Wednesday 27 September 2023

Cleopatra’s sole surviving handwriting

The only surviving sample of Queen Cleopatra’s handwriting, found on an ancient papyrus, reveals a single Greek word, “ginesthoi” (Greek: γίνεσθοι), meaning make it happen or so be it. The document is a royal decree dated to 33 BC. It granted tax exemption to Publius Canidius, a Roman officer closely associated with Mark Antony. According to the papyrus, Canidius was permitted to annually export ten thousand bags of wheat and import five thousand amphorae of wine without taxation. However, what captured imaginations was a Greek postscript, which can be translated as “make it so.” The document was signed two years before the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. In that battle, Mark Antony and Cleopatra were defeated by Augustus.
See ----->Octavian and the Battle of Actium
See ----->Coins of Marcus Antonius