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Arsinöe II

Arsinöe II


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Dewa-Dewa Saudara


Dalam gambar ini, kita dapat melihat dengan jelas bahwa Ptolemy II dan Arsinöe II disebut 'Saudara.' Kata Yunani untuk "saudara" adalah adelphoi - . Artikel tentang perkawinan inses Ptolemeus ini berbunyi,

Untuk beberapa alasan, ada orang yang mengklaim bahwa adelphoi berarti "saudara". Tapi ini adalah gambar pria dan wanita.

Beberapa pasangan dalam sejarah dan mitologi disebut Theoi Adelphoi - dewa bersaudara - Cleopatra dan Ptolemy, Zeus dan Hera, Isis dan Osiris, dan Ptolemy II dan Arsinöe II.

5 komentar:

Saya bukan ahli bahasa Yunani, tapi "ΠΗ" mungkin seharusnya "Φ".

Tidak diragukan lagi saudara sepupu dekat.

The “homo religiosus" dari Eliade sayangku sekarang bingung dalam Sia Indian aseksual? Taktik aseksualitas merupakan bagian dari proses abstraksi teologis yang mengubah dewa-dewa lokal yang keji dan kotor menjadi metafisika transenden. Saya ingin dewa-dewa saya -- bersih! Dan abstrak!

Sekarang – adelphoi – juga akhir dari metafisika?

Katakan tidak demikian. Fulus.

Lupakan metafisika (tolong). Saya kira saya suka Buddhisme Vajrayana saya kasar dan keras. Lupakan itu juga,

Karena agama adalah tempat jejak koin! Lagipula.

Sorak-sorai (dan kedamaian - menyelinap),

Ya, itu datang kepada saya pagi ini. Saya bangun di malam hari mengkhawatirkan anak-anak saya, dan menggunakan input bahasa Inggris ke Yunani. Dikoreksi sekarang.

Semoga anak-anakmu baik-baik saja, Suzanne.

Mereka baik. Hanya salah satu dari hal-hal yang mengkhawatirkan yang membuat seorang ibu terjaga malam.


Apa yang mendorong Firaun Ptolemeus Yunani mengadopsi inses saudara-saudari dalam satu generasi?

Ptolemy II Philadelphus, penguasa Ptolemeus kedua Mesir, menikahi saudara perempuannya yang berdarah murni, Arsinoë II. Apa pandangan Yunani tentang pernikahan saudara perempuan selama periode ini? Apakah ada skandal besar atas pernikahan di Mesir dengan orang-orang Yunani yang tinggal di sana, atau di dunia Helenistik yang lebih luas?

Kesalahpahaman utama tentang adopsi pernikahan saudara kandung oleh dinasti Ptolemeus adalah bahwa itu sebagian besar merupakan upaya untuk melegitimasi pemerintahan Firaun mereka dan menegakkan tradisi Mesir. Ini tidak benar karena dua alasan, yang pertama adalah bahwa praktek Firaun menikahi saudara perempuan kerajaan mereka tidak wajib atau bahkan semua yang umum sepanjang sejarah Dinasti Mesir, hal itu terjadi dan putri kerajaan sering menikah dengan kerabat daripada mereka menikah di bawah umur mereka. peringkat, tetapi gagasan dinasti Mesir hanya menikahi diri mereka sendiri dalam garis yang tidak terputus sama sekali tidak akurat. Kedua, adalah bahwa Ptolemy II memiliki alasan politik yang kuat untuk menikahi Arsinöe II yang tidak ada hubungannya dengan tradisi Mesir untuk menolaknya menjadi saudara tiri mereka Ptolemy Keraunos.

Arsinöe II pertama kali menikah dengan Lysimachus sebagai bagian dari aliansi antara dia dan Ptolemy I (ayah dari Ptolemy II, Keraunos dan Arsinöe II), dan dia melahirkan Lysimachus tiga putra. Melalui pernikahannya dengan Lysimachus, dia memiliki klaim potensial atas kerajaan Makedonia dan Trakia yang diperkuat setelah dia mengatur agar Agathocles (putra Lysimachus dari pernikahan sebelumnya) dibunuh. Jadi setelah menetapkan posisi Arsinöe, mari kita beralih ke Keraunos.

Ptolemy Keraunos sebenarnya adalah putra tertua Ptolemy I tetapi dia diturunkan dalam suksesi dan adik tirinya Ptolemeus II ditunjuk sebagai pewaris sehingga Keraunos melarikan diri dari Mesir dan menemukan perlindungan di istana Lysimachus karena dia tidak ingin berada di posisi saingan potensial untuk tahta. Lysimachus akhirnya terbunuh dalam pertempuran ketika dia dikalahkan oleh pasukan Seleucus Nicator. Keraunos kemudian membunuh Seleucus dan menegaskan kontrol atas Thrace dan Makedonia. Namun ini memiliki efek yang tidak menguntungkan meninggalkan Arsinöe II dan putra-putranya dalam posisi genting karena klaim potensial mereka sehingga untuk menetralisir situasi tegang ini Keraunos menikahinya. Ini terdengar mengejutkan menurut standar kami, tetapi di banyak masyarakat Hellenic seperti Athena dan Makedonia, pernikahan saudara tiri dari pihak ayah (tetapi tidak dari pihak ibu) sangat dapat diterima, dan di negara-kota Yunani lainnya, pernikahan keponakan perempuan dengan paman tidak ada artinya. mata di. Dalam masyarakat Romawi, pernikahan sepupu pertama diizinkan. Bahkan saingan mereka, Seleukus, memiliki serikat saudara tiri dalam dinasti mereka. Pernikahan ini terbukti tidak bahagia, dan Arsinöe II berkomplot melawan Keraunos dengan putra-putranya yang dia hukum dengan membunuh dua anak bungsu sementara anak sulungnya melarikan diri.

Sekarang giliran Arsinöe untuk melarikan diri dan dia pergi ke Mesir mencari perlindungan saudaranya Ptolemy II yang pada saat itu menikah dengan Arsinöe I sepupu jauh mereka yang kebetulan memiliki nama yang sama. Arsinöe II kemudian mengubah bakatnya yang tampaknya tangguh untuk intrik dan intrik politik untuk bekerja dengan membangun aliansi di istana Aleksandria dan meyakinkan Ptolemy II untuk menceraikan Arsinöe I dan menikahinya sebagai gantinya. Meskipun orang Makedonia mempraktikkan poligini dan perceraian serta pemecatan Arsinöe I tidak diperlukan agar pernikahan dengan Arsinöe II terjadi, Arsinöe II perlu menetapkan dirinya sebagai ratu-bupati yang tak terbantahkan dari Ptolemy. Dikatakan bahwa pernikahan ini benar-benar penuh cinta dan bahwa Ptolemy setidaknya tertarik pada pernikahan untuk alasan pribadi maupun politik. Namun ini juga merupakan langkah cerdas bagi Ptolemy II karena dengan menikahi Arsinöe II ia mencegah orang lain menikahinya dan mengklaim wilayah apa pun sebagai bagian dari mas kawinnya, dan tampaknya Arsinöe II dapat membantu perjuangan Ptolemy di bidang politik di Mesir juga karena dia cukup populer di Alexandria.

Penyatuan Ptolemy II dan Arsinöe II diterima dengan kejutan dan ketidaksukaan dari rakyat Yunani mereka karena serikat saudara kandung berada di luar apa yang dapat diterima oleh kepekaan Hellenic. Menurut sejarawan Romawi Aleksandria Plutarch, seorang penyair bernama Sosibius yang Cabul mengolok-olok persatuan itu dalam sebuah puisi yang menuduh Ptolemy II dengan cara yang paling ah, kasar dengan kalimat tersebut.

Anda memasukkan tusukan Anda ke dalam lubang yang tidak suci

Tak perlu dikatakan lagi, baik Ptolemy II maupun Arsinöe II tidak menganggap ini lucu seperti yang dilakukan Sosibius dan salah satu laksamana Ptolemy bernama Patroklus menyegelnya dalam kotak timah dan melemparkannya ke Danau Mareotis di luar Alexandria. Sumber-sumber Romawi juga mengungkapkan ketidaksukaan atas apa yang mereka lihat sebagai hasil dari kemerosotan "Oriental" dan warisan inses Ptolemeus sering digunakan untuk menunjukkan tirani dan kerusakan moral mereka.

Tapi puisi juga digunakan untuk membenarkan persatuan seperti dalam kasus Theokritus, pelindung istana Aleksandria, yang menyusun puisi memuji persatuan dan membandingkannya dengan pasangan saudara kandung Zeus dan Hera. Dengan membuat hubungan dengan mitologi Yunani, penyatuan itu diambil dari konteks aib yang kotor dan sebagai gantinya dilemparkan ke dalam terang yang murni dan seperti dewa.

