war_on_cleopatra

The Declaration of War on Cleopatra: An Examination of the Evidence for the Antiquity of the Ceremony Enacted by Octavian in the Campus Martius: Second Edition

Neil Johnson
Published: 2018
ISBN-13: 9781871622935
Format: Hardback
RRP: £23.95
Availability: Buy at Amazon

Related title:
The Declaration of War on Cleopatra: An Examination of the Evidence for the Antiquity of the Ceremony Enacted by Octavian in the Campus Martius: First Edition

In 32 BC, Octavian, the future Caesar Augustus, performed an impressive ceremony in the Campus Martius in Rome. Standing in front of the Temple of Bellona, and attired as a fetial priest, he cast a spear into a plot of land in front of the temple – land that had been designated as foreign territory. By his actions Octavian was signifying the readiness of the Roman people to declare war upon Egypt and Queen Cleopatra. In truth, the war was to be directed primarily against Cleopatra's lover Mark Antony, Octavian's rival for the sole and undisputed control of Rome. Octavian, by claiming to have disinterred an ancient Roman ceremony for the declaration of war, signified his concern to abide by Roman traditions, thereby distancing himself from Antony, whom he wished to portray as having rejected Rome for a foreign land and its queen. That is the story, as historians tell it – but this monograph poses, and tries to answer, some important questions. This is the second (hardback) edition of this book, and contains a more detailed analysis of some of the issues raised in the first (paperback) edition. Also included in the new edition are many full-colour photographs of the archaeological remains and other structures referred to in the text. Amongst the questions posed are whether Octavian actually carried the Campus Martius declaration-of-war ceremony that has been ascribed to him and whether, if he did, he was truly revivinq an ancient rite or was performing a ceremony specially concocted by him and his advisors merely as a propaganda exercise.

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