Plutarch's Life of Antony Chat Transcript

271lines of discussion for
Jun. 21, 2000


20:54 Torrey Philemon enters...
20:54 Torrey Philemon: Plutarch's Life of Antony chat starts at about 9pm tonight.  The "book" is here
21:00 Atalanta Philemon enters...
21:00 Atalanta Philemon: Hello Torrey. I can't stay for long but I wanted to show up for awhile.
21:03 Torrey Philemon: Atalanta, glad to see you! I hope your daughter is doing better.
21:05 Atalanta Philemon: It's up and down. I never from moment to moment if I can beavailable.
21:06 Torrey Philemon: Just heard from Morgana. She'll be here soon.
21:06 Atalanta Philemon: I mean I never KNOW.
21:07 Morgana Flavius enters...
21:07 Atalanta Philemon: Hello Morgana
21:08 Torrey Philemon: Welcome Morgana!
21:08 Morgana Flavius: Hi Torrey! Hi Atalanta!
21:08 Torrey Philemon: Do you know if anyone else is coming, Morgana? I just grammed Lollia.
21:09 Lollia Junius enters...
21:09 Lollia Junius: Ave!
21:09 Torrey Philemon: Ah, speak of the devil!
21:10 Morgana Flavius: No, I don't know of any one. And I forgot to post at Libitina's home (she's the one who is interested in Cleopatra)...
21:10 Morgana Flavius: Hi Lollia!!! Good to see you!!!
21:10 Torrey Philemon: Nothing personal intended, Lollia (by the devil that is)
21:11 Lollia Junius: LOL
21:11 Lollia Junius: Hello, Morgana :)
21:11 Atalanta Philemon: I have a topic to discuss if no one else does. Or even if someone else does.
21:11 Torrey Philemon: <-:  Jump on in, Atalanta!
21:12 Morgana Flavius: I'm "listening", Atalanta!
21:12 Atalanta Philemon: I don't believe that Cleopatra sent a message to Antony saying she was dead. What do you think?
21:13 Lollia Junius: I dont think she did either, otherwise he would have stopped fighting against his own country.
21:13 Morgana Flavius: I don't believe on that story either, Atalanta. I think that was Augustus fabrication which passed on as history.
21:14 Atalanta Philemon: That's at the very end, I mean. Right before Antony commits suicide. Plutarch says that he heard she was dead. I think that's int he Liz Taylor movie too.
21:14 Torrey Philemon: I wonder where that story came from. I have trouble buying it too. And most scholars seem to question it I think.
21:15 Lollia Junius: That might have just been a rumour circulating at Plutarch's time or maybe her being dead was curculating in Antony's time.
21:16 Morgana Flavius: And I think that with this, Plutarch ends his own bad portrait of Cleopatra too. From the moment of the death of Antony on, he does seem to get more friendly in his account (Plutarch).
21:16 Torrey Philemon: What would Cleopatra have to gain from sending such a story to Antony? She would have to be very angry, trying to get back at him by making him suffer ....but at that point it doesn't make sense. It is possible, I would think, that some false rumor started that Antony heard....
21:17 Morgana Flavius: This version would also suit Octavian. That Antony did no commit suicide because he was a proud Roman, but because his lover has died.
21:18 Atalanta Philemon: That makes sense, Morgana. If Octavian was into creating more rumors after Antony's death though.
21:18 Morgana Flavius: Yes, that's a possibility, Torrey. Maybe the rumor was there, but I doubt that Cleopatra was the author of it.
21:19 Torrey Philemon: If she had already shut herself up in her tomb........someone could easily misconstrue why she was in her tomb.
21:20 Lollia Junius: I'm not sure Octavian really needed to invent rumours personally or demand they be. Rome hated people they were at war with, so the rumours may have been spreading on their own through the masses.
21:20 Torrey Philemon: (She didn't burn her treasure either. Maybe she didn't have time because Octavian's men got in sooner than she expected. Or maybe she still had some hope that she wouldn't have to do so)
21:20 Morgana Flavius: Right.
21:21 Atalanta Philemon: Octavian created a lot of false stories earlier though.
21:21 Morgana Flavius: That's something I've been thinking about too, Lollia. Regarding what we call "Octavian's version".
21:22 Torrey Philemon: Anyone else have other topics they want to discuss? I'm still  interested in Actium ...... and also I can't understand why if Octavian didn't want Cleopatra dead, he didn't have better security (like someone testing the figs to see if they were poison)
21:22 Lollia Junius: But still, it wasnt necessarily him. Things could always be falsely attributed as well. There were rumours circulating about Octavian and his "real" involvement with Caesar
21:22 Lollia Junius: Or being descended from slaves.
