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Cleopatra was the name of seven queens in ancient Egypt; however, only one became famous and popular, Cleopatra VII. She was born in 69 BC in Alexandria, Egypt. Daughter of Ptolemy XII Auteles . Cleopatra had , two older sisters Cleopatra VI and Berenice IV and a young half sister, Arsineo IV. She also had two younger half brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV whom she later married. Cleoptra belongs to the Ancient Egyptian Ptolemaic Dynasty. The Ptolemies were originally Macedonian, but ruled Egypt as Egyptian Pharaohs.

During this period, Egypt was suffering economically from bad harvest and famine caused by a drought. Egypt also suffered politically due to the increasing Romans power in the region which led Egypt to ally with Rome for almost two centuries. paid tribute to the Romans to keep their hand out of his kingdom.

Ptolemy XII Auteles died in 51 BC leaving the kingdom to his son, Ptolemy XIII and his daughter Cleopatra VII who, by ancient Egyptian traditions, had to marry her younger 12 year old brother. Cleopatra, later known as a wild, strong, brilliant and powerful woman, ignored her younger brother, rejected his name from any official documents and placed her portrait and name on the ancient Egyptian coins. This enraged her brother's advisors who declared war on her.

Meanwhile Julius Caesar was coming to Egypt seeking Pompey the Great, a Roman leader, who was the guardian of Pompey XIII and who was assassinated by Ptolemy XIII himself. By that time, the civil war between Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra had already started and in 48 BC a riot occurred in Alexandria, so Ptolemy fled to Pelusium. Meanwhile Caesar took advantage by placing himself in the royal palace and started giving orders. The first order he gave was to disarm Ptolemy's and Cleopatra's armies. Cleopatra, by then 22 years old, made up her mind to meet Caesar, so she broke her enemy's lines and went to him rolled in a carpet. Caesar fell for her and decided to make her the sole ruler of Egypt. A war in Alexandria occurred later between Caesar and Ptolemy which ended in the Defeat of Ptolemy's army and his death by drowning in the Nile while trying to escape.

Cleopatra became the only ruler of Egypt; however, she had to marry her younger brother, Ptolemy XIV (11 years old). Regardless, she and Caesar went for a two-month trip on the Nile, during which time she became pregnant. On this trip she was worshiped as a Pharaoh when they stopped in Dendera; though, Caesar was not given this honor. Later, Cleopatra gave birth to Caesar's son, Caesarion (Ptolemy Caesar) in June 23, 47 BC.

A year later, Caesar returned to Rome along with Cleopatra as his mistress and Caesarion




whom he declared as his son. Beside the home he built for her and the luxury she was living in, he made her a statue of gold and placed it in the temple of Venus Genetrix, the ancestor of Caesar's family. The presence of Cleopatra was not accepted by the Republicans who were not very happy with Caesar's attitude towards her, especially his plan to marry her.

In 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated by his senators. Cleopatra escaped from Rome and returned to Alexandria. After Caesar's death, she waited in silence, until Mark Antony took power. By then, her younger brother and husband was assassinated by her order. In 41 BC, Antony invited Cleopatra to meet him and formed an alliance with her. Cleopatra and Antony spent almost a year in Alexandria before his return to Rome to face Octavian (who became Augustus). In 40 BC, Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia who supported him till the last minute of his life. Four years later, Antony and Cleopatra were reunited and he gave her back some of the Egyptian land he had taken. Cleopatra had three children from Antony; Alexander Helios (which means the sun), Cleopatra Selene (which means the moon), and Ptolemy Philadelphos.

By 35 BC, A war took place between Antony and Octavian. Antony won this war and celebrated his triumph by giving himself the title of the New Dionysus and Cleopatra the title of the New Isis and the Queen of Kings. Their children were also given the titles of Ptolemy XV for Caesarion, who was also called King of the Kings. Alexander Helio was called Great King of the Seleucid Empire and Cleopatra Selene was given the title of Queen of Cyrenaica and Crete. Finally, Ptolemy Philadelphos was named King of Syria and Asia. A year later, the Roman Senate deprived Antony of his prospective consulate and Octavian became the Roman leader.

Octavian later declared war on Cleopatra and in 31 BC; Octavian defeated Antony in the famous battle of Actuim in Greece. Antony committed suicide later and died in the arms of Cleopatra in 30 BC. Cleopatra was taken to Octavian who declared that he has no intentions for any negotiations. So she asked for an asp, an Egyptian Cobra, and died in August 12, 30 BC at the age of 39. She and Antony were buried together as they wished. Her son Caesarion was killed and her other children were raised by Octavia, Antony's wife.
Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh. By her death, the age of Egyptian Monarchs vanished and gave way to the age of the Roman Emperors. Alexandria remained the capital of Egypt but no longer under the Ptolemaic rule. Cleopatra; the famous Egyptian queen, was indeed a very intelligent woman as she ascended the Egyptian throne when she was 17 years old. She was also fluent in nine languages including the native Egyptian. She was in fact the only Ptolemy to speak it. Her dream was to build a world empire; however, instead she destroyed the Egyptian Monarchs and gave way to the rise of Rome.





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