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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 VII.

 

 

THE ALEXANDRINE WAR.

 

 

The Alexandrine war.--Forces of Caesar.--The Egyptian army.--Fugitive 

slaves.--Dangerous situation of Caesar.--Presence of Caesar.--Influence of 

Cleopatra.--First measures of Caesar.--Caesar's stores.--Military 

engines.--The mole.--View of Alexandria.--Necessity of taking possession 

of the mole.--Egyptian fleet.--Caesar burns the shipping.--The fort 

taken.--Burning of Alexandria.--Achillas beheaded.--Plans of 

Ganymede.--His vigorous measures.--Messengers of Ganymede.--Their 

instructions.--Ganymede cuts off Caesar's supply of water.--Panic of the 

soldiers.--Caesar's wells.--Arrival of the transports.--The transports in 

distress.--Lowness of the coast.--A combat.--Caesar successful. 

--Ganymede equips a fleet.--A naval conflict.--Caesar in danger. 

--Another victory.--The Egyptians discouraged.--Secret messengers. 

--Dissimulation of Ptolemy--Arrival of Mithradates.--Defeat of Ptolemy. 

--Terror and confusion.--Death of Ptolemy.--Cleopatra queen.--General 

disapprobation of Caesar's course.--Cleopatra's son Caesarion.--Public 

opinion of her conduct.--Caesar departs for Rome.--He takes ArsinoŽ with 

him. 

 

 

The war which ensued as the result of the intrigues and maneuvers 

described in the last chapter is known in the history of Rome and Julius 

Caesar as the Alexandrine war. The events which occurred during the 

progress of it, and its termination at last in the triumph of Caesar and 

Cleopatra, will form the subject of this chapter. 

 

Achillas had greatly the advantage over Caesar at the outset of the 

contest, in respect to the strength of the forces under his command. 

Caesar, in fact, had with him only a detachment of three or four thousand 

men, a small body of troops which he had hastily put on board a little 

squadron of Rhodian galleys for pursuing Pompey across the 

Mediterranean. When he set sail from the European shores with this 

inconsiderable fleet, it is probable that he had no expectation even of 

landing in Egypt at all, and much less of being involved in great 

military undertakings there. Achillas, on the other hand, was at the 

head of a force of twenty-thousand effective men. His troops were, it is 

true, of a somewhat miscellaneous character, but they were all veteran 

soldiers, inured to the climate of Egypt, and skilled in all the modes 

of warfare which were suited to the character of the country. Some of 

them were Roman soldiers, men who had come with the army of Mark Antony 

from Syria when Ptolemy Auletes, Cleopatra's father, was reinstated on 

the throne, and had been left in Egypt, in Ptolemy's service, when 

Antony returned to Rome. Some were native Egyptians. There was also in 

the army of Achillas a large number of fugitive slaves,--refugees who 

had made their escape from various points along the shores of the 

Mediterranean, at different periods, and had been from time to time 

incorporated into the Egyptian army. These fugitives were all men of the 

most determined and desperate character. 

 

Achillas had also in his command a force of two thousand horse. Such a 

body of cavalry made him, of course, perfect master of all the open 

country outside the city walls. At the head of these troops Achillas 

gradually advanced to the very gates of Alexandria, invested the city on 

every side, and shut Caesar closely in. 

 

The danger of the situation in which Caesar was placed was extreme; but 

he had been so accustomed to succeed in extricating himself from the 

most imminent perils, that neither he himself nor his army seem to have 

experienced any concern in respect to the result. Caesar personally felt 

a special pride and pleasure in encountering the difficulties and 

dangers which now beset him, because Cleopatra was with him to witness 

his demeanor, to admire his energy and courage, and to reward by her 

love the efforts and sacrifices which he was making in espousing her 

cause. She confided every thing to him, but she watched all the 

proceedings with the most eager interest, elated with hope in respect to 

the result, and proud of the champion who had thus volunteered to defend 

her. In a word, her heart was full of gratitude, admiration, and love. 

 

The immediate effect, too, of the emotions which she felt so strongly 

was greatly to heighten her natural charms. The native force and energy 

of her character were softened and subdued. Her voice, which always 

possessed a certain inexpressible charm, was endued with new sweetness 


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