Dari Zeus mari kita mulai, dan dengan Zeus dalam puisi kita, Muses, mari kita akhiri, karena dari yang abadi dia yang terbaik tetapi dari manusia biarkan Ptolemy dinamai, pertama, terakhir, dan di tengah-tengah, karena manusia dia yang paling luar biasa . dia dan istrinya yang mulia, dari siapa tidak ada yang lebih baik memeluk seorang suami di aulanya, mencintai dengan sepenuh hati saudara laki-lakinya dan pasangannya. Setelah mode ini selesai, pengantin suci juga dari para abadi yang dilahirkan Ratu Rhea untuk memerintah Olympus dan satu-satunya adalah sofa yang Iris, masih perawan, tangannya dimurnikan dengan parfum, ditaburi untuk tidur Zeus dan Hera.

Penekanan pada kemurnian dan keilahian melalui perkawinan saudara akan terus digunakan sepanjang sejarah dinasti Ptolemeus tetapi lebih merupakan panggilan kembali ke pemerintahan Ptolemy II dan Arsinöe II daripada tradisi Firaun yang telah berlalu. Perbandingan dengan dewa-dewa Mesir Isis dan Osiris juga dibuat tentu saja, tetapi bahkan di sini mereka cenderung melihat dan menampilkan dewa-dewa ini dalam istilah Hellenic sebagai padanan Mesir dari Zeus dan Hera. Secara umum, setiap kali Ptolemeus menggunakan ideologi Mesir untuk membenarkan kekhasan mereka pada subjek Yunani, itu lebih dekat dengan persepsi Yunani tentang Mesir daripada dengan realitas budaya Mesir. Perlu juga dicatat bahwa meskipun kami memiliki bukti bahwa pada periode Romawi lebih dari 20% pernikahan adalah antara saudara kandung, ini dianggap telah ditingkatkan dari periode Ptolemeus dan meskipun alasannya sangat tidak jelas, tampaknya banyak praktik yang secara khusus "Mesir" adalah khusus untuk periode yang jelas-jelas bukan Mesir.

Arsinöe II dan Ptolemy II tidak memiliki anak, meskipun pernikahan mereka tampaknya bahagia dan putra Arsinöe I, Ptolemy III akan mewarisi takhta dan menikahi putri Kirene Berenike. Alasan mengapa praktik ini dilanjutkan adalah karena berguna untuk membatasi jumlah penuntut takhta, dan pada banyak kesempatan perang saudara atau persaingan antara saudara kandung yang bersaing diselesaikan melalui pernikahan. Ambil kasus pernikahan terkenal antara Ptolemy VIII, Cleopatra II dan Cleopatra III. Sepintas, pernikahan Ptolemy VIII dengan saudara perempuannya dan kemudian dengan putrinya yang merupakan putri Cleopatra II saudara mereka yang telah meninggal, Ptolemy VI, mengerikan. Agar adil, itu tetap tidak menyenangkan dalam konteks tetapi tidak dimotivasi oleh inses atau kebejatan. Ptolemy VIII pertama-tama menikahi Cleopatra II untuk mengamankan klaimnya di atas takhta karena dia tidak berhasil berusaha untuk menggulingkannya dan Ptolemy VI sebelum kematiannya dalam perang di Suriah. Dengan menikahinya, dia mengakhiri perang saudara di antara mereka tetapi dia akhirnya akan membunuh putra-putranya sehingga dia tidak memiliki saingan dan juga menikahi putrinya yang berusia 14 tahun Cleopatra III sebelum mengasingkan Cleopatra II. Ini hampir pasti dipaksakan pada Cleopatra III tetapi ratu muda masih aktif bersaing dengan ibunya untuk takhta, dan setelah Cleopatra II kembali berkuasa dia mengasingkan putri dan suaminya keduanya. Hal ini menyebabkan konflik lebih lanjut yang menjerumuskan Mesir ke dalam anarki sampai tercapai penyelesaian di mana ketiganya berdamai dan memerintah bersama, dengan anak-anak Cleopatra III oleh Ptolemy VIII berkuasa setelah kematiannya. Jaring inses yang terikat ini secara langsung disebabkan oleh konflik internecine saat itu, yang pada gilirannya didorong oleh ambisi para penuntut dan berbagai pejabat dan abdi dalem yang berebut untuk mendapatkan bantuan kerajaan dan pengaruh yang lebih besar.

Situasi keseluruhan bukanlah keputusan sadar untuk mematuhi standar politik-keagamaan Mesir apa pun karena ini adalah serangkaian contoh di mana raja dan penasihat yang membimbing mereka merasa berguna untuk menggunakan cara (akhirnya) yang tidak dapat ditolak untuk menetralkan penerus saingan.

Adalah relevan untuk menunjukkan bahwa penguasa Ptolemeus pertama yang lahir dari pernikahan saudara kandung adalah Ptolemy V dan dia menikahi seorang putri Seleucid bernama Cleopatra I, jadi secara keseluruhan, jumlah perkawinan sedarah dalam dinasti Ptolemeus sering dilebih-lebihkan karena diasumsikan bahwa setiap pernikahan saudara kandung menghasilkan anak-anak yang kemudian menikah, padahal sebenarnya tidak demikian.


Kuno: Koin Yunani Klasik, Bagian IV

Saat survei kami tentang koin perak Yunani berlanjut, kami akan berangkat dari format geografis dan menyelidiki koin Kerajaan Helenistik. Dengan perluasan Kerajaan Makedonia di bawah Philip II (359-336 SM) dan putranya Alexander III (336-323 SM), dunia Yunani mengalami transformasi besar. Kekaisaran Persia digulingkan dan sebagian besar dunia Yunani diperintah oleh raja. Meskipun era negara kota yang angkuh sebagian besar telah berlalu, ada banyak peluang sepanjang Zaman Helenistik (c.350/336-30 SM) bagi kota-kota individu untuk menegaskan kemerdekaan mereka.

Sebagian besar koin Helenistik menunjukkan di bagian depan potret seorang penguasa - baik raja saat ini atau leluhur yang dihormati - dan sebagian besar koin yang dijelaskan di bawah ini masuk ke dalam kategori itu. Bukan tugas yang mudah untuk mempersempit mata uang yang kaya dan beragam menjadi hanya 10 masalah, tetapi yang dipilih adalah jenis penting yang memberikan penampang yang baik dari kerajaan besar dan wilayah masalah.


Cleopatra, Arsinoe, dan Implikasinya

Tepat sebelum tidur tadi malam saya dibanjiri dengan bloggables, yang utamanya adalah laporan di berbagai surat kabar tentang tes yang telah dilakukan pada tulang seseorang yang diyakini sebagai Arsinoe, saudara perempuan Cleopatra yang terbunuh. Yang ini menghadirkan banyak kesulitan dan pers mungkin akan melontarkan senjata (sekali lagi), meskipun jelas ini adalah hype untuk program televisi yang menyamar sebagai berita. Bagaimanapun, mari kita mulai dengan sedikit dari Waktu‘ cakupan pada identifikasi tulang sebagai Arsinoe:

Makam yang khas ini pertama kali dibuka pada tahun 1926 oleh para arkeolog yang menemukan sebuah sarkofagus di dalamnya berisi kerangka. Mereka mengeluarkan tengkorak, yang diperiksa dan diukur tetapi hilang dalam pergolakan perang dunia kedua.

Pada awal 1990-an Thür masuk kembali ke makam dan menemukan kerangka tanpa kepala, yang dia yakini sebagai seorang wanita muda. Petunjuk, seperti bentuk oktagonal makam yang tidak biasa, yang menggemakan mercusuar Alexandria yang terkait dengan Arsinöe, meyakinkan Thür bahwa mayat itu adalah saudara perempuan Cleopatra. Teorinya dianggap kredibel oleh banyak sejarawan, dan dalam upaya untuk menyelesaikan masalah, Institut Arkeologi Austria meminta Universitas Kedokteran Wina untuk menunjuk seorang spesialis untuk memeriksa sisa-sisa.

Fabian Kanz, seorang antropolog, merasa skeptis ketika memulai tugas ini dua tahun lalu. “Kami mencoba mengecualikannya dari menjadi Arsinöe,” katanya. "Kami menggunakan semua metode yang kami miliki untuk menemukan apa pun yang dapat mengatakan, 'Oke, ini tidak mungkin Arsinöe karena ini dan ini'."

Setelah menggunakan penanggalan karbon, yang menentukan penanggalan kerangka dari 200BC-20BC, Kanz, yang telah memeriksa lebih dari 500 kerangka lain yang diambil dari reruntuhan Ephesus, menemukan bahwa teori Thür memperoleh kredibilitas.

Dia mengatakan dia yakin tulang-tulang itu perempuan dan menempatkan usia wanita itu pada 15-18. Meskipun tanggal lahir Arsinöe tidak diketahui, dia pasti lebih muda dari Cleopatra, yang berusia sekitar 27 tahun pada saat kematian saudara perempuannya.

Tidak adanya tanda-tanda penyakit atau kekurangan gizi juga menunjukkan kematian mendadak, kata Kanz. Bukti etnis Afrika utara kerangka itu memberikan petunjuk terakhir.

Caroline Wilkinson, seorang antropolog forensik, merekonstruksi tengkorak yang hilang berdasarkan pengukuran yang dilakukan pada tahun 1920-an. Dengan menggunakan teknologi komputer, dimungkinkan untuk membuat kesan wajah seperti apa rupa Arsinöe.

