Greek, Ancient: Κλεοπάτρα, Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ, Latin: Cleopatra Philopator
|Also Known As:||"Queen of the Nile", "Cleopatra VII"|
|Death:||Died in Alexandria, Egypt|
|Cause of death:||Suicide|
Daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes, King of Egypt and Cleopatra V Tryphaena
|Occupation:||Pharaoh, Queen, Dernière Reine d'Egypte, Inte gifta, Last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, fick ej gifta sig men levde ihop|
|Managed by:||Sveneric Rosell|
About Cleopatra VII Philopator, Pharoah of Egypt
Cleopatra VII Philopator (in Greek, Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ; January 69 BC – August 12, 30 BC) was the last effective pharaoh of Egypt's Ptolemaic dynasty. She originally shared power with her father Ptolemy XII and later with her brothers Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, whom she also married, but eventually gained sole rule. As pharaoh, she consummated a liaison with Gaius Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in name.
Cleopatra is by far one of the most ever famous queens of all times in ancient Egypt. Her story of love and death is very famous and she ruled Egypt and made it quite powerful at the time. She was highly educated and possessed an impressive intellect, being a student of philosophy and international relations.
Cleopatra was born in 69 B.C. in Alexandria. She was the third daughter in line to her father Ptolemy XII; she later had another sister and two younger brothers. Her younger brother Ptolemy XIII later reigned with her.
Cleopatra’s story is one of the most famous ever. Not only because of her great love, but because she is classified by historians to be the last Pharoah of Egypt. Cleopatra came to the throne after death of her two elder sisters and after death of her father whom was much hated by the Egyptian and had fled to Rome several years before.
During the two centuries that preceded Ptolemy XII death, the Ptolemies were allied with the Romans. The Ptolemies' strength was failing and the Roman Empire was rising. During the later rule of the Ptolemies, the Romans gained more and more control over Egypt. Tributes had to be paid to the Romans to keep them away from Egypt.
She came to reign in 51B.C.and was of 17 years of age. She was the only Ptolemic Pharoah to speak the Egyptian language. She also took on the Egyptian religion. She was very intelligent and was a shrewd politician with an extraordinary charisma. However, she was not beautiful.
She had amazing will-power; her struggle began after being exiled to Syria with her sister by her brother, husband and Co-regent Ptolemy XIII. When Cleopatra became co-regent, her world was crumbling down around her. Cyprus, Syria and other capitals were gone. There was anarchy abroad and famine at home.
Between 51 and 49 BC, Egypt was suffering from bad harvests and famine because of a drought which stopped the much needed Nile flooding. Regardless, she started an army from the Arab tribes which were east of Pelusium. During this time, she and her sister Arsinoe moved to Syria. They returned by way of Ascalon which may have been Cleopatra's temporary base.
In the meantime, Pompey had been defeated at Pharsalus in August of 48 BC. He headed for Alexandria hoping to find refuge with Ptolemy XIII, of whom Pompey was a senate-appointed guardian. Pompey did not realize how much his reputation had been destroyed by Pharsalus until it was too late.
She started to go to war with her brother. This occurred after the death of Pompey, who had sought refuge from Caesar to Egypt but was stabbed to death once he came ashore to Alexandria by Ptolemy’s advisors.
Caesar who was on Pompey’s tail, arrived in Alexandria 4 days later. There he acclaimed to be the ruler of Egypt bringing with him thirty-two hundred legionaries and eight hundred cavalry. He also brought twelve other soldiers who bore the insignia of the Roman government who carried a bundle of rods with an ax with a blade that projected out. This was considered a badge of authority that gave a clear hint of his intentions.
There were riots that followed in Alexandria. Ptolemy XIII was gone to Pelusium and Caesar placed himself in the royal palace and started giving out orders to make Ptolemy XIII return again.
Cleopatra’s cleverly let herself be invited to Caesar’s palace. Wrapped up in a carpet she was delivered to him and as the carpet was unwrapped she appeared to him.
Being powerfully seductive, she lured Ceasar before Ptolemy's arrival who upon seeing that they were in love, screamed out "Betrayal to all the Alexandrians".
The Alexandrian War was started when Pothinus called for Ptolemy XIII's soldiers in November and surrounded Caesar in Alexandria with twenty thousand men. During the war, parts of the Alexandrian Library and some of the warehouses were burned. However, Caesar did manage to capture the Pharos lighthouse, which kept his control of the harbor. Cleopatra's sister, Arsinoe, escaped from the palace and ran to Achillas. She was proclaimed the queen by the Macedonian mob and the army.
