While Antony and Cleopatra have been immortalised in history and in popular culture, their offspring have been all but forgotten. Yet their daughter, Cleopatra Selene, became an important ruler in her own right. Jane Draycott tells her story.
The love affair of Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt (69-30 BC), and Marcus Antonius, Roman triumvir (83-30 BC) is legendary. During their own lifetimes their liaison quickly became infamous, the subject of gossip, innuendo and outrage throughout the ancient world. It has remained a source of fascination for over 2,000 years, recorded first as fact in historical treatises and biographies written by Greek and Roman scholars and then as fiction in poems, plays, novels, television programmes and films. What is less well-known is that they had three children together: the fraternal twins Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios and their younger brother Ptolemy Philadelphos.