"Ia memiliki bentuk kepala yang panjang ini," kata Wilkinson. “Itu adalah sesuatu yang cukup sering Anda lihat di Mesir kuno dan orang kulit hitam Afrika. Itu bisa menunjukkan campuran leluhur. ”

Thür yang disebutkan adalah Hilke Thür dari Akademi Ilmu Pengetahuan Austria. Makam yang dimaksud sebenarnya ada di Efesus dan kita tahu bahwa Arsinoe sebenarnya dibunuh di sana atas permintaan Cleopatra dan atas perintah Marcus Antonius. Identifikasi makam sebagai milik Arsinoe tampaknya cukup masuk akal (jika tidak sepenuhnya aman). Namun, seperti yang diharapkan, sisi leluhur adalah apa yang ditekankan oleh pers ke … Dr Thur dikutip di Telegraph (dan ada kutipan serupa dalam liputan AFP):

“Ini unik dalam kehidupan seorang arkeolog untuk menemukan makam dan kerangka anggota dinasti Ptolemeus. Hasil pemeriksaan forensik dan fakta bahwa rekonstruksi wajah menunjukkan bahwa Arsinoe memiliki ibu Afrika adalah sensasi nyata yang mengarah pada wawasan baru tentang keluarga Cleopatra dan hubungan saudara perempuan Cleopatra dan Arsinoe.”

Judul utama keduanya Telegrap (“Cleopatra memiliki keturunan Afrika, kerangka menyarankan”) dan AFP liputan (“Cleopatra ‘adalah bagian-Afrika'”) menunjukkan lompatan yang diambil pers dengan yang satu ini, terlepas dari kenyataan bahwa kami tidak sepenuhnya yakin siapa ibu Cleopatra’s (dia tidak disebutkan dalam sumber sejauh yang saya ketahui dan dugaan bahwa Cleopatra V (ibu Arsinoe) adalah dugaan lama) — dia dan Arsinoe belum tentu memiliki ibu yang sama. Tapi di luar itu, kita mendapatkan bisnis tengkorak ini dan apakah etnis Arsinoe benar-benar ditentukan dari tengkorak yang direkonstruksi berdasarkan pengukuran yang dilakukan pada tahun 1920-an? Meskipun saya takut dicap sebagai orang yang memiliki “otak seperti kereta pos”, tidak bisakah ada beberapa tes DNA yang sebenarnya pada bahan kerangka? Apakah itu bahkan disarankan? Saya pikir juri masih sangat tidak setuju dengan yang satu ini …

PEMBARUAN I (16/03/09) : Saya perhatikan bahwa Mary Beard setuju dengan saya – Kerangka saudara perempuan Cleopatra’? Stabil.

PEMBARUAN II (16/03/09) : Larut malam sinapsis ditembakkan dan saya ingat kami memiliki beberapa hype di bulan September ini, tapi agak kabur. Sekedar untuk menyegarkan ingatan orang-orang (jika Anda tidak mengeklik tautannya), kami dijanjikan bahwa, “Film ini, berdasarkan bukti arkeologis baru yang memukau, memberikan perspektif baru tentang femme fatale asli dunia.” Kami diberitahu bahwa, “… rincian lebih lanjut akan diumumkan tentang bukti forensik di kemudian hari.” Kembali pada bulan September saya bertanya-tanya apa bukti “memukau” ini dan bertanya-tanya pada keheningan Zahi Hawass’ pada masalah. Saya masih bertanya-tanya tentang itu, tetapi apa yang benar-benar membuat saya tetap terjaga tadi malam adalah pertanyaan apakah seorang anggota keluarga kerajaan Mesir 'meskipun di pengasingan dan sebagai akibat dari pembunuhan politik' akan dikuburkan non- Gaya Mesir (sans mumifikasi) atau gaya Mesir. Bukan sesuatu yang bisa kita ketahui, sayangnya.

Di luar itu, sinapsis lain bersikeras untuk menembak dan saya ingat dari belakang di masa sarjana saya bukan rekonstruksi tengkorak Philip II (yang konon), melainkan tengkorak yang kurang dihipnotis yang mengikutinya '8211. tengkorak yang konon milik Midas, ditemukan di apa yang disebut Midas Mound di Gordion. Tengkorak itu juga ‘memanjang’ dan jadi saya menggali A.J.N.W. Prag, “Merekonstruksi Raja Midas: Laporan Pertama”, Studi Anatolia 39 (1989) dan pada hlm. 160-161 kita membaca:

Wajah yang muncul agak panjang, dengan bagian atas agak kekar tetapi bagian bawah dan rahangnya cukup besar: wajah seorang pria tua dengan punggung yang sangat panjang di kepalanya: baik Mr. Neave dan Profesor Alpagut telah mencatat pemanjangan yang tidak biasa ke bagian belakang tengkorak, sehingga sisi-sisinya agak rata dan bagian atasnya terdorong ke atas hampir menjadi punggungan: Profesor Alpagut menyarankan bahwa ini adalah hasil dari membalut tengkorak dengan erat saat individu itu masih bayi, sebuah &# 8220kosmetik” praktek dicatat pada tengkorak lain yang ditemukan di Turki.

Kita harus menunggu dan melihat apakah ‘dokumenter’ BBC menyebutkan hal semacam ini … Saya juga ingin tahu apakah ada orang yang terlibat dalam hal ini telah mempelajari tengkorak dari penguburan Makedonia untuk melihat apakah mungkin ada beberapa bukti perpanjangan dalam budaya itu.

PEMBARUAN III (16/03/09) : Dorothy King memiliki beberapa pengamatan yang berguna pada tengkorak memanjang – Strange Skulls: Arsinoe’s Disebut Makam di Ephesus

PEMBARUAN IV (20/03/09) : Katherine Griffis-Greenberg telah melacak abstrak makalah oleh orang-orang yang melakukan beberapa tes DNA pada kerangka (makalah akan disampaikan pada pertemuan tahunan American Association of Physical Anthropologists pada tanggal 3 April 2009). Dari hal. 216-217 dari koleksi abstrak datang:

Cleopatra diidentifikasi? – Tantangan osseous dan molekuler. F. Kanz, K. Grossschmidt, J. Kiesslich.

Arsinoe IV dari Mesir, adik perempuan Cleopatra, dibunuh antara usia 16 dan 18 tahun atas perintah Marc Antony pada tahun 41 SM saat tinggal di suaka politik di Artemision di Ephesus (Turki). Temuan arkeologi dan fitur arsitektur menunjukkan sisa-sisa kerangka yang ditemukan di Oktogon – Heroon di pusat Efesus kuno – menjadi milik Arsinoe IV. Sisa-sisa masing-masing diberi tanggal dan diselidiki oleh osteologi forensik, radiologi dan analisis DNA kuno untuk menilai identifikasi: Penanggalan radiokarbon (VERA-4104) mengisolasi periode antara 210 dan 20 SM (94% prob.). Fitur morfologi menunjukkan betina dengan perkiraan tinggi tubuh 154 cm (+/- 3 cm) dan 217 dengan anggota badan dalam proporsi yang baik satu sama lain. Penutupan epifisis dan perkiraan usia histologis (potongan melintang femoralis) menunjukkan usia kematian yang konsisten antara 15 dan 17 tahun. Seluruh kerangka tampaknya milik individu yang ramping dan rapuh (rekonstruksi jaringan lunak diterapkan dan dibandingkan dengan sumber-sumber kuno). Penanda stres, seperti garis Harris tidak ada dan tidak ada nyanyian untuk beban kerja berat atau trauma pra atau perimortal yang ditemukan. Analisis DNA purba dilakukan untuk beberapa sampel tulang. Tidak ada DNA inti yang terdeteksi, kemungkinan besar karena faktor diagenesa dan kondisi penyimpanan. Upaya untuk menemukan DNA mitokondria saat ini sedang berlangsung. Investigasi tidak dapat memverifikasi atau menyangkal teori tentang asal usul jenazah. Namun, setelah mtDNA berhasil mengetik sampel referensi relatif ibu akan diperlukan untuk identifikasi akhir.

Jadi saya kira kami memiliki jawaban untuk tes DNA kami … jelas hasil apa pun tidak akan membantu dalam hal identifikasi, kecuali mungkin DNA ini dapat dibandingkan dengan beberapa pemakaman Makedonia. Tapi hanya untuk memperumit, saya cukup yakin bahwa SEMUA ORANG memiliki mtDNA Afrika, bukan?


Para Pertapa Menghuni Gurun Pasir Mesir

Kita semua telah mendengar tentang para Bapa Gurun, para biarawan pertapa yang, mengikuti prototipe cemerlang St. Antonius dari Gurun (251-356), pensiun ke padang gurun untuk mempersembahkan hidup mereka kepada Tuhan sebagai penyendiri dalam doa dan pengorbanan. Terburu-buru ke gurun mulai berlangsung pada abad ke-4, dan segera ada sejumlah besar biksu. Pada tahun 390, ketika penganiayaan telah lama berhenti, ada lebih dari 50.000 penyendiri - pria maupun wanita - hanya di Gurun Nitria, salah satu dari tiga pusat utama kegiatan monastik Kristen di Timur.

