“all men work more zealously against their enemies than they cooperate with their friends.”
Egyptian women married later than did their neighbors as well, only about half of them by Cleopatra’s age. They loaned money and operated barges. They served as priests in the native temples. They initiated lawsuits and hired flute players. As wives, widows, or divorcées, they owned vineyards, wineries, papyrus marshes, ships, perfume businesses, milling equipment, slaves, homes, camels. As much as one third of Ptolemaic Egypt may have been in female hands. So much did these practices reverse the natural order of things that they astounded the foreigner. At the same time they seemed wholly...
Ptolemy I. It was in Alexandria that the circumference of the earth was first measured, the sun fixed at the center of the solar system, the workings of the brain and the pulse illuminated, the foundations of anatomy and physiology established, the definitive editions of Homer produced. It was in Alexandria that Euclid had codified geometry. If all the wisdoms of the ancient world could be said to have been collected in one place, that place was Alexandria. Cleopatra was its direct beneficiary. She knew that the moon had an effect on tides, that the Earth was spherical and revolved around the...
Politics have long been defined as “the systematic organization of hatreds.” Certainly nothing better described Rome in the years following the Ides, when enmity rather than issues divided Caesar’s assassins, Caesar’s heirs, and the last of the Pompeians, each of whom, it seemed, had an army, an agenda, and ambitions of his own. Among the bumper crop of personal vendettas, none was more savage than that of Cicero and Mark Antony.