’s forces in 30 BC.

Antony committed suicide after being lied to that Cleopatra had killed herself. Cleopatra then embalmed and buried Antony within her tomb.

Cleopatra learned that Antony planned to have her and her children taken to Rome by Octavius for Antony’s triumphal procession. Cleopatra also committed suicide by injecting the poison of an asp in her body. She was buried next to Antony in her tomb.

Cleopatra was revered for her leadership qualities. She held the titles of diplomat, naval commander, linguist and medical author. She was proficient in the Egyptian language, Ethiopian, Trogodyte, Aramaic, Arabic, the Syrian language Syriac, Median, Parthian and Latin. It is said that Cleopatra wished to place North Africa under the reign of the Ptolemaic Empire.

Cleopatra was single-handedly responsible for establishing laws of the land, holding the title of high priestess which catered to the religious needs of her constituents she directed Egyptian and Greek ceremonies, led the formulations of Egyptian and Greek temples and a synagogue. She also directed the building of the Caesareum of Alexandria dedicated to the cult worshipping of Julius Caesar.

Cleopatra built warehouses of food to combat famine, attempted to stabilize the economy by forming fixed exchange rates for foreign currency, and impose taxes, tariffs and price regulation. These attributes made her one of the greatest leaders of ancient Egypt.

Character and cultural depictions

Cleopatra was regarded as a great beauty, even in the ancient world. In his Life of Antony, Plutarch remarks that "judging by the proofs which she had had before this of the effect of her beauty upon Caius Caesar and Gnaeus the son of Pompey, she had hopes that she would more easily bring Antony to her feet. For Caesar and Pompey had known her when she was still a girl and inexperienced in affairs, but she was going to visit Antony at the very time when women have the most brilliant beauty." [65] Later in the work, however, Plutarch indicates that "her beauty, as we are told, was in itself neither altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her." [65] Rather, what ultimately made Cleopatra attractive were her wit, charm and "sweetness in the tones of her voice." [65]

Cassius Dio also spoke of Cleopatra's allure: "For she was a woman of surpassing beauty, and at that time, when she was in the prime of her youth, she was most striking she also possessed a most charming voice and knowledge of how to make herself agreeable to everyone. Being brilliant to look upon and to listen to, with the power to subjugate everyone, even a love-sated man already past his prime, she thought that it would be in keeping with her role to meet Caesar, and she reposed in her beauty all her claims to the throne." [65]

These accounts influenced later cultural depictions of Cleopatra, which typically present her using her charms to influence the most powerful men in the Western world.

Cleopatra was also renowned for her intellect. Plutarch writes that she could speak at least nine languages and rarely had need of an interpreter. [66]

MAURETANIA: Juba II, 25 BC - 23 AD, AR denarius (2.48g). VF

MAURETANIA: Juba II, 25 BC - 23 AD, AR denarius (2.48g), Müller-92, REX IVBA diademed head right // BASI?ISSA / K?EO?ATPA in two lines crocodile between the two texts, standing towards the left, bold VF, R. Citing his first wife Cleopatra Selene II, daughter of the Greek Ptolemaic Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Roman triumvir Mark Antony. Auction Location:
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catalog are of the actual items being sold but may not be the actual
size or to scale.

Coins of Ptolemaic Egypt

In the middle of the XNUMXth century BC Egypt became part of the vast empire built by Alexander the Great. After his death, his generals and friends (the so-called diadocos) the conquests were shared. TO Ptolemy Egypt fell. He would be the initiator of a dynasty that would dominate these lands until the Roman conquest.

Silver tetradrachm from Ptolemy I (305 BC)

With the Ptolemaic dynasty came the minting of currency in a generalized way. A mint in the city of Memphis and later another more important in Alexandria. The Egyptians, who had not used any kind of monetary system for centuries and centuries, took a few years to get used to minted money.

The basis of Ancient Egyptian coins was the Phoenician weight, weighing 14,2 grams, also known as ptolemaic weight. This standard differed from the Attic weight, predominant in the Hellenic world, by its weight and size: the Ptolemaic coins were smaller than the rest of the coins of the Greek world.

The designs of these coins they followed a well-defined pattern: the obverse always featured the effigy of the king, while the reverse featured various symbols such as the eagle on the lightning bolt, or representations of ancient Egyptian deities such as Isis and Osiris.

Due to the scarcity of silver, the most common coins used in Ptolemaic Egypt were mostly copper. The Ptolemies minted estaras and octodracmas of gold, tretradrachmas (like the one in the picture above) and didracmas silver, in addition to drachmas in large copper. In the period before the Roman annexation, bronze became general, replacing silver.

