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How did the Roman Empire shape Egypt's politics during the time of Cleopatra?

How did the Roman Empire shape Egypt's politics during the time of Cleopatra?

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How did the Roman Empire shape Egypt's politics during the time of Cleopatra?

Answered by Dr. Kara Cooney, Assistant Professor of Egyptian Art and Architecture at UCLA

The Roman empire was the crucible of Cleopatra's rule; it was also the threat ready to consume Egypt as a province if Cleopatra failed, which she eventually did. She knew she had to link her fortunes to that of Rome, and that is why she linked herself so closely to Roman warlords and politics. If Julius Cesar had not been assassinated, her position as ruler of Egypt would have been protected for a longer time. Because he was killed, however, she had to go searching about for another Roman protector and patron. She chose Marc Antony; or circumstance chose him. Either way, their attempts to create an eastern Mediterranean dynasty in competition to Rome were ultimately unsuccessful because they lost the major naval battle at Actium. They were defeated by Octavian who took the larger prize. 

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