Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt: Cleopatra VII and Caesar
Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, nominally survived. Cleopatra was one of the last Pharaohs of Egypt, reigning for 21 years around himself with Julius Caesar ordered the death of the Roman Consul Pompey, this age difference of some thirty years did not appear to trouble the relationship. “So Cleopatra, taking only Apollodorus the Sicilian from among her friends, embarked in a little skiff and landed at the palace when it was already getting dark;.
In the midst of all of this drama, Cleopatra sneaked into Caesar's tent, possibly by being rolled up in a carpet, and the general was instantly in love. One moment, Caesar was fuming, and the next, he was wrapped up in the arms of Cleopatra!
Indeed, their meeting went exceptionally well, for Cleopatra became pregnant immediately with their child, Ptolemy Caesar. Love at First Sight? Was Caesar in love with Cleopatra? Caesar was 52 years old when the two met, and Cleopatra was a year-old beautiful aristocrat. She was charming and met Caesar at a moment when he was both devastated and angry over the death of his friend and political opponent.
Indeed, within a year of meeting her, Caesar decided to put Cleopatra back on the throne. He went to war with her brother Ptolemy, who was killed in battle, and Cleopatra became the ruler of Egypt once again.
When a further wave of forces led by the Prince of Pergamon arrived to support Caesar Ptolemy was forced to head south to meet them. Caesar led his troops out in pursuit forming a pincer with his ally from Pergamon and following a bitter fight Ptolemy was defeated and drowned in the Nile.
Caesar retrieved his body and set out for Alexandria to tell Cleopatra the good news. She met him, no doubt dressed as her favoured goddess Isis at the head of a great procession of sacred emblems and gods. Caesar established her younger brother Ptolemy XIV as her co-ruler to secure her throne and then married Cleopatra in the Egyptian manner although this marriage was not recognised in Rome as he was already married and it was not legal for a Roman citizen to marry a foreigner.
They embarked on a honeymoon cruise down the Nile which was both a chance for her to show Caesar Egypt and to confirm to the people that she was fully in charge. It may also have been intended as a pilgrimage to Edfu where the connection between her son, Caesarion, and Horus could be established and his destiny as the future ruler of Egypt assured.
Cleopatra’s Relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony
On their return to Alexandria Caesar began to plan his return to Rome. He was criticised in Rome for failing to simply absorb Egypt into the empire and for remaining too long in Egypt after the defeat of Ptolemy XIII and there were still a number of factions loyal to Pompey including a number of his sons so he had a number of important matters to attend to, but he also had to visit his Jewish allies and reward their support in the Alexandrian war.
He left three legions in Alexandria to support Cleopatra and to confirm Egypt's status as a protectorate and took the treasonous Arsinoe back to Rome with him as his prisoner. He also gave Cyprus back to Cleopatra and this increase in her revenues allowed her to reduce taxation while continuing to improve the Egyptian economy.
A decree in demotic a shorthand version of hieroglyphs was set up in the Serapeum at Saqqara and his lineage proclaimed on monuments across Egypt including a famous scene in the Temple of Dendera. Caesar seems to have been very proud that he had finally had a son.
His aides began to investigate the possibility of changing Roman Law so that he could acknowledge Caesarion as his heir despite the prohibition on marriages with foreigners and the fact that he was already married. He had a coin struck depicting Venus-Aphrodite and Cleopatra had a similar coin created in which she was depicted as Venus-Aphrodite nursing their son.
They were officially welcomed as "friends and allies of the Roman people" and installed in Caesar's villa on the Janiculum Hill - a large villa with extensive gardens and an exceptional view of the city - while Caesar himself still officially lived with Calpurnia, his Roman wife.
Cleopatra became his acknowledged mistress as their Egyptian marriage was not recognised by Roman Law. Cleopatra held numerous "symposia" to which the great and good were invited to feast and listen to poetry and she seems to have been popular with Caesar's friends. She also seems to have been instrumental in returning Mark Antony, who had been Caesar's deputy but was replaced by Lepidus because of his debauched behaviour, to Caesar's affection - no doubt in part because Mark Antony was known to love Greek fashion and culture and so was a friend to the Ptolemys.
Caesar had promised that if he was victorious against Pompey he would build a new temple in honour of Venus Genetrix, his divine ancestor. He placed a bronze statue of Bucephalus the favourite horse of Alexander the Great in front of the temple and placed a golden statue of Cleopatra in the form of Isis beside the statue of Venus in the centre of the temple.
