Marcus Antonius

After the subdivision of the Empire at the treaty of Bologna, Antonius retired to the east and set up a base at Tarsus, a good strategic choice to support his intention to invade Parthia. He contacted Cleopatra almost immediately. Conventional history says it was because he needed her financial support for the invasion of Parthia.

As part of the Egyptian consiracy however there is nothing more predictable than that two senior members of the Pharonic family meet with the specific objective of ensuring the succession.

The Pharonic family believed in and practiced line breeding. For Cleopatra to produce children by both Caesar and Marcus Antonius they must both have been Egyptian and be of the same Egyptian faction

From Plutarch (But remember he might not be right and that these words might not actually be his)

Cleopatra’s arrival at Tarsus

into-tarsus “She came sailing up the river Cydnus in a barge with gilded stern and outspread sails of purple, while oars of silver beat time to the music of flutes and fifes and harps. She herself lay all along, under a canopy of cloth of gold, dressed as Venus in a picture, and beautiful young boys, like painted Cupids, stood on each side to fan her. Her maids were dressed like Sea Nymphs and Graces, some steering at the rudder, some working at the ropes.

…perfumes diffused themselves from the vessel to the shore, which was covered with multitudes, part following the galley up the river on either bank, part running out of the city to see the sight. The market place was quite emptied, and Antony at last was left alone sitting upon the tribunal; while the word went .through all the multitude, that Venus was come to feast with Bacchus for the common good of Asia.

On her arrival, Antony sent to invite her to supper. She thought it fitter he should come to her; so, willing to show his good humor and courtesy, he complied, and went. He found the preparations to receive him magnificent beyond expression, but nothing so admirable as the great number of lights; for on a sudden there was let down altogether so great a number of branches with lights in them so ingeniously disposed, some in squares, and some in circles, that the whole thing was a spectacle that has seldom been equaled for beauty.

The next day, Antony invited her to supper, and was very desirous to outdo her as well in magnificence as contrivance; but he found he was altogether beaten in both, and was so well convinced of it, that he was himself the first to jest and mock at his poverty of wit, and his rustic awkwardness. She, perceiving that his raillery was broad and gross, and savored more of the soldier than the courtier, rejoined in the same taste, and fell into it at once, without any sort of reluctance or reserve.

For her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself so remarkable that none could be compared with her, or that no one could see her without being struck by it, but the contact of her presence, if you lived with her, was irresistible; the attraction of her person, joining with the charm of her conversation, and the character that attended all she said or did, was something bewitching. It was a pleasure merely to hear the sound of her voice, with which, like an instrument of many strings, she could pass from one language to another; so that there were few of the barbarian nations that she answered by an interpreter.”

Holiday in Egypt

“Antony was so captivated by her, that while Fulvia his wife maintained his quarrels in Rome against Caesar by actual force of arms, and the Parthian troops…were assembled in Mesopotamia, and ready to enter Syria, he could yet suffer himself to be carried away by her to Alexandria, there to keep holiday, like a boy, in play and diversion, squandering and fooling away in enjoyment that most costly, as Antiphon says, of all valuables, time.

Were Antony serious or disposed to mirth, she had at any moment some new delight or charm to meet his wishes; at every turn she was upon him, and let him escape her neither by day nor by night. She played at dice with him, drank with him, hunted with him; and when he exercised in arms, she was there to see.

At night she would go rambling with him to disturb and torment people at their doors and windows, dressed like a servant woman for Antony also went in servant’s disguise, and from these expeditions he often came home very scurvily answered, and sometimes even beaten severely, though most people guessed who it was. However, the Alexandrians in general liked it all well enough, and joined good humouredly and kindly in his frolic and play, saying they were much obliged to Antony for acting his tragic parts at Rome, and keeping his comedy for them.”

Parallel Lives

Interestingly the title of this part of Plutarch’s writing is “Parallel Lives”. Perhaps he was trying to tell us something?

In 40 BC Anthony had already fathered Cleopatra’s twins, Cleopatra Selene and alexander Helios.

