Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 48 (2011) 311-314
Heinz Heinen, Kleopatra-Studien. Gesammelte Schriften zur ausge henden Ptolemuerzeit. Xenia 49. Konstanz: Universititsverlag, 2009.
364 pages. ISBN 978-3-87940-818-4.
New books on Cleopatra appear to be published at the rate of at least one a
year. D.W Roller, Cleopatra: A Biography (2009) and S. Schiff, Cleopatra: A Life
(2010) are perhaps the most recent. The book under review, however, is different, since Kleopatra-Studien contains the republication of the 1966 Tubingen
thesis of the distinguished Hellenistic historian Heinz Heinen on relations
between Rome and Egypt in the reigns of Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra VII
covering the period 51-47 BC, accompanied by a series of studies on related
themes that have been published over the years.
Some of these later studies concern Cleopatra only tangentially: the review
of Sonnabend on the Roman view of Egypt and Parthia from BiOr 1990, an
important study on the early ruler cult in Roman Egypt from ANRW 2.18.2
(1995), and the recent article on hunger and power, centered on the Canopus
decree (OGIS 56) and the decree in honour of Kallimachos (OGIS 194) from
AncSoc 2006. Others are more directly concerned with the queen: a piece on
Caesar and Caesarion from Historia 1969, another on the name of Cleopatra's
handmaid Eiras from ZPE 79 (1989), a masterly study from the Festschrift
for Karl Christ of 1998 of a dedication to Cleopatra and Caesarion (in which
Heinen demonstrates that the head within a naos illustrated on the stele is
not Julius Caesar but rather Souchos as the crocodile god "with the beautiful
face" [Pnepheros], who is also here named as propator), and a general piece
on Cleopatra the queen as friend of the Roman people and of Caesar, from a
2007 exhibition catalogue.
The theme of friendship with Rome is further explored in the final, previously unpublished, paper on "Gefahrliche Freundschaften: Verrat und Inversion des Klientelverhaltnisses im spatptolemaischen Agypten;' which takes
the story down to the death of Cleopatra from a very specific angle. Cleopatra, Heinen argues (pp. 316-318), was pursuing a Hellenistic dynastic policy
through Roman means. After the Ides of March, Cleopatra hoped to integrate
the deceased Roman dictator into the Ptolemaic ruler cult through his son
Caesarion now named Philopator. With Antony the norms of patron-client
relations were reversed, and the queen's constant aim (pp. 325-332) was to
use amicitia with Rome to integrate herself as client queen within the Roman
power structure. A list of important dates, a helpful set of indices (of papyri,
inscriptions and ancient authors, together with a general index), and welcome
plans of Alexandria and the eastern Mediterranean conclude the volume.