During the fighting, Caesar executed Pothinus and Achillas was murdered by Ganymede. Ptolemy XIII drowned in the Nile while he was trying to flee.
Alexandria surrendered to Caesar, who captured Arsinoe and restored Cleopatra on the throne.
Egyptian law did not allow a queen to rule without a king, so Cleopatra married another brother, Ptolemy XIV, but she was in love with Caesar. Caesar and Cleopatra spent
the next several months traveling along the Nile, where Caesar saw how the Egyptian people worshipped Cleopatra.
It was at that time that Cleopatra became pregnant with Caesars son. She later gave birth to a son, Ptolemy XV, called Caesarion or "Little Caesar."
Caesar returned to Rome in 46 BCE with Cleopatra and their newborn son, Caesarion. Caesar had only one other child.
Caesar was very popular with the Roman people. They named him dictator. Cleopatra was less popular with the Romans. She had called herself the "new Isis." Many Romans were unhappy that Caesar was marrying a foreigner.
On March 15, 44 BC a crowd of conspirators surrounded Caesar at a Senate meeting and stabbed him to death. Knowing that she too was in danger, Cleopatra quickly left Rome. Later her brother died and Cleopatra made her four-year-old son rule as the new king. She found Egypt suffering from plagues and famine. The Nile canals had been neglected during her absence which caused the harvests to be bad and the inundations low. The bad harvests continued from 43 until 41 BC.
Rome was in turmoil after Caesar's murder. Several armies competed for control. The two greatest were those of Mark Antony and Octavian. Octavian was the adopted son of Julius Caesar, but Mark Antony was believed to have led a larger army. When Antony asked Cleopatra to meet with him, Cleopatra decided that she had another opportunity to return to power both in Egypt, and in Rome.
Another episode of Cleopatra’s story of love is revealed in her story with Mark Anthony. Their story began when mark Antony asked Cleopatra to come to see him in Turkey. She knew that he could be easily dazzled by her glamour and drama.
He became immediately infatuated, had an affair that led to the birth of his twins, Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios. Four years later, Mark Antony came back to Cleopatra on his way to invade Parthia. He stayed in Alexandria.
Cleopatra then gave birth to another son; Ptolemy Philadelphus Mark Anthony gave her control of land which was very essential to Egypt. He gave her Cyprus, the Siciliian coast, Phoenicia, Coele-Syria, Judea and Arabia. This allowed Egypt to be able to build ships from the lumber. Egypt then built a large fleet. Antony had planned a campaign against the Parthians. He obviously needed Cleopatra's support for this and in 36 BC, he was defeated. He became more indebted to her than ever.
However, tragedy was now being plotted in Rome. Mark Antony’s wife, Octavia was frustrated, angry and humiliated, especially after Mark Antony starting to give his illegitimate children royal titles.
Ptolemy XV (Caesarion) was made the co-ruler with his mother and was called the King of Kings. Cleopatra was called the Queen of Kings, which was a higher position than that of Caesarion's. Alexander Helios, which meant the sun, was named Great King of the Seleucid Empire when it was at its highest. Cleopatra Selene, which meant the moon, was called Queen of Cyrenaica and Crete. Cleopatra and Antony's son, Ptolemy Philadelphos was named King of Syria and Asia Minor at the age of two. Cleopatra had dreams of becoming the Empress of the world.
In 32 to 31 BC, Antony finally divorced Octavia. This forced the Western part of the world to recognize his relationship with Cleopatra. He had already put her name and face on a Roman coin, the silver denarii. The denarii was widely circulated throughout the Mediterranean. By doing this, Antony's relationship with the Roman allegiance was ended and Octavian decided to publish Antony's will. Octavian then formally declared war against Cleopatra.
Octavian's navy severely defeated Antony in Actium, which is in Greece, on September 2, 31 BC. Octavian's admiral, Agrippa, planned and carried out the defeat. In less than a year, Antony half-heartedly defended Alexandria against the advancing army of Octavian. After the defeat, Antony committed suicide by falling on his own sword in 30 BC.
CLEOPATRA’S death is one of the most poignant ever. After arranging Antony’s funeral, she and her children were taken prisoners and Cleopatra afraid of being humiliated decided to take her life.
She would not live degraded, so she had an asp, which was an Egyptian cobra, brought to her hidden in a basket of figs. She arranged a big delicious meal and asked for figs.
When the guards entered to see Cleopatra she was already dead. They found the 39-year old queen dead on her golden bed, with her maid Iras dying at her feet. Her other maid, Charmion, was adjusting Cleopatra's crown, and she too fell over dead. Two pricks were found on Cleopatra's arm, and it was believed that she had allowed herself to be bitten by an asp (a kind of poisonous snake). As she had wished, she was buried beside Antony.
