Timeline 21 BC – 40 BC Suicide of Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, and the murder of Caesarion

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YearEvents and Comments
Prior Timeline 11 BC – 20 BC
21 BC High Priest Simon IV Boethus (served 23 BC – 19 BC)

Year 7 of Augustus’ Rule
22 BCHigh Priest Simon IV Boethus (served 23 BC – 19 BC)

23/22 BC: Rome rewarded Herod’s successes by adding the northern and eastern regions of Trachonitis, Batanaea and Auranitis to his rule. (This proved troublesome later as Herod angered Augustus in taking too free a hand subduing rebels from these territories who had fled to Syria.)

Year 6 of Augustus’ Rule
23 BC23 BC: Building began on the impressive port city of Caesarea Maritima.

23 BC: Probably without divorcing Malthrace, Herod married another Mariamne, of a noble Sadduceean family, whose father, Simon IV Boethus, he named high priest.

High Priest Simon IV Boethus (served 23 BC – 19 BC)

23 BC: Herod opened his own palace in Jerusalem, naming it the Antonia in honor of his Roman patron, Mark Anthony. He also opened the strategic f ortress called the Herodian, guarding the southern approaches to Jerusalem.

Jacob ben Mattan, father of Joseph the Carpenter
c. 47-4 BC #39M on the Genealogy Line
Abiudite Line
The Patriarch, Jacob/Yakov,
Prince of Israel, Patriarch of
Jerusalem 32-23 BC
Jacob was “appointed” Patriarch
of Jerusalem” by Herod and sent
to Egypt, with about 3000 troops,
to help Caesar “Octavian” in the
conquest of Anthony and
Cleopatra in 30 BC.
Jacob was deposed and executed
(23 BC) for sedition (a false
charge) by King Herod of Judea,
and afterwards Cleopatra married
Simon IV, the High-Priest, who
was executed by King Herod of
Judea; She then married (see 25BC)
King Herod of Judea.

Year 5 of Augustus’ Rule
24 BC

Year 4 of Augustus’ Rule
25 BC25 BC: Herod carried out a massive program of grain importation from Egypt and thus helped stave off the effects of drought, famine, and epidemics. At the same time, he was able to lowers taxes by one third.

Year 3 of Augustus’ Rule
26 BCYear 2 of Augustus’ Rule
27 BC27 BC: The Pantheon is completed

27 BC: Herod married Malthace, a Samaritan woman to whom two of his ultimate heirs were born

27 BC: Herod, looking beyond Jerusalem after the death of the first Miriamne and her kin, he completed the rebuilding the former northern capital of Samaria to honor Augustus, renaming it Sebaste.

Augustus (Gaius Ocavius) rules the Roman Empire 27 BC – 14 AD with absolute power. He launched two centuries of prosperity called the Roman Peace (Pax Romana) ▲

Year 1 of Augustus’ Rule
28 BCThe Emilius comet is said to have crashed into modern day Pakistan.
29 BC29 BC: Herod the Great suspects his family is trying to dethrone him, kills the Hasmonian princess Mariamne I, his second wife. (His third wife is also called Mariamne, she is referred to as Mariamne II.) The details are that Mariamne’s mother, Alexandra, (fearful of Herod. recalling Herod’s treatment of her father, Hyrcanus II and her son, Aristobulus, at Herod’s hand), became a witness against her daughter. Mariamne was convicted, reportedly deporting herself with great dignity at her execution. She was 25 years of age, having given birth to five children in seven years. Alexandra soon retaliated by conspiring against Herod, allegedly claiming that Herod was mentally unfit to serve. Herod had her executed without trial. Continuing to fear a conspiracy from the Hasmonean faction (his wife’s family) and advised by his sister, Salome, Herod then executed Miriamne’s brother Kostobar, who himself had been Salome’s husband.

