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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.

situated on the eastern and northeastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, 

north of Judea. The forces stationed in these provinces would be, of 

course, the most convenient for furnishing the necessary troops for the 

expedition. The province of Cilicia was under the command of the consul 

Lentulus. Lentulus was at this time at Rome; he had repaired to the 

capital for some temporary purpose, leaving his province and the troops 

stationed there under the command, for the time, of a sort of lieutenant 

general named Gabinius. It was concluded that this Lentulus, with his 

Syrian forces, should undertake the task of reinstating Ptolemy on his 

throne. 

 

While these plans and arrangements were yet immature, a circumstance 

occurred which threatened, for a time, wholly to defeat them. It seems 

that when Cleopatra's father first left Egypt, he had caused a report to 

be circulated there that he had been killed in the revolt. The object of 

this stratagem was to cover and conceal his flight. The government of 

Berenice soon discovered the truth, and learned that the fugitive had 

gone in the direction of Rome. They immediately inferred that he was 

going to appeal to the Roman people for aid, and they determined that, 

if that were the case, the Roman people, before deciding in his favor, 

should have the opportunity to hear their side of the story as well as 

his. They accordingly made preparations at once for sending a very 

imposing embassage to Rome. The deputation consisted of more than a 

hundred persons. The object of Berenice's government in sending so large 

a number was not only to evince their respect for the Roman people, and 

their sense of the magnitude of the question at issue, but also to guard 

against any efforts that Ptolemy might make to intercept the embassage 

on the way, or to buy off the members of it by bribes. The number, 

however large as it was, proved insufficient to accomplish this purpose. 

The whole Roman world was at this time in such a condition of disorder 

and violence, in the hands of the desperate and reckless military 

leaders who then bore sway, that there were everywhere abundant 

facilities for the commission of any conceivable crime. Ptolemy 

contrived, with the assistance of the fierce partisans who had espoused 

his cause, and who were deeply interested in his success on account of 

the rewards which were promised them, to waylay and destroy a large 

proportion of this company before they reached Rome. Some were 

assassinated; some were poisoned; some were tampered with and bought off 

by bribes. A small remnant reached Rome; but they were so intimidated by 

the dangers which surrounded them, that they did not dare to take any 

public action in respect to the business which had been committed to 

their charge. Ptolemy began to congratulate himself on having completely 

circumvented his daughter in her efforts to protect herself against his 

designs. 

 

Instead of that, however, it soon proved that the effect of this 

atrocious treachery was exactly the contrary of what its perpetrators 

had expected. The knowledge of the facts became gradually extended among 

the people of Rome and it awakened a universal indignation. The party 

who had been originally opposed to Ptolemy's cause seized the 

opportunity to renew their opposition; and they gained so much strength 

from the general odium which Ptolemy's crimes had awakened, that Pompey 

found it almost impossible to sustain his cause. 

 

At length the party opposed to Ptolemy found, or pretended to find, in 

certain sacred books, called the Sibylline Oracles, which were kept in 

the custody of the priests, and were supposed to contain prophetic 

intimations of the will of Heaven in respect to the conduct of public 

affairs, the following passage: 

 

_"If a king of Egypt should apply to you for aid, treat him in a 

friendly manner, but do not furnish him with troops; for if you 

do, you will incur great danger."_ 

 

This made new difficulty for Ptolemy's friends. They attempted, at 

first, to evade this inspired injunction by denying the reality of it. 

There was no such passage to be found, they said. It was all an 

invention of their enemies. This point seems to have been overruled, and 

then they attempted to give the passage some other than the obvious 

interpretation. Finally they maintained that, although it prohibited 

their furnishing Ptolemy himself with troops, it did not forbid their 


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