Crocodile Denarius of Cleopatra Selene II - History

Patriarch of Jerusalem (32-23 BCE)

Executed by King Herod in 23 BCE

Two Wives of Prince Jacob

__________________ | _______________­___

Princess Euchariah Princess Cleopatra VIII

| “Cleopatra of Jerusalem”

Princess Miriam (b. 35 BCE) Prince Joseph “the Carpenter” (b. 29 BCE)

m. Prince Theudas of the Pelatiahite anti-Kings m. Miriam the Mother of Yehoshua

A “Prophet” and “Elder of the Nazarenes The “Twins

Prince Ptolas m . Escha, dau. of Joachim (b. 26 BCE)

Prince Clopas m. “the other Mary” (b. 26 BCE)

Out of Egypt, I will Bring My Son - The Mystery of Cleopatra of Jerusalem

The Ancestors of Jesus in First and Second Century Judea BCE

As Prince Shammai was exiting the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, suddenly there arose another newcomer in Jerusalem politics. The Prince of David, Jacob ben Matthat was now appointed by King Herod the Great in an interesting shift of Jerusalem politics in the same year of 32 BCE . For those looking for a motive for the animosity of Prince Shammai and the disciples of Beit Shammai with Rabbi Yehoshua , many decades later, that “seed” of hatred and jealousy against the family of Jesus may have arisen at this moment of time. It was the Pharisees of Beit Shammai who sought to destroy Yehoshua (Jesus) when He was in the city of Jerusalem during the festivals of the Lord. It was the Pharisees of Beit Shammai who collaborated with Ananias the Elder , the Patriarch of the Zadokian family of high priests called the House of Hanan who became The Jews who hung Yehoshua HaMaschiach (Jesus the Messiah) on the tree on the Mount called Olivet in hopes of ending His messianic career.

The Patriarchate of Jerusalem had been under the governance of the all-Jewish princes of David for over five hundred years. A notable exception to this trend was the appointment of Prince Nehemiah who came to Judea under the orders of the Persian Shah Artaxerses to supervise the construction of protective perimeter walls around Jerusalem. Prince Nehemiah was a descendant of the Jewish-Babylonian prince Sheshbazzar, the oldest son of the Governor Zerubabbel . Now another descendant of Prince Sheshbazzar would claim the office of the Patriarchate that had been denied to their family for half a millennium, Jacob ben Matthan .

Jacob was already married and established in the Jerusalem world of business. He first married Eucharia , a Jewish princess whose official lineage is not known. Together they had one child, a young daughter called Miriam . This Princess Miriam would later become the aunt to her brother, Joseph ’s wife, the orphaned temple virgin Mary , who was a daughter of the Prince of David and the Hasmonean Prince Alexander III Helios known in the New Testament as Heli ”.

Patriarch of Jerusalem (32-23 BCE)

Executed by King Herod in 23 BCE

Two Wives of Prince Jacob

__________________ | _______________­___

Princess Euchariah Princess Cleopatra VIII

| “Cleopatra of Jerusalem”

Princess Miriam (b. 35 BCE) Prince Joseph “the Carpenter” (b. 29 BCE)

m. Prince Theudas of the Pelatiahite anti-Kings m. Miriam the Mother of Yehoshua

A “Prophet” and “Elder of the Nazarenes The “Twins

Prince Ptolas m . Escha, dau. of Joachim (b. 26 BCE)

Prince Clopas m. “the other Mary” (b. 26 BCE)

Princess Miriam would later become the wife of Prince Theudas , who was famous as the last of the anti-Princes and the eldest son of the anti-king Athronges . It was the Anti-King Athronges who became the last dynastic Patriarch of the Pelatiahite Lineage that once descended from the officially approved Jewish lineages of oldest son of Governor Zerubabbel and his 3 rd Jewish wife, Esthra ’s second son. Unfortunately in the Jewish society, before Ezra the Scribe arrived on the religious and political scene at Jerusalem, he had already married a “foreign” bride and their son, Prince Pelatiah , became an outcast of Jewish society. Over the centuries they became known as the anti-kings ” for they continuously rose to challenge the rule of the “approved” descendants of the Tobaidite and the Onaidite official lineages . The last of the Pelatiahites waged continuous warfare against the Romans and the Herodians that the Romans supported for three generations. The most famous were Prince Athronges and his five sons that included:

1. Theudas became a rabbi and leader in the Hebrew Nazarene Ecclesia . He no doubt served as an “elder” on the Nazarene Sanhedrin . In the traditions of the Early Christian Church, Theudas held the office of the “prophet” in the Jerusalem Synagogue was a member of Jesus’ (Yehoshua’s) appointed “Seventy Disciples” and was called by Josephus a “wizard” or “miracle worker” for the many miracles in which he performed.

Prince Theudas and many of his supporters fled from Jerusalem after the Sauline pogroms against the Jesus people by the future Apostle Paul before the year of 44 BCE , during the consulate of Cuspius Fadus, the Procurator of Rome, to the region of Perea on the “other side of the Jordan River”. There, sometime between 44 to 46 CE , they were massacred by the Roman forces. As a member of the Jesus’ family in Jerusalem, Miriam, Prince Joseph ’s older half sister, became the mother with Prince Theudas of at least five sons and three daughters.

2. Amram became the father of Alexander the Zealot and grandfather of Aimar ( 50 CE ). It is believed that Prince Aimar was the last of the Pelatiahite Line. He fled the Middle East about 50 CE to France, becoming as some genealogists proclaim to be the ancestor of a noted noble house in ancient feudal France that became the origin of the British House of the Bourbons, a lineage that became extinct when its last heiress married a native Gallo-Roman prince.