Julius Caesar & Cleopatra Lesson for Kids
While it was common for Ptolemaic pharaohs to place statues of themselves alongside the gods, this was not at all in line with Roman practice as it appeared to give her divine authority. Furthermore the fact that Venus was closely associated with marriage was also seen by some as a blatant statement about his relationship with Cleopatra. Caesar also set about placing statues of himself all over Rome, but most notably in the temple of Romulus, the deified founder of Rome.
One statue even bore the title "the unvanquished god" which was previously associated with Alexander the Great. He oversaw a flurry of building activity, much of which was in the classical Greek-Egyptian style and set about establishing a large library in Rome the largest library at the time being the Great Library in Alexandria. Cleopatra's astronomers helped Caesar create a new calendar, the Julian calendar, to replace the defective Roman calendar.
The new calendar had days and a leap year and is the basis of the calendar we use today with minor alterations added by Pope Gregory in BC. They have people under them, armies that could fight battles and win them. Both Rome and Egypt needs intellectual leaders. This was during the Alexandrian War. Julius Caesar made sure that Cleopatra is firm in her position as the leader of Egypt. He made sure that any insurgencies could be dismissed by his powerful army.
For Julius Caesar, the union will unite two great lands, Egypt and Rome. He has an ultimate dream that his children would someday rule this land. Julius Caesar could have also seen Alexandria as a strategic location for his battles and as time pass by, Egypt could also form a powerful army to help him in his conquests.
However, she was also married to Julius Caesar because Egypt allows polygamy. Cleopatra and Julius Caesar spent time in Alexandria. The Roman leader, however, is called for to lead his army to battles. He emerged victorious but returned to Rome instead. Julius Caesar and Cleopatra also had a son, Caesarion. Julius Caesar sent for his wife and son to be brought to Rome, with the great surprise of the Roman people.
Out of respect for Julius Caesar, the people did not really give much attention to the fact that Julius Caesar married a foreign woman albeit having a Roman wife McManus, He was then given the ultimate title as a dictator for life, thus bearing an unmatched power for the rest of his life. This was only a year after being declared a dictator or a ruler who has a complete power. Since Julius Caesar has made any changes without consulting the Senate, he became an unpopular person for them.
Before he is to leave for yet another conquest, he met with the Senate.
Cleopatra - Wikipedia
There he met his end as he is stabbed to his death by all sixty Senate people, lead by Brutus and Cassius. Cleopatra and son, Caesarion left Rome, where a civil war broke. Cleopatra then announced her son with Julius Caesar as a co-ruler and re-acquired rule of Egypt. This is when her rule was entirely secured locally, unlike the two previous co-regents.
Cleopatra and Mark Antony: Unlike Julius Caesar, he was from a prominent family since birth. His grandfather was a known public speaker while his father was a military man. He is well-educated, polishing skills like public speaking and objective questioning. He is known for both his positive and negative traits which were eminent from his youth. At the course of his career, he kept close to Julius Caesar.
Mark Antony became an ally of Julius Caesar. It was also Julius Caesar who appointed him as a consul. It is this status that spared his life after the assassination of Julius Caesar.
He then rose to power and hunted those who have assassinated Julius Caesar. Mark Antony also became part of the second Triumvirate. Cleopatra and Mark Antony are both connected to Julius Caesar.
She is a former wife, and he is a loyal ally and friend. Cleopatra, on the other hand, might have found a sense of stability with him since he is becoming one of the most powerful in Rome. She found in him the opportunity to restore the old glory of her Ptolemaic decent. Mark Antony possessed characteristics different from that of Julius Caesar but he is of the same political stature. The first supper impressed Mark Antony that he wanted to surpass such splendid preparation, but he miserably failed.
With his great humor, he managed to keep a good nature about it. After this, there were accounts which states that they spent holidays together cited in Cleopatra…, Cleopatra is able to charm Mark Antony by being at his side all the time. Mark Antony married Cleopatra.
Cleopatra is actually already the fourth wife to Mark Antony. Mark Antony then married Octavia Minor after having children with Cleopatra. He did this to claim a stronger hold of power in Rome. During his flight to plot a war against Parthia, he was going to need the help of Egyptian army forces, not to mention money.