21:23 Lollia Junius: Antony pointed them out to Octavian in letters according to Suetonius. So these rumours could have started without help.
21:23 Morgana Flavius: I think that what Octavian really did was to choose, among all the rumors, versions, etc., the ones that would suit him best. And after returning as a victor from the East, of course he would reinforce the versions he liked and people would tend to take that as the truth.
21:23 Atalanta Philemon: You mean what we call Octavian Augustus stories may not have been created by him?
21:23 Torrey Philemon: Has anyone read Suetonius (or whatever his name is)? Supposedly he's another source about A&C.
21:24 Lollia Junius: Yeah, They could have come from the Subura or teh rankers. Same place rumours about Octavian attributed to Anthony may have come from there.
21:25 Torrey Philemon: I just got this book I ordered called The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus. It's about Augustus' brilliant in using art and "images" of all kinds to spread his version of the truth and influence people.
21:25 Morgana Flavius: Before talking about Actium (which really intertests me too), I'd like to point out that something that really intrigued me in Plutarch was when he wrote that Octavian didn't really know how Cleopatra died.
21:25 Torrey Philemon: Haven't looked at it yet just arrived.
21:25 Atalanta Philemon: I read somewhere that that is an excellent book.
21:26 Torrey Philemon: Tell us, Morgana.
21:26 Morgana Flavius: According to Plutarch, Octavian "chose" the version of the bite by the asp and displayed that image in his triumph in Rome. Thus, it became the most popular one.
21:27 Atalanta Philemon: What's Subura or the rankers Lollia
21:27 Lollia Junius: Well, he chose but he didnt start. He needed something to show on his triumph floats.
21:27 Morgana Flavius: Subura was the "proletarian" neighborhood in ancient Rome.
21:27 Torrey Philemon: Wasn't it known though that Cleopatra had two faint marks on her arms that could have been asp bites?
21:28 Libitina Antonius enters...
21:28 Lollia Junius: So it could have been no more than showing the already dominant rumour to the masses of Rome, not something he made up.
21:28 Torrey Philemon: It makes sense that she would have used an asp though, especially since it had mythical meaning in regard to her role as Isis, and it didn't cause pain.
21:28 Morgana Flavius: Right Lollia. This is the change in my view about Octavian and his "Augustan propaganda". He really didn't "invent" anything. He just picked up and disseminated the ones that he found more suitable to his plans.
21:28 Lollia Junius: The rankers are the common soldiers in the war.
21:29 Torrey Philemon: Hello Libitina. I don't know you. Have you been reading about Cleopatra and Antony?
21:29 Atalanta Philemon: Thankyou Lollia and Morgana
21:29 Libitina Antonius: Yes, sorry I'm late but someone called just at the wrong time and I only have one phone line
21:30 Torrey Philemon: Why don't you think Octavian invented any of these stories about Cleopatra, Morgana?
21:31 Lollia Junius: Or that were already so widespread. If everyone in Rome believed that Cleopatra died of a snake bite, If he had said Antony and her killed eachother, even if it was another rumour circulating, they would have accused Octavian of lying.
21:31 Morgana Flavius: Yes, but not even Plutarch, who apparently got the most reliable source on Cleopatra's last days, from her physician Olympus' journals, says something definitive about Cleo's real cause of death.
21:31 Torrey Philemon: You are certainly welcome anytime,  Libitina. (My goodness, as Antonius you must be related to our esteemed and not always esteemed Marcus!)
21:32 Lollia Junius: I have to go for a half hour, Vale!
21:32 Morgana Flavius: Hi Libitina! Glad to see you!!!
21:32 Torrey Philemon: I did read somewhere that markings that could be of an asp were found on her body. Do you think that was in Olympos' journal?
21:34 Torrey Philemon: I really have trouble buying the fig story. First that the snake would stay hidden under the figs for a long time - in George, for days. Second, that Octavian or the guards wouldn't check out the figs to make sure they were safe - or would so readily let anything be passed on to Cleopatra from someone who hasn't been checked out.
21:35 Morgana Flavius: Yes, the marks were probably reported by Olympus in his journal. But, at least according to Plutarch, not even that was evidence enough to proof the asp version. Although, in my opinion, that IS the most plausible version. The asp, minus the figs. Just like Margaret George wrote in her novel.
21:36 Libitina Antonius enters...
21:36 Morgana Flavius: I think the snakes were in Cleopatra's tomb hidden in a box, or a basket. If they would be hidden in a basket of figs, I guess they would have eaten the figs! :-)
21:36 Atalanta Philemon enters...
21:36 Libitina Antonius: Do any of you know anything about Sarmentus?
