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Posts Tagged ‘Cleopatra

Being dense…

The nifty site PerSquareMile.com points out that, if the entire world’s population lived in a single city with the density of New York, it would fit into the state of Texas.  But if that “city” had the density of Houston, it would cover the entire Mid West (and then some)…

to enlarge, click the image above– or here— and again

[TotH to Flowing Data]

As we reconcile ourselves to looking even harder for parking, we might recall that it was on this date in 30 BCE that Mark Antony won a small victory over the invading forces of Octavian (AKA, Octavius– the future Augustus) in the Battle of Alexandria during the Final War of the Roman Republic.  But Antony suffered significant desertion from his ranks; when Octavian attacked again the following day, Antony’s navy demurred.  Antony committed suicide (followed several days later by his consort, Cleopatra)… and with Antony, the Republic died a final death: with his Triumverate partner dead, Octavian ( known as Augustus after 27 BC ) became uncontested ruler of Rome, accumulating all of Rome’s administrative, political, and military authority. When Augustus died in 14 AD, his political powers passed to his adopted son Tiberius; the Roman Principate had begun.

His legs bestrid the ocean: his rear’d arm
Crested the world: his voice was propertied
As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends;
But when he meant to quail and shake the orb,
He was as rattling thunder. For his bounty,
There was no winter in’t; an autumn ’twas
That grew the more by reaping: his delights
Were dolphin-like; they show’d his back above
The element they lived in: in his livery
Walk’d crowns and crownets; realms and islands were
As plates dropp’d from his pocket.

Cleopatra
Antony and Cleopatra, Act 5, Scene 2; William Shakespeare

Mark Antony (source)

Special Beach Blanket Edition: Roll Over, Eustace Tilley…

In your correspondent’s quest to highlight mash-ups of note*, an interruption of the annual idyll to share the exquisite pleasure of Kanye New Yorker Tweets (c.f. also here):  the actual twittering of the Taylor Swift-interrupting hip hop climber, set to drawings that have graced the pages of The New Yorker.

Consider for example:

Many, many more here.

*Other mash-ups: C.f., e.g., here, here, or here

As we celebrate the serendipitous results of radical juxtaposition, we might recall that it was on this date in 30 BCE that Cleopatra VII Philopator, the last pharaoh to rule Egypt (and storied lover of Antony) committed suicide.  Historians from Strabo and Plutarch have reported that the Queen did herself in by having an asp bite her.  But earlier this year, the German historian Christoph Schaefer challenged this account, declaring that the queen had actually died from drinking a mixture of poisons. After studying historic texts and consulting with toxicologists, Schaefer concluded that the asp could not have caused the slow and pain-free death reported.  Schaefer and his lead toxicologist Dietrich Mebs insist that Cleopatra used a mixture of hemlock, wolfsbane and opium.

Another asterisk for the record books…

The Queen of Egypt

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