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between the eastern and western bays. The royal harbour lay near the eastern arm of the eastern bay close to Silsileh. To secure the landing of the relieving force, it was necessary for Cæsar to be master of the fortifications round the Pharos, It was here that he was surprised, and only saved his life by swimming. He lost the Pharos again and won it again before he was finally made master of Alexandria by the arrival of his other legion and Mithridates. It is unfortunate that the chief tradition of the life of Cæsar and Cleopatra in Egypt which concerns the world has neither been proved nor disproved. We do know that to prevent their being employed against his reinforcements, Cæsar ordered the seventy-two Egyptian ships lying in the harbour to be set on fire. The tradition is that the fire spread, and consumed the famous Library of Alexandria, and that Cleopatra, to repair the ravage, afterwards persuaded Antony to transfer to Alexandria the two hundred thousand manuscripts of the Library of Pergamus. The chief argument against the report is that Cicero, who was a great gossip, and no lover of Cæsar, and, more than any Roman interested in the immortal literature of Greece preserved in the Library of Alexandria, does mention the library, and does not mention this. We have seen that he knew Cleopatra, and tried to get some books from the Library of Alexandria through her. Surely in such a context he must have mentioned the destruction of the library by Cæsar, if it had happened. Instead of this he tells us that he found her haughty; he says nothing about her beauty or fascinations.

In the war between Antony and Octavian against Cæsar's murderers she refused supplies to the latter, though, with Oriental diplomacy, she pleaded famine and pestilence as the reason of her refusal. After the battle of Philippi, in 41 B.C., Antony advanced into Asia Minor, and sent for Cleopatra to appear before him, to prove that she had not aided Cassius. Dellius, the envoy whom he sent, saw at a glance the hold that the Egyptian queen was likely to have upon the passions of Antony, and assuring her that she would have nothing to fear, paid assiduous court to her,

[graphic]

PLOUGHING IN THE FAYUM, This is called the Virgilian plough in Italy, and in Egypt has been in use since the times of the Pharaohs. It is drawn by Egyptian buffaloes.

In Cleopatra's day Egypt was one of the chief granaries of the Roman Empire.

[p. 174

[graphic]

AX EGYPTIAN COUNTRY HOUSE,
Much the same as in Cleopatra's time. About an hour's ride from Karnak.

p. 175]

The meeting of Antony and Cleopatra in Cilicia has become a proverb of the luxury and splendour and dissipation of the last days of the Egyptian Kingdom and the Roman Republic. Plutarch's pages glow with it ; Shakespeare was inspired by it.

Acting upon Dellius's hints, Cleopatra did not hurry to Antony or approach him as a suppliant, but made herself as covetable as she could with wealth and splendour and every meretricious device for the enhancement of her beauty. At last she reached the mouth of the river Cydnus, twelve miles below Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, where Antony lay. This is how Plutarch, as quoted by Mr. Sergeant, describes her progress up the river :

"Cleopatra, as if in mockery, sailed up the river in a vessel with a gilded stern, with sails of purple outspread, and with silver oars moving in time to the sound of flutes and pipes and harps. She herself, decked like Aphrodite in a picture, lay under an awning bespangled with gold, while boys like painted cupids stood on either side fanning her. At the helm and by the rigging stood her most beautiful slavewomen in the guise of Nereids and Graces. Marvellous odours from many censers spread to the banks, along which some of the multitude followed her from the river-mouth, others coming down from the city to gaze upon the spectacle. As the crowd from the market-place also poured forth, at last Antony was left sitting alone upon the tribunal, while the rumour spread about that Aphrodite was come to feast with Dionysos for the common good of Asia."

And Athenæus, as quoted by Mr. Sergeant, thus describes the famous banquet :

“A royal entertainment, in which every dish was golden and inlaid with precious stones, wonderfully chased and embossed. The walls were hung with cloths embroidered in purple and gold. And she had twelve triple couches laid, and invited Antony to a banquet, and desired him to bring with him whatever companions he pleased. And he, being astonished at the magnificence of the sight, expressed his surprise ; and she, smiling, said she made him a present of

everything he saw, and invited him to sup with her again the next day and to bring his friends and captains with him. Then she prepared a banquet far more splendid than the former one, so as to make the first appear contemptible ; and again she presented to him everything that there was on the table. And she desired each of his captains to take for his own the couch on which he lay and the goblets which were set before each couch. And when they were departing she gave to all those of the highest rank litters, with slaves as litter-bearers; and to the rest she gave horses, adorned with gold trappings; and to every one she gave Ethiopian boys to bear torches before them. And on the fourth day she paid more than a talent (nearly £250) for roses ; and the floor of the chamber for the men was strewn a cubit deep, nets being spread over the blooms."

And we have the authority of Appian for knowing that Antony was amazed at her wit as well as her beauty, and became her captive as if he were a young man, although he was forty years of age.

From this day forward, till, eight years later, Antony and Octavian fought for the possession of the world at the Battle of Actium, Antony sank deeper and deeper in the flood of his passion for Cleopatra. From time to time he was rescued from it, or strove for a little to keep his head above water, but he always sank back. Cleopatra's behaviour at the Battle of Actium is not likely ever to be absolutely cleared up. Mahaffy, in his history of the Ptolemies, inclines to the view that Cleopatra's intuition warned her that Octavian with his great commander Agrippa to conduct his campaigns for him, and his own cold blooded sagacity to dictate his policy, was certain in the end to triumph over Antony ; that even in the present campaign Antony was sure to be defeated. If the power of Egypt was shattered in fighting for Antony, only suicide would save her from being put in chains, and carried to Rome to grace the triumph of Octavian. But if, at the cost of betraying Antony, she could save the forces of Egypt intact, she might be able to make terms with Octavian. Mr. Sergeant's view I give below. Professor Mahaffy does

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