Boy oh boy, those moderates in Egypt sure know history. In fact some times they understand History better than anybody else in the world, even better than any historical record written at the time the event happened. Take for example the story of the Roman invasion of Egypt during the time of Cleopatra.
Roman record say that after Julius Caesar was killed, Rome was ruled by the famous trio of Mark Antony, Caesar’s nephew Octavian ( who became Augustus) and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Octavian ruled Rome, Antony went on to govern the east. Lepidus governed Hispania and the province of Africa. Octavian forced Lepidus to retire and then started a propaganda war against Antony who by then was shacked up with the Egyptian Queen who had once shacked up with Julius Caesar (her name was Cleopatra).
Cleopatra had a child with Julius before he died and wanted her son to take over as Caesar’s heir, which wasn’t great job security for Octavian so he decided to break up the love connection going on in Alexandria Egypt. Civil war broke out between Octavian forces and the combined forces of Antony and Cleopatra. The Romans won a great sea battle, Tony and Cleo went back to Egypt where they killed themselves before Octavian could land in Alexandria and lead them off in chains (some say before they killed themselves they sang the song Tonight from West Side Story but that is not confirmed). Octavian goes back to Rome, changes his name to Augustus, names the eighth month of the year after himself, screws February out of a day just like his Uncle Julius, and lives happily ever after.
Now over two thousand years later, we find out that story was totally bogus. Wael Ramadhan, creator of an Egyptian-Syrian TV series about Cleopatra, was interviewed on Egyptian TV and explained the real story.
Wael Ramadhan: The [Roman] war against Cleopatra was Jewish in essence, and history repeats itself. The Romans had no territorial aspirations in Egypt in those days, and this is ignored by history and by many historians. The Romans were at war with the Parthians and the remnants of the Persian Empire, but they had no intention of waging war against Egypt.
But the Jews harbored resentment and pain, because of their expulsion from Egypt – when they were still called “Hebrew” – and they wanted to return to Egypt by force, in order to establish their presence there, but they did not have an opportunity to do so until that moment. So they recruited the help of the Romans.
This part of history is not mentioned in any Arab history book, but is the outcome of research I conducted myself, and this is my own perspective, which is unique and true.Interviewer: Especially since it is based on sources that are…Wael Ramadhan: On very important sources. [The Jews] financed the Romans, distracted them from their wars, and diverted them to Egypt. They failed in their attempt to get Julius Caesar to defeat Cleopatra. They failed to get Mark Antony to defeat Cleopatra. They had also financed the Mark Antony campaign. They failed in their efforts to completely control that region.
To this moment, they continue to try. History repeats itself. That is what should have been called the history of Cleopatra, and this was my approach when I made the “Cleopatra” series.
I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to those Moderates in Egypt. Before today, Judea (what the Holy Land was called back then) was thought of as weak little country under the protection of Rome, but today we know different. Thanks to Wael Ramadhan we learn that tiny little Judea was able to push the Roman Empire to break up its management team, start a civil war and invade the powerful country of Egypt.
The best part of it all is Ramadhan played it right down the middle, he could have made up a story and used it to incite hatred against Jews and Israel, but not good old Wael who I understand is going to work for MSNBC based on his honest portrayal of history in this Cleopatra series.