Summary: Herod executes his wife, his wife’s mother, and his wife’s brother.
30 BCCleopatra of Jerusalem III, (circumstantial evidence that she may be the daughter of Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and Julius Caesar of Rome) Davidic Dynasty – ―The identity of Cleopatra “of Jerusalem” is a mystery. However, circumstantial evidence has suggested her identification with the posthumous daughter of Julius
Caesar, the Roman “imperator”, and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt; born six months after Caesar’s
assassination in 44 BC, for, when Rome conquered Egypt in 30BC, Octavius, the grand-nephew
and heir of Julius Caesar, murdered Julius Caesar‘s only son, Caesarion, begotten by Queen
Cleopatra, saying that “the world was not big enough for two caesars”, however, their daughter,
Cleopatra, who had no legal standing under Roman law, was given in marriage to “an obscure
eastern prince”. The question is, could this “obscure eastern prince” have been the Palestinian
“Nasi”, Yakov (Jacob)? If so, that would make Joseph and his two younger half-brothers, the
twins, the grandchildren through their mother, Cleopatra of Jerusalem, of Julius Caesar and Queen
Cleopatra! Incredible as it may seem, but possibly true! Hence, the book’s title: “Jesus, The Last Pharaoh”, whose author makes a case for Jesus to have been called “the last Pharaoh of Egypt”,
supposedly formally installed as an infant during the Holy Family’s stay in Egypt.‖ ~David Hughes

After Caesarion’s death (the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopartra VII) and Octavian’s victory at the Battle of Actium. Octavian had sole and uncontested control of “Mare Nostrum” (Roman Mediterranean) and he became “Augustus Caesar” and the “first citizen” of Rome. This victory, consolidating his power over every Roman institution, marked the transition of Rome from Republic to Empire. Egypt’s final surrender following Cleopatra’s death also marks the final demise of both the Hellenistic Age and the Ptolemaic Kingdom.

To commemorate his victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII, Augustus established the Roman festival Actia. Augustus also erected a monument overlooking the site, which incorporated the bronze rams taken from the defeated ships. The surviving sockets in the stonework are evidence of the considerable size of these rams.

After Aug 12, 30 BC later in the year Octavian had Caesarion killed, finally securing his own legacy as Julius Caesar’s ONLY ‘son’ (adopted). (Caesarion was Julius Caesar biological son)

Aug 12, 30 BC: Cleopatra eluded the vigilance of Octavian’s guards and committed suicide. In one account, she put an end to her life, as it was believed, by the bite of a snake conveyed to her in a basket of fruit, specifically figs. Her death came from the bite from a poisonous asp. Egypt is added to the Roman Empire. This was declared in Daniel segueing from the Kings of the North (Syria) & South (Egypt) into the legs of the Roman Empire.

July 31, 30 BC: Despite a victory at Alexandria on 31 July 30 BC, more of Mark Antony’s men deserted, leaving him with insufficient forces to fight Octavian (who would become Augustus Caesar). The slight success over Octavian’s tired soldiers encouraged him to make a general attack, in which he was decisively beaten. Mark Antony then tried to flee from the battle, and as a result of a communication breakdown, came to believe that Cleopatra had been captured, and hence committed suicide. Failing to escape on board ship, he stabbed himself; and, as he did not die at once, insisted on being taken to the mausoleum in which Cleopatra was shut up, and there died in her arms.

Cleopatra evacuates her court and treasury to Berenice on the west coast of the Red Sea, but king Malchus of Nabatea attacks from the desert and burned the Egyptian ships.

Summary: Mark Anthony commits suicide believing Cleopatra was captured. In his last hours he was taken to her mausoleum and dies in her arms. Octavian has the son of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra VII, Caesarion, killed stating there is room for only one Caesar.

31 BCSept 2, 31BC: Battle of Actium in the Ionian Sea. Octavian (to be Augustus) defeated Mark Antony and Cleopatra. The Battle of Actium was the decisive confrontation of the Final War of the Roman Republic. It was fought between the forces of Octavian and the combined forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. After their defeat, Octavian became absolute ruler of the Roman Empire (a transition from the Roman Republic).