Pilihan di bawah ini adalah dari Historia Monachorum, sumber awal untuk monastisisme Mesir abad ke-4. Penulis anonim, yang adalah seorang biarawan di Yerusalem, melakukan perjalanan ke padang pasir Mesir dan melaporkan para biarawan di sana.

Apa yang dia temukan membuatnya takjub: bukan hanya biksu yang menyendiri di pertapaan yang terisolasi, tetapi komunitas biksu yang besar, beberapa hidup di bawah bimbingan satu guru, yang lain di komunitas yang lebih kecil, beberapa didedikasikan hanya untuk berdoa tetapi yang lain mempekerjakan diri mereka sendiri untuk layanan untuk mempertahankan komunitas. dan untuk menyediakan bagi orang miskin. Di mana-mana ia diteguhkan oleh kebajikan, kesopanan, dan keramahan para penghuni gurun itu.

Di bawah, kita akan mengikutinya dalam bagian singkat dari perjalanannya di mana dia menggambarkan gaya hidup yang berbeda dari para biarawan gurun.

Di daerah sekitar Arsinöe, kami melihat seorang Serapion, seorang pendeta dan ayah dari banyak biara. Di bawah asuhannya, ia memiliki lebih dari 10.000 biksu, dalam banyak kelompok dan beragam, dan mereka semua mendapatkan roti dari pekerjaan tangan mereka. Sebagian besar dari apa yang mereka peroleh, terutama pada waktu panen, mereka bawa kepada Bapa ini untuk digunakan orang miskin.

Pada abad ke-5 Gurun Nitria dihuni oleh komunitas biksu

Karena sudah menjadi kebiasaan tidak hanya di antara mereka, tetapi hampir semua biarawan Mesir, mempekerjakan diri mereka sendiri pada saat panen sebagai pemanen, dan masing-masing di antara mereka akan mendapatkan 80 takaran jagung, kurang lebih, dan menawarkan sebagian besar darinya. kepada orang miskin, sehingga tidak hanya orang-orang lapar di pedesaan itu yang diberi makan, tetapi kapal-kapal dikirim ke Aleksandria yang sarat dengan jagung untuk dibagikan kepada mereka yang menjadi tawanan di kapal perang atau orang asing yang membutuhkan. Karena kemiskinan di Mesir tidak cukup untuk memakan buah dari belas kasih dan kemurahan hati mereka. .

Maka kami tiba di Nitria, tempat yang paling terkenal di antara semua biara Mesir, sekitar 37 mil jauhnya dari Alexandria dan dinamai menurut kota tetangga tempat nitre (kalium nitrat) dikumpulkan, seolah-olah di dalam Penyelenggaraan Allah telah diramalkan bahwa di tempat-tempat ini dosa-dosa manusia akan dibasuh dan dihapus sama sekali, sama seperti noda-noda dibersihkan dengan nitrat.

Di tempat ini ada sekitar 50 tempat tinggal, letaknya berdekatan dan di bawah satu Ayah. Dalam beberapa dari banyak saudara ini hidup bersama, dalam beberapa beberapa, dan di tempat lain seorang saudara hidup sendiri. Tetapi meskipun mereka terbagi dalam tempat tinggal mereka, namun mereka tetap terikat dan tak terpisahkan dalam roh dan iman dan cinta kasih.

Jadi, saat kami mendekati tempat itu, segera setelah mereka tahu bahwa saudara-saudara yang aneh akan datang, mereka langsung keluar seperti segerombolan lebah, masing-masing dari selnya dan berlari untuk menemui kami, gembira dan bersemangat. Sebagian besar membawa kendi berisi air dan roti, karena Nabi menegur orang-orang tertentu telah berkata, "Kamu tidak keluar untuk menyongsong bani Israel dengan roti dan air." .

Tetapi tentang kemanusiaan mereka, kesopanan mereka, cinta kasih mereka, apa yang harus saya katakan, ketika masing-masing dari mereka akan membawa kita ke selnya sendiri, tidak hanya untuk memenuhi kewajiban keramahan, tetapi lebih dari kerendahan hati, yang mereka memang master, dan dari kelembutan dan kualitas sejenis yang dipelajari di antara mereka dengan rahmat yang beragam tetapi satu dan doktrin yang sama, seolah-olah mereka telah datang terpisah dari dunia untuk tujuan yang sama. .

Jauh di dalam padang pasir adalah para penyendiri yang hidup benar-benar jauh dari masyarakat mana pun

Di luar ini (Gunung Nitria) ada tempat lain di gurun bagian dalam, sekitar sembilan mil jauhnya. Dan lokasi ini, karena banyaknya sel yang tersebar di gurun, mereka menyebutnya Cellia, Sel. Ke tempat ini mereka yang telah mendapatkan inisiasi pertama mereka dan yang ingin hidup lebih jauh, terlepas dari semua perangkapnya, menarik diri. Karena gurun itu sangat luas dan sel-selnya dipisahkan satu sama lain oleh ruang yang begitu luas sehingga tidak ada yang terlihat oleh tetangganya, juga tidak ada suara yang terdengar.

Satu demi satu mereka berdiam di sel mereka, keheningan yang luar biasa dan keheningan yang luar biasa di antara mereka. Hanya pada hari Sabtu dan Minggu mereka datang bersama ke gereja, dan di sana mereka saling bertemu muka sebagai orang yang dipulihkan di surga.

Jika kebetulan ada orang yang hilang dalam pertemuan itu, mereka mengerti bahwa dia telah ditahan oleh suatu penyakit di tubuhnya, dan segera mereka semua pergi mengunjunginya: Tidak semuanya bersama-sama tetapi pada waktu yang berbeda, dan masing-masing membawa bersamanya. apa pun yang dia miliki di selnya yang mungkin tampak bermanfaat bagi orang sakit.

Tetapi tidak ada alasan lain yang berani mengganggu kesunyian tetangganya, kecuali jika dikuatkan dengan kata-kata yang baik, seperti untuk mengurapi dengan nasihat penghiburan yang ditetapkan para atlet untuk perjuangan.


Seperti apa hubungan Cleopatra dan Julius Caesar?

Meskipun hubungan antara Caesar dan Cleopatra telah diabadikan dalam literatur Barat, relatif sedikit yang kita ketahui tentang interaksi mereka satu sama lain, apalagi hubungan atau perasaan mereka terhadap satu sama lain.

Untuk memulainya, penting untuk memahami latar belakang pertemuan mereka. Ayahnya Ptolemy Auletes memiliki kebijakan pro-Romawi selama masa pemerintahannya, membentuk aliansi dengan Triumvirat Pertama tetapi khususnya dengan Pompey Agung yang dia berikan tidak hanya suap moneter, tetapi hadiah, persediaan dan kavaleri untuk melaksanakan kampanyenya di Yudea. Caesar dan Crassus adalah anggota yang lebih pasif dari pengaturan ini karena mereka mengambil "hadiah" keuangannya tetapi tidak menawarkan banyak hal lain selain dukungan diam-diam mereka, namun Ptolemy Auletes masih mendapatkan apa yang dia butuhkan karena mereka menamakannya sekutu Republik Romawi yang membawa Mesir ke lipatan Romawi. Hubungan antara Roma dan Mesir hampir tidak hangat selama hidupnya sebagai kebencian populer terhadap suap yang dibayarkan kepada politisi Romawi dan perpajakan ekstrim yang dijamin menyebabkan kerusuhan dan pemberontakan, Siprus milik Ptolemeus lain yang diperintah oleh pamannya dianeksasi atas perintah tribun Romawi Clodius Pulcher yang mengadakan dendam terhadap raja Siprus dan ingin mengambil keuntungan dari hasil pertaniannya, ayahnya gagal mencegah pembunuhan seorang duta besar Romawi oleh massa Aleksandria setelah dia secara tidak sengaja melakukan penistaan, dan intervensi militer Romawi oleh Aulus Gabinius untuk mengembalikan Ptolemy Auletes ke takhta. Pada saat dia naik takhta pada usia 17-18 sudah ada perasaan keras dan persaingan antara faksi-faksi politik di kedua negara bagian. Gabiniani (tentara bayaran Romawi yang ditinggalkan oleh Gabinius) hanya memperumit masalah ketika mereka terlibat pertengkaran dengan penduduk Aleksandria dan berusaha mengambil bagian dalam politik dinasti Mesir.

