Should Cleopatra VII Be Called "the Great"?

Should Cleopatra VII Be Called "the Great"?

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 15 100.0%

  • Total voters
    15
Sep 2019
187
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
2,359
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?
 
  • Like
Reactions: arrhidaeus
Oct 2018
2,092
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: arrhidaeus
Sep 2019
187
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
1,234
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.
 
  • Like
Reactions: arrhidaeus