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Julius Caesar in Egypt (Hardback)

Cleopatra and the War in Alexandria

Ancient History > Ancient Egypt & Egyptology Military > Pre-WWI

By Dr Philip Matyszak
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 192
Illustrations: 3 maps
ISBN: 9781399097369
Published: 5th May 2023


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In 48 BC the armies of Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great fought a decisive battle at Pharsalus in Greece. Pompey was comprehensively defeated and fled to the last power in the Mediterranean world that was independent of Rome, Ptolemaic Egypt. Caesar pursued Pompey and was presented with his severed head, which the Egyptians hoped would make Caesar leave them in peace.

Instead, Caesar – as if he did not have enough to do already – plunged gleefully into the world of Egyptian palace politics, riven by dynastic dispute. He quickly sided with the beguiling Queen Cleopatra (after her famous carpet trick), despite having little more than a bodyguard with him. Most of his army was still in Greece, leaving him massively outnumbered by the Egyptian forces. The Romans were besieged in Alexandria for seven months before reinforcements could get through to them.

Julius Caesar in Egypt is a true story of double-cross, assassination and intrigue accompanied by lively battles, daring escapes, disastrous fires (the Great Library of Alexandria was largely destroyed in one fracas) and, if not a love story, at least a tale of sex and power as Caesar and Cleopatra’s relationship shaped these world-changing events.

A solid work of impressively meticulous and exceptionally informative scholarship, this is a history of Julius Caesar and Ancient Roman that reads with all the narrative style of a finely honed novel. "Julius Caesar in Egypt: Cleopatra and the War in Alexandria" by Professor Philip Matyszak is an extraordinary and invaluable contribution to personal, professional, community, college, and university library Roman & Egyptian History collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

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Midwest Book Review

"...an enjoyable and interesting read about a long-forgotten Roman military action."

Norfolk Family History Society - 'The Ancestor' magazine


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Arienne King, World History Encyclopaedia

About Dr Philip Matyszak

Philip 'Maty' Matyszak holds a doctorate in Ancient History from St John's College, Oxford University, and has been studying, teaching and writing on the subject for over twenty years. The author of over twenty books, he specializes in the history of Classical Greece and of the Late Republic and Early Imperial periods of Rome but has also written two historical novels. Maty saw combat as a conscript in the Rhodesian army and served with the Territorial Army in Britain. These days he splits his time between writing in his home in Canada's Monashee Mountains and providing e-learning courses for Cambridge University's Institute of Continuing Education.

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