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Deceives O&avia. nus.

not help fmiling, "Is not very hard (faid fhe), fince you have been fo good as to vifit me in my present condition, that one of my own fervants should thus infult me in your prefence? I have, it is true, reserved fome jewels, not to adorn my own person, but to make a present of them to your fifter Octavia, and your wife Livia, that by their interceffion you may treat an unfortunate princess with more favour and kindness.” Octavianus was overjoyed to hear her talk in this manner, not doubting but she had laid afide all thoughts of destroying herself. He gave her leave to dispose of the jewels fhe had reserved, to whom, and in what manner the pleased; and having affured her that she should be treated with more generofity and kindness than fhe expected, he withdrew, imagining he had deceived her, whereas he was deceived himfelf.

Cleopatra not doubting but Octavianus intended to make her serve as an ornament to his triumph, as firmly determined to avoid that shame by a voluntary death, and had no other thoughts than how to put her design in execution. She was narrowly watched by Epaphroditus, who never suffered her to go out of his fight. In hopes therefore of finding fome opportunity to deceive him, the fent one of her domeftics to Octavianus, defiring his permission to pay her laft duty to the tomb of Antony. Octavianus willingly complying with her request; fhe bathed his tomb with her tears, covered it with flowers, and with many fighs and lamentations performed fuch ceremonies as were practifed among the Egyptians on like occafions. But Epaphroditus watching her conduct the whole time, under colour of attending her, the returned to her apartment without having had an opportunity of attempting her own life. On her return fhe was accosted by a meflenger from Cornelius Dolabella, who told her, that her time was fhort, Octavianus, who was to march by land through Syria, having given orders that she and her children fhould, within three days, be put on board a veffel that was ready in the harbour, and be conveyed by fea to Rome. Cornelius Dolabella was one of Octavianus's intimate friends; but as he was in love with Cleopatra, he had promised to give her timely notice of all his defiges with relation to her perfon. Upon this intimation, Cleopatra, the better to amufe Epaphroditus, commanded a fplendid entertainment to be prepared, and having invited fome of her friends, fhewed a more than ufual chearfulness during the feaft. In the height of the

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mirth fhe rofe from table, and having wrote a letter to Oc-
tavianus, she gave it fealed up to Epaphroditus, begging
he would deliver it into his own hands, as it contained
matters of the utmoft confequence.
This was only a pre-
tence to send Epaphroditus out of the way. When he was
gone, the withdrew to her apartment attended by Nairas
and Charmion, two of her women; and having there
dreffed herself in her royal robes, the lay down on her
bed, and asked for a basket of figs, which one of her
faithful fervants had brought her in the disguise of a peas

x Flor. li. p. 457. in Anton.

Among the figs was concealed an afp, a kind of ferpent peculiar to Egypt and Libya, of a very venomous nature; for those who were bit by it fell immediately into a kind of lethargy, and died without any pain or uneafiness. This venomous infect Cleopatra applied to her left arm, and that very inftant falling as it were afleep, expired in the arms of her two maids *. Other writers tell us, that Cleopatra having made a deep wound in her arm with her teeth, poured the poifon of the afp, which the had pre- And dif pared into it, and gently expired . In the mean time patches Octavianus having received and read Cleopatra's letter, herself. found from the contents of it that fhe defigned to lay violent hands on herself, fince the whole fubject of it was to beg that he would fuffer her to be buried in the same tomb with Antony. He therefore immediately dispatched fome of his friends to see what had happened, and to prevent her, if still alive, from attempting any thing on her own life. Thefe found the guards ftanding at the gate, and fufpecting nothing; but when they entered her apartment, they, to their great furprize, faw her lying dead on a golden bed in her royal robes, one of her maids likewife dead at her feet, and the other ready to expire. They immediately acquainted Octavianus with what had happened, who haftened to the queen's apartment, and not believing fhe was dead, tried all poffible means for her recovery. But finding that all his endeavours were to no purpose, though he was very much grieved to fee himfelf thus deprived of the chief glory and ornament of his triumph, yet he granted her laft petition, and commanded her to be buried with all poffible pomp, and laid in the fame tomb with Antony.

lib. iv. cap. 11. Vel. Paterc. lib. ii. cap. 87.
Eutrop. lib. vii. Orof. lib. vi. cap. 19.
Strab. lib. xvii. p. 795. Dio. 452, 453.

Dio. lib.
y Plut.


Yr. of Fl.


Ante Chr.


Thus died Cleopatra, after she had reigned from the death of her father twenty-two years, and lived thirtynine. She was a woman of extraordinary parts, for fhe is faid to have been skilled in Greek and Latin, and befides to have fpoke with great cafe and readinefs many other languages, converfing with the Ethiopians, Troglodites, Jews, Arabians, Syrians, Medes, and Perfians, without an interpreter; and always giving to fuch of those nations as had occafion to addrefs her, an anfwer in their own language. She retained, in the midft of her pleasures, a tafte for polite learning, and erected in the place where the famous library food, a new one no ways inferior to the former, enriching it with the two hundred thousand volumes of the library of Pergamus, which Antony had prefented her with 2. In her ended the family of Ptolemy Lagus, the founder of the Egyptian monarchy, after it had ruled over Egypt, from the death of Alexander two hundred and ninety-four years, or, as others affirm, two hundred and ninety-three, and three months.