3. Hanibas was called Annibas ,

4. Dinai became the father of Eleazar the Zealot , who was killed in 60 CE , the father of Moshi , who was executed in 60 CE , and

5. Perisha became the father of Tahinas “Asida” about 44-45 CE .

Prince Athronges, called “The Shepherd” carried the banner of Roman resistance when Simon V of Perea was killed by the Herodians when he sought to topple the throne of King Herod in 4 BCE . As the dynasties next male line heir, when the Meshullam Male-line descendants failed and became extinct in 4 BCE , this anti-King called “The Shepherd” carried forward the Jewish Resistance Movement against Rome. He took the diadem (crown) of King Herod that Simon V of Perea had placed in his head in Herod’s Palace and set up his council and began a war of attrition against the globalist imperial forces of Herod and his descendants. He was later killed in battle against the Herodians.

When Jacob , now as the official Patriarch of Jerusalem went to Alexandria Egypt, he went as an official diplomatic envoy taking military assistance to Octavian , the Roman ruler who would soon have total control of the then known world. The ascendency to the office of the Patriarchate quickly placed a wedge between the rising influence of the Abiudite family of Jacob and the dwindling political power of the Davidian princes of the Tobaidite all-Jewish lineages. The most politically powerful, it appears in this era was the Tobaidite defender, Prince Shammai .

As we scan the political history, understanding the omens that the political trends were forecasting, a new era of imperial control, the Hellenistic abuses that were encroaching on living the life of Torah (halakhah), the power struggles over the Davidian control of the throne of King David, and the renewed Zadokian control over the throne of the High Priest of Israel gives us plenty of thought for the battles spiritually, religiously, politically, and socially that were yet to come.

We remember that in 37 BCE , in the bid to legitimize his marriage to a Davidian princess, “Sara” whom history will know as Doris of Jerusalem ”, King Herod called together the Great Sanhedrin for council. This was right in the midst of the Herodian and Hasmonean war, where Herod’s brother, Joseph , was first killed in battle, and then decapitated by King Antigonas. Six months later in the bloody “Battle of Jerusalem”, the temple was desecrated with blood of Jewish defenders. When King Antigonas walked out of the fiery inferno, he met his death also by beheading by Mark Anthony . Herod was now in control of Judea and Jerusalem.

The Great Sanhedrin did affirm the legitimacy of Herod’s marriage with Doris. In King Herod’s mind, this affirmation now made he and his descendants’ heirs to the throne of King David. At that same time, the Great Sanhedrin also affirmed the legitimization of the former illegitimate Davidian lineages that were descendants of Governor Zerubabbel’s 1 st Babylonian wife, Princess Amytis , and his 2 nd Persian wife, Princess Rhodah . It was an inevitable decision for the officially approved all-Jewish lineages of the Tobaidite and Onaidite descendants of Zerubabbel’s 3 rd Jewish wife, Princess Esthra were on the verge of extinction. It would take another thirty-three years for this fact to become a reality in 4 BCE . Without any royal Davidian princes, there would not be a Messiah of the loins of Kings David and Solomon.

It would not be until the fourth generation and 126 years later , when Boethus , a descendant of the last legitimate high priest of Israel, Onias III , was appointed as the high priest of Israel. From Josephus we know the father of Boethus to be an outstanding citizen who lived in Alexandria during the last years of the reign of Cleopatra VII of Egypt . The High Priestly Family arrived in Jerusalem in the year of 36 BCE .

The Bronze Eighty Drachma of Cleopatra VII of Egypt

It was 30 BCE and Prince Jacob not only executed his official business properly but remained in Egypt while the rapid winds of political change were sweeping over the Egyptian landscape. Rome was in a civil war between the Senate appointed Octavian , and the powerful Roman Triumvir Mark Anthony, the lover of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra. The Roman invasion of Octavian upon the Egyptian soil left both Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra VII dead by suicide. It also sealed the fate of the last dynasty of the Ptolemaic Empire of Egypt.

Octavian quickly searched the land of Egypt for the son of Cleopatra VII and Julius Caesar , Caesarion ,the heir apparent to both Egypt and Rome. A true threat to Octavian who was seeking to seal his imperial control of the Empire of Rome, Caesarion was discovered and promptly executed.

Yet, the rumors of Rome were circling after the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE , it is now believed by many historians that the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII escaped from Rome, not only with her son, Caesarion , but a daughter who was about three months in utero, who would become the posthumous daughter of the Dictator of Rome, Julius Caesar.

Posthumous Daughter of:

Dictator of Rome, Julius Caesar and Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII

1 st Married 2 nd 3 rd

­ | ________________________ | _____________________ __­___ |

Prince Jacob ben Matthan High Priest Simon IV Boethus King Herod the Great

30 - 23 BCE 23 - 19 BCE 19 - ? BCE

Executed by King Herod Executed by King Herod

Prince Joseph “the Carpenter” Joseph II “Cabi” the 78 th High Priest Herod Philip II m. Salome

b. 29 BCE b. 21 BCE b. 18 BCE

Prince Ptolas the “Twin” Cleopatra II of Jerusalem m . Herod II Herod VI, Common Citizen

Prince Clopas the “Twin” b. 20 BCE of Rome

This daughter was also discovered by the forces of Octavian but since a woman could not sit on the imperial throne of Rome, she was not a challenge to his imperial authority. This daughter, known as Cleopatra VIII of Egypt was given to an “eastern prince” in 30 BCE . It so happens that the Patriarch of Jerusalem, Jacob ben Mattat was the most prominent “eastern prince” in Egypt. Suddenly we hear of a Cleopatra of Jerusalem who arrives into Jerusalem social scene. Cleopatra of Jerusalem was not only a historical figure of prominence but would eventually wed the three most powerful men in Judea the Patriarch of Jerusalem Jacob ben Matthan , the High Priest of Israel Simon IV Boethus , and “King of the Jews” Herod the Great.

