Cleopatra Egyptian Queen
Cleopatra is an amazing woman, She was known for many great talents and great achievements. She was a very determined Macedonian queen. She went to many great lengths to keep her grip on the power she was left by will. It was said that Cleopatra was witty, charming, and highly intelligent. Through the research I have collected I will prove to you that Cleopatra was an amazing women. I will do this by uncovering facts of her fathers death, and how she took control of Alexandria, Her Early life, Her family life, Her consorts, and her love affairs with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Without further ado I present to you my Essay.
Cleopatra, the Egyptian Queen was born in the year 69 B.C in the city of Alexandria, Egypt. When she was born her father held place as leader of the city. Her father Ptolemy Auletes was the only guardian known during Cleopatras early life.(Cleopatra website) It is not said what happened to her mother. It is a lot of times mistaken that Cleopatra was a very beautiful woman, when in reality she was not very attractive at all. As far as Cleopatras early life there is not much recorded. Her life was not very public until the year she turned 18.
Cleopatra came from a rather large family. She is the middle among many of brother and sisters. Unfortunately she was the only girl in the family to live past the age of 18. Her father Ptolemy Auletes raised Cleopatra; Her mother is unknown. Cleopatra had 5 siblings all ranging in age, Cleopatra falling in the middle. Cleopatra was also the middle sibling among the girls. The oldest in the family is Cleopatras sister Cleopatra VI; the second is Bernice IV, then came Cleopatra. The last girl to be born in the family is her younger sister Arsinoe IV. None of Cleopatras sisters lived to be past the age of 18. Her oldest sister Cleopatra VI, Died as a child. Bernice The second daughter was beheaded. The father Ptolemy Auletes was responsible for Bernices murder; the reason was never made clear. This left Cleopatra and her younger sister to be the only females left in the family. Among her other siblings she had two younger brothers. The oldest boys name is Ptolemy XIII. Her second brothers name is Ptolemy XIV. Their father Ptolemy Auletes raised them all together in the palace.
Cleopatras father Ptolemy died in the year 51 BC. At age 18 Cleopatra was left with a kingdom to rule on her shoulders. The children in the family, being Cleopatras younger brothers and sister, were left to be raised by Pompey, a Roman leader. Pompey was a close friend to Ptolemy Auletes (the father). Cleopatra was extremely young to be left with such a big responsibility, but she was determined to make it work.
In the same year Cleopatra was left the kingdom, she was forced to have a consort. According to the Egyptian law it had to be either a brother or a son. This left Cleopatra with little options. She soon was married to the oldest boy in her family, her brother Ptolemy XIII. At the time of the consort Ptolemy XIII was only at the age of 12. Soon into marriage Cleopatra dropped Ptolemys name from every legal document, paying no attention to the law saying that the male presence be first among any CO-regents. (Cleopatra Website) Cleopatra also had her own portrait printed on the money used during the time. When Cleopatra received CO-regent she dreamed that Rome and Egypt could be ruled under one.
As soon as some men named Pothinus and Achillas realized how Cleopatra was taking over they got together and made a plan. Soon they had overthrown Cleopatra for her brother Ptolemy XIII, the men believed he was much more to deal with. Soon after Cleoptra was overthrown and Ptomely XIII took over the two men became Ptolemys council of regency. On top of overthrowing Cleopatra, they also drove her to flee from Alexandria. She fled to a city called Thebaid
During the time Cleopatra was fled she formed an army out of Arab Tribes to try and gain back her power. During this time however, Ptolemy had a sneaky plot of his own. During the year of 51 BC- 49 BC Egypt was suffering of bad harvest and lack of grain growth due to the drought that had been happening. Ptolemy knowing this and knowing how all the Egyptian cities relied on the shipment of grain they got, which was promised to them by Cleopatra, signed a document saying that grain could only be shipped into Alexandria. He did this in hopes to deprive Cleopatra of her supporters from foreign cities. By doing this he gained the trust and control of the Egyptian cities, for the people had thought it was Cleopatra who stopped their shipment. Ptolemy now had complete control.
During this same time Julius Caesar had won a civil was against Pompey. Pompey being the guardian of Ptolemy and Cleopatra fled to Alexandria in hopes to get some support after his loss .He returned to find no Cleopatra, and Ptolemy and Pothinus not wanting to be on the loosing side had Pompey beheaded. They also believed this would please Caesar. Within only four days, Julius Caesar heard the news and arrived in Alexandria. Ptolemy greeted Caesar, with the gift of the savored head. Caesar was outraged. He was disappointed because of the death of a great Roman leader. However, the death of Pompey was not the main reason of Caesars visit, he was there to find out what was going on between Ptolemy and Cleopatra. Once he found out about Cleopatra being driven out he commanded she return.
