|Cleopatra Selene and her consort|
- Cleopatra herself commissioned works in that temple, including a monumental pharaonic relief of herself and Caesarion (her son by Julius Caesar, he was murdered by Octavian).
- The statue dates to between 50 and 30 B.C., and the twins were born in 40 B.C.
- In the Egyptian pantheon, Tefnet wears the solar disk, but here the female twin wears the crescent moon and the male wears the sun, as in the Greek tradition of the female moon goddess Selene and the male incarnation of the sun, Helios.
- The twins’ embrace may represent a solar eclipse that occurred three years after their birth. At that time, Mark Antony officially recognized the twins as his children and Cleopatra changed their names from Cleopatra and Alexander to Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios.
exhibition website: "This is one of the best-preserved images of a Ptolemaic queen. It is one of a number of statues - with the queen wearing a corkscrew wig and holding a cornucopia - that probably served as cult statues of the deified queens. The figure is clearly Egyptian in style, though with Greek attributes (the cornucopia and knotted dress). The front of the headdress is decorated with a uraeus, the symbol of Egyptian royalty. The triple form is unique to Cleopatra.
At the end of Plutarch's Life of Antony, the Roman biographer records that a wealthy Alexandrian named Archibios paid Cleopatra's victorious enemy Octavian the enormous sum of 2,000 talents to save the statues of the queen in Egypt. It is possible that this is a survivor of the images so saved. To a Roman it would have meant very little. To an Egyptian, it was a sacred object, and the scale of the figure suggests that it could have been placed in a shrine. As late as AD 373, when Egypt was nominally Christian, we hear of statues of Cleopatra being gilded. A Coptic Christian bishop and an Arab historian later remembered Cleopatra as 'the last of the wise Greeks'." Did you know that her name means "her father's glory"?