Summary: Octavian (63 BC-14 AD), Caesar’s nephew, defeated Mark Antony (83-30 BC) & Queen Cleopatra (69-30 BC) at the Battle of Actium. Octavian declared himself Emperor Caesar Augustus in 30 BC, marking the birth of Imperial Rome.

The end of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra’s power. The end of the Roman Republic. All power is transferred to Octavian, adopted son of Julius Caesar birthing an Imperial Rome.

Jan 1: G. Sosus of the consul, made an elaborate speech in favor of Antony, and would have proposed the confirmation of Antony’s acta had it not been vetoed by a tribune. This enraged Octavian who was the sole inheritor of Julius Caesar.
32 BC32 BC: A third of the Senate and both consuls allied with Antony

32/31 BC: Herod further solidified his position with Rome in 32-31 by gaining victory in the war against the Nabatean Arabs, who had rebelled against his rule.
33 BCLast day of 33 BC: The second Triumvirate formally expired. Antony wrote to the Senate that he did not wish to be reappointed. He hoped that he might be regarded by them as their champion against the ambition of Octavian, whom he presumed would not be willing to abandon his position in a similar manner. The causes of mutual dissatisfaction between the two had been continually accumulating.
34 BC34 BC: Antony and Cleopatra formally elevated to power Caesarion, then thirteen years of age giving him the vague but alarming title of “King of the Kings”. Being a son of Julius Caesar, such an entitlement was obviously felt as a threat to the Roman republican traditions.
35 BC35 BC: Aristobulus, Herod’s appointment as high priest in 36 BC against Herod’s will, drowns at a party, a supposed victim of drunken horseplay. With Herod under suspicion, Antony summoned him to Laodicea to explain the circumstances. Despite Cleopatra’s probable advice to the contrary, Antony declared the matter to be an internal affair under Herod’s jurisdiction, and Herod returned to Jerusalem confident of continued Roman support. On the other hand, Antony gave the Gaza, vital because of its access to the Mediterranean, to Cleopatra around the same time, as well as other possessions dear to Herod. For obvious reasons, Herod did not take to Cleopatra.
36 BC36 BC: Herod was forced to capitulate on the question of high priest (high priests are also granted title “king”). Ananel, who Herod has appointed, was deposed, and Herod named the 17-year-old Aristobulus as high priest.
37 BC37 BC: Herod appoints Ananel as High Priest. This, however, outraged the remaining Hasmonean elites, who favored Miriamne’s brother and Hyrcanus’ grandson, Aristobulus III.

37 BC: Herod then rounded up and executed 45 allegedly pro-Antigonus members of the Jewish council or Sanhedrin in Jerusalem, many of them heads of leading Sadduceean families with ties to the Hasmoneans. Thereafter the council was relegated to dealing only with religious issues rather than affairs of state. Herod seems to have received some support during this time from important Pharisees, who placed less stress on questions of lineage and had considerable support among the populace who had grown disillusioned with Hasmonean elitism.

37 BC: Antigonus, was captured and taken to Rome in chains by the Roman general Sosius, where he was executed. Antigonus II Mattathias WAS ruler of the Jews, but deposed when Herod took Jerusalem, ending Hasmonean rule.

Herod’s other chief difficulty during the first part of his reign stemmed from Cleopatra’s (Cleopatra of Egypt) desire to restore the lost empire of the Ptolemies (the promised land of the Jews). She did gain some territories, including the Jericho district, from Herod, but the coolness between them ultimately helped Herod as it kept him from being too close to Antony’s party. When Antony fell, Herod found it relatively easy to shift his loyalty to Octavian. Octavian, on his part, saw no reason to prefer some different puppet to Herod, who was eager to please, not fanatically Jewish (because he was actually Idumean), and already in possession of the kingship of Judah. Octavian not merely confirmed Herod but restored Jericho and gave him other, particularly non-Jewish, territories.