21:37 Morgana Flavius: I think the snakes were brought in before Octavian got hold of Cleopatra. Even if Cleopatra would succeed in burning her treasure, I think she would prefer to die from a less painful cause than burned alive!
21:37 Torrey Philemon: Who's Sarmentus?
21:37 Morgana Flavius: Sarmentus?
21:38 Torrey Philemon: Yes it would make sense that the asp was hidden somewhere in the tomb. It isn't likely it would have stayed still under the figs, waiting for Cleopatra to summon it!
21:38 Libitina Antonius: Plutarch refers to Sarmentus as Caesar's page but Ernle Bradford claims he meant Julius Caesar's boyfriend not Octavian's "delicia"
21:39 Atalanta Philemon enters...
21:40 Libitina Antonius: I think Bradford is wrong because Plutarch is referring to Octavian as Caesar in his "Life of Antony" not Gaius Julius.
21:41 Torrey Philemon: Here's an Actium question. Plutarch says that Antony fled the battle to be with Cleopatra as soon as her ships pulled ahead. This story isn't commonly accepted. Why do you think Antony jumped in a boat and took off to Cleopatra's ship at Actium. This is where he really did seem to desert his men.
21:42 Torrey Philemon: I don't understand what you're referring to, Libitina.
21:42 Atalanta Philemon: Me either.
21:43 Libitina Antonius: Antony had instructed his land forces to retreat to Asia Minor.  If the sea battle went poorly, Antony would need to escape to regroup with his legions if he was to challenge Octavian at another location.
21:43 Morgana Flavius: That really puzzles me too, Torrey. What I can think is what M.George thought in her novel too: that Antony did think the battle was lost and he simply ran for his life to Cleopatra's ship.
21:45 Morgana Flavius: Ah! That's a light Libitina! Yes, I think Antony deserted the naval battle in order to be able to try the land battle.
21:45 Torrey Philemon: I read somewhere that the plan if the battle was going bad was for one of them to give a signal and for the other to try to join the first ship with as many other ships as possible. What Antony didn't anticipate was that most of his men wouldn't make it through so it would look like he fled just to be with Cleopatra. Also, there aren't clear indications that the battle was definitely "lost" at that point.
21:45 Morgana Flavius: And that's why he didn't go to Alexandria with Cleo. He stopped in Africa. Only to find out about more desertions.
21:46 Atalanta Philemon: Antony was very loyal to his men. I can't believe he'd just run away from them.
21:47 Morgana Flavius: Things are starting to make more and more sense to me now.
21:47 Torrey Philemon: It does seem out of character that he would consciously leave so many of his men behind.....unless he had already given up after all the initial desertions. But I don't think so.....
21:48 Atalanta Philemon: Someone ought to make a movie just about what happened at Actium.
21:48 Morgana Flavius: Well, Atalanta, it seems that this was one of Antony's many misjudgements in Actium.
21:49 Libitina Antonius: Antony was attempting to regroup in Africa and reestablish contact with his land forces.  Unfortunately, Octavian pursued the land forces and they essentially realized their cause was lost and all but the officers went over to Octavian.  The officers knew of Octavian's reputation as "The Executioner" so they fled.
21:50 Libitina Antonius: With his legions now assimilated into Octavian's army, Antony plunged into despair.
21:50 Torrey Philemon: Libitina, I agree that it makes sense that Antony would try to escape in order to fight elsewhere. But he actually left his ship on a smaller boat and sped to Cleopatra's ship. He and a few men left most of his men behind on the ship. I can't imagine Antony doing that...... given his loyalty to his men as Atalanta said.
21:50 Morgana Flavius: Antony thought the naval battle was lost for him. So he made a "retreat" in order to be able to join his land forces later. But apparently, the men in the shore (Antony's foot soldiers) didn't see that the naval battle was lost and only saw Antony's boat leaving the ships behind to join Cleo's ship. And that's why they didn't wait for him and surrender to Octavian.
21:51 Torrey Philemon: I  like George's interpretation that Antony despaired not just because of desertions but also because he had betrayed his own men. He may have given up on himself........not just his men!
21:52 Morgana Flavius: Right, Libitina. And Plutarch tells it very clearly that not even Canidius, Antony's land forces general, was able to convince the men on the shore that Antony would come back. The soldiers just went to Octavian and Canidius had to run for his life.
21:52 Torrey Philemon: Yes, that's right Morgana! Antony didn't communicate clearly enough with his men or think how they might interpret the situation. Usually he was really there with them to boost their spirits, but this time he left them without an explanation.