Pada tahun 50 SM, Gabiniani membunuh putra-putra pendukung Pompey Agung, Bibulus, yang dikirim untuk memanggil Gabiniani dalam perang saudara melawan Julius Caesar, ketika Cleopatra mengetahui peristiwa ini, dia memerintahkan para letnan yang bertanggung jawab dipenjarakan dan dikirim ke Bibulus. Pada tahun 49 SM ketika Gnaeus Pompeius Minor, putra Pompey the Great, memintanya untuk mengiriminya persediaan dan bala bantuan untuk mendukung ayahnya dalam perang melawan Caesar, dia awalnya ragu untuk menyeret Mesir ke dalam perang saudara Romawi, tetapi dia akhirnya setuju untuk melakukannya. mengirimnya 500 kavaleri Gabinia dan 60 kapal dengan perbekalan. Tindakan ini secara langsung menyebabkan perampasan dan pengasingannya saat mereka mengasingkan Gabiniani dan komandan militer kunci Aleksandria yang memihak para abdi dalem yang tertarik untuk menyingkirkan Cleopatra dan memerintah melalui adik laki-lakinya, dan pasukan Pompey akan dikalahkan pada pertempuran Pharsalus. Pada saat yang sama sulit untuk menyalahkan dia atas tindakannya karena Pompey tidak hanya menjadi sekutu lama ayahnya, tetapi dia mendapat dukungan dari Senat Romawi (menjadikannya pemain yang lebih sah dalam perang) dan raja klien lainnya seperti Juba I dari Numidia dan Pharanaces II dari Pontus (sebenarnya kerabat jauh Cleopatra) telah memihak Pompey Agung dan tidak ada banyak alasan untuk berasumsi bahwa Caesar akan menang.

Julius Caesar tiba di Mesir untuk mengejar saingannya Pompey yang melarikan diri hanya untuk menemukan dia dibunuh atas perintah saudara laki-laki Cleopatra dan penasihatnya, orang-orang yang sama yang sebelumnya mengasingkannya dan dengan siapa dia mengumpulkan pasukan untuk bersaing. Ketika Caesar memilih untuk tetap tinggal di Alexandria dengan kekuatan yang relatif kecil dari 2.500 orang, dia dengan cepat dibenci tidak hanya oleh istana Ptolemy XIII tetapi juga oleh orang-orang Aleksandria karena angkuhnya dan tuntutannya akan uang yang menjadi hutang ayah Ptolemy dan Cleopatra. dia, yang akhirnya menyebabkan permusuhan antara pasukan Mesir dan Romawi di kota.

Ketika dia mengundang Cleopatra ke audiensi pribadi dengannya di Alexandria, dia mungkin ingin menengahi suksesi dan melihat Ptolemy XII akan dilakukan karena dia dalam posisi untuk menyelesaikan ini secara legal, dia mungkin ingin menggantikan Ptolemy dengan yang lebih pro-Roman ruler who could and would be more likely to pay off their debt to him, or he might have wanted to ensure that Egypt was not in the midst of civil war while there were so many other fires to put out.

For Cleopatra's part she had little choice in allies and was currently an exile, although she had been able to gather some armed forces thanks to her supporters in Syria she was realistically unable to carry on a war with her brother's supporters at the time. Although her decision to smuggle herself into Alexandria was a gamble but from her perspective a necessary one. The circumstances of their meeting are shrouded in rumor and speculation but are most detailed source on the matter, the Roman historian Plutarch, describes how she took a small boat into the Alexandrian harbour with a freedman known as Apollodoros the Sicilian, and was wrapped into a carpet, bedsheet or bag for carrying carpets or bedsheets and delivered to Caesar's quarters by Apollodoros and was able to win him over through charm

It was by this device of Cleopatra's, it is said, that Caesar was first captivated, for she showed herself to be a bold coquette, and succumbing to the charm of further intercourse with her, he reconciled her to her brother on the basis of a joint share with him in the royal power.

Now this arrangement did not go over well with Ptolemy's advisors, one of whom allegedly conspired against Caesar who had him killed. Civil war within the city itself soon broke out and Caesar found himself fighting a much larger force which at many points had the upper hand. It was after all a perilous war, the two were besieged by the forces Ptolemy and then Arsinöe IV and at one point were cut off from cut-off from freshwater by having their water supply poisoned with saltwater.

Plutarch gives numerous possible motives for Caesar's involvement but even he refrains from making a judgement one way or the other

As for the war in Egypt, some say that it was not necessary, but due to Caesar's passion for Cleopatra, and that it was inglorious and full of peril for him. But others blame the king's party for it, and especially the eunuch Potheinus, who had most influence at court, and had recently killed Pompey he had also driven Cleopatra from the country, and was now secretly plotting against Caesar.

Roman sources repeatedly stress that Cleopatra's interest in a relationship with Caesar was motivated by necessity and there is no reason to discount this given the circumstances. Having already been exiled and with little hope of regaining the throne without the aid of Caesar it appears that she felt she had little to lose besides her life, else why risk even that to enter Alexandria where she could easily be killed on the orders of her brother? Despite the atmosphere of serendipity that most films and literature likes to place around their meeting it is unlikely that she fell in love with a man she had never met, who was more than 30 years her senior, and who had been less than friend (though not an enemy) to her father, in the perhaps handful of hours that she knew him before they became lovers. It may not be romantic but there is no reason why we should naïvely assume that she fell in love with him when no ancient author even suggests as much. For Caesar it was not out of character for him to have had an affair with Cleopatra as he had numerous affairs with aristocratic women. Whether he was necessarily in love with her is debatable, after all during the extended period that they were involved on and off between the spring of 47 BCE and his death in 44 BCE he had no difficulty engaging in multiple other affairs or maintaining a loving relationship with his wife Calpurnia. The Roman historian Suetonius in his Live of the Twelve Caesars mentions the attentions and gifts he paid to Cleopatra but this is in the same paragraphs where he describes Caesar treating other mistresses of his in a similar fashion

It is admitted by all that he was much addicted to women, as well as very expensive in his intrigues with them, and that he debauched many ladies of the highest quality among whom were Posthumia, the wife of Servius Sulpicius Lollia, the wife of Aulus Gabinius Tertulla, the wife of Marcus Crassus and Mucia, the wife of Cneius Pompey. For it is certain that the Curios, both father and son, and many others, made it a reproach to Pompey, “That to gratify his ambition, he married the daughter of a man, upon whose account he had divorced his wife, after having had three children by her and whom he used, with a deep sigh, to call Aegisthus.” But the mistress he most loved, was Servilia, the mother of Marcus Brutus, for whom he purchased, in his first consulship after the commencement of their intrigue, a pearl which cost him six millions of sesterces and in the civil war, besides other presents, assigned to her, for a trifling consideration, some valuable farms when they were exposed to public auction. Many persons expressing their surprise at the lowness of the price, Cicero wittily remarked, “To let you know the real value of the purchase, between ourselves, Tertia was deducted:” for Servilia was supposed to have prostituted her daughter Tertia to Caesar..

..In the number of his mistresses were also some queens such as Eunoe, a Moor, the wife of Bogudes, to whom and her husband he made, as Naso reports, many large presents. But his greatest favourite was Cleopatra, with whom he often revelled all night until the dawn of day, and would have gone with her through Egypt in dalliance, as far as Aethiopia, in her luxurious yacht, had not the army refused to follow him. He afterwards invited her to Rome, whence he sent her back loaded with honours and presents, and gave her permission to call by his name a son, who, according to the testimony of some Greek historians, resembled Caesar both in person and gait.

Having said all that, do not take my cynical analysis of their initial motives as a definitive proof that they had no affection or even love for each other. After all not only did Caesar essentially rescue from her death or exile against all odds, but he was a charismatic, intelligent and apparently fairly attractive man who must have had some appeal with the ladies if we go by his track record, and the age gap between them was actually standard for Ptolemaic Egypt (particularly Hellenised spheres) and not really all that far off for aristocratic couplings in the ancient Mediterannean as a whole. Caesar also was said to be genuinely charmed by her conversation and to have taken pity on her plight when they first met, and his actions towards her exceed that which seems likely if it was mere lust that guided him, which leads one to suspect a political agenda, true affection, or a combination of the two.

The divide between modern societal norms and those of Graeco-Roman culture, in particular that of the aristocracy, is that the fact that Cleopatra needed him regardless of her personal feelings is analagous to the experiences of virtually all of her female ancestors with one major exception: Cleopatra chose Caesar as opposed to having that choice made by her father, uncle, brother or other male guardian. Her own namesake was married to a Ptolemaic king she had never met to bring an end to one of the periodic clashes between the Ptolemaic kingdom and Seleucid Empire. And the idea that women Sebaiknya marry out of their own personal preference was not emphasised or taken for granted by Hellenistic or Roman authors and yet it was seen as an ideal that spouses would love each other as real life and mythological examples that were held up bear out. For instance, Arsinöe II, Cleopatra I and Julia Caesaris all married for political reasons and yet their marriages were held up as examples of loving relationships in spite of, or because of, this. To be clear I am not espousing Graeco-Roman values in the areas of love and marriage but it is important not to take Caesar and Cleopatra out of their context.

At this point you are probably thinking "Wait! They were never married so is this not a false equivalency?" Not necessarily. For Cleopatra at least. To properly understand how she would have viewed her relationship to Caesar we need to temporarily set aside cultural biases from ourselves and from Roman authors who we tend to rely on. The two largest cultural influences on her and the society she inhabited were Hellenistic/Macedonian culture and Egyptian culture which both saw no issue with polygyny and in which royal or aristocratic mistresses were afforded high status and value. This extends from the examples set by men like Alexander the Great and Philip II of Macedon, to her own mother who may well have been one of her father's lesser wives or mistresses. Her marriages to her younger brothers are believed to have gone unconsummated but even had they been the Ptolemids (and many other Hellenistic dynasties) played fast and loose with love and marriage once politics got involved. Roman culture on the other hand did not permit polygamy and, despite the broadly equivalent trend of extramarital relations (among aristocratic men), mistresses were in no way comparable to the status and legitimacy of their wife. So we should also consider the often neglected issue that Cleopatra was not approaching the issue from a Roman mindset, regardless of what her familiarity with Roman culture may or may not have been, so automatically assuming that she saw her relationship to Caesar or Antony as a sordid affair rather than a legitimate political relationship is not irrefutable given that she seems to have expected the benefits that such a connection would entail.

