Cleopatra’s family

The will of Ptolemy Auletes

cleopatras-siblings_0 There were complicated relations at play amongst Cleopatra’s family.

In 51 BC Ptolemy XII Auletes (Sulla’s son ?)arranged for his will to be endorsed by the Roman Senate. The will was guaranteed by Pompey and stipulated that the rulers of Egypt should be Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIII, who were cousins.

Ptolemy XIII was the Grandson of Ptolemy X, so Auletes showed great statesmanship in trying to pull the competing factions together.

It did not last long.

Ptolemy VIII( or his advisors) dismissed Cleopatra and summonsed her younger sister Arsinoe from Judea to take Cleopatra’s place, but as the junior member of the relationship.

Without doubt this was a Pompey inspired move, putting one of his faction in the controlling position.

Pompey’s flight

antipaters-invervention It was at this point that Julius Caesar decided to declare war on Pompey. This was probably the result of discussions with Cleopatra and her offer of a joint rule.

Julius Caesar had been pert of the Pompeyian faction but he changed sides. The civil war in Rome was triggered by events in Egypt! Ironically when Caesar defeated Pompey and pursued him to Egypt, Pompey is supposed to have been murdered by Ptolemy VIII (or his advisors). Caesar then deposed Ptolemy VIII and restored Cleopatra. This is supposed to be because he resented the execution of a Roman by a “foreigner”

In fact it was because he wanted to restore the rival faction to the throne.

Cleopatra is then supposed to have seduced Caesar to attain his support.

Unfulfilled ambition

cleopatra-in-rome What actually happened was that the two victors of the civil war, which had been fought both in Egypt and Rome, assumed that they had eliminated all opposition.

A by-product of this final conflict in Egypt was that Antipater, chief minister of the Jewish state, came to Caesar’s aid. Antipater, who had previously co-operated with Pompey switched allegiance taking three thousand Jewish troops to Alexandria and may well have swung the battle in Caesars’ favour. For this Antipater was rewarded by being made Roman Procurator of Judea.

He lost no time in appointing his son Herod, at the Age of 17, as governor of Galilee and a second son Phasael as governor of Jerusalem.

Simultaneously Cleopatra moved to Rome with her son by Caesar, Ptolomy XV,

Cleopatra remained in Rome for over three years, expecting Caesar to be made Emperor and thus making her Cleopatra Queen of Rome.

Of course it never happened. In 44 BC Caesar was assassinated and Cleopatra fled back to Egypt.

The reasons for Caesars assassination have been variously described as jealousy or fear he would bring the Republic to an end. Certainly a large number of prominent Romans were part of the plot. Perhaps they sensed that all was not as it seemed.

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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.