The World of Juba II and Kleopatra Selene: Royal Scholarship on Rome's African Frontier

By Duane W. Roller | Go to book overview

11

THE MAURETANIAN DYNASTY

The later dynastic history of the family of Juba and Kleopatra Selene is difficult to untangle. One feels acutely the lack of a Josephus or Plutarch. The few sources are baffling in obscurity and present incompatible data. Issues include the death date of Kleopatra Selene, Juba’s subsequent marriage, and even the number and names of their children. Most clear is the regnal span of Juba and his heir Ptolemaios. Juba’s reign lasted until AD23 or 24, since his coins run only into his forty-eighth year, and Tacitus recorded that the transition from Juba to the “negligent youth” Ptolemaios was in the ninth or tenth year of Tiberius. 1 Coins with both “rex Iuba” and “rex Ptolemaeus” show that they were co-rulers for a number of years, but none of these joint coins has a regnal year. 2 Coins as early as Juba’s Year 30 (AD 5) have a youthful bust of Ptolemaios, perhaps when he assumed the toga virilis, 3 and coins from Year 36 (AD11) show a more mature version (Figure 26e, f); thus a birth date of ca. 13-9BC is possible. 4 Ptolemaios’ own coins run for twenty regnal years. 5 Since he was executed by the emperor Gaius Caligula, 6 his death occurred between AD37 and 41 and thus his first regnal year was

1 Mazard #386, 387; Tacitus, Annals 4.1, 5, 23. The phrase is “iuventa incurioso. ” Iuventa need not mean extreme youth: Tacitus used the word to describe men in their thirties, especially when compared with someone older: Germanicus at age 34 (Annals 2.71) and Nero at age 31 (Histories 1.7). See François Chamoux, “Un Nouveau Portrait de Ptolémée de Maurétanie découvert à Cherchel, ” in Mélanges d’archéologie et d’histoire offerts à André Piganiol, ed. Raymond Chevallier (Paris: SEVPEN, 1966), vol. 1, p. 404.

2 Mazard #379, 381, 389, 391.

3 Mazard #375. There is no good evidence for a specific year when the toga virilis was assumed: known ages vary from 14 to 18 (Johannes Regner, “Tirocinium Fori, ” RE 2, ser. 6, 1937, 1452-3); Alberto Grilli, “Cicerone nell’età della toga virile, ” PP 52, 1997, 161-76.

4 Mazard #383, 387. A birth date of between 19 and 14BC is preferred by Max Hofmann, “Ptolemaios von Mauretanien” (#62), RE 23, 1959, 1770, and has been followed by many commentators. But this seems rather early, and is based on the erroneous assumption that his parents were not married until 20BC (supra, pp. 86-7).

5 Mazard #496; on Ptolemaios’ coins generally, see Dieter Salzmann, “Zur Münzprägung der mauretanischen Könige Juba II. und Ptolemaios, ” MM 15, 1974, 180-2.

6 Seneca, On the Tranquility of the Mind 11.12; Pliny, Natural History 5.11; Suetonius, Gaius 26.

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The World of Juba II and Kleopatra Selene: Royal Scholarship on Rome's African Frontier
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Juba’s Numidian Ancestry 11
  • 2 - Mauretania 39
  • 3 - Juba’s Youth and Education 59
  • 4 - Kleopatra Selene 76
  • 5 - The Mauretanian Client Kingdom 91
  • 6 - The Artistic and Cultural Program of Juba and Kleopatra Selene 119
  • 7 - Rex Literatissimus 163
  • 8 - Libyka 183
  • 9 - The Eastern Expedition with Gaius Caesar 212
  • 10 - On Arabia 227
  • 11 - The Mauretanian Dynasty 244
  • Epilogue 257
  • Appendix 1 261
  • Appendix 2 264
  • Appendix 3 267
  • Bibliography 276
  • List of Passages Cited 310
  • Index 319
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