Courtesy of Newcastle University.

What happened to the wife of Jacob , Eucharia, is not known. Cleopatra of Jerusalem became the “foreign wife” of the Patriarch Jacob ben Matthan , a fact, according to the halakhic rule of Ezra the Scribe would have made their son, Prince Joseph “the Carpenter” not even a Jew. It is hard to understand how important this decree of Ezra was to the population in Jerusalem in 1 st century BCE . Jacob already had one daughter, and with his new bride, the highly profiled daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt , they soon had three more children.

Prince Jacob ben Matthan married Princess Cleopatra of Jerusalem , the posthumous daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt and Julius Caesar, the Dictator of Rome. Together they lived for eight years , between the years of 30 to 23 BCE , in the metropolitan city of Jerusalem . Jacob presided over his official business as the Prince of Israel in the role as the Patriarch of Jerusalem . During these years, Jacob and Cleopatra’s family grew to three sons and one older half sister.

Prince of David Joseph (Yosef) , known as the “Carpenter”, who became the guardian and foster father of

Yahshua ben Yosef (Jesus the son of Joseph)

Prince Joseph , it is believed, was born about 29 BCE . Despite the aging halakhic decree, “you are not a Jew unless your mother is a Jew”, it did not detract from Prince Joseph being recognized as a “royal heir of King David”. Strange as it may be, it did not make a difference with the High Priest who officiated at the betrothal of Prince Joseph ben Jacob and the young “temple virgin” Miriam who was orphaned when her father, Prince Alexander III Helios , was executed by King Herod during the pogroms against the Princes of David in the years of 20 to 16 BCE or 17 to 13 BCE , when Mary was between four and seven years old .

Who was this High Priest who reigned in the year of Joseph and Mary’s betrothal? Simon IV Boethus , the 60 th High Priest (23-19 BCE) , was executed by King Herod in the year of 19 BCE . After that date, we have the following high priests that ruled:

Matthias I ben Theophilus served as the 61 s t High Priest,

Joazar ben Boethus served as the 62 nd High Priest,

Eleazar ben Boethus served as the 63 rd High Priest, and

Yeshua IV ben Sethus ben Boethus served as the 64 th High Priest beginning in the year of 4 BCE. The high priest reigns between 19 and 4 BCE have a certain historical sketchiness.

Depending on the purported birth date of Jesus (Yehoshua), Yeshua IV began his high priestly rule in the year of 4 BCE . BibleSearchers believes that Yehoshua was born about the year of 7-6 BCE probably in the reigns of either Joazar or Eleazar ben Boethus , all of which were uncles of Mary’s grandfather, Yeshua III (Yehoshua III) who was the 59 th High Priest in the Temple of Herod at Jerusalem.

It was the High Priest of Israel, who officiated at the “nomination ceremony” of the Davidian candidate Prince Joseph , when the granddaughter of the High Priest of Israel Yeshua III (Jesus III) and the daughter of Heli , the Prince of David as the Hasmonean heir Alexander III Helios , was ready to become the Princess child-bride to a young Prince of David. As we now know, Prince Joseph was the best candidate for this dynastic betrothal . It appeared that in reality, being a Prince of David appeared to supersede over being a “Jew”, because the royal lineage of succession always went from father to son, and not mother to son.

About three years after the birth of Prince Joseph (29 BCE) , the family of Jacob and Cleopatra were blessed with “twins”. The young males were called Prince Ptolas and Prince Clopas (Cleopas) . We quickly transport ourselves fifty six years later (30 CE) , and meet again this same Prince Clopas (Cleopas) in the Brit Hadassah (ReNewed Testament) as he walked with his nephew, Yehoshua , after His crucifixion, on the road to Emmaus. Uncle Cleopas did not even recognize his nephew, for Jesus the Messiah (Yehoshua HaMaschiach) appeared different in his post-resurrection “glorified” state.

Luke 24:13 – “Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was , while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with themThen the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

The Mystery of Cleopatra of Jerusalem,

The Reputed Posthumous Daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt

During this silent era between the two Testaments of the Bible, called the inter-testament period, the history of the Jews within the two sacred canons are silent. Yet the accompanied Jewish historical books, such as the twoBooks of the Maccabees” and the Antiquities of the Jews” by Flavius Josephus continued to document the dynamic life and struggle of the Jews to reform a new identity of the Jewish people as the forces of the Gentile nations swarmed around them.