Apparently unconcerned by this his wife, Fulvia and his brother Lucius Antonius, supported by those whose lands had been taken by Octavian to distribute to legionaires, rebelled in Italy.

Antonius had already sired two sons by Fulvia, Marcus Antonius Antyllus and
Iullus Antonius.

This rebellion had the support of the senate, who in theory had control of the Italian peninsula.

Octavian overcame the rebellion. Lucius and Fulvia and Fulvia’s two sons were exiled from Italy but those who suffered were the senators who supported the revolt. Three hundred of them were executed in the aftermath.

Treaty of Brindisi

treaty-of-bologna In response Anthony invaded Italy, but once again there was conference rather than conflict. At Brindisi, Antonius agreed to marry Octavia, Octavian’s sister. he also gave up Gaul. His attention was now firmly focussed in the east.

Antonius and Octavia

anthony-octavia_0 From this point on Antonius divided his time between his residence in Athens occupied by Octavia, Cleopatra’s palace in Alexandria and campaigning in Judea, Media and Parthia. Octavia gave birth to two daughters, Antonia Major and Antonia Minor who became the Matriarchs of the Julio Claudian dynasty of Roman Emperors.

Antonius daughters by Octavia were of course nieces of the Emperor, but without further explanation it is rather surprising to discover it was Antonius as much, if not more, than Octavian who fathered the dynasty.

Antonius and Antonia

anthonyantonia Earlier in his life Antonius had married Antonia Hybrida his cousin, who he divorced for infidelity with his best friend. His daughter from this marriage married a rich greek, Polydothorus of Trailles and her granddaughter married into the Herodian family of Judea, not once but twice.

Antonius and Glaphera

anthonyglaphera This Genealogy though widely published is problematical in the extreme. Archeleus of Bellona Jr is extremely unlikely to have been born to Berenice IV of Egypt. His father and Berenice were only rulers of Egypt for six months before they were deposed by Aulus Gabinius and Antonius in 55BC.

However it is possible that Berenice was also his “un-named” first wife who simply invited Acheleus Sr to join her after she came to power. Acheleus Jr is supposed to have married a greek Glaphera.

In 36 BC Antonius found time to depose the King of Cappadocia, Ariarathes X and place Acheleus Jr’s son, confusingly also called Acheleus to that throne. This gave rise to roumors then and now that ‘Glaphera’ was not what she seemed and that Antonius was the father of the third Acheleus.

The third Acheleus then went on to marry Polydoris Of Trailles.

If this is so then a son of Antonius married a grandaughter of Antonius before marrying into the Herodian Family. Very Egyptian! But why the Herodians, they were an obscure Arab family from Idnumeaand or Nebatea, weren’t they?

There is an explanation of why the descendants of antonius married into the Herodians. It is because the Herodians were also descended from Antonius.

Family likeness?

herod-antonius-comparison These are busts of Antonius and Herod both as young men. There are clear similarities, The person known as Antipater, Herods father became an advisor to the Maccabees, hereditary leaders of the Jews at a time of dispute between the brothers Hyrancus and Aristobulus. The romans became involved in the feud, in fact they entered Judea specifically because of the feud. They decided to back Hyrancus but then put a strong man alongside to assist with governance.

The strong man was known as Antipater and it was explained that he had served the previous generation of rulers as governor of Idumea, In fact this was Antonius as a young man, given an alias to camouflage from the jews that they were being controlled by a Roman. At the first opportunity he appointed his sons, Herod and Phasael as governors of galilee and jerusalem respectively.

Antonius and Antipater

antony-and-antipater Though this was a difficult (and potentially dangerous mission to accomplish it is possible, and the dates are an acceptable match. The exception is that he seems to be in Gaul too early.

It would have left six years in which there was no Antipater in Judea. However what we do not know is wether he stayed in Gaul for the winter. campaigns in the north were fought in the summer months!