21:53 Atalanta Philemon: that interpretation makes sense
21:54 Libitina Antonius: Bradford said Cleopatra still did not give up.  She began building a fleet she planned to transport across the isthmus to the Red Sea and sail eastward to reestablish a new kingdom with the help of the King of Media.
21:54 Atalanta Philemon: I have to go. I will read the rest of the chat latter. It was great talking to you all.
21:55 Morgana Flavius: I remember that Plutarch also describes Antony's retreat in the Parthian war. He did have to leave many men behind. Only those who were able to follow with him made it back to Syria, where Cleopatra was supposed to come with food, money and clothes.
21:55 Atalanta Philemon: I think Cleopatra was a stronger person than Antony. GOODNIGHT!
21:55 Torrey Philemon: Goodnight, Atalanta. Glad you could be here for awhile.
21:55 Atalanta Philemon exits...
21:56 Morgana Flavius: Bye, Atalanta!
21:57 Torrey Philemon: One of the big unanswered questions of history: What really happened at Actium?
21:57 Morgana Flavius: I agree with Atalanta. Cleo was stronger than Antony. And this brings to my mind that comment of Scott-Kilver in his translation of Plutarch: that Cleopatra had forbidden her people to fight agains Octavian.
21:59 Torrey Philemon: Yes, I don't understand that part either......Cleo didn't want her people to fight at the end.If this was so, was this perhaps so that Octavian would be more lenient and more willing to grant some of her wishes (like about Caesarion)?
21:59 Libitina Antonius: Bradford says Antony, in the Parthian war,  was in so much of a hurry to return to Cleopatra that he let his main contingent of legionaries and cavalry get too far ahead of the siege train which was subsequently overrun.
21:59 Morgana Flavius: I think we're getting very close to find out, Torrey! It seems that Antony miscalculated his own men's reaction to his strategy. After all, as posted in the Memoirs board, Antony was not a good war strategist, but had an incredible ability to command the loyalty of his soldiers when he could be personally among them!
22:01 Torrey Philemon: Who is Bradford, Libitina? Is this a source you recommend?
22:01 Libitina Antonius: I think Cleopatra's instructions to her people not to resist Octavian was based on her knowledge of what happened to Carthage.
22:02 Torrey Philemon: Yes Libitina, and I think Plutarch too says that Antony pushed his men ahead in the Parthian war so he could get back to Cleopatra sooner (I have trouble buying this too).
22:02 Libitina Antonius: Ernle Bradford, a biographer of Cleopatra.  Yes, I do recommend his book.  It is also beautifully illustrated with photos of statues, coins, ruins, etc.
22:03 Torrey Philemon: What happened to Carthage? (You know history better than I do!)
22:04 Libitina Antonius: At the end of the last Punic War, Rome defeated Carthage and slaughtered every man, woman, child, and animal in their capital city.  Afterwards they sowed the ground with salt so nothing would ever grow there again.
22:04 Torrey Philemon: (Ah i just checked at and see that the bradford book is out of print)
22:05 Libitina Antonius: Try Powell's used bookstore  They accept web orders too.
22:05 Morgana Flavius: And yet, the same Plutarch says earlier in his Life of Antony that Antony was a very brilliant general. And when he served under Julius Caesar's orders, he was the best man Caesar had.
22:05 Torrey Philemon: It's my impression that Cleopatra's main concern at the end was that Caesarion survive and hopefully rule Egypt. That her first priority was her son by Caesar.
22:06 Torrey Philemon: (I usually used abe books for out of print books, but to tell you the truth I still have a few more cleopatra books to read first!)
22:07 Torrey Philemon: We don't get the impression that Antony was a great strategist yet he has a reputation as a brilliant general? (he did have a lot of victories earlier). I wonder why he was considered brilliant apart from winning the loyalty and commitment of his men.
22:07 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Libitina, but Carthage was punished in that way only after the THIRD war against Rome. In the 1st and 2nd Punic War, Carthage was able to make a deal with the Romans.
22:10 Libitina Antonius: True, Morgana, but Rome had dealt harshly with other cities that resisted them as well. (I just can't remember the names offhand.
22:10 Morgana Flavius: Well, I think that Cleopatra forbade her people to fight Octavian only after she realized that she had no decent army left to fight! And having civilians fight against well trained Roman legionaires was pure suicide. So, yes, I think that when Octavian was at Alexandria's doors, she asked her people not to fight and she certainly hoped to offer Octavian to treat Egypt as a client kingdom and let Caesarion rule.
22:12 Morgana Flavius: But Scott-Kilver's comment seems to imply that Cleopatra didn't want to fight Rome anymore when there was still a decent military chance to win.
