Antony and Cleopatra were defeated by the future first emperor of the Roman Empire, Augustus, at the Battle of Actium in 30 BC. After the lovers had committed suicide at Alexandria, their young children, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene, and Ptolemy Philadelphios were taken to Rome as captives. At his triumph in 29 BC, Augustus paraded 11-year old Selene and her twin brother Alexander Helios, both of them weighed down by heavy gold chains, behind a wax effigy of their mother. All three children were thereafter placed in the care of Octavia, Augustus's sister, and though they were probably treated well, the lack of subsequent historical records about Alexander and Ptolemy suggest that they most likely did not survive into adulthood. At the house of Octavia, Selene would spend the next five years living and being educated alongside her half-siblings - Antony's other surviving offspring - Iullus Antonius, Antonia, and Antonia Minor. Through Antonia Minor, Selene would be related by blood to three future Roman emperors - Antonia's son Claudius, as well as Caligula and Nero. Statue of Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios as children, c. 37-30 BC (Egyptian Museum in Cairo) Probably around 25 BC, at the age of 15, Selene was married to the Numidian prince, Juba II. Juba was about 8 years older than Selene, thoroughly Romanized, and a noted scholar who would go on to author treatises on topics as diverse as geography, linguistics, Roman archaeology, and painting. Plutarch wrote that he was "the most accomplished of kings", and Pliny would quote him extensively in his Natural History. In relation to Augustus, Juba was more than the average rex amicus sociusque, the "friendly and allied king", but someone who had grown up in Augustus's own household, later accompanying him on military campaigns and becoming a trusted friend and ally. Augustus's gift to the new couple was the rule of Mauretania, a huge territory on the coast of North Africa spanning what is today central Algeria and northern Morocco. While the country worked to provide Rome with grain, garum (fish sauce) and purple dye, Juba and Selene set up their court at Iol, an old Mauretanian capital that was renamed Caesarea in honour of Augustus. The faded city was rebuilt on a lavish scale, with a forum, amphitheatre, harbour, and of course, the royal palace and its library. A Temple to Isis was amongst several built, and no doubt making Selene feel even more at home would have been the numerous Egyptian sculptures that were collected to adorn the palace. The court of Juba and Selene would have been truly multicultural, one that included Romans, Greeks, as well as locals of Berber descent. In addition to attracting a circle of artists and scholars from around the Roman world, Juba and Selene are also known to have brought along with them a number of freedmen and servants of Selene's parents, including the physician Antonius Euphorbos and the gemcutter Gnaios. One famous intaglio with the portrait of Mark Antony signed by Gnaois now held by the Getty Museum may have been a product of his from Alexandria, but it may also have been commissioned by Cleopatra Selene in memory of her father. Intaglio of Mark Antony, signed by the gemcutter Gnaios (Getty Museum) Of the coins that were issued at Mauretania, one consistent theme was the queen's clearly ardent and undiminished pride in her Ptolemaic heritage. Where her husband Juba's name was almost without exception inscribed in Latin, Selene's name and title was always rendered in Greek (BACIΛICCA KΛEΟΠΑΤΡA, identical to her mother's on her coins). Both her coins as well as Juba's also prominently featured Egyptian symbols such as the headdress of Isis, the Nile crocodile, and the sistrum. And, whether or not she ever exercised any autonomous political power of her own, as has sometimes been suggested, her sway within her marriage was clearly significant, for when a son was born to the couple around 10 BC, he was not named after his father Juba or one of Juba's ancestors as might have been expected, but instead, Ptolemy. The 'Africa' dish from the Boscoreale Treasure of 1895, believed by some to portray Cleopatra Selene II (Louvre Museum) The cause and date of Cleopatra Selene's death are not currently known, but the postulated dates range cover a broad range from 5 BC to AD 20. After her death, Selene, the last surviving member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, was laid to rest in the Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania, an imposing structure built about 25 miles east of Caesarea, which today still stands. Royal Mausoleum of Mauretania (Tipaza, Algeria) This epigram by Krinagoras of Mytilene, Emperor Augustus's court poet, is thought to eulogize her: The moon herself grew dark, rising at sunset, Covering her suffering in the night, Because she saw her beautiful namesake, Selene, Without breath, descending to Hades. With her she had the beauty of her light in common, And mingled her own darkness with her death. JUBA II with CLEOPATRA SELENE AR Denarius. 2.91g, 17.2mm. Iol-Caesarea mint, circa 20 BC - AD 20. Mazard 361; MAA 108; SNG Copenhagen 566. O: REX IVBA, diademed head of Juba right. R: BACIΛICCA KΛEΟΠΑΤΡA, diademed and draped bust of Cleopatra Selene left. Ex Stein A. Evensen Collection, purchased from John Jencek, July 2009 There is an unfortunate flan flaw that mars Juba's portrait, but to be honest, that side mattered much less to me. The coin is otherwise in great condition, with some lovely iridescent toning that quite nicely complements that on my existing denarius of Juba. JUBA II AR Denarius. 3.14g, 17mm. Iol-Caesarea mint, 25 BC - AD 24 AD. MAA 95; SNG Copenhagen 579. O: REX IVBA, diademed head right. R: Cornucopia; transverse scepter in background, crescent to upper right. Ex Ronald J. Hansen Collection; ex CNG E-Auction 319 (Jan 2014), lot 149; ex Noble 66 (30 March 2001), lot 3452 Thanks for reading, and please feel free to share anything related!