She died on August 12, 30 BC at the age of 39. The Egyptian religion declared that death by snakebite would secure immortality. With this, she achieved her dying wish, to not be forgotten.
The only other ruler to cast a shadow on the fascination with Cleopatra was Alexander who was another Macedonian. After Cleopatra's death, Caesarion was strangled and the other children of Cleopatra were raised by Antony's wife, Octavia.
Her death was the mark of the end of the Egyptian Monarchs. The Roman Emperors came into to rule in Egypt.
Though Cleopatra bore the ancient Egyptian title of pharaoh, the Ptolemaic dynasty was Hellenistic, having been founded 300 years before by Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general of Alexander the Great. As such Cleopatra's language was the Greek spoken by the Hellenic aristocracy, though she was reputed to be the first ruler of the dynasty to learn Egyptian. She also adopted common Egyptian beliefs and deities. Her patron goddess was Isis, and thus during her reign it was believed that she was the re-incarnation and embodiment of the goddess of wisdom. Her death marks the end of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Hellenistic period and the beginning of the Roman era in the eastern Mediterranean.
To this day Cleopatra remains a popular figure in Western culture. Her legacy survives in numerous works of art and the many dramatizations of her story in literature and other media, including William Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, Jules Massenet's opera Cléopâtre and the 1963 film Cleopatra. In most depictions, Cleopatra is put forward as a great beauty and her successive conquests of the world's most powerful men is taken to be proof of her aesthetic and sexual appeal. In his Pensées, philosopher Blaise Pascal contends that Cleopatra's classically beautiful profile changed world history: "Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed."
Cleopatra VII Philopator, Queen of Egypt, was born circa October, 69 BC, Alexandria, Egypt; died, August 12, 30 BC, Alexandria, Egypt.
ID: I62179 Name: CLEOPATRA @ VII OF EGYPT Prefix: Queen Given Name: CLEOPATRA @ VII Surname: OF EGYPT Sex: F _UID: 1818155B624DB140B12BFB8D58F87A0B795D Change Date: 14 Aug 2004 Note: Cleopatra (69-30 bc), ill-fated queen of Egypt (51-30 bc), celebrated for her love affairs with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Cleopatra, or more precisely, Cleopatra VII, was the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes, king of Egypt. On her father's death in 51 bc Cleopatra, then about 17 years old, and her brother, Ptolemy XIII, a child of about 12 years, succeeded jointly to the throne of Egypt with the provision that they should marry. In the third year of their reign Ptolemy, encouraged by his advisers, assumed sole control of the government and drove Cleopatra into exile. She promptly gathered an army in Syria but was unable to assert her claim until the arrival at Alexandria of Julius Caesar, who became her lover and espoused her cause. He was for a time hard pressed by the Egyptians but ultimately triumphed, and in 47 bc Ptolemy XIII was killed. Caesar proclaimed Cleopatra queen of Egypt.
Cleopatra was then forced by custom to marry her younger brother, Ptolemy XIV, then about 11 years old. After settling their joint government on a secure basis, Cleopatra went to Rome, where she lived as Caesar's mistress. She gave birth to a son, Caesarion, later Ptolemy XV; it is believed that Caesar was his father. After Caesar's assassination in 44 bc, Cleopatra is said to have poisoned Ptolemy XIV. She then returned to Egypt and made Caesarion her coregent. Because Cleopatra hesitated to take sides in the civil war following Caesar's death, Mark Antony summoned her to meet him to explain her conduct. He fell in love with her and returned with her to Egypt. After living with her for some time, Antony was compelled to return to Rome, where he married Octavia, a sister of Caesar's heir Octavian, later Roman emperor as Augustus. After Antony's departure Cleopatra bore him twins. In 36 bc Antony went to the East as commander of an expedition against the Parthians. He sent for Cleopatra, who joined him at Antioch. They were married, and a third child was born. In 34 bc, after a successful campaign against the Parthians, he celebrated his triumph at Alexandria. He continued to reside in Egypt. In 32 bc, when Octavian declared war against Cleopatra and Antony, Antony divorced Octavia.
Cleopatra insisted on taking part in the campaign. At the naval engagement at Actium in 31 bc, believing Antony's defeat to be inevitable, she withdrew her fleet from action, and she and Antony fled to Alexandria. On the approach of Octavian, Antony, deceived by a false report of the death of the queen, committed suicide. Hearing that Octavian intended to exhibit her in his triumph at Rome, Cleopatra killed herself, probably by poison, or, according to an old tradition, by the bite of an asp. Caesarion, the last member of the Ptolemy dynasty, was put to death by Octavian, and Egypt subsequently became a Roman province.
