Kemet made her final stand against the Romans. Kemet, the land of gold and sands—Egypte, in its vigil for Osiris, who never returned. Never returned for the names on the cartouches, never returned to know the names of the Egypteian children. As if Isis herself had abandoned them.
That was because Isis was Greek.
She cloaked herself in the Ptolemies, following Alexander the great—she lived on his blood, bronze and beautiful, and took her stand. Isis never abandoned Egypte; she was Egypte. She took the skin of the Macedonians, she took the blood of conquerors, and bathed in the Nile. It was in the waters of the Nile that she sailed to the sea, that she kissed the Romans and drank their poison. It was there that she took on the burden of her children, there that she played seduction.
Her name was Kleopatra the Seventh. History called her Cleopatra. The last Egypteian pharaoh was Greek.
Alexandria was where it ended. Alexandria, the greatest learning center in the world. Alexandria, with its white and golden stone, with its sea pearls and aqua shores. Alexandria, with the greatest library in the world—conquered by a man who spoke no Greek.
Alexandria, with its mausoleum hosting Marc Antony. Where Kleopatra spat and called herself queen—and Isis dropped a cobra in her blouse.
Roma Antiqua, the realm of sun and marble.
Into which the sun and the moon marched in golden chains. Forgotten by Osiris and abandoned by Isis; neglected by Zeus and cursed by Hera. Amun turned his back, and gave their names to Mars—Kleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios.
And Ptolemy Philadelphus, who was too young to matter.
Even Aten, in Akhetaten, could never reach them.
And thus, day and night fell silent—Nut and Geb slept; Egypte lost Egypte, and it burned to ashes in the ground.
There was a new world. A world called Roma. The hated Roma of slavery and death; its fornices welcoming; its lupae and offellae both sweet and delicious.
"When in Rome, do as the Romans do."
The sun sank beyond the horizon, abandoned in Geb's uncaring embrace. The moon called his name, bereaved and despairing.
But Selene never forgot.
The moon never forgot, the way Isis remembered.
She never returned to Egypte, but she returned to the south. The king was named Juba the Second. His queen was Kleopatra Selene.
Iola became Caesarea. Caesarea, in deference to Augustus, who was once Caesar and not imperator.
Rebuild Alexandria. White marble and tapering waves.
She whispered to the land, holding her king. She sang a language lost to the wind, of an Egypte finally fallen. Kemet was gone, gone forever, but she pushed on. The moon rose silver, awash in light, and blew glass—an Egypteian menagerie: Bastet blinked awake; Amun rose; Ra rose in the sky; Thoth smiled and wrote a library of words.
Kemet lives in Egypte.
Isis curled in the womb of the nightly sun, reborn, and like a phoenix she rose with her Osiris, who never returned to the land. She was dark-skinned; she was white. She was the star of the evening, burning a flame in the ashes. The inferno lived in her mouth, and she called herself Kleopatra outside of Kemet.
Egypte was reborn today.
PT: Kleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios were twins. They and their younger brother Ptolemy Philadelphus were the children of Kleopatra and Marc Antony. They were brought to Rome in chains, barely able to walk, and raised by Octavian's family. Kleopatra Selene married Juba II, also royalty from a conquered kingdom—at which time her brothers were dead—and turned the city Caesarea into a center of learning, just like the Alexandria of her childhood. Her mother's fall is regarded as Egypt's—spelled "Egypte" here for tone, and it –is- correct here—last stand as a nation.
I have to blink at the books "Cleopatra's Daughter" and "Nefertiti" by Michelle Moran and "The Red Pyramid" by Rick Riordan as good sources. (Offellae is ancient Roman pizza, by the by. And lupae were whores, under arches called fornices.) The fact that "Cleopatra's Daughter" has the places I went to in Italy helps as well. (Capri! 8D)
I like history. Many things can be learned from history—strength, for one. Simple as that.
That is why this is a birthday gift. Happy (belated) birthday, Abby :) I'm hoping this isn't too confusing, nee~ Hoping you enjoyed this~ (And one of these days, I –will- acknowledge the date of your birth on time!—I will, I will! -otl-)