22:12 Libitina Antonius: Have any of you read any sources that claimed Caesarsion did not die at Octavian's hands but went on to rule one of the eastern kingdoms?
22:13 Libitina Antonius: Actually, once Cleopatra's new fleet being prepared for her flight across the Red Sea was discovered and burned there was no real chance for military victory after that point.
22:14 Torrey Philemon: I don't think there was any chance to win at the end, when Octavian was invading Alexandria...........Actually, now that I think of it, didn't Cleopatra's fleet salute rather than attack Octavian. The question is - was this because of OR against the wishes of Cleopatra? Maybe some people think that Cleopatra had basically decided to surrender at this point and they were following her wishes.
22:14 Morgana Flavius: Still on Carthage: let's not forget that in the 2nd War, Carthaginians were led by the "terrible" Hannibal. Rome's most terrible enemy! (Maybe not worse only than Cleopatra!) And even so, after Hannibal was defeated (and duly commited his noble suicide), the Carthaginians were still able to make a deal with Rome. And I think that Cleopatra was thinking about doing the same.
22:15 Torrey Philemon: I heard about one source Libitina (don't remember what it was) but don't think it's accepted as genuine. What sources do you know of?
22:16 Morgana Flavius: The ships that Cleopatra sent to the other side in the Red Sea (even making them cross a narrow strip of dry land!) were all burned. The ships that remained in Alexandria went all to Octavian's side when his fleet approached them.
22:17 Libitina Antonius: I think I had heard it briefly mentioned in a History channel documentary.  I do find it interesting that Bradford claims Caesarion was talked into returning to Alexandria by a tutor where he was immediately killed while George says he was intercepted before he could sail to safety and killed.  It does leave room for doubt as to the truth of the matter.
22:18 Morgana Flavius: Libitina: I had not heard of that version about Caesarion either.
22:18 Libitina Antonius enters...
22:18 Torrey Philemon: Morgana, do you think the ships deserted to Octavian without Cleo's knowledge or because Cleo told them to surrender? Was she then deciding that surrender was best option if she wished some of  her demands to be met?
22:19 Morgana Flavius: But in any instance, had Caesarion returned to Alexandria to be killed, or had he been intercepted on his way to India or somewhre else, he was killed by Octavian's orders. I had never heard a different version.
22:19 Libitina Antonius: Do any of you know how to make the chat window stop jumping back to the beginning then to the end.  It is really annoying and makes it difficult to follow the discussion thread.
22:20 Torrey Philemon: Yes I've read interpretations saying that his tutor betrayed him by convincing him to return because Octavian wished to let him rule Alexandria. The question here is did his tutor really betray him (I find that hard to believe, tutors are usually loyal to their students) or was he just duped too?
22:20 Torrey Philemon: (Somewhere you can set chat options but I can't find where you do so on Internet Explorer. I know I could more easily on Netscape)
22:20 Morgana Flavius: I think that the ships surrendered without Cleopatra's formal consent. But maybe she didn't ask them to engage in a battle against Octavian either.
22:22 Libitina Antonius: Now that you mentioned India, I remember a little more about the reference.  They said there are Hindu texts that refer to a ruler from the west with references leading scholars to conjecture if it was Caesarion.
22:22 Morgana Flavius: Torrey, I think that the tutor's betrayal version is the one Plutarch tells.
22:24 Lollia Junius enters...
22:24 Lollia Junius: Ave
22:24 Libitina Antonius: Ave Lollia Junius!
22:24 Morgana Flavius: Welcome back Lollia!
22:25 Lollia Junius: Hello, everyone :)
22:26 Morgana Flavius: Anyway... how could it be possible that Caesarion would rule somewhere else, if not in Egypt? On what grounds would a people accept a foreign ruler if not defeated in a war?
22:27 Libitina Antonius: Cleopatra thought Caesarion could rule elsewhere or she would not have sent him to the east.
22:27 Morgana Flavius: Lollia, we're talking about a version that says that Caesarion was not killed by Octavian and was able to rule somewhere else. Have you heard of that?
22:27 Lollia Junius: Probably not. Alexander's generals and their descendants fought all the time, and all except the Ptolemian line were gone to Rome byt hat point.
22:27 Torrey Philemon: (I just got distracted searching for information on this other story about Caesarion. Didn't find it but found A LOT of discussion after Cleo's children at the Cleopatra forum here. What a page!
22:27 Torrey Philemon: Welcome back, Lollia
22:28 Lollia Junius: I know Anthony
22:29 Lollia Junius: I mean, I know Antony's childrenw ith Cleo ruled in other countries, but they were known widely
22:29 Lollia Junius: Caesarion isnt widely known as connected with any country.
