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Map of the Donations of Alexandria - 34 B.C.
Map of the Donations of Alexandria in 34 B.C.
This map reveals the Roman provinces belonging to Marc Antony, Italy and the Roman provinces belonging to Octavian, the territories belonging to Cleopatra's children, and the boundary between Antony and Octavian.
In 34 B.C. Marc Antony successfully campaigned against the Armenians and celebrated a triumphal parade through Alexandria, while Cleopatra (proclaimed as the New Isis) presided over the parade. When Rome heard they took it to mean that it was a triumph for Rome. A few days later there was an even more elaborate ceremony, in the great Gymnasium of Alexandria Antony and Cleopatra (enthroned as king and queen) bestowed titles upon their royal children.
Ptolemy XV Caesar (Caesarion) was made joint ruler of Egypt with his mother Cleopatra VII. He was proclaimed "king of kings" and she was proclaimed "queen of kings" (a higher honor).
Alexander Helios was dressed like an Achaemenid monarch and was declared "great king" of what was the Seleucid empire in its glory along with Parthia.
Cleopatra Selene (Alexander Helios's sister) was declared queen of Cyrenaica and Crete.
Ptolemy Philadelphos (the youngest son of Antony and Cleopatra) whose name utters past glories was made king of Syria and Asia Minor at the age of two and he also was dressed in Macedonian royal robes.
The only person standing in the way of Antony and Cleopatra's dreams of this "New Order" was Octavian, the adopted son of Julius Caesar who would soon defeat them at the Battle of Actium.
The Donations of Alexandria excerpt from Wikipedia
The Donations of Alexandria (Autumn 34 BC) were a political statement by Mark Antony in which he distributed lands held by Rome and Parthia amongst Cleopatra VII and their children. The Donations caused a fatal breach in Antony's relations with Rome and were amongst the causes of the Final War of the Roman Republic.
After Mark Antony successfully invaded Armenia, he captured the Royal Family of Armenia and staged a mock Roman Triumph in the streets of Alexandria. The parade through the city was a pastiche of Rome's most important military celebration. For the finale, the whole city was summoned to the Gymnasium of Alexandria, where Antony and Cleopatra VII were dressed as Dionysus Osiris and Isis Aphrodite sat on golden thrones. Their four children were similarly decked in the garbs of their new kingdoms. Mark Antony was about to put an end to his alliance with Octavian by donating Roman territory and more to their children.
The Donations itself included:
Alexander Helios was named king of Armenia and Media and Parthia (which were never conquered by Rome);
his twin Cleopatra Selene II got Cyrenaica and Libya; the young Ptolemy Philadelphus was awarded Syria and Cilicia; Cleopatra was proclaimed Queen of Kings and Queen of Egypt, to rule with Caesarion (Ptolemy XV Caesar, son of Julius Caesar), King of Kings and King of Egypt; Caesarion was declared legitimate son and heir of Caesar.
Distributing Roman lands and lands never conquered by Rome amongst the children of Cleopatra was not a peace move, but it was not a serious problem either. What did seriously threaten Octavian's political position, however, was the acknowledgement of Caesarion as legitimate and heir to Caesar's name. Octavian's base of power was his link with Caesar through adoption, which granted him much-needed popularity and loyalty of the legions. To see this convenient situation attacked by a child borne by the richest woman in the world was something Octavian could not accept. In response, Octavian increased the personal attacks against Marc Antony and Cleopatra and the triumvirate expired on the last day of 33 BC not to be renewed. Another civil war was beginning.