Love and romances that changed history.


Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
In India, the love story of Prithviraj Chauhan king of Delhi and Ajmer is famous, he eloped and married princess of Kannauj named Sanyogita. Princess father named Jaichand wanted revenge and then gave military support to Muhammad Ghauri (A Turkic king of Ghor in Afghanistan) to annex Delhi after defeating Prithviraj Chauhan. This led to first Muslim sultanate in North India. Prithviraj Chuhan was killed and his wife Sanyogita was committed Jauhar (self immolation to save her honour from conquering army). Jaychand ended up becoming the synonym of traitor to his own community and Hindus in general don't name their kid as Jaichand.
Aug 2018
Southern Indiana
Didn't effect the outcome of the war, but it did turn one of the best generals in the Revolution into the most famous traitor in US history.
Benedict Arnold mingled with Loyalist sympathizers in Philadelphia and married into one such family by marrying Peggy Shippen. She was a close friend of British Major John André and kept in contact with him when he became head of the British espionage system in New York. Many historians point to her as facilitating Arnold's plans to switch sides; he opened secret negotiations with André, and Peggy relayed the messages.
Jan 2019
SC Pennsylvania
Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. Bunch of kids, including the dimwit who led the Third Crusade; also were parents of the King responsible for the Magna Carta.
Forgot to mention the lovely Nefertiti who, along with husband Akhenaten, espoused the new theory of one god rather than many.
Mar 2017
Cleopatra and Mark Anthony are maybe the best known example.
I don't think Cleopatra & Caesar was a love affair. Like her father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Cleopatra needed a patron in Rome. Pompey was the Roman patron, bribed to be that by Cleopatra's father ... but he got killed. Caesar was a notorious womanizer and I forgot which primary said "she wasn't his first queen." Cleopatra needed support, and bound his favor with a baby ... a boy baby. Caesar's only child, Julia, died in childbirth in 54 BCE ... now he had a BOY. Unlike his other conquests, Cleopatra came to Rome and Caesar put her up in a villa across from his ... until his death, then she skedaddled home. In the long run, this didn't affect history AT ALL in terms of the Roman empire. Ptolemy Caesar (the Caesarian) was no threat to Rome. He and Cleopatra were peregrinos with no path to Roman citizenship. The Senate could probably pass a special bill, but they weren't going to do that without Caesar (there's some interpretation that he had some plan to do this starting with his "marry as many women as I want ... for children" bill).

At Caesar's death, nothing would be different if Cleopatra had never existed. Antony is a different fish entirely.

With the second triumvirate, Antony was ruling the east from Ephesus. Augustus effectively got rid of Lepidus and ruled the other 2/3's of the Roman world from Rome. Cleopatra needed a new patron and had no access Augustus, so she went after Antony. Antony was married at that time to Octavia, Augustus' sister, and they had two daughters that wound up linking Antony to Caligula, Claudius, and Nero. He had a mansion in Greece, He didn't "need" anything. Cleopatra worked hard to pull him away from his family. This part of Plutarch is difficult to sift because it's big on morality and light on facts. What's fact is that Cleopatra went to Antony, he eventually came to Alexandria, then went back to his wife, then came back to Cleopatra. He divorced Octavia, married Cleopatra, and they had three children ... not necessarily in that order.

While it "appears" that Cleopatra was cold and calculating at the start, what happend afterwards bloomed into a real romantic love affair. The only source of the private lives of Cleopatra and Antony is Plutarch. He takes a break from the "rise and fall of Marc Antony" to give us a view of them as real people. How did he know? Plutarch wrote about 100 yrs after their deaths. Plutarch tells us where he got the details: two eyewitnesses in Cleopatra's court. Romans like Suetonius and Cassius Dio were too busy demonizing her to include her humanity. Plutarch has the most accurate description of the details around her death, from someone just outside the door. How did she die? "No one knows" (no joke).

Cleopatra and Antony played practical jokes on each other. They dressed as peasants late at night, knocking on doors in Alexandria then running away. They formed two societies for drinking, eating, & partying. Before Acteum, the emphasis was on living large and having fun. After Acteum, it was more "we have nothing to lose." Cleopatra had retreated to her mausoleum (with doors that only opened from the inside) when Antony plunged his sword into his abdomen. They quickly took him to Cleopatra and he was lifted up to a window by ropes: he died in her arms. They were interred side by side. --- Why didn't she just open the doors? She was keeping Romans out.

For whatever reason, even though Augustus hated Antony, he completed construction on Cleopatra's mausoleum.

Had Cleopatra never existed, Antony would have stayed in Ephesus as per agreement. Augustus didn't want a civil war, the "Augustian Propaganda" was specifically couched as Egypt declaring war on Rome. Rome had to defend itself!!! ... without that excuse, it would have had to be a full blown civil war ... probably with military forming different alliances. All Caesar's troops were fiercely loyal to Antony at Caesar's death, and it was only through loans from people who hated Antony that Augustus bought himself soldiers. There was friction early between Augustus and Antony, and the troops refused to fight each other. With Egypt as the boogeyman, it was easier to turn troops against Antony.

Acteum would never have happened ... battles would be elsewhere. There's no question that Agrippa's strategy & use of environment won Acteum, but Antony was an experienced general on his own. At one time, Caesar gave him 1/2 of his troops to command. Antony assisted Caesar during his dictatorship, operating like a majority wip, drumming up support from Senators on bills, making deals. At Caesar's death, Antony took over the business of running the entire empire. Antony had a very successful military career over 25 yrs. Augustus had been involved in one campaign with total experience about 5 yrs. Antony had been active in govt for something like 22-23 yrs (off & on), Augustus 14. Without Acteum (without Cleopatra), the Roman world could have gone another way.
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Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
Victoria and Albert. Albert's suggestions about the rewording of the British Governments memorandum to the US government over the Trent Affair quite possibly avoided war.

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