I hope you enjoyed last month’s episodes on some incredible women in American southwest history. This month, I am venturing into the history of some of the world’s most amazing female rulers, and this week, I am starting with a woman who everyone knows a little bit about from the ancient Egyptian civilization, Cleopatra.
Rich, powerful, intelligent, and beautiful, Cleopatra was in her prime when Mark Antony, a triumvir, one of three magistrates who ruled Rome after the death of Caesar, summoned her to Tarsus to incur her support of his planned war against the Parthians. In her typical diva fashion, Cleopatra made an entrance dressed to impress. For the voyage she designed a golden barge adorned with purple sails and silver oars. Dressed as Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, Cleopatra set sail for Tarsus determined to win over the Roman triumvir, who also considered himself the embodiment of a god; the god Dionysus.
As she had hoped, Mark Antony fell for her, and Cleopatra had yet another powerful Roman leader hopelessly devoted to her. So devoted that at her urgent suggestion, Mark Antony ordered the execution of Arsinoe, Cleopatra’s younger sister, whom, as she was the last Ptolemy sibling left, Cleopatra feared would attempt to take the throne. The murder took place on the steps of the sacred Temple of Artemis, a scandalous act against the temple sanctuary and thus, the Roman people. Already not in favor with Rome because of her relationship with Julius Caesar, Cleopatra further scandalized the city when she convinced Mark Antony to marry her in an Egyptian ceremony while he was still married to Octavia Minor, sister to his fellow triumvir, Octavian.
With the relationship between Octavian and Mark Antony on the brink of disaster even before Cleopatra, tensions continued to rise and in 33 B.C.E. Octavian waged war against Egypt and in doing so, Cleopatra. Two years later, the conflict climaxed with the battle of Actium. Cleopatra led the charge, alongside Antony’s fleet, with dozens of Egyptian warships, but the lovers’ forces were no match to Octavian’s army. Cleopatra and Mark Antony fled back to Egypt.
Come back tomorrow to hear about the tragic end of Cleopatra’s reign that will forever be remembered in history.
Do you love a good historical mystery featuring a female amateur sleuth? Then you might enjoy the books in my Annie Oakley Mystery Series. Here’s what Kirkus reviews has to say about the first book in the series, Girl with a Gun.
Bovée’s debut novel brings readers solidly into the heyday of the Wild West shows, providing wonderful details about the elaborate costumes and the characters’ remarkable marksmanship . . . There are enough entertaining elements to keep readers guessing, including romance, rivalries, jealousy, and at least one evil character from Annie’s past. The prose has a charming simplicity, which keeps the attention focused on the action and the well-developed protagonist. A quick, fun read with engaging rodeo scenes.”
You can find the books on Amazon.