22:29 Torrey Philemon: Do you remember the source for this story about Caesarion, Libitina? I don't think it's taken seriously but I can't remember what it is.
22:31 Libitina Antonius: I think it was the miniseries Rome: The Great Empire.  I have Rome: The Power and Glory (DVD) on order.  I'll check it when I get it in case it is the one I am thinking of.
22:31 Torrey Philemon: There is a monument to Caesarion at Ancient Sites!
22:32 Morgana Flavius: I think Cleopatra did not thought that Caesarion could rule somewhere else. She sent him out of Egypt in order to protect him from Octavian's wrath. From Cleo's other children, only Cleopatra Selene was a queen. But that was so because she was married to a king. Her other two brothers did not leave any strong trace of what happened to them.
22:35 Libitina Antonius enters...
22:35 Lollia Junius: .
22:35 Torrey Philemon: I'm trying to understand how Caesarion let himself be duped into returning. My guess is that he didn't want to leave in the first place, that he felt like a coward, and that he was looking for an excuse to return anyway. He wanted to believe that he had a chance with Octavian (though how he could expect Octavian would let him live is beyond me!)
22:36 Torrey Philemon: Some of the Roman emperors to come were descendants of one of Cleopatra's children.
22:37 Libitina Antonius: I'm afraid I must go.  My husband is recovering from open heart surgery and it is time for his evening walk.  I have truly enjoyed this discussion. 
22:38 Morgana Flavius: Hum... I guess not, Torrey. Some of the Roman emperors to come were descendants of one of Antony's children.
22:38 Libitina Antonius: Good night.  I'll be anxious to read the entire transcript of this session.
22:39 Morgana Flavius: Libitina, it was really great to have you with us! Thank you for your wonderful contributions!
22:39 Lollia Junius: Yeah, Like Caligula was descended the same number of generatiosn from both Augustus and Antony
22:39 Libitina Antonius exits...
22:39 Lollia Junius: And Claudius was only related by blood to Antony (only by marriage to Augustus)
22:39 Torrey Philemon: Ah, maybe you're right on that Morgana. Will have to research that!......Glad to meet you Libitina. Will you post on our discusison board?
22:40 Torrey Philemon: (Guess it's time to do some official history study. I've never actually studied Roman history <-: )
22:41 Morgana Flavius: I think that Claudius was the son (or grandson) of Antonia, one of Antony's daughter.
22:42 Lollia Junius: He was the son of Antonia, who was the daughter of Antony and Octavia
22:42 Morgana Flavius: Yes, it is here in Plutarch: Claudius was the son of Antonia, Marc Antony's and Octavia's daughter.
22:43 Torrey Philemon: Ah, so we know of know dynasty etc. that descended from Cleopatra........
22:45 Morgana Flavius: Still on Caesarion: it is also Plutarch who says that Caesarion was killed by Octavian, following the advice of the philosopher Areius, who seemed to have said "Too many Caesars are not well".
22:45 Mara Durotriges enters...
22:45 Mara Durotriges: ah, you're still at it!
22:46 Torrey Philemon: Welcome back, Mara!
22:47 Torrey Philemon: Actually you weren't here before, so welcome, not welcome back! <-:  (I thought  I was talking to you earlier but I was talking to your post!)
22:48 Torrey Philemon: We've been talking about snakes and figs and Actium and death rumors and Cesarion and Antony's children.....
22:48 Morgana Flavius: Hi Mara!
22:49 Mara Durotriges: yes, that's good - talking to a post
22:49 Torrey Philemon: Just saw this on the Cleopatra forum board: "However, in her book, Cleopatra's Daughter," Beatrice Chanler ventured to say that Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphos were murdered on Herod's orders while they were in a scholastic mission to Greece, a few years after Cleopatra Selene left for Numidia with her husband, Juba II.
22:50 Mara Durotriges: I'm trying to catch up here and printing all the after mine posts that I haven't read
22:52 Torrey Philemon: Well we can continue our Cleopatra discussions all year if we want to! I feel like Cleopatra and Antony are my roommates these days anyway and would hesitate to send them off to the afterlife.
22:52 Morgana Flavius: It is Margaret George who says in the "Author's Note" of Memoirs of Cleopatra that "there are no known descendants of Cleopatra beyond the second generation."
22:52 Mara Durotriges: really, I have gotten used to them being around
22:54 Torrey Philemon: Mara, Morgana and I both just ordered Massie's book on Antony, which is only available in England I think. At least you can get it at but not in the U.S.
22:54 Morgana Flavius: Here's something else that I read in Plutarch that caught my attention:
22:54 Torrey Philemon: I imagine it's written like his Augustus book, which I recently started, and which is VERY readable. A kind of fictional memoirs.
