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Antony and Cleopatra Background

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Megan Altman

on 27 February 2013

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Transcript of Antony and Cleopatra Background

Background for
Antony and Cleopatra 168 BCE: Rome establishes a protectorate of Egypt. 51 BCE: Ptolemy XII is returned to power by a Roman army. 49 BCE: Ptolemy XIII's guardians instigate a revolt against Cleopatra's rule and expel her from Alexandria. 47 BCE: Cleopatra becomes Caesar's mistress and Caesar uses his army to defeat and destroy Cleopatra's rival for power, her brother-husband Ptolemy XIII. 44 BCE: Caesar is assassinated. Cleopatra arranged to meet Caesar under intimate terms by having herself rolled up in a carpet that was delivered to Caesar's house. 42 BCE: Caesar's enemies are defeated at the Battle of Philippi. 69 BCE: Cleopatra is born in Egypt. He dies later that year and the throne of Egypt goes to his children, Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra. 48 BCE: Julius Caesar was engaged in a civil war with Pompey. When the carpet was unrolled, a vivacious 21-year-old Egyptian queen emerged. Caesar was about 52 years old. Ptolemy died by drowning while trying to escape the battlefield. A month later, Ptolemy XIV dies of poisoning, probably upon Cleopatra's orders. Mark Antony decides to attack the Parthian (Persian) Empire. She is the second daughter of King Ptolemy XII. 58 BCE: Ptolemy XII is expelled from Egypt. Ptolemy XIII is Cleopatra's 10-year old brother. She is about 18 years old. In Egypt, Pharaohs marry a sister to ensure the rulership never leaves the royal family. There was not any affection between Cleopatra and her brother, but she was determined to rule. Pompey was defeated in battle and fled to Egypt. Caesar pursued him to Egypt but Pompey was assassinated before Caesar arrived. Cleopatra captivated him, probably not with her youth and beauty, but by the audacity of her ploy, which amused him. It was a brilliant strategy. If she had met Caesar through official state channels, protocol would have interfered with her working her charms on him. She was said to have a "thousand ways of flattering." Caesar established Cleopatra and another younger brother, Ptolemy XIV, as rulers of Egypt. 46 BCE: Cleopatra gives birth to Caesar's child, named Ptolemy Caesar, and called Caesarion. She wanted to make her son, Caesarion, co-regent with her as Ptolemy XV. He asks Cleopatra to meet him at Tarsus. He needed her financial and military support for the invasion. Their meeting at Tarsus was important for both. Cleopatra, having lost the protection of her strongman, Caesar, needed another Roman leader to protect her. Mark Antony was so captivated by Cleopatra that he gave up his plans for the invasion and went with Cleopatra back to Alexandria.
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