Should Cleopatra VII Be Called "the Great"?

Should Cleopatra VII Be Called "the Great"?

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 18 100.0%

  • Total voters
    18
Sep 2019
213
Vergina
I have never seen a single source that says anything like this. Are you sure it is not just some far-fetched theory?
The main sources are Plutarch and Dio and they are clearly biased against Cleopatra. Plutarch, even more so then Dio, and has Cleopatra fleeing in panic. From Dio's account, by contrast, we can at least see a military strategy at play. As Dio states, they were to fight a naval battle and then force their way through should victory look unlikely.
They did not wish, however, to sail out secretly, nor yet openly, as if they were in flight, lest they should inspire their allies also with fear, but rather as if they were making preparations for a naval battle, and incidentally in order that they might force their way though in case there should be any resistance.
(Cassius Dio, Book 50. 15.)
 

cachibatches

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
2,362
The main sources are Plutarch and Dio and they are clearly biased against Cleopatra. Plutarch, even more so then Dio, and has Cleopatra fleeing in panic. From Dio's account, by contrast, we can at least see a military strategy at play. As Dio states, they were to fight a naval battle and then force their way through should victory look unlikely.
Yes, they may be biased, but those were our sources. Do we have some kind of real research that indicates that they are not accurate? What are we pointing to that says that it was a strategic move? Do you mean that Dio's account says this?
 
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Oct 2018
2,128
Sydney
It's ordinary practice in historical research to attempt to read between the lines to look past the bias, and what Dio says does not accord easily with the idea that Cleopatra's retreat was precipitous.
 
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Sep 2019
213
Vergina
Yes, they may be biased, but those were our sources. Do we have some kind of real research that indicates that they are not accurate? What are we pointing to that says that it was a strategic move? Do you mean that Dio's account says this?
Its probably up to interpretation. The sources are eager to label Cleopatra as a fearful woman, who fled and can be blamed for Antony's defeat. This doesn't sit well with me, Cleopatra doesn't strike me as a coward she did kill herself rather than appear in Octavian triumph. I thus am more interested in a military explanation for her actions rather than labeling it as fear. Dio provides the more reasonable account that Antony-Cleopatra discussed "forcing their way through" prior to the battle.

If you prefer secondary source Ruggiero's bio of Antony makes the same case on pg 262:
 
Sep 2014
1,241
Queens, NYC
I have not yet located the Grant book postulating a planned breakout, it might be his book CLEOPATRA.

However, Stacy Schiff, in CLEOPATRA: A LIFE accepts, on page 257, that Cleopatra's flight at Actium was probably prearranged.
 
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Apr 2019
122
Ireland
I was tempted to say yes..
She new which way the wind was blowing and with her alliance with Antony tried to form an Eastern empire. She tried to survive and ultimately failed, things may have been different. History has been unkind to her, as she was denigrated by the Victor's. In the end the Romans had to make room for an Eastern and western division.
 
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caldrail

Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
5,389
The Empire was already divided between Octavian and Antony. Cleopatra was however just as dependent on Roman beneficence as her immediate forebears had been. As a young girl she had seen her father kowtow to the Romans in order to survive in power, so her education was exactly that. Keep the Romans sweet, and your enemies have something powerful to face. Truth is, she brought Antony into play like the master political player she was. I know we tend to see her as a seductress, and yes, she did employ such tactics willingly, but that was part of her survival strategy in what was always going to be a very dangerous existence in the upper echelons of Egyptian society. Octavian however saw her coming a mile off and wasn't conned.
 
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