22:55 Lollia Junius: Like I, Claudius?
22:56 Morgana Flavius: "Antony, in misfortune, was most nearly a victorious man". This comment was made when Plutarch tells the story of the battle of Antony and Octavian, right after Caesar's death. Antony was defeated, in the beginning.
22:57 Torrey Philemon: Haven't read I Claudius.....I was duped though starting to read Augustus, thinking it was a very contemporary translation of real memoirs.
22:58 Mara Durotriges: I was just reading your post Morgana and I just had an idea.  Do you suppose that Octavian really killed or had Cleopatra killed himself - and just put out the asp story?  Plutarch wasn't there.
22:58 Torrey Philemon: Most nearly victorious?
22:58 Mara Durotriges: He could have easily done that and no one would have done anything but whisper about it
22:58 Morgana Flavius: Then he runs to the Alps, where he plans to join Lepidus army (not knowing how weel Lepidus would receive him). This is also when he drinks foul water and eats bark just like his soldiers. Once he reaches the other side, Lepidus does not receive him well, but Lepidus' SOLDIERS do listen to Antony and do switch to his side! Just like Antony's own soldiers did when Octavian came around in Actium.
22:59 Mara Durotriges: The asp part would make it believable to the Egyptians in case there were any who would rise at him for doing away with their queen
22:59 Morgana Flavius: (Sorry, Mara, I'll address to your question in a moment)
23:00 Torrey Philemon: Interesting idea, Mara. Though I imagine someone else on the scene would have leaked rumors about what really happened.
23:00 Lollia Junius: I have to go, vale alL!
23:01 Mara Durotriges: bye Lollia
23:01 Morgana Flavius: At that point, Antony was a the head of a poor army, and using his great performance skills, was able to convince Lepidus' soldiers to follow him (Antony). But when he was at the head of what was thought to be invincible armies...
23:01 Torrey Philemon: Goodbye Lollia. Glad you could join us part of the time.
23:02 Torrey Philemon: Are you saying Morgana that Antony did very well usually when dealing with limited resources........?
23:03 Morgana Flavius: Like in his war against the Parthians, Antony performed very poorly as a strategist. Isn't it interesting?
23:03 Morgana Flavius: Bye Lollia! Thanks for being with us!!
23:04 Torrey Philemon: He certainly responded well to the needs of his men. But when he was away from them, he didn't seem to be able to make the most intelligent decisions. It's as if he responded mostly whoever was at hand.
23:04 Morgana Flavius: Yes, Torrey, that's what Plutarch says.
23:04 Mara Durotriges: Plutarch praised Antony for rising to the occasion in the field
23:05 Mara Durotriges: George always made the point that he went with the easiest thing to hand but did well with whatever it was
23:05 Torrey Philemon: Good strategy probably involves the ability to think abstractly. I don't think this was Antony's strength. His strength was more responding to the needs of the people around him.
23:05 Morgana Flavius: Anyway, regarding Cleopatra's death and Octavian wanting it or not wanting it, Mara, I think that Octavian did not want Cleopatra to die before he could parade her in his triumph in Rome.
23:05 Torrey Philemon: Also strategy involves the ability to think ahead and Antony did better in the present moment.
23:07 Morgana Flavius: If he wanted her to die (and not get the blame for it), then he would let her die when she got sick and stopped eating. Instead, he sent her Olympos and even threatened her with the death of her children if she refused to eat and heal.
23:07 Torrey Philemon: I could certainly imagine Octavian enjoying parading Cleopatra through Rome......but I also have trouble believing that she'd allow this to happen! And if he was so intent on keeping her alive for his triumph, why didn't he take better precautions to prevent her death? The fig story doesn't make sense....but if the asp was already in the tomb, it's more understandable.
23:07 Mara Durotriges: Aside - If I disappear suddenly - the lights have blinked a bit - we have a storm coming I think
23:07 Morgana Flavius: Oh... we're out of phase here. :-)
23:08 Torrey Philemon: Threatening her with the death of her children was a wise strategy on Octavian's part. It shows he knows what was most important to her.
23:09 Morgana Flavius: (And Antony seemed to have responded better to the immediate needs of people around him when he had more limited resources to do so.)
23:10 Mara Durotriges: I was thinking more along the lines of a staged 'event'  People do it now all the time.I still think that if she had been paraded in Rome, it might have caused more trouble than it was worth for Octavian.  By arranging a spectacle, so to speak, with the asp..... oh, I have to think this one out to be able to argue for it
23:10 Torrey Philemon: We're just talking about three topics as once, as usual!
