A letter from Demetrius the Wise, Khemetic time travel philosopher
As I pen this account, I’m ensconced within the labyrinthine catacombs of time, dodging the pandemonium unleashed in the year 48 BCE, a period as turbulent as a tempest in a teapot. It’s a cacophony you might have encountered in history books, but I assure you, living through it, especially as a philosopher—an observer of life’s machinations — it’s something else entirely.
From the vantage point of a silent observer, I watched the decisive Battle of Pharsalus. The Roman armies, led by Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great, clashed like titans under an iron-grey sky. Caesar emerged victorious, his power growing like a weed in spring, while Pompey’s hopes crumbled like a house of cards.
Pompey, poor soul, fled to Egypt, a wolf fleeing from the lion, only to meet an end as sharp as the Ides of March. He was assassinated, struck down by order of Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII, a lad barely old enough to don a beard. The news hit like a bolt from the blue, adding to the rising tumult.
When Caesar arrived in Egypt, hot on Pompey’s trail, he was roped into the Alexandrine civil war like a puppet in a shadow play. Ptolemy XIII, his adviser Pothinus, and Cleopatra VII, a queen with eyes that sparkled like the night sky, all played their part in this deadly drama.
The Great Library of Alexandria, the world’s beacon of knowledge, was caught in this maelstrom when Caesar found himself besieged in Alexandria. Flames licked at the hallowed scripts and scrolls, creating a bonfire of human knowledge. It’s a sight that would make any scholar’s blood run cold.
Amongst this chaos, an unlikely romance bloomed. Caesar, the seasoned Roman general, fell for the charms of Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt. Their affair started like a spark in a hay barn, growing into an inferno that would change the course of history.
Shifting his attention from the heart of Egypt, Caesar turned his gaze towards Pontus. The Battle of Zela unfolded, where Caesar faced Pharnaces II, son of Mithridates VI, and dealt him a swift defeat. His victory birthed the famous phrase, “Veni, Vidi, Vici.” I was there, amidst the echoes of the triumphant proclamation, standing invisible in the melee.
Back in Egypt, the power struggle took another victim. Achillas, the Egyptian general, was executed by Ganymedes, Cleopatra’s tutor. It was like watching a snake eat its own tail, the cycle of power and betrayal devouring everything in its path.
Ptolemy XIII, the young Pharaoh, drowned in the Nile while attempting to flee after the Battle of the Nile. A death as poignant as it was symbolic. The Nile gave life to Egypt, and in the same vein, it claimed the life of its Pharaoh.
After Ptolemy XIII’s death, the throne saw a new ruler. Cleopatra, alongside her younger brother Ptolemy XIV, ascended as the rulers of Egypt, but make no mistake — Cleopatra held the true power. The shifting sands of the Egyptian power structure made the political scene as unpredictable as a chameleon on a rainbow.
All this while, Caesar not only commanded battles but also found time to reform the Roman calendar. As Pontifex Maximus, he introduced the Julian calendar in Rome, marking the beginning of a new era. The calendar, starting on January 1, stands as a testament to Caesar’s impact on time itself.
As I write to you from this vortex of time, know that history is not just the sterile facts and figures of textbooks, but a living, breathing entity, as complex and chaotic as the minds that shape it. The cacophony of events I’ve traversed, marked by bloodshed, passion, treachery, and innovation, is but a ripple in the vast ocean of time.
Who knows where I’ll land next? What year, what place, what event is destined to be my safe harbor from the swirling storm of 48 BCE?
Will I ever escape this cacophony?
Only time will tell.