July 37 BC: Herod then takes Jerusalem, not as the governor but as their King: The Jews of course did not recognize Rome’s right to choose their king for them, and Herod, with Roman help, had to conquer his kingdom.

Not until July 37 BC did he get Jerusalem.

Antigonus and his chief followers were put to death, but on the whole Jerusalem was spared. Herod turned to the problem of the high priesthood; Herod did not have the bloodline to claim the office, and he needed a priest who could not rival him in dignity. But the Hasmoneans, even those connected with Herod by marriage, would not forego their claims. By the end of this struggle, which raged for most of the reign, the priesthood had become only a temporary office held at the King’s pleasure.

Herod the Great’s Siege of Jerusalem (37 BC) was the final step in his campaign to secure the throne of Judea. Aided by Roman forces provided by Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony), Herod was able to capture the city and depose Antigonus II Mattathias, ending Hasmonean rule.

Summary: Two years after being appointed King of the Jews by the Roman Senate, Herod the Great uses the Roman army to take Jerusalem. He then deposes Antigonus II Matthias and has him executed.
38 BC

38 BC: the Second Triumvirate, renewed for a five-year term in 38 BC, broke down when Octavian came to perceive Caesarion, the natural son of Julius Caesar and of the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra, as a major threat to his power. (The Second Triumvirate 43–32 BC) was a political alliance formed after the Roman dictator Julius Caesar’s assassination, between Octavian (the future emperor Augustus), Mark Antony and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus.
39 BC~39 BC: Mark Antony abandoned his wife (Octavian’s sister Octavia Minor) and moved to Egypt to start a long-term romance with Cleopatra, thus becoming de facto stepfather to Caesarion. Such a love affair was doomed to become a political scandal, as in Egypt, Antony was inevitably playing the role of the leader of a separatist movement, breaking the unity of the Roman Empire. At least, this is what Octavian and the majority of the Roman Senate eventually believed.
40 BC◄40 BC: Herod the Great is elected “King of the Jews” by the Roman Senate. A Parthian invasion in 40 BC brought another change: Antigonus, a rival Hasmonean, became king of Judea, and Herod had to flee. He left his family in the fortress of Masada and went via Egypt to Rome. There both Antony and Octavian, the future Augustus, accepted him as a useful counter against the Parthians, and the Senate named him king of Judea.

40 BC: After the election: And when the senate was separated, Antony and (Julius) Caesar went out, with Herod between them; while the consul and the rest of the magistrates went before them, in order to offer sacrifices (to the Roman gods), and to lay the decree in the Capitol.” [Jewish War 1.14.4:] Mark Antony made a feast for Herod on the first day of his reign.

40 BC: Antigonus—this time joined by powerful Parthian allies—invaded Judea and marched on Jerusalem where he imprisoned both Hyrcanus and Herod’s brother Fasael, who served as governor of that city. Herod came to their rescue, but Antigonus’ forces, supported by religious Jews who saw Antigonus as a messianic forerunner and considered Herod’s family as half-breeds, successfully defended the city, forcing Herod’s army to flee. He first marched south toward Idumea, then toward Arabia proper, and eventually came to Rome. Hyrcanus, meanwhile, had been mutilated by his captors (of Antiogonus) to make him permanently ineligible for the priesthood and deported to Babylon, while Fasael was dead, possibly by his own hand.

Summary: Antigonus invaded Judea and imprisoned the current high priest, Hyrcanus, as well as Fasael, governor. Hyrcanus is mutilated and deported to Babylon and Fasael. Herod’s brother, is dead.

Herod the Great is elected King of the Jews by the Roman Senate with the backing of Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony, and Octavian. He will invade Jerusalem and exact revenge for his brother.
See Continued Timeline 41 BC – 60 BC
21 BC – 40 BC
  1. Who is “Cleopatra of Jerusalem?” and “Why is she important?” See Genealogy below at bottom of scroll.

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