If the allegations that Cleopatra bewitched Caesar that Roman poets put forth tells us anything it is that he at least felt a genuine affection for her that, while perhaps not true love, was powerful enough for him to take risks and damage as a result of it. It is next to impossible to speculate about Cleopatra because her relationship to Caesar has been overshadowed by her longer lived and ultimately dooming relationship to Marc Antony, but it may not have been as purely ambitious as I painted it out to be, Cassius Dio in an episode intended to demonstrate how she tried to manipulate Octavian actually gives us some insight here as he claims that Cleopatra attempted to use the letters that she and Julius Caesar had exchanged as proof of their mutual love in a bid to gain sympathy from the dead Caesar's now triumphant successor, and that she claimed (falsely according to Dio) to have regretted not dying with him previously. I myself am highly suspect of this account given that it is not repeated elsewhere and Dio is extremely hostile to Cleopatra but if it is based on genuine events then it has curious implications that Dio may not even have intended. For one thing that she kept the letters of Caesar for what would have to be around 15 years despite the likelihood of them being of particular practical value being slim which would point to some sincere emotion, and if we accept that she was willing to pretend to have loved Julius Caesar to his grand-nephew then she she is likely to have been willing to have pretended to love Caesar while he lived. Given what evidence we have from Roman sources we can conclude one of two things, that she feigned love of Caesar as part of a political ploy, or that she was in reality affectionate of him and that hostile Roman authors twisted this into the legend of her boundless ambition and heartlessness or some combination of these, with each actually being quite compelling in their own way.

After the war was concluded Caesar apparently delayed his return to campaigning in order to take an extended cruise down the Nile with the young queen which lasted about two months until, according to Roman sources, his legions refused to go any further. On this trip they made use of Cleopatra's royal yacht, which in true Ptolemaic tradition was a naval monstrosity of grandeur and extravagance that would not be outdone in scale or lavishness until Nero, and they spent the majority of this time in luxury and revels together. Given the unflattering nature of these accounts we can not be certain of their veracity as they are aimed at demonstrating Caesar's procrastination and the opulence and extravagance of both him and Cleopatra. The trip may also have been politically motivated as the impressive retinue which accompanied them demonstrated their military strength and the control they had over Egypt, the course of their journey from Alexandria to the Thebaid (supposedly with intentions to go as far as Nubia) would have given them the opportunity to visit each major city and hub in Egypt to help heal the damage that civil war had done, reward loyalists, deal with rebels, and show their alliance.

Besides this, Cleopatra visited Caesar at least twice in Rome when she resided at his villa near the Tiber but outside of Rome proper. During this time they apparently continued to have an affair but it was not Caesar alone that brought her to Rome, she also renewed the alliance between Rome and Egypt, and received recognition of her reign with Ptolemy XIV and possibly XV. That she met several prominent Roman politicians at Caesar's villa, such as Cicero, is also known so this was not a mere romantic getaway, it was a series of wel timed diplomatic visits, coinciding with Caesar's triumph in 46 BCE and with the fraught political climate of 44. Tetapi there is yet another dimension to these visits that was occurring because in 46 BCE when Caesar dedicated a temple to his alleged ancestress Venus in the new Forum Iulium he commissioned a gilded statue of Cleopatra as Isis-Venus within it. This is made even more meaningful because the temple was not dedicated to Venus Victrix the patron of victory and fortune or some other aspect of Venus but to Venus Genitrix, the ancestral aspect of Venus who was a patron of maternity and marriage. By placing that statue in the temple he drew a connection between the Egyptian and Roman pantheons, between Cleopatra's alleged status as the reincarnation of Isis-Aphrodite and his alleged status as the descendant of Aeneas (son of Venus), and between her person and the ancestress of miliknya family line. Exactly why he would have done this has received a lot of speculation but it may have been part of a political ploy to increase his own clout as a semi-divine figure in the Hellenistic East by connecting himself to an established player, it could have been a gift to her that was just a little too over the top for his contemporaries (I doubt he was that tone deaf), it could have symbolically been a bridge between Egypt and Rome through their relationship, or it could have commemorated the recent birth of what may have been the Roman dictator's only biological son, Ptolemy Caesar. This would be especially poignant given the difficulty Caesar had had with conceiving in the past, being unable to have a child with Calpurnia in the 15 years they were married and having his daughter Julia, from his marriage to the (now deceased) Cornelia, die giving birth to his only known biological grandchild.


Berenice II and the Golden Age of Ptolemaic Egypt. Women in antiquity

During the peak of Alexandrian literary culture, Ptolemaic poets and intellectuals celebrated the life and virtues of Berenice II, daughter of Magas, king of Cyrene and wife of the third Ptolemy, Euergetes. Nonetheless, dynastic violence, not the glamour and renown generated by supportive poets, characterized the beginning and end of her life. Magas had arranged for her to marry the future Ptolemy III, but after Magas’ death, Berenice’s mother instead compelled her to marry Demetrius the Fair. Young Berenice killed the bridegroom her mother had chosen (she supposedly had found him in bed with her mother) and then took herself off to Alexandria to marry her father’s preferred groom, by now Ptolemy III. Berenice had six children by Ptolemy III, but soon after her husband’s death, Berenice’s son Ptolemy IV arranged his mother’s murder.

Dee Clayman has created the first lengthy study of Berenice’s career and place in literature. Clayman’s background and scholarship has been, primarily, in Hellenistic poetry so, not surprisingly, this study’s strength lies in analysis of the many texts that mention or allude to Berenice, though Clayman also deals with Berenice’s actions and policies, to the degree that the poor and largely absent narrative sources permit.

The introduction provides a brief sketch of Berenice’s life, her role in contemporary poetry (particularly Callimachus’ “Lock of Berenice”), overviews of relevant historical and literary sources, a discussion of Ptolemaic image-making (Clayman does not want to characterize it as “propaganda”), the methodology of her approach, and a note on conventions about dating, spelling, and naming employed in her monograph.

Chapter 1, “Birth in Cyrene,” though it certainly deals with the mythical past of Cyrene and Berenice’s father Magas and her Seleucid mother Apame, does not begin with either of these topics, but rather with the different versions of the mythical past presented by Callimachus and Apollonius, and ends with a discussion of the reorganization of Cyrene after the marriage of Berenice and Ptolemy III. The initial analysis of the murder of Demetrius the Fair happens in this chapter and Clayman argues that efforts to describe these events in a way favorable to Berenice began then and continued throughout her life.

Chapter 2, “Arrival in Alexandria,” starts with an overview of the physical city in Berenice’s time and turns to the intellectual city, specifically to discussion of the work and careers of Callimachus, Apollonius, and Eratosthenes. After a brief look at royal patronage, Clayman turns to an account of Ptolemy III’s ancestors and his succession to the throne.

Chapter 3, “Callimachus on Murder and Marriage,” examines the image of Berenice directly and indirectly generated by the poems of Callimachus, an image calculated to transform the murderous bride into the “dutiful daughter” and respectable royal matron and mother.

Chapter 4, “Apollonius on Murder and Marriage,” follows the same agenda for the work of Apollonius. Clayman understands Apollonius’ version of Berenice as more complicated and more negative and adduces that these features led to his replacement as the head of the famous library.

Chapter 5, “Ruling and Racing,” looks at many aspects of Berenice’s career in Egypt. This chapter contains Clayman’s only lengthy consideration of Ptolemy III’s reign and policies and of Berenice’s role in his rule. Clayman discusses the invention and function of the Ptolemaic myth that Berenice and Ptolemy III were siblings, children of Ptolemy II and Arsinöe II (though neither were). This chapter devotes considerable energy to Berenice’s racing victories and how these victories were celebrated in poetry from Alexandria. Clayman places both the victories themselves and the manner of their celebration in the context of other Ptolemaic victories but also in that of other royal women, particularly Cynisca of Sparta.

Chapter 6, “Berenice in Egypt and Another Murder,” is divided into three quite different sections. The first looks at Berenice’s image and role in the Ptolemaic pantheon, as displayed in various Egyptian monuments, objects, and documents, and argues that the theme of family is central to her presentation. The next section abruptly turns to her murder by her sons and the subsequently declining fortunes of the dynasty. The chapter concludes with a section called “Summing Up” that offers a final, synthesized look at her career and the poetry written about her.

Clayman also includes a few aids and supplements for the reader. Apart from the useful abbreviation list, two indices (a general one and index locorum), and helpful bibliography, there is also a family tree of Berenice II, a map of the eastern Mediterranean in her day, and a translation of Catullus 66. A collection of eleven black and white images relevant to Berenice appears in the middle of the printed text.

