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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.

bring them to the city; for the galleys, being propelled by oars, were 

in a measure independent of the wind. On his return, he found quite a 

formidable naval armament assembled to dispute the passage. 

 

A severe conflict ensued, but Caesar was victorious. The navy which the 

Egyptians had so suddenly got together was as suddenly destroyed. Some 

of the vessels were burned, others sunk, and others captured; and Caesar 

returned in triumph to the port with his transports and stores. He was 

welcomed with the acclamations of his soldiers, and, still more warmly, 

by the joy and gratitude of Cleopatra, who had been waiting during his 

absence in great anxiety and suspense to know the result of the 

expedition, aware as she was that her hero was exposing himself in it to 

the most imminent personal danger. 

 

The arrival of these re-enforcements greatly improved Caesar's condition, 

and the circumstance of their coming forced upon the mind of Ganymede a 

sense of the absolute necessity that he should gain possession of the 

harbor if he intended to keep Caesar in check. He accordingly determined 

to take immediate measures for forming a naval force. He sent along the 

coast, and ordered every ship and galley that could be found in all the 

ports to be sent immediately to Alexandria. He employed as many men as 

possible in and around the city in building more. He unroofed some of 

the most magnificent edifices to procure timber as a material for making 

benches and oars. When all was ready, he made a grand attack upon Caesar 

in the port, and a terrible contest ensued for the possession of the 

harbor, the mole, the island, and the citadels and fortresses commanding 

the entrances from the sea. Caesar well knew this contest would be a 

decisive one in respect to the final result of the war, and he 

accordingly went forth himself to take an active and personal part in 

the conflict. He felt doubtless, too, a strong emotion of pride and 

pleasure in exhibiting his prowess in the sight of Cleopatra, who could 

watch the progress of the battle from the palace windows, full of 

excitement at the dangers which he incurred, and of admiration at the 

feats of strength and valor which he performed. During this battle the 

life of the great conqueror was several times in the most imminent 

danger. He wore a habit or mantle of the imperial purple, which made him 

a conspicuous mark for his enemies; and, of course, wherever he went, in 

that place was the hottest of the fight. Once, in the midst of a scene 

of most dreadful confusion and din, he leaped from an overloaded boat 

into the water and swam for his life, holding his cloak between his 

teeth and drawing it through the water after him, that it might not fall 

into the hands of his enemies. He carried, at the same time, as he swam, 

certain valuable papers which he wished to save, holding them above his 

head with one hand, while he propelled himself through the water with 

the other. 

 

The result of this contest was another decisive victory for Caesar. Not 

only were the ships which the Egyptians had collected defeated and 

destroyed, but the mole, with the fortresses at each extremity of it, 

and the island, with the light house and the town of Pharos, all fell 

into Caesar's hands. 

 

The Egyptians now began to be discouraged. The army and the people, 

judging, as mankind always do, of the virtue of their military 

commanders solely by the criterion of success, began to be tired of the 

rule of Ganymede and ArsinoŽ. They sent secret messengers to Caesar 

avowing their discontent, and saying that, if he would liberate 

Ptolemy--who, it will be recollected, had been all this time held as a 

sort of prisoner of state in Caesar's palaces--they thought that the 

people generally would receive him as their sovereign, and that then an 

arrangement might easily be made for an amicable adjustment of the whole 

controversy. Caesar was strongly inclined to accede to this proposal. 

 

He accordingly called Ptolemy into his presence and, taking him kindly 

by the hand, informed him of the wishes of the people of Egypt, and gave 

him permission to go. Ptolemy, however, begged not to be sent away. He 

professed the strongest attachment to Caesar, and the utmost confidence 

in him, and he very much preferred, he said, to remain under his 

protection. Caesar replied that, if those were his sentiments, the 

separation would not be a lasting one. "If we part as friends," he said, 


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