Tag Archives: Cleopatra

Archaeologists Uncover Statues of the Children of Antony & Cleopatra

One of the most famous love stories of history, that of Antony and Kleopatra, has had a new piece to the puzzle added with the discovery of a new statue that archaeologists believe depict their children: Alexander Helios (the Sun) and Kleopatra Selene II (the Moon). The children, twins, were Kleopatra’s second and third child (having already given birth to Caesarion, the son of Julius Caesar). They would have a third child later, Ptolemy Philadelphus.

Caesarion, a potential and dangerous heir to rival Augustus, was put to death. However, the children of Antony and Kleopatra were actually given to Augustus’s sister, Octavia  (the Roman legal wife of Mark Antony) to raise and educate. Reportedly, she loved them deeply and grieved the loss of her adopted sons. Years later, the sons of Antony would disappear from history, but the daughter, Kleopatra Selene, was married off to King Juba II (a prominent Eastern King) and seemed to serve as co-regent.

To learn more about the discovery, see the article in Discovery News.

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New York City & Egypt Tussle over Cleopatra’s Needle

Most visitors of Central Park do not realize that they have a piece of Ancient History in the midst. In the 19th century, Egypt made a gift of Cleopatra’s Needle, one of three identical obelisks, to the Cities of New York, Paris, and London. The obelisks themselves are not related to the famed Queen, but rather were inscribed during the reign of Thutmose III.

Recently, Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt’s Council of Antiquities (and a controversial figure in his own right) condemned the city of New York for ill-keeping of the artifact – arguing that the heavy pollution and acid rain of the city has eroded the inscriptions and even suggesting that Egypt should confiscate the monument. New York has responded by pointing out the instability of Egypt and recent lootings of its museums and monuments as well as denying the accusation that New York City’s pollution is having any negative effect on the monument.

To learn more about this debate, you can read the article in the New York Times.