how did cleopatra selene ii die

Cleopatra Selene II died around 5 BC at the age of 35. Her death coincided with a lunar eclipse, which was seen as a sign of her divine ancestry and royal status. The poet Crinagoras of Mytilene wrote an epigram for her that praised her as a worthy descendant of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony. Her death was also mourned by her husband Juba II and her son Ptolemy of Mauretania, who succeeded her as the king of Mauretania. She was buried in the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania in modern-day Cherchell, Algeria, where her tomb can still be seen today.


Cleopatra Selene II's Death and Lunar Eclipse

Cleopatra Selene II died around 5 BC at the age of 35. According to a poet named Crinagoras of Mytilene, her death coincided with a lunar eclipse. This was a remarkable event that was seen as a sign of her divine ancestry and royal status.


The Poem of Crinagoras

Crinagoras was a Greek poet who lived in the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. He wrote an epigram for Cleopatra Selene II that was preserved in the Greek Anthology, a collection of ancient poems. The poem reads as follows:


> The moon herself grew dark, rising at sunset,

> Covering her suffering in the night,

> Because she saw her beautiful namesake, Selene,

> Breathless, descending to Hades,

> With her she had had the beauty of her light in common,

> And mingled her own darkness with her death.


The poem suggests that Cleopatra Selene II's death coincided with a lunar eclipse, which is when the moon passes into the shadow of the earth and appears darkened. The poet compares the moon to Cleopatra Selene II, who shared her name and beauty. He also implies that the moon mourned for her and hid her grief in the night.


The Date of the Eclipse

Historians have tried to identify the date of the lunar eclipse that Crinagoras mentioned in his poem. There are two possible dates that match the historical and astronomical evidence: **23 March 5 BC** and **4 May AD 3**. Both of these dates witnessed lunar eclipses that were visible in Caesarea, Mauretania (where Cleopatra Selene II ruled) and Rome (where Crinagoras lived).


Most historians prefer the earlier date of 23 March 5 BC, because it fits better with the chronology of Cleopatra Selene II's life and death. She was born in 40 BC, so she would have been 35 years old in 5 BC. She also disappeared from the historical record after 5 BC, while her husband Juba II continued to rule until 23 AD. Her son Ptolemy of Mauretania succeeded his father and ruled until 40 AD.


The later date of 4 May AD 3 is less likely, because it would mean that Cleopatra Selene II lived much longer than expected and outlived her husband by several years. It would also mean that she died at the age of 43, which is not very consistent with the poem's description of her as "beautiful" and "breathless". Moreover, there is no evidence that she was still alive or active after 5 BC.


The Significance of the Eclipse

The lunar eclipse that coincided with Cleopatra Selene II's death was not a random coincidence, but a meaningful event that reflected her identity and legacy. Cleopatra Selene II was named after the moon goddess Selene, who was also associated with Isis, the Egyptian goddess of magic and fertility. Her mother Cleopatra VII claimed to be the incarnation of Isis and used lunar symbolism to enhance her power and prestige. Her father Mark Antony also identified himself with Osiris, the husband of Isis and the god of the underworld.


By dying during a lunar eclipse, Cleopatra Selene II echoed her parents' connection to the moon and the underworld. She also demonstrated her divine ancestry and royal status, as eclipses were seen as omens or portents by ancient people. The poet Crinagoras recognized this significance and praised her in his poem as a worthy descendant of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony.


How did the son and grandson of Cleopatra Selene II govern their kingdoms following her death?

Cleopatra Selene II's son was **Ptolemy of Mauretania**, who became the king of Mauretania after his father Juba II died in 23 CE. He ruled until 40 CE, when he was assassinated by the Roman emperor Caligula. Ptolemy's daughter and Cleopatra Selene II's granddaughter was **Drusilla of Mauretania**, who married King Sohaemus of Emesa, a kingdom in modern-day Syria. She had a son named **Gaius Julius Alexio**, who ruled Emesa as King Alexio. His descendants became high priests and emperors of Rome.


Cleopatra Selene II's grandson through her daughter (whose name is unknown) was **Ptolemy of Thebes**, who became the governor of Thebaid, a region in Upper Egypt, under the Roman emperor Claudius. He was later executed by Nero for his involvement in a revolt against Rome. 



How did Cleopatra Selene II's parents die?

Her parents died by suicide in 30 BC, after they were defeated by Octavian (the future Augustus) in the Battle of Actium and the subsequent war in Egypt. Mark Antony stabbed himself with his own sword, believing that Cleopatra had killed herself. He was brought to Cleopatra's tomb, where he died in her arms. Cleopatra then tried to negotiate with Octavian, but when she realized that he intended to parade her as a captive in Rome, she also killed herself by allowing an asp (a venomous snake) to bite her. 

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