- NAME: Cleopatra VII
- OCCUPATION: Queen
- BIRTH DATE: c. 69 BCE
- DEATH DATE: c. 30 BCE
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Egypt
- PLACE OF DEATH: Alexandria, Egypt
- Full Name: Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator
- AKA: Cleopatra
Best Known For
As queen of ancient Egypt, Cleopatra is one of the most famous female rulers in history. The stories surrounding Cleopatra's tragic life inspired a Shakespeare play.
Cleopatra - Mini Biography (3:12)
Cleopatra - Powerful Woman (1:53)
Cleopatra - Born to Rule (1:48)
Cleopatra - The End (1:50)
The last ruler of the Macedonian dynasty, the stories and myths surrounding Cleopatra's tragic life inspired a number of books, movies and plays. Cleopatra has become one of the most well known ancient Egyptian.
A look at the life of Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt and lover of Julius Caesar and Antony.
A look into the childhood and grooming of the lovely Egyptian ruler.
Cleopatra's death on August 12th, 30 BC was consequence of Augustus, legal heir of Caesar, and Cleopatra's love for his rival Mark Antony.
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Cleopatra's family ruled Egypt for more than 100 years before she was born around 69 B.C. The stories and myths surrounding Cleopatra's tragic life inspired a number of books, movies and plays, including Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare. Cleopatra has become one of the most well known ancient Egyptians.
"I will not be triumphed over."
“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety.”
"For she was a woman of surpassing beauty, and at that time, when she was in the prime of her youth, she was most striking; she also possessed a most charming voice and a knowledge of how to make herself agreeable to every one."
“The archetype of the star and the world's first celebrity”
“To return to Cleopatra; Plato admits four sorts of flattery, but she had a thousand.”
“She captivated the two greatest Romans of her day, and because of the third she destroyed herself.”
“Cleopatra was of insatiable passion and insatiable avarice; she was swayed often by laudable ambition, but often by overweening effrontery.”
“For her beauty, as we are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her; but converse with her had an irresistible charm”
“I detest the queen”
“Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed.”
“She makes hungry where most she satisfies; for vilest things become themselves in her”
Queen. The last ruler of the Macedonian dynasty, Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator was born around 69 B.C. The line of rule was established in 323 B.C., following the death of Alexander the Great and ended with Egypt's annexation by Rome in 30.
The era began when Alexander's general, Ptolemy, took over as ruler of Egypt, becoming King Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt. Over the next three centuries, his descendants would follow in his path. At its height, Ptolemaic Egypt was one of the world's great powers.
Cleopatra's father was King Ptolemy XII. Little is known about Cleopatra's mother, but some speculation presumes she may have been her father's sister, Cleopatra V Tryphaena. Debate also surrounds Cleopatra's ethnicity. While it was believed for a long time that she was of Greek descent, some speculate that her lineage may have been black African.
In 51 B.C., Ptolemy XII died, leaving the throne to 18-year-old Cleopatra and her brother, the 10-year-old Ptolemy XIII. It is likely that the two siblings married, as was customary at the time. Over the next few years Egypt struggled to face down a number of issues, from an unhealthy economy to floods to famine.
Political turmoil also shaped this period. Soon after they assumed power, complications arose between Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII. Eventually Cleopatra fled to Syria, where she assembled an army to defeat her rival in order to declare the throne for herself. In 48, she returned to Egypt with her military might and faced her brother at Pelusium, located on the empire's eastern edge.
Around this same time, the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey was consuming Rome. Pompey eventually sought refuge in Egypt, but on orders by Ptolemy, was killed.
In pursuit of his rival, Julius Caesar followed Pompey into Egypt, where he met and eventually fell in love with Cleopatra. In Caesar, Cleopatra now had access to enough military muscle to dethrone her brother and solidify her grip on Egypt as sole ruler. Following Caesar's defeat of Ptolemy's forces at the Battle of the Nile, Caesar restored Cleopatra to the throne. Soon after, Ptolemy XIII fled and drowned in the Nile.
In 47 B.C. Cleopatra bore Caesar a son, whom she named Caesarion. However, Caesar never acknowledged the boy was his offspring, and historical debate continues over whether he was indeed his father.
Cleopatra eventually followed Caesar back to Rome, but returned to Egypt in 44 B.C., following his assassination.
In 41 B.C., Marc Antony, part of the Second Triumvirate that ruled Rome following the murder of Caesar, sent for Cleopatra so that she could answer questions about her allegiance to the empire's fallen leader.
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After Caesar's assassination, Cleopatra set her sights on the dashing Roman general Mark Antony. The two began an affair, resulting in twins in 40 B.C. Antony wed Cleopatra in 36 B.C., and appointed his new wife ruler of Egypt, Cyprus, Crete, and Cyria. This abuse of power so outraged the Roman Senate that they denounced him a traitor. After losing a major battle at sea, Antony and Cleopatra were forced to flee to Egypt in 31 B.C. In desperation, Cleopatra spread rumors of her own suicide. Antony, unaware of her plan, stabbed himself to death. When Cleopatra heard of this, she took her own life by inducing a poisonous snake to bite her.
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