– Altes Museum, Berlin, Germany

Here was the period of the desecration of the Temple of Zerubabbel by the Syrian king, Antiochus Epiphanes IV , and the rise of the Maccabee priests who evolved as rival princes of Israel in competition with the Davidian princes. Here was the Gentile era of the rival suitors for the attention of the Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopater , the last Pharaoh of that ancient land so involved with the Hebrews and the Jews. Here was the era of the struggle for global imperial power throughout the Mediterranean Valley and the Levant between Caesar Augustus (Octavian) and Mark Anthony in alliance with Cleopatra VII of Egypt that ended with the famous suicide in Egypt on August 12, 30 BCE.

As reported in the extensive genealogies of David Hughes in the Davidic Dynasty and his new book, British Chronicles ” we find during the era of one generation before the birth of Jesus (Yehoshua), the imperial world of Rome swirling in intrigue, deception, political assassinations, power grabs for political and global control of Europe and the Middle East.

Davidic Dynasty The identity of Cleopatra "of Jerusalem" is a mystery. However, circumstantial evidence has suggested her identification with the posthumous daughter of Julius Caesar, the Roman "imperator", and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt born six months after Caesar's assassination in 44 BC , for, when Rome conquered Egypt in 30BC , Octavius , the grand-nephew and heir of Julius Caesar, murdered Julius Caesar’s only son, Caesarion , begotten by Queen Cleopatra , saying that "the world was not big enough for two caesars", however, their daughter, Cleopatra , who had no legal standing under Roman law, was given in marriage to " an obscure eastern prince ". The question is, could this "obscure eastern prince" have been the Palestinian "Nasi", Yakov (Jacob)? If so, that would make Joseph and his two younger half-brothers, the twins, the grandchildren through their mother, Cleopatra of Jerusalem , of Julius Caesar and Queen Cleopatra ! Incredible as it may seem, but possibly true! Hence, the book's title: "Jesus, The Last Pharaoh" , whose author makes a case for Jesus to have been called "the last Pharaoh of Egypt" , supposedly formally installed as an infant during the Holy Family's stay in Egypt.”

Cleopatra VII was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt and today remains one of the few historical figures of antiquity that remain popular in our modern world. Through her mother, Cleopatra VI of Egypt , she still was a Macedonian Greek, a direct descendant from her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes , to Alexander the Great’s general, Ptolemy I Soter , whose parents were Arsinoe and Lacus from Macedonia. Born and raised in the royal limelight of Hellenenstic Greek culture, Cleopatra VII broke the traditions of her Greek forefather’s and became the first Greek Egyptian ruler in the royal family to learn the Egyptian language in the 300 year rule of the Ptolemies. She even worshipped and took on the persona of the ancient Egyptian goddesses. It was her patron goddess, Isis that she impersonated and later came to believe that she was the re-incarnation and fulfilled the literal embodiment of this Egyptian goddess of wisdom.

Yet this was the era of the enlarging Roman imperial influence into the Middle East with the military power of the Roman legions pushing aside the ancient royal families. As the Hellenistic co-ruler with her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes , and later her brothers, who became her husbands, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV , Cleopatra VII became the supreme ruler of all Egypt. On her rise to power, Cleopatra foresaw the consequences of failed power bids for royal dominance. In 58 BCE , Cleopatra’s older sister, Berenice IV took over the throne. With the Roman alliance of Roman governor in Syria, Aulus Gabinius , Ptolemy XIII was restored to power in 55 BCE and in turn executed his sister. Then the oldest sister, Tryphaena sought to usurp the throne. She in turn was executed.

By March 51 BCE , the 17 year old Cleopatra II became the co-ruler of Egypt with her 12 year old brother, Ptolemy XIII , when their father, Ptolemy XII died. These were times of trial and tribulation, where for three years a famine swept across the land of Egypt and the life-saving inundations of the Nile did not arrive. Economic crisis and political conflicts arose.

Through these years, Cleopatra began to assume power over her sibling. Within five months, Ptolemy XIII’s name no longer appeared on royal documents. Soon the coins featured only Cleopatra VII’s face, in the first departure of ancient Egyptian traditions of the female rulers being subservient to their male co-rulers. A dynastic power struggle ensued spearheaded by the eunuch Pothinus by forcing Cleopatra from power and restoring her brother, sometime between 51 to 48 BCE . In spite of an ill-fated rebellion, Cleopatra was soon fleeing from Egypt with her only surviving sister, Arsinoë .

To maintain her power in the land of Egypt, Cleopatra VII traded her famed beauty and prowess to form Roman liaisons first with Gaius Julius Caesar that solidified her power, and later continued this power politics with the Roman Triumvir Mark Antony when Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March , March 15, 44 BCE . During her years in exile, the winds of fortune swung from Pompey to Julius Caesar, when in the Roman civil war in the autumn of 48 BCE , Pompey fled to what he felt was the secure sanctuary of Egypt. Yet, he was murdered and beheaded in front of this wife and children as he disembarked from his ship by one of his former officers on the harbor.

Fifteen year old Ptolemy XIII watched the entire assassination from his throne on the shoreline. This immature royal order, thought to please Julius Caesar was a fatal miscalculation for in two days, when Julius Caesar arrived and was presented with the “head” of his political rival, he was enraged. He wanted defeat not death of his arch rival for Pompey was the Consul of Rome. Soon after, Julius Caesar’s only legitimate daughter, Julia , was left a widow when her husband, Pompey’s son, died soon after.