Clayman’s book is full of interesting and perceptive readings of poems and the intent of poets. Her analysis of Berenice’s image problem and how it was successfully solved is persuasive. While Clayman’s strength certainly lies in analysis of poetry and poets, she often employs that knowledge to good effect in topics not narrowly poetic, as in her fascinating discussion of the context for Cynisca of Sparta’s victory and the inscriptions created to commemorate it.


Alexandria, Egypt: The Legacy of Its Great Founder

Alexandria is a port city located on the Mediterranean Sea in northern Egypt founded in 331 BCE by Alexander the Great. It is most famous in antiquity as the site of the Pharos, the great lighthouse, considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, for the Temple of Serapis, the Serapion, which was part of the legendary library at Alexandria, as a seat of learning and, once, the largest and most prosperous city in the world. It also became infamous for the religious strife which resulted in the martyrdom of the philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria in 415 CE. The city grew from a small port town to become the grandest and most important metropolis in ancient Egypt.

FOUNDATION BY ALEXANDER

After conquering Syria in 332 BCE, Alexander the Great swept down into Egypt with his army. He founded Alexandria in the small port town of Rhakotis by the sea and set about the task of turning it into a great capital. It is said that he designed the plan for the city which was so greatly admired later by the historian Strabo (63 BCE-21CE) who wrote,

The city has magnificent public precincts and royal palaces which cover a fourth or even a third of the entire area. For just as each of the kings would, from a love of splendour, add some ornament to the public monuments, so he would provide himself at his own expense with a residence in addition to those already standing.

The palaces and grand homes Strabo mentions did not exist at the time Alexander founded the city. Although he was greatly admired by the Egyptians (and was even declared a demi-god by the Oracle at Siwa), Alexander left Egypt only a few months after his arrival to march on Tyre in Phoenicia. It was left to his commander, Cleomenes, to build the city Alexander had envisioned. While Cleomenes accomplished a great deal, the full expansion of Alexandria came under the rule of Alexander’s general Ptolemy and the rule of the Ptolemaic Dynasty (332-30 BCE) which followed. After Alexander’s death in 323 BCE, Ptolemy brought his body back to Alexandria to be entombed and, following the wars of the Diodachi, began rule of Egypt from Alexandria, supplanting the old capital of Memphis. Tyre had been an important city for trade and commerce in the region and, after its destruction by Alexander, Alexandria filled the void which had been left. Carthage (which largely became so prosperous owing to the sack of Tyre) was still a young port town when Alexandria began to thrive. The historian and scholar Mangasarian writes,

“Under the Ptolemies, a line of Greek kings, Alexandria soon sprang into eminence, and, accumulating culture and wealth, became the most powerful metropolis of the Orient. Serving as the port of Europe, it attracted the lucrative trade of India and Arabia. Its markets were enriched with the gorgeous silks and fabrics from the bazaars of the Orient. Wealth brought leisure, and it, in turn, the arts. It became, in time, the home of a wonderful library and schools of philosophy, representing all the phases and the most delicate shades of thought. At one time it was the general belief that the mantle of Athens had fallen upon the shoulders of Alexandria.

This massive gold coin weighing approximately 27.7-8 grams was known as an octadrachm (equivalent in worth to 8 drachmae). Under the Ptolemies, mints in cities like Alexandriaand Ptolemais produced ever larger denominations in gold, silver and bronze. This coin was minted in Alexandria, Egypt between 260-40 BCE. On its obverse it bears the diademed heads of Ptolemy II and Arsinöe II with the legend “Adelphon” (literally Greek for “Siblings”). On the reverse, Ptolemy I and Berenike I are depicted. (British Museum, London) / British Museum

The city grew to become the largest in the known world at the time, attracting scholars, scientists, philosophers, mathematicians, artists, and historians. Eratosthenes (c.276-194 BCE) calculated the circumference of the earth to within 50 miles (80 km) at Alexandria. Euclid taught at the university there. Archimedes (287-212 BCE) the great mathematician and astronomer may have taught there and was certainly studied there. The greatest engineer and mathematician of his day, Hero (also known as Heron, 10-70 CE) was born and lived in Alexandria. Hero was credited with amazing feats in engineering and technology including the first vending machine, the force-pump, and a theatre of automated figures who danced, among his other inventions.

THE LIBRARY OF ALEXANDRIA

The library, begun under Ptolemy I (305-285 BCE) was completed by Ptolemy II (285-246 BCE) who sent invitations to rulers and scholars asking them to contribute books. According to historians Oakes and Gahlin, “There was room for up to 70,000 papyrus scrolls. Most of the items were bought but other means were sometimes used. In order to procure coveted works, all ships entering the harbour were searched. Every book found was taken to the Library where it was decided whether to give it back or confiscate it and replace it with a copy” (230). No one knows how many books were held in the library at Alexandria but estimates have been made of 500,000. It is said that Mark Antony gave Cleopatra 200,000 books for the library but this claim has been disputed since antiquity. Mangasarian writes,

After its magnificent library, whose shelves supported a freight more precious than beaten gold, perhaps the most stupendous edifice in the town was the temple of Serapis. It is said that the builders of the famous temple of Edessa boasted that they had succeeded in creating something which future generations would compare with the temple of Serapis in Alexandria. This ought to suggest an idea of the vastness and beauty of the Alexandrian Serapis, and the high esteem in which it was held. Historians and connoisseurs claim it was one of the grandest monuments of Pagan civilization, second only to the temple of Jupiter in Rome, and the inimitable Parthenon in Athens. The Serapis temple was built upon an artificial hill, the ascent to which was by a hundred steps. It was not one building, but a vast body of buildings, all grouped about a central one of vaster dimensions, rising on pillars of huge magnitude and graceful proportions. Some critics have advanced the idea that the builders of this masterpiece intended to make it a composite structure, combining the diverse elements of Egyptian and Greek art into a harmonious whole. The Serapion was regarded by the ancients as marking the reconciliation between the architects of the pyramids and the creators of the Athenian Acropolis. It represented to their minds the blending of the massive in Egyptian art with the grace and the loveliness of the Hellenic.

When Carthage rose to the height of her power, Alexandria was relatively unaffected as trade had long been established and the city posed no threat to the sea power of the Carthaginians. Even after the fall of Carthage following the Punic Wars (264-146 BCE), when Rome became supreme and Alexandria fell under her sway, the city remained prosperous and continued to attract visitors from all over the world. The increasing tensions in Rome between Julius Caesar and Pompey first impacted Alexandria negatively in 48 BCE. Prior to this date, though the city certainly experienced its share of problems, it remained a stable environment. Following the Battle of Pharsalus, however, at which Caesar defeated Pompey, Pompey fled to Alexandria seeking sanctuary and was killed by the co-regent Ptolemy XIII. Caesar arrived and, whether real or feigned, claimed outrage at the death of his former friend and ally. He then declared martial law, took over the royal palace, and sent for the exiled co-regent Cleopatra VII. In the civil war which ensued much of Alexandria was burned including, according to some scholars, the famous library.

The Roman theatre of Alexandria, Egypt / Photo by Daniel Mayer, Wikimedia Commons

ROMAN ALEXANDRIA

Following Caesar’s assassination in 44 BCE, his right-hand man, Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) became Cleopatra’s consort and left Rome for Alexandria. The city became his base of operations over the next thirteen years until he and Cleopatra were defeated by Octavian Caesar at the Battle of Actium in 31 BCE. The next year, Cleopatra and Antony both committed suicide and, with her death, the Ptolemaic line came to an end. Octavian became first emperor of Rome and took the title `Augustus’. Alexandria now became a simple province of the Roman Empire under the rule of Augustus Caesar.

Augustus consolidated his power in the provinces and had Alexandria restored. Scholars who argue against Julius Caesar’s role in the burning of the great library point to the fact that there is evidence it was still extant under the reign of Augustus and that visitors were still attracted to the city as a seat of learning. Alexandria was again ruined in 115 CE in the Kitos War and was again restored, this time by the Emperor Hadrian, who, as a man of learning, took great interest in Alexandria. According to tradition, the Greek Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Bible) was composed in Alexandria, completed in 132 CE, in order that it could take its place among the great books of the library in the city. Religious scholars were said to frequent the library for research and Alexandria had long attracted people of many different faiths who vied for dominance in the city. Under Augustus’ reign there were disputes between Jews and pagans and, as Christianity grew in popularity, the Christians added to the public unrest. After the Roman emperor Constantine the Great (272-337 CE) passed the Edict of Milan in 313 CE (decreeing religious tolerance), Christians were no longer liable for prosecution under the law and began to not only demand more religious rights, but more vociferously attack the pagans and the Jews.

CHRISTIANITY & THE DECLINE OF ALEXANDRIA

Alexandria, which had been a city of prosperity and learning, became an arena of religious contention between the new faith of the Christians and the old faith of the pagan majority. The Christians increasingly felt bold enough to strike at the symbols of the old faith in an attempt to topple it. Magasarian writes,

It is not so much religion that makes the character of a people, as it is the people who determine the character of their religion. Religion is only the resume of the national ideas, thoughts, and character. Religion is nothing but an expression. It is not, for instance, the word or the language which creates the idea, but the idea which provokes the word into existence. In the same way religion is only the expression of a people’s mentality. And yet a man’s religion or philosophy, while it is but the product of his own mind, exerts a reflex influence upon his character. The child influences the parent, of whom it is the offspring language affects thought, of which, originally, it was but the tool. So it is with religion. The Christian religion, as soon as it got into power, turned the world about.

