14
ROME ON THE TIBER

While Cleopatra's vital spirit continued to shine brightly in Egypt, its radiance was no less vibrant in Rome. The gilded statue in the Temple of Venus Genetrix, installed by Caesar, was gleaming still, and Augustus set out to continue and even enhance Caesar's renovation of Rome. His decision to do this was significant. Caesar had been by nature a great builder, and his relationship with Cleopatra and exposure to Alexandria had caused his ambitions to soar; he set out to achieve on the banks of the Tiber a blueprint for a new Rome that was unprecedented. The sights he had seen during his sojourn in Egypt and his barge trip along the Nile— the jutting profiles of the pyramids, the lofty heights of the obelisks, the opulence of variegated marbles—surely inspired him to revitalize Rome in the image of pharaonic and Ptolemaic Egypt. This is not to say that he engaged in wholesale imitation, however. Caesar was always aware of what was appropriate to Rome and what architectural and artistic vocabulary suited a city on the Tiber. What his Egyptian experience encouraged him to build were monuments that were large and impressive enough not to be forgotten, and structures that preserved for posterity not only the essence of the gods but also the deeds of their representatives on earth.

The ethos of the Republic was that triumphant generals were responsible for using the wealth of their victories to benefit the people of Rome and the city's urban fabric. Retrofitting Rome with new monuments and

-200-

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Cleopatra and Rome
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Prologue: From Carpet to Asp 1
  • 1: Cleopatra Superstar 16
  • 2: The Major Players 29
  • 3: The Supporting Cast 45
  • 4: The Professionals 58
  • 5: Cleopatra Architecta 68
  • 6: Alexandria on the Tiber 93
  • 7: Living the Inimitable Life 102
  • 8: Ersatz Alexanders in Egypt and Rome 119
  • 9: [Queen of Kings]: Cleopatra Thea Neotera 135
  • 10: Even Death Won't Part Us Now 157
  • 11: Egyptomania! 163
  • 12: Divine Alter Egos 179
  • 13: A Roman Pharaoh and a Roman Emperor 189
  • 14: Rome on the Tiber 200
  • 15: Death, Dynasty, and a Roman Dendera 219
  • 16: Competing with Cleopatra on Coins 230
  • 17: Princesses and Power Hair 242
  • 18: Regina Romana 251
  • 19: From Asp to Eternity 261
  • Notes 285
  • Bibliography 289
  • Illustration Credits 315
  • Acknowledgments 321
  • Index 325
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