Julius Caesar quickly seized Alexandria, the Egyptian capital. Queen Cleopatra secreted herself into the royal palace rolled up in a Persian carpet. When it was presented as a gift to Caesar and unrolled, out sprawled Queen Cleopatra. A quick civil war ensued and with the drowning of Ptolemy XIII in the Nile River, Queen Cleopatra VII was restored as co-ruler with her brother, Ptolemy XIV . Quickly with her charm, Cleopatra VII , at 21 , became the mistress of Julius Caesar, at 50 years of age . Nine months later, she gave birth to their son, Ptolemy Caesar , on June 23, 47 BCE , carrying the nickname, “Caesarian” or “little Caesar”.

About three years before the assassination of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Caesarion made a royal visit to Rome. They were no doubt there when Julius Caesar was assassinated on the East Portico of the Roman Senate floor . Earlier, Cleopatra sought to induce Julius Caesar to name his son as his heir and become the inheritor of Egypt and Rome, with the union between the East and the West. Yet, Julius Caesar declined and instead chose his grand-nephew, Octavian .

Cleopatra VII quickly sought another political rival this time with one of the triumvirs who co-ruled Rome at Caesar’s death. In fact the rapid exodus from Rome by Cleopatra VII and her entourage was accomplished by the assistance of the Roman Triumvir Mark Anthony. It was he who arranged for ships to be waiting at the Roman seaport, Ostia , at the mouth of the Tiber River in order to transport the entire Egyptian royal household back to Alexandria. It also suggests, that the Mark Anthony was “waiting in the wings” for a time in which he could establish his own relationship with the Pharaoh of Egypt, Queen Cleopatra VII.

Cleopatra and Mark Antony – Painting (1885) by Lawrence Alma-Tadema

As they exited Rome, this was also the point in time when Pharaoh Ptolemy XIV , Cleopatra ’s full blooded brother, exited from history. According to Roman-Jewish historical researcher and Robert Killian of Monaco of the ExeGenesis New Biblical Chronology , when he wrote:

Robert Killian of MonacoThat is the last we hear of Ptolemy XIV , her ( Cleopatra VII ’s) own full blooded brother who had "replaced" Ptolemy XIII after the drowning of this half-brother at the conclusion of the Alexandrian War in early January of 47 BC . Ptolemy XIV , now Pharaoh with Cleopatra VII on that voyage to Egypt was not seen together at or after that arrival in Alexandria. So, it can be "assumed" that "something happened" to the young lad, now about 14 years (in April-May 44 BC ), on the trip back to Egypt. It was that same fall that Cleopatra was "invested" with her three year old son, Caesarion , as Pharaoh and reigned with him as Pharaoh until the event of August 30 BC the year of their deaths in Alexandria, Egypt.

In 42 BCE , she was summoned to Tarsus to give her oath of loyalty to Mark Anthony . With her elaborate entourage, Cleopatra VII arrived and mesmerized Mark Anthony . Together, they built their Roman-Egyptian fleet at Tarsus. One year later, he returned and spent the winter with her in Alexandria, Egypt in 41-40 BCE . Within twelve months, on December 25, 40 BCE , Cleopatra VII presented Mark Anthony with twins Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II.

Three years later, in 37 BCE , Antony returned to Alexandria in route to his Parthia campaign. Soon, this Egyptian capital would become his home, this time with his Egyptian bride. This marriage became the scandal of Rome, for Mark Anthony was still married to Octavia Minor , the sister to his fellow triumvir, Octavian , who was now the Caesar of Rome

Anthony continued to solidify his western empire with the conquest of Armenia, and in the year of 34 BCE , at the Donations of Alexandria , Cleopatra VII took the title of Queen of Kings ”, while she and Caesarion were crowned as co-regents of Egypt, and Cyprus. Alexander I Helios became the ruler of Armenia, Media, and Parthia. Cleopatra Selene II was crowned as the ruler of Cyrenaica and Libya while Ptolemy Philadelphus was crowned as the royal heir over Phoenicia, Syria, and Cilicia.

The Roman Senate, inflamed by the fury of Octavian ( Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus ), known to us as Augustus Caesar , declared war against Egypt. This was because of a psychological war when Mark Antony declared that Caesarian , the son of Julius Caesar, was the legitimate Roman heir instead of the adopted nephew, Octavian . One third of the Roman Senate plus the two Roman Consuls sided with Mark Antony and Caesarian and a civil war was imminent.

It was on September 2, 31 BCE , that the Final War of the Roman Republic began in the Ionian Sea near the Roman colony of Actium in Greece. As Cleopatra VII arrived with her Egyptian fleet, the “Battle of Actium” was already not going well. The 500 ships of Mark Antony , mostly three ton, massive quinqueremes with huge galleys with massive rams weighing up to three tons were undermanned by weary malaria ridden troops, were too cumbersome to the lighter Liburnian vessels of Octavian with fresh and better trained troops.

