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

By Duane W. Roller | Go to book overview

EPILOGUE

When the emperor Gaius Caligula summoned his cousin Ptolemaios of Mauretania to the imperial court and then had him executed, he ended sixty-five years of client monarchy in Mauretania. This was not a long period in the history of the Roman Empire, but it was one of profound changes. Mauretania became part of Europe, an orientation that lasted until the spread of Islam, and toponyms and political boundaries were established that continue today. Yet the personalities of Juba and Kleopatra Selene faded into footnotes to history. The polymathic authors of the later Empire, Pliny, Plutarch, and Athenaios, so deeply extracted the essence of Juba’s writings for their own encyclopedic efforts that the originals were lost, perhaps as early as AD200.

Kleopatra Selene fared worse than her husband. Although queen of Mauretania and Kyrenaika, and pretender to the Egyptian throne, she became little more than a reflection of her husband and parents. She vanishes from the literary record after her children’s birth, and even her death date remains uncertain. Her daughter Drusilla is remembered only because of her grandparents and husband, not her mother. With the possible exception of Krinagoras’ obituary epigram, Kleopatra Selene is not mentioned in literature outside the shadow of male relatives, and occasionally is hidden even by them. In fact, she would be even more ephemeral were it not for the less biased evidence of coins and her Egyptian artistic program at Caesarea. Yet a significant survival of her influence, perhaps, was the unusually elevated status of women at Caesarea in the centuries following her death. 1 As late as the third century AC there was a prominent educated female aristocracy at the city, including personalities such as the grammarian Volusia Tertullina. It seems that the legacy of the Ptolemaic queens of Egypt and Mauretania continued long beyond their death.

Moreover, the Mauretanian monarchs have had their impact on the arts in modern times. Kleopatra Selene has figured in modern literature, although

1 Nacéra Benseddik, “Être femme dans le Maghreb ancien, ” AWAL: Cahiers d’études berbères 20, 1999, 142-5.

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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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