Cleopatra's life has formed the basis for many literary works, the most notable of which are the plays Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare, All for Love by the English dramatist John Dryden, and Caesar and Cleopatra by the British playwright George Bernard Shaw.
© 1993-2003 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Birth: 69 BC Death: 30 BC
Father: Ptolemy XIII of Egypt Mother: Cleopatra V Tryphaena of Egypt
Marriage 1 MARC @ ANTHONY OF ROME b: 83 BC Married: Children
Cleopatra Selene b: 40 BC
Her end: Committed suicide by a snake's bite.
Cleopatra VII Philopator (in Greek, Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ; (Late 69 BC – August 12, 30 BC) was the last person to rule Egypt as an Egyptian pharaoh – after her death Egypt became a Roman province.
She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Ancient Egypt, and therefore was a descendant of one of Alexander the Great's generals who had seized control over Egypt after Alexander's death. Most Ptolemeis spoke Greek and refused to learn Egyptian, which is the reason that Greek as well as Egyptian languages were used on official court documents like the Rosetta Stone. By contrast, Cleopatra learned Egyptian and represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian Goddess.
Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler. As pharaoh, she consummated a liaison with Gaius Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in name.
After Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar's legal heir, Gaius Iulius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Her unions with her brothers produced no children. After losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian's forces, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra followed suit, according to tradition killing herself by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC. She was briefly outlived by Caesarion, who was declared pharaoh, but he was soon killed on Octavian's orders. Egypt became the Roman province of Aegyptus.
Though Cleopatra bore the ancient Egyptian title of pharaoh, the Ptolemaic dynasty was Hellenistic, having been founded 300 years before by Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general of Alexander the Great. As such, Cleopatra's language was the Greek spoken by the Hellenic aristocracy, though she was reputed to be the first ruler of the dynasty to learn Egyptian. She also adopted common Egyptian beliefs and deities. Her patron deity was Isis, and thus, during her reign, it was believed that she was the re-incarnation and embodiment of the goddess. Her death marked the end of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Hellenistic period and the beginning of the Roman era in the eastern Mediterranean.
To this day, Cleopatra remains a popular figure in Western culture. Her legacy survives in numerous works of art and the many dramatizations of her story in literature and other media, including William Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, Jules Massenet's opera Cléopâtre and the 1963 film Cleopatra. In most depictions, Cleopatra is put forward as a great beauty and her successive conquests of the world's most powerful men are taken to be proof of her aesthetic and sexual appeal. In his Pensées, philosopher Blaise Pascal contends that Cleopatra's classically beautiful profile changed world history: "Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed."
Biography Accession to the throne The identity of Cleopatra's mother is unknown, but she is generally believed to be Cleopatra V Tryphaena of Egypt, the sister or cousin and wife of Ptolemy XII, or possibly another Ptolemaic family member who was the daughter of Ptolemy X and Cleopatra Berenice III Philopator if Cleopatra V was not the daughter of Ptolemy X and Berenice III. Cleopatra's father Auletes was a direct descendant of Alexander the Great's general, Ptolemy I Soter, son of Arsinoe and Lacus, both of Macedon.
Centralization of power and corruption led to uprisings in and the losses of Cyprus and Cyrenaica, making Ptolemy's reign one of the most calamitous of the dynasty. When Ptolemy went to Rome with Cleopatra, Cleopatra VI Tryphaena seized the crown but died shortly afterwards in suspicious circumstances. It is believed, though not proven by historical sources, that Berenice IV poisoned her so she could assume sole rulership. Regardless of the cause, she did until Ptolemy Auletes returned in 55 BC, with Roman support, capturing Alexandria aided by Roman general Aulus Gabinius. Berenice was imprisoned and executed shortly afterwards, her head allegedly being sent to the royal court on the decree of her father, the king. Cleopatra was now, at age 14, put as joint regent and deputy of her father, although her power was likely to have been severely limited.
Ptolemy XII died in March 51 BC, thus by his will making the 18-year-old Cleopatra and her brother, the 10-year-old Ptolemy XIII joint monarchs. The first three years of their reign were difficult, due to economic difficulties, famine, deficient floods of the Nile, and political conflicts. Although Cleopatra was married to her young brother, she quickly made it clear that she had no intention of sharing power with him.