Egypt a From this time Egypt was reduced to a Roman province, and governed by a prætor fent thither from Rome. province. The firft on whom Octavianus conferred that dignity


put to death.

was Cornelius Gallus, who is the subject of Virgil's tenth Cæfarion eclogue. Cæfarion, Cleopatra's fon by Julius Cæfar, the conqueror caufed to be put to death, because he pretended to be the lawful heir. Her children by Antony he treated with great kindnefs, as he did all her friends and fervants. All the ftatues of Antony he caufed to be thrown down, and broke to pieces; but left thofe of Cleopatra ftanding, at the request of one Archibilius, who had been long in her fervice, and made him a prefent of a thoufand talents. Octavianus, having thus reduced Egypt, returned to Rome, and in his triumph carried her image, fince he could not her perfon, with an afp fixed to her arm * (H).


Her character.

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* Porphyr. in Græc. Eufeb. Scaliger. Clemens Alexandrin. Strom. lib. i. a Plut. Dio. Flor. ibid.

(H) From this conqueft of Egypt, began the era of the Actiac victory, by which the Egyptians afterwards computed their time; the Philippic era, which commenced from the death of Alexander and the

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beginning of the reign of Philippus Aridæus, his fucceffor, having been in ufe among them till the reduction of their country by Octavianus. Though this æra had its name from this victory, yet it did


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The Defcription of Armenia.

HENCE the tract we commonly call Armenia Name and divifione

W borowed its name, is not determined (1).

It was anciently divided into the Greater and Leffer, or Armenia Major and Minor. Armenia Major, which we fhall treat of in the first place, was, according to Strabo, bounded on the fouth by Mount Taurus, feparating it from Mefopotamia; on the east by both Medias, viz. the Great Media, and that which was known under the name

b Strab. lib. xi. p. 363.

P. 457. li. 27.

not begin till near a year after
it, that is, till Egypt was en-
tirely reduced; for the Actiac
victory was gained on the fe-
cond of September, and the
æra of it commenced on the
twenty-ninth of the enfuing
Auguft, which was then the
first day of the Egyptian month.
As this month was the first of
their year, from whence they
began all their calculations,
they thought it the most pro-
per time to begin fuch altera-
tions in their year and æra, as
the Romans, on the conqueft
of their country, took upon
them to make in both. This
æra ought, properly fpeaking,
to have been called the era of
the Egyptian conqueft, fince
it had its beginning from

thence. But the Egyptians,
to avoid the fhame of thus
owning themselves conquered,
chofe rather to call it the æra
of the Actiac victory, it being
in their power, fince this æra
was ufed only in Egypt, to
call it by what name they
pleased (1).

(I) The Greeks derive it
from one Armenus, who, af
ter having attended Jafon in
the Argonautic expedition, fet-
tled in this country. Bochart
(2) takes Armenia to be a con-
traction or compound of Aar,
fignifying in Hebrew a moun
tain, and Mini, the name of
a province in this country,
mentioned by Jeremiah (3),
and placed by that prophet be-
tween Ararat and Ashchenaz.

(1) Vide Macrob. Saturnal. lib. i. cap. 12. & Dio. Caff. lib. ii.
(2) Bochart. Phaleg. lib. i. cap. 3.

(3) Jerem.


of Atropatia; on the north by Iberia and Albania, or ra ther that part of the Caucafus which furrounds them both; on the weft by Armenia Minor, or the mountains Paryadres, by fome Pontic nations, and the Euphrates. Ptolemy divides all Armenia into three diftricts; the first comprehending that part which lies between the Cyrus and the Araxes; the fecond, thofe provinces which extend weftward to the bending of the Euphrates; and the third, all the country lying between the fprings of the Tigris, and that part of the Euphrates which feparates Commagene from Armenia Major. Ptolemy enumerates, in his firft divifion, the following provinces: Catarzene, towards the Mofchick mountains, probably the fame as Strabo's Chorzene; Offarene and Motene, both on the banks of the Cyrus; Colthene, on the banks of the Araxes; Soducene, Sibacene, and Sacapene: these two laft provinces extend to the mountain Paryadres. The fecond divifion comprehends the following provinces: Bafiliffene, Bolbene, Arfeta, Acilifene, Auftanitis, and Sophene. In the third divifion, Ptolemy places Azetene, Thofpitis, Corinea, Bagrauandene, Gordene, called alfo Gorduene, Gordyene, and Corduene, from the Gordyæan mountains. To thefe we may add Gorgodylene, which Strabo mentions as lying under the mountain Niphates; Cholobetena, mentioned by Stephanus and Bochart, which laft conjectures it to have been fo called from Chul, the fon of Aram, and Shem's grandfon; Taurantium, mentioned by Tacitus, and other ancient writers.


Ptolemy reckons a great many cities in Armenia, which we find mentioned by no other geographer or hiftorian, and therefore shall take no notice of them, but defcribe fuch only as we can give fome account of. Among thefe, Artaxata, the following are the most confiderable: Artaxata, the metropolis of all Armenia, and, from its foundation, the refidence of the Armenian kings. This city was built upon a plain, which Hannibal recommended to king Ar taxes or Artaxias, as a proper fite for the capital of Armenia. It was fituated upon an elbow of the river Araxes, which forms a kind of peninfula, and furrounded the town like a wall, except on the fide of the ifthmus; but the ifthmus was fecured by a rampart, and a broad ditch. Lucullus, after having defeated the Armenians under the command of their king Tigranes, in two battles, would

• Bochart. Phaleg, lib. xi. cap. 9.

Strab. lib. xi. p. 363. e Tacit. lib. xiv. cap. 23.

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