Juba II & Cleopatra Selene daughter of Antony
Juba II of Mauretania and Cleopatra Selene
REX IVBA REGIS IVBA E F R A VI
Head of Juba II left.
BACIΛICCA KΛE - OΠATPA
Cleopatra Selene left
dated year 6 = 20-19 BC.
Ex-D. Loates Fine Arts; Ex-William McDonald Collection; Ex-Geoffrey Bell 2012 Fall Auction lot 273
SNG Cop. 546 ; Mazard 357 ; Sear 6000 ; MŁller III, 108, 87
Juba II was the only son and heir of his father King Juba I. King Juba I was the King of Numidia and ally to Pompey the Great. He fought against Julius Caesar at the battle of Thapsus and lost commiting suicide soon after. His son Juba II was taken away to Rome to be paraded in Caesar's Triumph's. He was then raised in Caesar's houshold and educated in both Latin and Greek excelling in his studies. He was praised as one of Rome's most educated citizens and at age 20 even published a work entitled Roman Archaeology. He became life long friends with Julius Caesar's heir Octavian. He accompanied Octavian on several campaigns during the turbulent times after Caesar's death even fighting at the battle of Actium against his future wifes parents...Antony and Cleopatra VII.
Augustus restored Juba II as the king of Numidia between 29 BC-27 BC and Numidia become one of the most loyal client kings that served Rome. Between 26 BC-20 BC, Augustus arranged for him to marry Cleopatra Selene II (Daughter of Antony and Cleopatra) giving her a large dowry and appointing her queen. She also had been paraded in a Triumph in Rome after the battle of Actium. It was probably due to his services with Augustus in a campaign in Spain that led Augustus to make him King of Mauretania.
Cleopatra is said to have exerted considerable influence on Juba II's policies. Juba II encouraged and supported the performing arts, research of the sciences and research of natural history. Juba II also supported Mauretanian trade. Mauretania traded all over the Mediterranean and exported fish grapes, pearls, figs, grain, wooden furniture and purple dye harvested from certain shellfish, which was used in the manufacture of purple stripes for senatorial robes. Juba II sent a contingent to Iles Purpuraires to re-establish the ancient Phoenician dye manufacturing process.
Cleopatra Selene seems to have inherited the same qualities of both Antony and Cleopatra VII. She was strong willed and maintained her Egyptian/Greek heritage. She seems intent on continuing the Ptolomaic line of strong women rulers using the same titles as her mother. She died sometime before Juba II. The Greek Historian Plutarch describes Juba II as 'one of the most gifted rulers of his time'. Between 2 BC-2, he travelled with Gaius Caesar as a member of his advisory staff to the troubled Eastern Mediterranean. In 21, Juba II made his son Ptolemy co-ruler. Juba II died in 23 AD. He had two children by Cleopatra Selene, Ptolomy of Mauretania (1 BC- 40 AD) and Drusilla of Mauretania (born in 5 AD). He was burried in the Mausolium he constructed for himself and his wife which is still visible today. A partial inscription attributed to her reads:
The moon herself grew dark, rising at sunset,
Covering her suffering in the night,
Because she saw her beautiful namesake, Selene,
Breathless, descending to Hades,
With her she had had the beauty of her light in common,
And mingled her own darkness with her death