Main  Contacts  
Table of contents
THE VALLEY OF THE NILE.
THE PTOLEMIES.
ALEXANDRIA.
CLEOPATRA'S FATHER.
ACCESSION TO THE THRONE.
CLEOPATRA AND Caesar.
THE ALEXANDRINE WAR.
CLEOPATRA A QUEEN.
THE BATTLE OF PHILIPPI.
CLEOPATRA AND ANTONY.
THE BATTLE OF ACTIUM.
THE END OF CLEOPATRA.

 

Antony's marriage with Fulvia, besides being the means of reforming his 

morals in some degree, softened and civilized him in respect to his 

manners. His dress and appearance now assumed a different character. In 

fact, his political elevation after Caesar's death soon became very 

exalted, and the various democratic arts by which he had sought to raise 

himself to it, being now no longer necessary, were, as usual in such 

cases, gradually discarded. He lived in great style and splendor when at 

Rome, and when absent from home, on his military campaigns, he began to 

exhibit the same pomp and parade in his equipage and in his arrangements 

as were usual in the camps of other Roman generals. 

 

After the battle of Philippi, described in the last chapter, 

Antony--who, with all his faults, was sometimes a very generous foe--as 

soon as the tidings of Brutus's death were brought to him, repaired 

immediately to the spot, and appeared to be quite shocked and concerned 

at the sight of the body. He took off his own military cloak or 

mantle--which was a very magnificent and costly garment, being enriched 

with many expensive ornaments--and spread it over the corpse. He then 

gave directions to one of the officers of his household to make 

arrangements for funeral ceremonies of a very imposing character, as a 

testimony of his respect for the memory of the deceased. In these 

ceremonies it was the duty of the officer to have burned the military 

cloak which Antony had appropriated to the purpose of a pall, with the 

body. He did not, however, do so. The cloak being very valuable, he 

reserved it; and he withheld, also, a considerable part of the money 

which had been given him for the expenses of the funeral. He supposed 

that Antony would probably not inquire very closely into the details of 

the arrangements made for the funeral of his most inveterate enemy. 

Antony, however, did inquire into them, and when he learned what the 

officer had done, he ordered him to be killed. 

 

The various political changes which occurred, and the movements which 

took place among the several armies after the battle of Philippi, can 

not be here detailed. It is sufficient to say that Antony proceeded to 

the eastward through Asia Minor, and in the course of the following year 

came into Cilicia. From this place he sent a messenger to Egypt to 

Cleopatra, summoning her to appear before him. There were charges, he 

said, against her of having aided Cassius and Brutus in the late war 

instead of rendering assistance to him. Whether there really were any 

such charges, or whether they were only fabricated by Antony as pretexts 

for seeing Cleopatra, the fame of whose beauty was very widely extended, 

does not certainly appear. However this may be, he sent to summon the 

queen to come to him. The name of the messenger whom Antony dispatched 

on this errand was Dellius. Fulvia, Antony's wife, was not with him at 

this time. She had been left behind at Rome. 

 

Dellius proceeded to Egypt and appeared at Cleopatra's court. The queen 

was at this time about twenty-eight, but more beautiful, as was said, 

than ever before. Dellius was very much struck with her beauty and with 

a certain fascination in her voice and conversation, of which her 

ancient biographers often speak as one of the most irresistible of her 

charms. He told her that she need have no fear of Antony. It was of no 

consequence, he said, what charges there might be against her. She would 

find that, in a very few days after she had entered into Antony's 

presence, she would be in great favor. She might rely, in fact, he said, 

on gaining, very speedily, an unbounded ascendency over the general. He 

advised her, therefore, to proceed to Cilicia without fear; and to 

present herself before Antony in as much pomp and magnificence as she 

could command. He would answer, he said, for the result. 

 

Cleopatra determined to follow this advice. In fact, her ardent and 

impulsive imagination was fired with the idea of making, a second time, 

the conquest of the greatest general and highest potentate in the world. 

She began immediately to make provision for the voyage. She employed all 

the resources of her kingdom in procuring for herself the most 

magnificent means of display, such as expensive and splendid dresses, 

rich services of plate, ornaments of precious stones and of gold, and 

presents in great variety and of the most costly description for Antony. 

She appointed, also, a numerous retinue of attendants to accompany her, 


Page 4 from 9:  Back   1   2   3  [4]  5   6   7   8   9   Forward