After Cleopatra met Julius Caesar in Egypt, they supposedly fell in love and went on a boat ride up the Nile.
At least two ancient writers say so. Another one says not.
So here come the scholars, weighing in on the evidence. Some scholars like to say that Caesar wouldn’t have taken a boat trip. It suggests the leader of Rome was acting irresponsibly. Why take a vacation when you have Rome to run?
But one scholar, who I’ll call Scholar A says yes, they did take the trip. However, Caesar was strategizing. A dalliance up the river would cement the queen’s affection for him.
No one has mentioned Cleopatra. Remember, the Queen of Egypt? Doesn’t she have responsibilities to her country too?
In response to Scholar A, is Cleopatra some love-sick teenager, so infatuated by Caesar that she’ll do whatever he asks? Seriously?
This is the bias I battle when I research details to write historical fiction novels.
Yes, I admit it, I have my own bias. My bias is that women aren’t fools, and if they’ve made it to the top, they have a solid brain in their cranium.
How about Cleopatra taking Caesar on the boat trip because it fit her purposes? That it would solidify his interest in her country? That she could make an ally out of a potential enemy?
Is this version of history possible?