When Cleopatra found out about Caesars visit to the palace she searched desperately to find a way to sneak into the palace without Ptolemy knowing. The same day a rolled rug was delivered to Caesar with a 19-year-old Cleopatra wrapped inside. Caesar was surprised to have her arrive the way she did. Cleopatra knowing how much Caesar disliked Ptolemy and his men, Cleopatra begged for him to help her gain control of Alexandria back. Within a short time of discussion between the two Caesar agreed to help out Cleopatra.
The same night Caesar agreed to help he fell under Cleopatras spell. They became lovers. It did not take Ptolemy long to hear the news. He was outraged. He stormed out of the palace screaming to everyone he had been betrayed and that Cleopatra was trying to take over the kingdom. He did this hoping to stir up the Egyptian Mob. At once Caesar had his men Capture Ptolemy and brought him back to the palace. Shortly after a Great War started when Pothinus had Ptolemys men try to attack Caesar. For doing so Caesar had Pothinus executed. Ptolemy and Achillas, Ptolemys other council member dies mysteriously.
The Death of Ptolemy made Cleopatra sole ruler of Alexandria just like Caesar had promised he would make happen. Once again she was force to have another consort because of the law. This time she married her other brother Ptolemy XIV, who was 11 at the time.
Many people believed the only reason Caesar worked so hard to make Cleopatra the sole ruler was because she bribed him with some the Egypts vast resources, others believed it was out of pure infatuation. Soon Cleopatra became pregnant with his baby. Once Caesar found out she was pregnant he took her on trip up the Nile. Cleopatra was treated as a pharaoh. In the 47 BC Cleopatra gave birth to the baby boy Caesarion.
In the year 46 BC Caesar returns to Rome. A year after his return He was granted the 10-year dictatorship. To celebrate he brought over Cleopatra and Caesarion. This upset many people. They did not approve of Cleopatra. The people were even more upset when Caesar claimed Caesarion as his child. He also planned on marrying Cleopatra despite the fact that they had a law against marrying foreigners.
All their plans came crashing down when Caesar was assented in the year44 BC. Cleopatra realized she and her son were in great danger when she realized Caesar did not mention either of them in his will. Upon finding this out she fled back to Alexandria.
Upon her arrival back in Alexandria one of Caesars close friends Mark Antony paid a visit to Cleopatra. Shortly after meeting her he feel in love. A few weeks later Cleopatra had her consort/brother Ptolemy XIV assented so her son could take the place as CO-ruler. Cleopatra grew very concerned about who would be in control of Rome next. She knew it would either be Mark Antony or Octavian, a well-known man in Rome at the time. When Octavian went back to Italy very ill she knew Antony was the man to watch.
Mark Antony invited Cleopatra to travel with him. Cleopatra was thrilled. She wanted to keep Antony close and she knew just how to get to him. She knew all about his vulgar past and new how much he loved vulgar woman. She put on a show for him, she dressed in very revealing clothing and had herself fanned by her maids. Many did thought it was very vulgar but luckily Antony loved the display. He loved the idea of a blue-blooded Ptolemy woman. At the time Mark Antony was married. However Cleopatra and Antony spent the winter of 40 BC together.
In the spring he returned home. The same year his wife died. Later her married A woman named Octavia. With Octavia Antony had 3 children all girls. At the same time Cleopatra had given birth to twins which Antony publicly declared to be his. Their names were Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helious. Through Antonys whole marriage with Octavia he had Cleopatra as a mistress.
In 34 BC Antony gained control of Rome. He brought Cleopatra as well as their children to the ceremony where they were given their royal titles. Cleopatra was called the queen of kings. Her son Caesarion was the king of kings, her CO-ruler. Antonys and Cleopatras other kids were given titles of kings or queens of other Roman cities.
In 32 BC Antony finally divorced his wife Octavia. This forced the western part of the world, which Octavia was staying to recognize his relation with Cleopatra. Octavian, Octavias brother was very upset with Antony and made plans to go to war against Antony. He tried for many years but was not successful for a long time. Finally in the year 31 BC he defeated Antony. Upon doing so he captured Cleopatra. For she had no power without Antony, he did not mention to leave her the kingdom in his will. Octavian took Cleopatra in as his own slave. Caesarion was strangled. The other kids Cleopatra had with Antony were left to be cared for by Octavia, Antonys ex-wife.
Cleopatra did not like the fact that she had to be a slave for Octavian. She was so embarrassed. In the year 30 BC she committed suicide. She could not take the embarrassment. She died at the age of 39. She lived a short yet somewhat sweet life.
In Conclusion Cleopatra was an amazing woman. She went through so much to keep her grip in power. She survived a lot and was well known for many of the things she did and was involved in. Being ruler of a city at age 18 is amazing. She used her intelligence to always find ways to out wit everyone else. The deaths, the consorts, her love affairs and her ruling all build up to show how much of an amazing woman she really is. She did achieve her dying with which was to never be forgotten. She was one of the most remarkable rulers that ever lived. She is known as the last Pharaoh.
1. Cleopatra Website
2 . Cleopatra:Ptolemic Dynasty
3. Cleopatra and Juluis Caesar