With the defection of Delius , the general of Mark Anthony, along with his battle plans, both Cleopatra and Mark Anthony escaped with Cleopatra’s fleet and a few of Mark Anthony’s fleet and abandoned his entire Roman fleet, heading back to Egypt.

The political significance of the Battle of Actium between Octavian and Mark Antony was no less consequential than the Battle of Gaugamela (Arbela) when Alexander the Great of Macedonia Greece defeated the invincible Achaemenid Persian army of Darius III on October 1, 331 BCE . When Mark Antony lost his fleet, his army that was equally as strong as Octavian’s deserted him as he fled them 19 infantry legions and 12,000 cavalry deserted into the darkness of the night even before their land forces had a chance to meet on the battlefield.

The battle arena then moved to Egypt where initially Mark Antony was victorious on July 31, 30 BCE , yet the desertions continued until it was Mark Antony once again fleeing from battle. Within the din of the confusion of battle, the news arrived to Antony that Cleopatra had been captured, and he committed suicide.

According to Olympus the physician , who was an eyewitness, Antony was taken to the tomb of Cleopatra, where she was hiding and there died in her arms. Within days, on August 12 , Cleopatra was also dead by a snake bite to her breast. According to the accounts from ancient sources, she had hidden in a fig basket two asps , so when she put her hand in to eat, she would never know when she would die. With her, also were taken the lives of her two handmaidens. Octavian , waiting in a nearby building, went to confirm that his two rival of global power were now dead. With the death of Cleopatra VII , the last Dynasty of Egypt had now ended. Yet, with her death, she left her legacy.

The Death of Egyptian Queen Cleopatra – Painting (1892) by Reginald Arthur in the Roy Miles Gallery, London

The Egyptian people proclaimed Caesarion , the son of Julius Caesar as their new pharaoh, but Octavian had the last word. He had won the global war of power and control. Caesarion was captured and executed, resolving Octavian’s paranoia that “Two Caesars are one to many.” Even though the son of Julius Caesar was a potential rival to the Roman imperial office, the children of Antony and Cleopatra were not rivals and the three were taken back to Rome to remain in the care of the widowed wife of Antony , Octavia Minor , who was the sister of Octavian .

With the entire Mediterranean basin under his control, Octavian returned to Rome, secure in his legacy that he was Julius Caesar ’s only “son”. This led to his adopting the title of Princeps or “First Citizen” and then accepting the title from the Roman Senate of Augustus Caesar. With this “august” name, Augustus Caesar preserved the iconic imagery of the Republic of Rome, while at the same time, transforming the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Even more so, with the rise of the Roman Empire, the final surrender of Egypt and the death of the last Pharaoh, Cleopatra VIII , the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt and the Hellenistic Age both began their final gasp at the Battle of Actium .

The Province of Judea was as fully engaged in the global political changes when the Hellenistic world was swallowed up by the Roman Empire as the State of Israel today is involved in the global political reorder of the world today. Surprise as it may be, the ancestors of Jesus the Nazarene (Yehoshua HaNotzri) were a part of this geopolitical shift along with the rise of Zionism in Galilee and Judea in the three to four decades before the birth of Jesus (Yehoshua).

During these vast swings in the bid for global international domination, King Herod was weighing the political landscape and placed his own political future on the side of the future Caesar of Rome, Augustus Octavian Caesar . It was this same year, according to some historians, that the Nasi, the new Prince of Israel, Yaacov (Jacob) ben Matthan was appointed as the “Patriarch of Jerusalem” by Herod the Great . With his new appointment, Patriarch Jacob was dispatched to Egypt with 3000 Jewish troops to join the forces of Octavian arriving upon the shores near Alexandria Egypt. The final days of Egypt had now come. Mark Antony was soon dead along with the final saga in the suicide drama as the last Egyptian Pharaoh, Cleopatra VIII died by the viper’s tongue, with her hand nestled in a bowl of figs.

Fourteen years before, the twenty five year old Pharaoh of the Ancient land of Egypt, Cleopatra VII was at the height of her political career, as she arrived in Rome. In her imperial dreams, Cleopatra felt that she was destined to become the future wife of Julius Caesar , and the future Queen of Rome . With a dynastic marriage the two strongest nations of the world would weld an imperial dynasty, potentially unrivaled in world history.

The Bust of Gaius Julius Caesar - Archeological National Museum, Napoli, Italy

Julius Caesar had arrived back at Rome with great military acclaim and honors. He was nominated with the title as Pater Patriae (“Father of the Fatherland”) , appointed for the third time as dictator with nine consecutive one year appointments for another decade as the Dictator of the Roman Republic . Soon after, the Senate appointed Julius Caesar as Dictator Perpetuus (“Perpetual Dictator”). Roman denarius coins were minted with his profile and the words, “Dictator Perpetuus” on one side and “Augur Pontifex Maximus” on the reverse with the image of Ceres, the goddess of motherly love and growing plants.