Antonius and Cypros

anthonycypros It is known that Antonius had a marriage and children when he was very young. Strabo says that the wife’s name was Fadia but in Judah she could have been called Cypros,

The family tree

glaphyras-genealogy-2 Combining all this information it can be seen that the overall picture is typical of the liner breeding program practiced by the Egyptians and it meant there were lots of potential partners in Judea

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The most dangerous woman in the world

The Treasure of Trencavel

List of Characters

Table Of Contents



List of Places

Table of Contents

Pseudo History


Extract from The Prisoner of Foix--Chapter 43 -The EntranceNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley-26th April 1355


'Looks like we are going to see a bit of excitement, John. The Captain tried to get an agreement from the Prince that if there is surf running across the channel to Arcachon we will turn back to Bordeaux, but the Prince would hear none of it. Instead, he has offered to provide insurance for all three ships. If they are damaged or sunk, the owners will be compensated and every sailor who makes the passage will be given a bounty payment. What none of this seems to take into account is that if we sink in rough, fast-flowing waters we might all drown.'

John raised his eyebrows. 'But that is what we are going to do?'

'Yes, despite the fact that surf running accross the entrance is not uncommon and the deep water channel moves continually. In the end, the Prince attacked their captains on their weakest point, their professional pride! He threw down the gauntlet. He offered to take the Sally first through the channel, and to take control during the passage.' He raised his brow. 'We are going into the Bay of Arcachon, come what may! '

Extract from The Eagle of Carcassone -- Chapter 24-- A Real GoddessNo need to buy a Kindle. Read it on your computer or tablet

John Stanley - 22 July 1355

An hour later John walked with Ximene close to the river along the valley below St Feriole. It was the very essence of a summer’s day. The sun was fierce but in the shadow of the trees, it was cool and fragrant. The trees and shrubs along the riverbank hid their progress, from the Château, from St Feriole.

Eventually they reached a point where John thought it was safe to emerge from cover. To his satisfaction the stream extended into a pool with a sandy beach, shaded by trees. Where the stream entered the pool there was a flat grassy area, almost circular. Behind this, the bulk of two mountain ridges provided a splendid backdrop. He looked around once more ‘Not just a good training ground but a great training ground. If the Greek heroes knew about this they might be tempted to join me, to train with me’

Ximene laughed out loud. He turned to look at her. She had removed her outer clothes and was wearing a white chemise, cut short so that it barely reached her knees. Around her waist, she wore a plaited leather belt, obviously fashioned from the multitude of leather straps to be found in the tackle room.

She ran her hands down over her breasts. ‘When you were unconscious I heard you muttering about gods and goddesses, so  I have decided that from now on, for you, I will be the goddess.’

The Prisoner of FoixVol 1 of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

Aquitaine, an English possession, is in crisis. It is under threat from neighbouring nations and internal dissension.

The Black Prince, King Edward III’s eldest son has been given the task of taking command in Aquitaine.

Suddenly there is an opportunity. Ximene Trencavel is the heiress to the lands of Occitan, to the east of Aquitaine: lands controlled by the Franks. Ximene wants independence, both for herself and for Occitan.

A union between Aquitaine and Occitan would be mutually beneficial. The Black Prince undertakes a secret journey to meet Ximene to negotiate a marriage contract. It is, however, a marriage neither of them really wants.

Meanwhile, the  Franks plot to murder Ximene to prevent ,not just the marriage, but any kind of union between England and Occitan.

The Eagle Of CarcassonneVol II of the series—The Treasure of Trencavel

The loose alliance between Ximene Trencavel and the Black Prince is under threat.

The Prince invades Occitan, to show his support for Ximene but it becomes an invasion which creates more problems than it solves.

The Prince has fallen hopelessly in love with Joan of Kent and Joan is now determined to marry him and become the next Queen of England.

Joan is therefore  determined to convince Ximene that she should not marry the Prince.

Part of her strategy is to encourage Ximene’s relationship with John Stanley—one of the Princes bodyguards—not an easy task as both John and Ximene have doubts about their compatibility.

However, John is grievously injured in a battle and Ximene commits herself to nurse him back to health.