“A concise account of the Queen of Egypt, her relations with Rome, her ambitions, influence over others and her dramatic death. Pat Southern reassesses her impact on world history”-Oxbow books news Cleopatra was intimately involved in the critical years that saw the Roman Republic transformed into the Roman Empire. How this transition appeared to the Queen of Egypt -and the part she played in it- is the subject of Pat Southern’s engrossing new biography. Descended from the first Ptolemy, one of the companions of Alexander the Great, Cleopatra was the last in a long line of Macedonian rulers of Egypt. It was Julius Caesar’s involvement in an Alexandrian civil war that led to her being set up as the Queen of Egypt. She also had an affair with Caesar and for two years was his guest in Rome. On his assassination she returned to Alexandria -where in turn Mark anthony was to become her guest and lover. Over the years of their acquaintance they produced three children. Their behaviour allowed Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) to brand the Egyptian Queen as Rome’s arch enemy: worse than Hannibal, nearer than the Parthians -and powerful as she had access to Mark Anthony’s legions. In the civil war that followed, Cleopatra failed to revive Anthony’s fighting spirit after their defeat at Actium. He was to die in her arms, having commited suicide. A few days later she too was to die. Besides being an acknowledged expert on the Roman army, Pat Southern is also the accomplised biographer of Augustus and Domitian. Followung Mark Anthony (Tempus 1998) and Cleopatra, her new volume Julius Caesar (Tempus 2001) completes her trilogy on the dramatic last years of the Roman Republic.
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