The Image of the Egyptian King Ptolemy XII Auletes in Cicero’s Speeches

Khrustalev Vyacheslav К.

The article deals with the evidence on the Egyptian king Ptolemy XII Auletes contained in some Cicero’s political and judicial orations: On the Egyptian king, The second speech on the agrarian law, On behalf of Sestius, On behalf of Caelius. The author analyzes the image of the Egyptian monarch created by Cicero in his speeches and traces the changes in the image depending on the political situation and the specific aims of the Roman orator. Special attention is paid to the oration On behalf of Rabirius Postumus. The author comes to the conclusion that in this speech Cicero constructed a standard negative image of a Hellenistic king. This image was based on stereotypes shared by his audience and had little to do with historical reality.

Keywords: Ptolemaic Egypt, Late Roman Republic, Cicero, Ptolemy XII Auletes, international relations

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