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.

through the influence of affection. Her countenance beamed with fresh 

animation and beauty, and the sprightliness and vivacity of her 

character, which became at later periods of her life boldness and 

eccentricity, now being softened and restrained within proper limits by 

the respectful regard with which she looked upon Caesar, made her an 

enchanting companion. Caesar was, in fact, entirely intoxicated with the 

fascinations which she unconsciously displayed. 

 

Under other circumstances than these, a personal attachment so strong, 

formed by a military commander while engaged in active service, might 

have been expected to interfere in some degree with the discharge of his 

duties; but in this case, since it was for Cleopatra's sake and her 

behalf that the operations which Caesar had undertaken were to be 

prosecuted, his love for her only stimulated the spirit and energy with 

which he engaged in them. 

 

The first measure to be adopted was, as Caesar plainly perceived, to 

concentrate and strengthen his position in the city, so that he might be 

able to defend himself there against Achillas until he should receive 

re-enforcements from abroad. For this purpose he selected a certain 

group of palaces and citadels which lay together near the head of the 

long pier of cause way which led to the Pharos, and, withdrawing his 

troops from all other parts of the city, established them there. The 

quarter which he thus occupied contained the great city arsenals and 

public granaries. Caesar brought together all the arms and munitions of 

war which he could find in other parts of the city, and also all the 

corn and other provisions which were contained either in the public 

depôts or in private warehouses, and stored the whole within his lines. 

He then inclosed the whole quarter with strong defenses. The avenues 

leading to it were barricaded with walls of stone. Houses in the 

vicinity, which might have afforded shelter to an enemy, were demolished 

and the materials used in constructing walls wherever they were needed, 

or in strengthening the barricades. Prodigious military engines, made to 

throw heavy stones, and beams of wood, and other ponderous missiles, 

were set up within his lines, and openings were made in the walls and 

other defenses of the citadel, wherever necessary, to facilitate the 

action of these machines. 

 

There was a strong fortress situated at the head of the pier or mole 

leading to the island of Pharos, which was without Caesar's lines, and 

still in the hands of the Egyptian authorities. The Egyptians thus 

commanded the entrance to the mole. The island itself, also, with the 

fortress at the other end of the pier, was still in the possession of 

the Egyptian authorities, who seemed disposed to hold it for Achillas. 

The mole was very long, as the island was nearly a mile from the shore. 

There was quite a little town upon the island itself, besides the 

fortress or castle built there to defend the place. The garrison of this 

castle was strong, and the inhabitants of the town, too, constituted a 

somewhat formidable population, as they consisted of fishermen, sailors, 

wreckers, and such other desperate characters, as usually congregate 

about such a spot. Cleopatra and Caesar, from the windows of their palace 

within the city, looked out upon this island, with the tall light house 

rising in the center of it and the castle at its base, and upon the long 

and narrow isthmus connecting it with the main land, and concluded that 

it was very essential that they should get possession of the post, 

commanding, as it did, the entrance to the harbor. 

 

In the harbor, which was on the south side of the mole, and, 

consequently, on the side opposite to that from which Achillas was 

advancing toward the city, there were lying a large number of Egyptian 

vessels, some dismantled, and others manned and armed more or less 

effectively. These vessels had not yet come into Achillas's hands, but 

it would be certain that he would take possession of them as soon as he 

should gain admittance to those parts of the city which Caesar had 

abandoned. This it was extremely important to prevent; for, if Achillas 

held this fleet, especially if he continued to command the island of 

Pharos, he would be perfect master of all the approaches to the city on 

the side of the sea. He could then not only receive re-enforcements and 

supplies himself from that quarter, but he could also effectually cut 


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