When a Senatorial delegation went to bestow more honors upon Caesar, He received them in the Temple of Venus Genetrix yet did not rise in respect to greet them. This apparent affront to the offended senators gave rise to an assassination plot that was fully realized on March 15, 44 BCE. Julius Caesar was heading to the Senate, he was diverted while he passed the Theater of Pompey near the Campus Martius at the east portico. A number upwards to sixty conspirators participated in Caesar’s assassination

Cleopatra VII and their son, Caesarion , quickly left the city as public disorder arose throughout the city. According to some historians, she left Rome by ship with a three month old fetus of Julius Caesar that was born six months later in the fall of 44 BCE . Yet as Cleopatra VII was fleeing Rome, the rumors were circulating the capitol city that she was carrying with her the offspring of the assassinated dictator. It was Cicero who wrote: “I am grieved to hear of Tertia’s loss of an expected child…(but) I should be glad of such a loss in the case of Queen (Cleopatra) and that (expected) heir of the breed of Caesar. ”

This young daughter of Julius Caesar, about three weeks short of her 14 th birthday , would watch her world crash as her mother, Cleopatra VIII and her full brother by Julius Caesar, Caesarion , both dead as the last Egyptian dynasty, the Ptolemaic Empire collapsed. This young daughter of the Pharaoh Cleopatra VII and Julius Caesar and the newly arriving Patriarch of Jerusalem , it is suggested crossed paths in a way suggesting divine fate. Unlike her brother, Caesarion , who was truly a threat to Octavian to contest the imperial throne of Rome, this young daughter did not have any royal rights to royal honors. As such, Octavian “married her off to an obscure Eastern prince” and returned with him to Jerusalem later to be known in history as Cleopatra of Jerusalem .

Cleopatra VII , Queen of Egypt (51-30 BCE)

marriage to her older half-brother, Ptolemy XIII

No DescendantsLineage Extinct

Cleopatra VII , Queen of Egypt (51-30 BCE)

marriage to her younger full-brother, Ptolemy XIV (died 44 BCE)

No DescendantsLineage Extinct

Cleopatra VII , Pharaoh and Queen of Egypt (51-30 BCE)

marriage to Julius Caesar, Roman dictator (died 44 BCE) , had one son , and one rumored child, unborn at his death.

Ptolemy XV Caesar ("Caesarion") , co-ruler with his mother in her reign 44-30 BCE , and murdered by Octavian the future Augustus Caesar

Cleopatra of Jerusalem was the posthumous daughter who was

Married (1) Yaakov ben Mattan ( Jacob son of Matthan ), his (2), who was the "Nasi" or Prince of Israel , and the Patriarch of Jerusalem between the years of 32-23 BCE . They became the parents of:

Joseph the Davidian Prince (born 29 BCE) , called the “ Carpenter ” who was betrothed to Princess Miriam , daughter of Heli, the Prince of David who was known as Prince Alexander III “Helios” married to Hanna , the daughter of Jesus III (Yeshua III), the High Priest of Israel . Prince Joseph adopted the son of Princess Miriam and became the foster father of

Jesus the Nazarene (Yehoshua HaNotzri)

Prince Ptolas the “Twin” (b. about 26 BCE)

Prince Clopas the “Twin” (b. about 26 BCE)

Married ( 2 nd ) Simon IV Boethus, the High Priest (his ( 2 nd ) marriage. Together they had two children

Joseph II “Cabi”, the 78 th High Priest (b. about 21 BCE)

Cleopatra II of Jerusalem (b. about 20 BCE)

Married ( 3 rd ) Herod "The Great", King of Judea, his ( 5 th ) marriage. Cleopatra of Jerusalem gave Herod the Great one heir

Herod, a Common Citizen of Rome (b. about 18 BCE)

Cleopatra VII , Queen of Egypt (51-30 BCE)

marriage to Mark Antony, Roman triumvir who died by suicide in the year of 30 BCE in the failed bid to conquer Octavian at the Naval Battle of Actium and Alexandria Egypt. They became the parents of:

Cleopatra Selene , married to Juba II, King of Numidia

The paternal grandfather of Jesus was a Davidian Prince who married the daughter of the royal dynastic families of both the imperial dynasties of Egypt and Rome and thereby received the royal genetic lineage to both imperial thrones. The maternal grandfather of Jesus , we will soon learn was also a Davidian Prince whose mother was the heir to the throne of the Hasmonean Dynasty of Judea and became the last Maccabee ruler of the Jews, yet married the dynastic heiress of the High Priest of Israel from the official high priest lineage of Zadok the High Priest of King David.

As a young child, Yehoshua (Jesus) was taken to Egypt as a safe haven for His protection from the upheavals in the Herodian dynastic throne . There he would also be shielded as the heir to the Caesar of Rome from the watchful eye of Augustus Caesar (Octavian) . He was welcomed as the royal heir of Cleopatra’s Ptolemaic Imperial throne, honored as the recipient of Zadokian high priest genetic bloodlines, respected as the heir to the Hasmonean throne , watched with awe as the heir to the royal thrones of Assyria, Babylon, the Medes and Persians , yet recognized as the long awaited Jewish messiah from the loins of Kings David and Solomon. The prophetic voice would proclaim that here was the future “King of kings, and Lord of lords”.

Note – The genealogies and historical overlays of the family of Jesus are a project of continuing research. For any researchers with additional historical insight and genealogical information are welcome to contact any of the following researchers.

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Watch the video: Cleopatra Selene, queen of Mauretania (August 2022).