The Ptolemies expended the revenues which they raised by this taxation
mainly in a very liberal and enlightened manner, for the accomplishment
of the purposes which they had in view. The building of the Pharos, the
removal of the statue of Serapis, and the endowment of the Museum and
the library were great conceptions, and they were carried into effect in
the most complete and perfect manner. All the other operations which
they devised and executed for the extension and aggrandizement of the
city were conceived and executed in the same spirit of scientific and
enlightened liberality. Streets were opened; the most splendid palaces
were built; docks, piers and breakwaters were constructed, and
fortresses and towers were armed and garrisoned. Then every means was
employed to attract to the city a great concourse from all the most
highly-civilized nations then existing. The highest inducements were
offered to merchants, mechanics, and artisans to make the city their
abode. Poets, painters, sculptors, and scholars of every nation and
degree were made welcome, and every facility was afforded them for the
prosecution of their various pursuits. These plans were all eminently
successful. Alexandria rose rapidly to the highest consideration and
importance; and, at the time when Cleopatra--born to preside over this
scene of magnificence and splendor--came upon the stage, the city had
but one rival in the world. That rival was Rome.
Rome the rival of Alexandria.--Extent of their rule.--Extension of the
Roman empire.--Cleopatra's father.--Ptolemy's ignoble birth.--Caesar and
Pompey.--Ptolemy purchases the alliance of Rome.--Taxes to raise the
money.--Revolt at Alexandria.--Ptolemy's flight.--Berenice.--Her
marriage with Seleucus.--Cleopatra's early life.--Ptolemy an object of
contempt.--Ptolemy's interview with Cato.--Character of
Cato.--Ptolemy's reception.--Cato's advice to him.--Ptolemy arrives at
Rome.--His application to Pompey.--Action of the Roman senate.--Plans
for restoring Ptolemy.--Measures of Berenice.--Her embassage to
Rome.--Ptolemy's treachery.--Its consequences.--Opposition to
Ptolemy.--The prophecy.--Attempts to evade the oracle.--Gabinius
undertakes the cause.--Mark Antony.--His history and character.--Antony
in Greece.--He joins Gabinius.--Danger of crossing the deserts.--Armies
destroyed.--Mark Antony's character.--His personal appearance.--March
across the desert.--Pelusium taken.--March across the Delta.--Success
of the Romans.--Berenice a prisoner.--Fate of Archelaus.--Grief of
Antony.--Unnatural joy of Ptolemy.

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