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By Stacy Schiff

Cleopatra's palace shimmered with onyx and gold yet used to be richer nonetheless in political and sexual intrigue. although her lifestyles spanned fewer than 40 years, it reshaped the contours of the traditional international. well-known lengthy prior to she was once infamous, Cleopatra has long past down in historical past for all of the improper purposes. Stacy Schiff boldly separates truth from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose dying ushered in a brand new international order, a iteration earlier than the delivery of Christ. wealthy intimately, epic in scope, Schiff's is a luminous reconstruction of a blinding life.

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When he 31 – Alexander the Great – was strong enough, he defeated his father, confined him to everlasting imprisonment, and became king of the gods himself. For Alexander, this gruesome story revealed a cosmic truth about fathers and sons. §7. The conflict between father and son became a crisis after Philip arranged another marriage for himself, to Cleopatra the niece of Attalus, an aristocrat and one of Philip’s generals. Philip intended this marriage to create a strong bond between the king and a commander who would spearhead the attack on Persia, but the banquet celebrating the upcoming ceremony turned into a family disaster.

Philip accused Alexander of demeaning himself with his offer of marriage. Pixodarus might be a ruler in Caria, but Alexander should have seen him as a slave to a barbarian king, an unworthy ally and certainly an unworthy father-in-law. No source tells us who betrayed Alexander’s plan to Philip. It may have been Philotas, one of the Companions of Alexander and the son of the important Macedonian general Parmenion. Plutarch says that Philip brought Philotas with him when he accused Alexander. In the aftermath of the “Pixodarus Affair,” Philip exiled several of his son’s Companions – his close friends Ptolemy, Harpalus, Nearchus, and Egyrius – but allowed Philotas to remain.

The crowd must have been stunned. The full message that Philip was trying to communicate by adding himself to this 39 – Alexander the Great – parade of gods remained unstated, but there was no mistaking the king’s supreme pride and confidence in his status as the unquestioned head of the Macedonian and Greek world. To emphasize this point, Philip entered the stadium wearing a shining white cloak and accompanied only by his son and his new son-in-law, Alexander of Macedon and Alexander of Epirus.

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