Perhaps nowhere more than in Alexandria was this turn-about more apparent. Under the reign of Theodosius I (347-395 CE) paganism was outlawed and Christianity encouraged. In 391 CE the Christian Patriarch Theophilus followed Theodosius’ lead and had all the pagan temples in Alexandria destroyed or converted into churches. By the year 400 CE Alexandria was in constant religious turmoil and, in 415 CE, this resulted in the murder of the Neo-Platonic philosopher Hypatia and, according to some scholars, the burning of the great library and the complete destruction of the temple of Serapis. Alexandria declined rapidly after this date with scholars, scientists, and thinkers of all disciplines leaving the city for safer locales.

This ivory pyxis (round box) shows the saint Menas with camels. His shrine near Alexandriain Egypt was a popular pilgrim site in the Byzantine Empire. Menas, an Egyptian soldier, was executed by Emperor Diocletian (reigned 284-305 CE) for practising Christianity. When the camels carrying his body to burial refused to move beyond a certain spot, it was taken as a sign that he should be buried there. Byzantine, 6th century CE. Made in Alexandria, Egypt. Found in Italy, Rome, San Paolo Fuori le Mura. (The British Museum, London). / Foto oleh Osama Shukir Muhammad Amin, Creative Commons

The city became steadily impoverished after the rise of Christianity, both financially and culturally, and became increasingly a battlefield for warring faiths. It was conquered by the Sassanid Persians in 619 CE. The Christian Byzantine Empire under Heraclius re-claimed the city in 628 CE but lost it to the invading Arab Muslims under Caliph Umar in 641 CE. The forces of the Christian Byzantines and the Muslim Arabs then fought for control of the city, and Egypt, until the Arabian forces prevailed in 646 CE and Egypt fell under Islamic rule. The churches were now destroyed or transformed in mosques and Christian legend claims that it was at this time that the great library was burned by the Muslim conquerors.

What was not destroyed by war was taken down by nature and, by 1323 CE, most of Ptolemaic Alexandria was gone. The great lighthouse was steadily destroyed by earthquakes as was much of the port. In 1994 CE the first discoveries were made known of a number of relics, statuary, and buildings in the harbor of Alexandria. These have been steadily excavated by Professor Jean-Yves Empereur and his team who continue to bring to light the lost golden age of Alexandria.


Based on the information available, what do you think Cleopatra looked like?

I've seen conflicting ways Cleopatra has been described from her looking average or ugly, to her having red hair or dark hair. I know there isn't much hardcore evidence, but I wanted to hear others' opinion on the matter and your reasoning for it.

Few suspected portraits of Cleopatra survive and ancient accounts are quite vague about her appearance. We know that as a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty (which came long after the period traditionally thought of as "ancient Egypt") she was of mostly Graeco-Macedonian descent with some Persian, Sogdian and Anatolian ancestors in her female line. Duane Roller suggested that her mother may have been of partially Egyptian descent but this is purely speculative. In any case, she would have been anywhere from fair to tanned but it really is not that interesting either way.

I only know of a handful of painted representations of (possibly) Cleopatra, with most featuring dark hair and one red. There are no Roman accounts of her being strawberry blonde however, although I have seen this myth on the internet. Some of her ancestors, like Ptolemy II, were blond but dark hair was generally more common.

Contrary to popular belief, Cleopatra was not considered to be ugly by ancient historians. Roman accounts invariably play up her legendary charm and intellect when explaining her appeal, but she is still described ad being fairly lovely if not devastatingly beautiful (see: Dio, Plutarch, Appian et al). Whether she would be judged this way under modern standards of beauty is less clear however. Most representations of her on coins and busts portray a pronounced hook nose, large eyes, and a mouth which has been described as "generous" by some modern commentators. Portraits from later in her reign tend to have more stern, masculine features which is generally attributed to a desire to appear more commanding and authoritative to her subjects.

Roman and early Medieval Byzantine and Islamic historical accounts imply that she was short and slight. The famous story of her being concealed in a carpet or bag also seems to suggest this as a taller woman might not be so easily hidden and carried. I would also point out the "Esquiline Venus", a Roman statue of a nude woman surrounded by Egyptian and Venusian iconography that has been suggested as a possible Cleopatra. The figure is unusually short, reinforcing the idea that this might be Cleopatra, but is otherwise conventionally shapely by ancient standards with small breasts and a semi-androgynous figure.

Her most iconic hair style from an archaeological and historical perspective is known as the "melon coiffure". This hairstyle derives its name from its appearance, as braids or rows of hair are pulled back from the forehead into a bun which resembles the ridges on a melon's gourd. Usually, in statuary and coin portraits of the queen we also see corkscrew curls behind and/or in front of the ears and around the forehead.

The Vatican portrait of Cleopatra (view from side here ), portrays this hairstyle quite prominently. The Berlin portrait has a similar but simpler style with the hair in wavy curls pulled back into a bun, while the small corkscrew curls ring the forehead. On coins it is quite prominent, as seen here and here. This silver 80 drachm denomination looks most similar to the Berlin portrait with its looser style of curls.

This coiffure hairstyle was also associated with some Hellenistic representations of the divine Aphrodite or the Egyptian goddess Isis which fits in well with Ptolemaic queens, and Cleopatra in particular, who identified with these goddesses. Alexandrian portraiture is particularly well known for sharing divine and royal iconography in portraiture.

Her association with Aphrodite/Isis/Venus makes identifying depictions of her somewhat difficult. For example the House of Marcus Fabius Rufus in Pompeii, a mural was excavated which portrays a statue in the temple of Venus Genitrix within the Forum Julium. The subject of the statue is Venus but it has been suggested as being the controversial statue of Cleopatra as Venus that Julius Caesar placed within the temple in 44 BCE. The female divine figure is wearing a diadem with a translucent mantle beneath which the melon coiffure is vaguely visible. She has the infant Cupid clinging to her solidifies her link to Venus Genitrix (the maternal aspect of Venus) and jewelry is representative of mid-1st Century BCE fashion. Her features, such as the large eyes, dark hair and long aquiline nose, are very reminiscent of depictions of Cleopatra and "Cupid" in this context would indicate her infant son Caesarion.

Interestingly, "Cupid" in that portrait is golden haired, which might just be an artistic choice but if it really were a portrait of Caesarion it might indicate that he took after his father who is generally thought to have been Julius Caesar. Many of Caesar's relatives, like Octavian, had blonde hair although I do not know of any references to Julius Caesar's hair colour.

Many other Hellenistic rulers and elite women were depicted with the coiffure hairstyle and even Roman portraiture features this hairstyle going back to the 3rd Century BCE. Coin portraits, reliefs and busts of Ptolemaic queens predating Cleopatra also feature this hairstyle, like this coin portraying Arsinöe II and this gem cameo of Berenike II.

This late 4th Century BCE Athenian funerary portrait of a young woman provides good detail of the often simple hairstyle. A bust from the mid-40s BCE was found in a Roman villa and in all likelihood depicts a lady of Cleopatra's court. It is often misattributed as a portrait of Cleopatra VII but the facial features and lack of a royal diadem make this very unlikely. Beyond this, the woman's hairstyle is actually more elaborate than how Cleopatra's relatively simple coiffure is usually depicted.

The style's increase in popularity in portraits of aristocratic Roman women from roughly the 40s BCE has even been noted by some historians (like Diane E. E. Kleiner) to demonstrate the degree of popularity she had in the city in 46-44, during which time she made multiple visits. Kleiner also demonstrates in Cleopatra and Rome that the style retained popularity in elite and non-elite circles for sometime afterwards thanks to its new associations with the Roman elite. For an example of a Roman portrait with this style see this statue of a woman from Herculaneum dating to the late 1st Century BCE and this later portrait from Herculaneum from the 1st Century AD.

Dia juga possibly depicted in one scene on the Portland Vase along with Marc Antony. The nude figure in question has long wavy hair that seems to have a bob of hair pulled across the forehead. That said, alternative interpretations of the scene exist and it is more than likely it could portray a different couple like the parents of Achilles, Peleus and Thetis (which I personally believe).

In addition to this, statuary more directly inspired by Egyptian motifs rather than Graeco-Roman motifs portrays Cleopatra with a coiffure which is bukan drawn into a bun. Other statuary, like the submerged "Dark Queen" statue which portrays one of her ancestors, bear similar styles.

As you may have noticed, she is typically shown in Greek attire which as far we can assume is probably what she would have worn most frequently. Many of her ancestors struggled with obesity but this does not appear to have been a problem for her in her younger years. It is technically possible that she may have had issues with weight gain due to genetics or pregnancy but we do not have much evidence for this. The fact that she died at a reasonably young age (probably around 39) should also be taken into account.

So basically, she was pretty average for her time period and culture with the obvious exception that she was prone to extravagant and luxurious costumes (but nothing like you see on TV).


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