23:11 Torrey Philemon: I read that Octavian probably would have been hesitant to parade Cleopatra because of the sympathy Arsinoe had gotten when he did so with her.....but I doubt this. Cleopatra was a different figure altogether, and Rome was definitely prepared to hate Cleopatra already.
23:11 Mara Durotriges: I am out of phase Morgana, jumping in in the middle of stuff
23:11 Morgana Flavius: I think Octavian did all he could in order to prevent Cleopatra to

commit suicide. What else could he do besides putting man watching her door day and night? The serpents or whatever means Cleo found out to kill herself, were hidden somewhere and Octavian's men were not able to find it.
23:14 Morgana Flavius: Besides, Octavian did not hesitate to parade Cleopatra's children in his triumph! Poor kids (and one was a girl), innocent of their mother's sins.
23:14 Torrey Philemon: Was there more you wanted to say about Antony as a strategist, Morgana?
23:16 Torrey Philemon: One other thing bothers me, that I read in several accounts including Plutarch. The decimation of his men. When his men proved cowardly in some battle, Antony had them draw straws and he killed 10% of them. Was this a common practice? Awful. And Antony was still loved by his men after this?
23:16 Morgana Flavius: No, that was all Torrey. Sometimes people really do better when resources are limited. When they have all they could ask for to perform a task, they fail. It seems that this was also Antony's case.
23:17 Torrey Philemon: He certainly is a man of extremes. Pleasure-loving indulgence, extravagant generosity, self-sacrifice in war, ruthless killing of his own men.
23:18 Morgana Flavius: It seems that decimation was a common practice and I think that Plutarch even says that the decimation was proposed by Antony's soldiers, not by himself.
23:18 Torrey Philemon: Yes, when resources were limited and he was face to face with raw emotional and physical need.......that's anything but abstract and future-oriented, like strategy!
23:19 Torrey Philemon: It's just hard to believe that killing 10% of his own men would strengthen them all! Well, certainly it would make for fewer men to feed.....but also fewer to fight.
23:19 Mara Durotriges: I didn't notice that, Torrey.  Why would his men still love him?  As far as common practice, I think that in WWI guys were shot for cowardice/running away.  It probably has always been the done thing.  I guess the justification would be that cowards would endanger the group
23:20 Torrey Philemon: I guess that's just part of the command mentality.......
23:20 Morgana Flavius: When I think about Roman professional legionaires/soldiers, I always imagine a bunch of totally brained washed men, doing anything their general asks them to do. They are loyal to a man, not to a cause. And when they don't trust their general anymore, they have no problem to switch sides and do the most cruel things against the man they have served first.
23:21 Torrey Philemon: Sounds right, Morgana! And they also wanted land promised them for fighting......which they wouldn't get if Antony lost.
23:21 Mara Durotriges: Good point, Morgana, about the failure with great resources
23:23 Morgana Flavius: That's why, having the loyalty of one's man, was a key issue in war strategy. But it was not the only key issue...
23:24 Morgana Flavius: The movie Gladiator is a good example of that and how that worked in real as well as in political wars.
23:25 Torrey Philemon: Well, folks, I'm fading going to need to go!
23:26 Morgana Flavius: About the land promise, Torrey, yes, Roman soldiers were "professional" soldiers, which implies monetary compensation for their services.
23:26 Torrey Philemon: This has been really great! Hope you to hear from you more on our discussion board Mara (and as always, Morgana).
23:27 Mara Durotriges: Goodnight Torrey!
23:27 Torrey Philemon: (but more of Antony's soliders weren't Romans, and some were forced recruits of questionable loyalty anyway)
23:27 Torrey Philemon: Goodnight, Mara and Morgana!
23:27 Morgana Flavius: Just one more thing, Torrey: Roman armies do remind me of the present day corporation values and how people get easily brain washed to fight for their company's cause not minding much about the justice of it...
23:28 Torrey Philemon: Interesting analogy, Morgana. A lot of people aren't motivated by justice, just personal survival issues......
23:28 Mara Durotriges: Yes, at Actium so many of them were the eastern client states - so they wouldn't have had the 'brainwashed Roman Soldier follow the Great Leader' symdrome
23:28 Torrey Philemon: We'll have to explore this academia vs. corporations, Antony vs. Octavian analogy in the future!
23:29 Morgana Flavius: Good night, Torrey! And I am going too. Good night, Mara!
23:29 Torrey Philemon exits...
23:30 Morgana Flavius: Good point, Mara. Another reason why Antony was such a disaster in Actium.
23:31 Morgana Flavius: Bye!
23:31 Mara Durotriges: Good night Morgana.  Enjoyed it!

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