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Cleopatra in Rome When Caesar left Egypt, Cleopatra built the Caesareum, near the harbour at Alexandria. In front of the building were two obelisks, now.

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Presentation on theme: "Cleopatra in Rome When Caesar left Egypt, Cleopatra built the Caesareum, near the harbour at Alexandria. In front of the building were two obelisks, now."— Presentation transcript:

1 Cleopatra in Rome When Caesar left Egypt, Cleopatra built the Caesareum, near the harbour at Alexandria. In front of the building were two obelisks, now known as ‘Cleopatra’s Needles’ (one is in London). The Caesareum was intended to keep the name of Caesar in the minds of the Egyptians and to emphasise the succession of her son, Caesarion, supported by Rome. In 46 BC, she went to Rome to see that her position as ruler was agreed by the Senate, becoming a Friend and Ally of the Roman People. Caesar would not always be there to protect her and she needed more friends and in Rome. Egypt’s stability depended on her ability to survive. She could have been in Rome during Caesar’s Egyptian triumph as Arsinoe (her sister) was led through streets as a captive, and then sent to the temple of Artemis at Ephesus, rather than being executed as was normal for captured enemies. She stayed in Caesar’s house by the Tiber River. She must have met important politicians in Rome: Cicero (a Roman senator) mentions her in a letter to Atticus (Letters to Atticus 15.15) and shows his dislike of her; Mark Antony undoubtedly met her again (he had helped restore her father in 55 BC); she almost certainly met Octavian.

2 Caesar made a great deal of her presence in Rome. He placed a statue of her in his new temple to the goddess Venus, from whom he claimed his family descended. It led to rumours that he was about to marry her and make her his co- ruler. Her presence was resented by the nobles and leading men of Rome: she was a foreigner apparently more powerful than the Romans themselves, and even worse, she was a woman. In February 44 BC Caesar had accepted the title of dictator for life. The post of Dictator was one which was used occasionally at times of crisis and difficulty. It also would be held only for a few months. There were those who were concerned at the way he had virtually taken over the Republic, and thought that he had plans to make himself king. Whatever Caesar’s plans were for his future and that of Cleopatra, some decided to act before he had the chance to develop them. Caesar’s assassination On the 15 th March 44 BC (known in Rome as the ides of March), he was assassinated by a group of senators and others led by Marcus Brutus and Cassius in Pompey’s Cleopatra must have felt certain that she would be on the list to be killed. But nothing happened, and Antony was able to take control of the situation; Cleopatra may have discussed the situation with him. She was in a difficult situation; she was simply a visiting foreign Queen, whose position was unstable and who depended on Roman support and arms. If the conspirators gained the power, then they would have eliminated her and her son eventually. Octavian had been named heir to Caesar, not Caesarion which may have been what Caesar intended to do at some time. She left Rome soon afterwards unsure of what would happen. She had gained official recognition through Caesar and a formal treaty in the Senate, although she must have been unsure about what the future held. Theatre at a meeting of the Senate. However, the conspirators seemed to have had few ideas about what to do next. Perhaps Caesar’s loyal supporters thought the assassins would soon come to find them. Mark Antony shut himself up in his house.

3 Cleopatra in no / a little / some / much / serious danger Who would want to see her dead? Would Cleopatra be aware?

4 When When did Cleopatra leave Rome? Caesar’s assassination Months Weeks Days Days Weeks Months BEFORE AFTER BEFORE AFTER

5 Extracts from Cicero’s comments on meeting Cleopatra “I do not wish to be unfair to the graecula. She is clever beyond words, no denying it […] And of her fabled treasure: although her aides had promised a purely literary acknowledgment of my merits, I came and went empty handed […] I will not even touch upon her unfathomable impertinence. She seemed intent upon challenging my own undeserved reputation for caustic humor, while I was at pains to be most gracious, even condescending toward her […] This to a citizen of Rome! This to a guest in her house! This to a distinguished statesman! And from a woman! She is, by the way, a beauty in no way, shape, manner, or form. Her figure is anything other than voluptuous, and her face is marred not merely by the inbred Ptolemy hooked nose, but by a strong chin and hard features which detract from the sweetness and gentleness we prize in our women.” Cicero to Atticus 15.15

6 Cleopatra and Caesar’s behaviour in ROME This would have angered many/most Romans because… (for example) This would have angered some Romans because… (for example) Clip – Read Cleopatra in Rome

7 Cleopatra in Rome 1.How might views like this affect Cleopatra’s reception at Rome? 2.What other aspects of Cleopatra’s character and position might the Romans dislike and why? 3.Read the following extracts from Cicero. List the attitudes and opinions about Cleopatra in them.

8 Caesar’s assassination Give three reasons for Caesar’s assassination. 1.(MOST important reason) 2.(An important reason) 3.(An additional reason) Clip – Read Caesar’s Assassination

9 Extracts from Cicero’s comments on meeting Cleopatra “I do not wish to be unfair to the graecula [a derogatory term for a Greek]. She is clever beyond words, no denying it […] And of her fabled treasure: although her aides had promised a purely literary acknowledgment of my merits, I came and went empty handed […] I will not even touch upon her unfathomable impertinence. She seemed intent upon challenging my own undeserved reputation for caustic humor, while I was at pains to be most gracious, even condescending toward her […] This to a citizen of Rome! This to a guest in her house! This to a distinguished statesman! And from a woman! She is, by the way, a beauty in no way, shape, manner, or form. Her figure is anything other than voluptuous, and her face is marred not merely by the inbred Ptolemy hooked nose, but by a strong chin and hard features which detract from the sweetness and gentleness we prize in our women.” Cicero to Atticus Extracts from Cicero’s comments on meeting Cleopatra “I do not wish to be unfair to the graecula [a derogatory term for a Greek]. She is clever beyond words, no denying it […] And of her fabled treasure: although her aides had promised a purely literary acknowledgment of my merits, I came and went empty handed […] I will not even touch upon her unfathomable impertinence. She seemed intent upon challenging my own undeserved reputation for caustic humor, while I was at pains to be most gracious, even condescending toward her […] This to a citizen of Rome! This to a guest in her house! This to a distinguished statesman! And from a woman! She is, by the way, a beauty in no way, shape, manner, or form. Her figure is anything other than voluptuous, and her face is marred not merely by the inbred Ptolemy hooked nose, but by a strong chin and hard features which detract from the sweetness and gentleness we prize in our women.” Cicero to Atticus 15.15


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