Roman History of Egypt

With the death of Cleopatra VII and Mark Antonio, and with the fall of Alexandria in the hands of Augustus Octavius in 30 BC, Augustus became the legitimate heir of the government of Egypt.
Octavius celebrated his victory achieved in the Battle of Actium coining a memorial currency with the Crocodile Sobek (Socha) on one side and the phrase "Aegyptus Capta" on the other.
Fearing Augustus' power and tired of wars, the Alexandrians did not show any resistance; rather, they offered him the coffin of Alexander the Great. On his part, Augustus also showed great respect to Alexandria venerating its people and culture. In addition, he respected Alexander's body by placing his golden crown over it. But when offered to pay a visit to the tombs of the Ptolemaic Kings, he refused totally with a very obvious contempt towards those kings. Although he gave orders to his soldiers not to commit robberies, he plundered the treasury of Alexandria, filled up with Cleopatra's gold, spending it on his soldiers, then later, on public projects until he went back to Rome bearing with him pills of treasures and monuments. Later, Octavius refused the Alexandrians' request of reestablishing the city council (known at that time as 'Boule'), because he realized that with the Boule, the Alexandrians would feel more patriotic and will realize that the Romans were only intruders.
What most incited the Alexandrians' rage was his favoritism towards the Jews. Octavious favored them because they helped him against Cleopatra VII, in his conquest over Alexandria. He also wanted to make a balance between both the Alexandrians and the Jews with the aim of maintaining stability, thus, he followed the famous Roman proverb "divide and conquer". The Jews were forming a minority consisting of strangers and therefore nothing was to be feared from them and they could also work as agents for the Romans.


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