Cleopatra’s Daughter: A Novel

ALSO BY MICHELLE MORAN

Nefertiti

The Heretic Queen

For Matthew,
amor meus, amicus meus

T
IME
L
INE
323 BC
        
After the death of Alexander the Great in Babylon, the empire he had so rapidly built begins to disintegrate. Ptolemy, one of Alexander’s Macedonian generals, seizes control of Egypt. Thus begins the Ptolemaic dynasty that will end with Kleopatra Selene.
47 BC
Julius Caesar’s forces defeat Ptolemy XIII in the Battle of the Nile, and Kleopatra VII is installed on the throne of Egypt. Later that same year, she announces that she has borne Caesar a son, Caesarion (“little Caesar”). The relationship between Julius Caesar and Kleopatra will continue until his assassination.
46 BC
Juba I, King of Numidia, allies himself with the republicans’ losing cause in their war against Caesar. After the calamitous Battle of Thapsus, his kingdom of Numidia is annexed as a Roman province, and a servant is instructed to take Juba’s life. His infant son, Juba II, is taken to Rome and paraded through the streets during Caesar’s Triumph. Juba II is raised by Caesar and his sister, forming close ties with Caesar’s young adopted heir, Octavian.
44 BC
The assassination of Julius Caesar. In the aftermath, an uneasy alliance is formed: the Second Triumvirate, composed of his supporters Octavian, Marc Antony, and Lepidus. The three unite to defeat the forces of Caesar’s killers, led by Brutus and Cassius, who have amassed an army in Greece.
42 BC
After victory over the forces of Brutus and Cassius at the Battle of Philippi, the three members of the Second Triumvirate go their separate ways. Marc Antony begins his tour of the eastern provinces by summoning the Queen of Egypt to meet him.
41 BC
Meeting of Marc Antony and Kleopatra VII. Antony is so charmed that he returns to spend the winter with her in Alexandria, during which time their twins are conceived.
40 BC
Birth of Kleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios. The following eight years see escalating mistrust and eventual hostilities between Octavian and Marc Antony.
36 BC
Triumvirate breaks up when Lepidus is removed from power by Octavian. Rome is now governed by Octavian and Marc Antony. Birth of Ptolemy, Queen Kleopatra and Marc Antony’s third and last child together.
31 BC
Marc Antony and Kleopatra’s forces are defeated at the sea battle of Actium by the young Octavian and his indispensable military aide, Marcus Agrippa.

C
HARACTERS

Agrippa
. Octavian’s trusted general; father of Vipsania.

Alexander
. Son of Queen Kleopatra and Marc Antony; Selene’s twin brother.

Antonia
. Daughter of Octavia and her second husband, Marc Antony.

Antyllus
. Son of Marc Antony and his third wife, Fulvia.

Claudia
. Daughter of Octavia and her first husband, Gaius Claudius Marcellus.

Drusus
. Second son of Livia and her first husband, Tiberius Claudius Nero.

Gallia
. Daughter of Vercingetorix, king of the defeated Gauls.

Juba II
. Prince of Numidia, son of the defeated King of Numidia, Juba I.

Julia
. Daughter of Octavian and his first wife, Scribonia.

Kleopatra VII
. Queen of Egypt, mother to Julius Caesar’s son Caesarion and to Marc Antony’s children Alexander, Selene, and Ptolemy.

Livia
. Wife of Octavian; Empress of Rome.

Maecenas
. Poet; friend of Octavian.

Marc Antony
. Roman consul and general.

Marcella
. Second daughter of Octavia and her first husband, Gaius Claudius Marcellus.

Marcellus
. Son of Octavia and her first husband, Gaius Claudius Marcellus.

Octavia
. Sister to Octavian; former wife to Marc Antony.

Octavian
. Emperor of Rome; known as Augustus from January 16, 27 BC, onward.

Ovid
. Poet.

Ptolemy
. Younger son of Queen Kleopatra and Marc Antony.

Scribonia
. First wife of Octavian; mother of Julia.

Selene
. Daughter of Queen Kleopatra and Marc Antony.

Seneca the Elder
. Orator and writer.

Tiberius
. Son of Livia and her first husband, Tiberius Claudius Nero.

Tonia
. Second daughter of Octavia and Marc Antony.

Verrius
. A freedman and a schoolteacher of great renown.

Vipsania
. Daughter of Agrippa and his first wife, Caecilia Attica.

Vitruvius
. Engineer and architect; author of
De architectura
.

C
HAPTER
O
NE
A
LEXANDRIA

August 12, 30 BC

WHILE WE
waited for the news to arrive, we played dice. I felt the small ivory cubes stick in my palms as I rolled a pair of ones. “Snake eyes,” I said, fanning myself with my hand. Even the stir of a sea breeze through the marble halls of our palace did little to relieve the searing heat that had settled across the city.

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