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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.

CHAPTER V.

 

 

ACCESSION TO THE THRONE.

 

 

Cleopatra.--Excitement in Alexandria.--Ptolemy restored.--Acquiescence 

of the people.--Festivities.--Popularity of Antony.--Antony's 

generosity.--Anecdote.--Antony and Cleopatra.--Antony returns to 

Rome.--Ptolemy's murders.--Pompey and Caesar.--Close of Ptolemy's 

reign.--Settlement of the succession.--Accession of Cleopatra.--She is 

married to her brother.--Pothinus, the eunuch.--His character and 

government.--Machinations of Pothinus.--Cleopatra is expelled. 

--Cleopatra's army.--Approaching contest.--Caesar and Pompey. 

--Battle of Pharsalia.--Pompey at Pelusium.--Treachery of 

Pothinus.--Caesar's pursuit of Pompey.--His danger.--Caesar at 

Alexandria.--Astonishment of the Egyptians.--Caesar presented with 

Pompey's head.--Pompey's seal.--Situation of Caesar.--His 

demands.--Conduct of Pothinus.--Quarrels--Policy of Pothinus. 

--Contentions.--Caesar sends to Syria for additional troops. 

 

At the time when the unnatural quarrel between Cleopatra's father and 

her sister was working its way toward its dreadful termination, as 

related in the last chapter, she herself was residing at the royal 

palace in Alexandria, a blooming and beautiful girl of about fifteen. 

Fortunately for her, she was too young to take any active part 

personally in the contention. Her two brothers were still younger than 

herself. They all three remained, therefore, in the royal palaces, quiet 

spectators of the revolution, without being either benefited or injured 

by it. It is singular that the name of both the boys was Ptolemy. 

 

The excitement in the city of Alexandria was intense and universal when 

the Roman army entered it to reinstate Cleopatra's father upon his 

throne. A very large portion of the inhabitants were pleased with having 

the former king restored. In fact, it appears, by a retrospect of the 

history of kings that when a legitimate hereditary sovereign or dynasty 

is deposed and expelled by a rebellious population, no matter how 

intolerable may have been the tyranny, or how atrocious the crimes by 

which the patience of the subject was exhausted, the lapse of a very few 

years is ordinarily sufficient to produce a very general readiness to 

acquiesce in a restoration; and in this particular instance there had 

been no such superiority in the government of Berenice, during the 

period while her power continued, over that of her father, which she had 

displaced, as to make this case an exception to the general rule. The 

mass of the people, therefore--all those, especially, who had taken no 

active part in Berenice's government--were ready to welcome Ptolemy back 

to his capital. Those who had taken such a part were all summarily 

executed by Ptolemy's orders. 

 

There was, of course, a great excitement throughout the city on the 

arrival of the Roman army. All the foreign influence and power which had 

been exercised in Egypt thus far, and almost all the officers, whether 

civil or military, had been Greek. The coming of the Romans was the 

introduction of a new element of interest to add to the endless variety 

of excitements which animated the capital. 

 

The restoration of Ptolemy was celebrated with games, spectacles, and 

festivities of every kind, and, of course, next to the king himself, the 

chief center of interest and attraction in all these public rejoicings 

would be the distinguished foreign generals by whose instrumentality the 

end had been gained. 

 

Mark Antony was a special object of public regard and admiration at the 

time. His eccentric manners, his frank and honest air, his Roman 

simplicity of dress and demeanor, made him conspicuous; and his 

interposition to save the lives of the captured garrison of Pelusium, 

and the interest which he took in rendering such distinguished funeral 

honors to the enemy whom his army had slain in battle, impressed the 

people with the idea of a certain nobleness and magnanimity in his 

character, which, in spite of his faults, made him an object of general 

admiration and applause. The very faults of such a man assume often, in 

the eyes of the world, the guise and semblance of virtues. For example, 

it is related of Antony that, at one time in the course of his life, 

having a desire to make a present of some kind to a certain person, in 

requital for a favor which he had received from him, he ordered his 

treasurer to send a sum of money to his friend--and named for the sum to 

be sent an amount considerably greater than was really required under 


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