Cleopatra: The Natural Nemesis of Rome Essay

Cleopatra: The Natural Nemesis of Rome Essay

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Cleopatra: The Natural Nemesis of Rome


Abstract

Cleopatra is most often remembered as the lover of two Roman consuls, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, thereby forever connecting the Egyptian queen to the history of Rome. The stories of her relationships with the two men do not always paint a flattering picture of Cleopatra, as her reported promiscuity and presumption give her a colorful reputation. Cleopatra is also sometimes seen as a misunderstood woman, someone who was never given a fair opportunity to be accepted as the wife of Marc Antony nor the mother of Caesar's child. Some historians and authors use the issue of Cleopatra's race as a reason that she was ostracized from Roman society, saying that the Romans were prejudiced against Egyptians, and despite Cleopatra's Greek background, would never accept her as a suitable mate for a Roman consul. This theory, however, is far outweighed by the numerous justifications the Roman people had for their distaste of Cleoaptra. It is not surprising that Cleopatra never found acceptance in Rome, as she offered nothing to the relationship between Egypt and Rome, she stood for everything they were against, and little by little, she succeeded in destroying parts of the society that the Roman people had worked to build.

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Cleopatra and the province of Egypt are not accepted by the Romans because the relationship between the two city-states is not equal, as Rome does not benefit from a partnership between the two, although Egypt expects to be treated as a people of equal power and prestige. While it is true that Egypt is a country with great wealth and fertile land, thus able to give to Rome ample amounts of gold and grain, these are not reasons enough to make Rome tolerant of...


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...was declared the enemy of Rome; Antony was not even mentioned." Rome would not stand for anyone to alter their lifestyle and Cleopatra could do nothing to gain their acceptance.

Works Cited

Butts, Mary. Scenes from the Life of Cleopatra. Sun & Moon Press, Los Angelos: 1994.

Carter, John M. The Battle of Actium. Hamish Hamilton, London:1970.

Cleopatra. Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Perf. Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Rex Harrison. Twentieth Century Fox Productions, 1963.

Cleopatra. Prod. Robert Holmes Sr. With Leonora Varela, Timothy Dalton, and Billy Zane. ABC, 1999.

Huges-Hallet, Lucy. Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams, and Distortions. Harpers & Row, London: 1990.

Masson, Georgina. Ancient Rome: From Romulus to Augustus. The Viking Press, New York: 1973.

Weigall, Arthur. The Life and Times of Marc Antony. G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York: 1931.

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