In August 51 BC, relations between Cleopatra and Ptolemy completely broke down. Cleopatra dropped Ptolemy's name from official documents and her face appeared alone on coins, which went against Ptolemaic tradition of female rulers being subordinate to male co-rulers. In 50 BC Cleopatra came into a serious conflict with the Gabiniani, powerful Roman troops of Aulus Gabinius who had left them in Egypt to protect Ptolemy XII after his restoration to the throne in 55 BC. This conflict was one of the main causes for Cleopatra's soon following loss of power.
The sole reign of Cleopatra was finally ended by a cabal of courtiers, led by the eunuch Pothinus, removing Cleopatra from power and making Ptolemy sole ruler in circa 48 BC (or possibly earlier, as a decree exists from 51 BC with Ptolemy's name alone). She tried to raise a rebellion around Pelusium, but she was soon forced to flee with her only remaining sister, Arsinoë.
Relation with Julius Caesar Assassination of Pompey While Cleopatra was in exile, Pompey became embroiled in the Roman civil war. In the autumn of 48 BC, Pompey fled from the forces of Caesar to Alexandria, seeking sanctuary. Ptolemy, only fifteen years old at that time, had set up a throne for himself on the harbour, from where he watched as on September 28, 48 BC, Pompey was murdered by one of his former officers, now in Ptolemaic service. He was beheaded in front of his wife and children, who were on the ship from which he had just disembarked. Ptolemy is thought to have ordered the death to ingratiate himself with Caesar, thus becoming an ally of Rome, to which Egypt was in debt at the time, though this act proved a miscalculation on Ptolemy's part. When Caesar arrived in Egypt two days later, Ptolemy presented him with Pompey's severed head; Caesar was enraged. Although he was Caesar's political enemy, Pompey was a Consul of Rome and the widower of Caesar's only legitimate daughter, Julia (who died in childbirth with Pompey's son). Caesar seized the Egyptian capital and imposed himself as arbiter between the rival claims of Ptolemy and Cleopatra.
Relationship with Julius Caesar Eager to take advantage of Julius Caesar's anger toward Ptolemy, Cleopatra had herself smuggled secretly into the palace to meet with Caesar. One legend claims she entered past Ptolemy’s guards rolled up in a carpet. She became Caesar’s mistress, and nine months after their first meeting, in 47 BC, Cleopatra gave birth to their son, Ptolemy Caesar, nicknamed Caesarion, which means "little Caesar".
At this point Caesar abandoned his plans to annex Egypt, instead backing Cleopatra's claim to the throne. After a war lasting six months between the party of Ptolemy XIII and the Roman army of Caesar, Ptolemy XIII was drowned in the Nile and Caesar restored Cleopatra to her throne, with another younger brother Ptolemy XIV as her new co-ruler.
Although Cleopatra was 21 years old when they met and Caesar was 52, they became lovers during Caesar’s stay in Egypt between 48 BC and 47 BC. Cleopatra claimed Caesar was the father of her son and wished him to name the boy his heir, but Caesar refused, choosing his grandnephew Octavian instead. During this relationship, it is also rumored that Cleopatra introduced Caesar to her astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria, who first proposed the idea of leap day and leap years.
Cleopatra, Ptolemy XIV and Caesarion visited Rome in summer 46 BC, where the Egyptian queen resided in one of Caesar's country houses. The relationship between Cleopatra and Caesar was obvious to the Roman people and it was a scandal, because the Roman dictator was already married to Calpurnia Pisonis. But Caesar even erected a golden statue of Cleopatra represented as Isis in the temple of Venus Genetrix (the mythical ancestress of Caesar's family), which was situated at the Forum Julium. The Roman orator Cicero said in his preserved letters that he hated the foreign queen. Cleopatra and her entourage were in Rome when Caesar was assassinated on 15 March, 44 BC. She returned with her relatives to Egypt. When Ptolemy XIV died – allegedly poisoned by his older sister - Cleopatra made Caesarion her co-regent and successor and gave him the epithets Theos Philopator Philometor (= Father- and motherloving God).
Cleopatra in the Roman Civil War In the Roman civil war between the Caesarian party – led by Mark Antony and Octavian – and the party of the assassins of Caesar – led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus – Cleopatra sided with the Caesarian party because of her past. Brutus and Cassius left Italy and sailed to the East of the Roman Empire, where they conquered large areas and established their military bases. At the beginning of 43 BC Cleopatra formed an alliance with the leader of the Caesarian party in the East, Publius Cornelius Dolabella, who recognized Caesarion as her co-ruler. But soon Dolabella was encircled in Laodicea and committed suicide (July 43 BC).
Now Cassius wanted to invade Egypt to seize the treasures of that country and to punish the queen for her refusal of Cassius’ request to send him supplies and her support for Dolabella. Egypt seemed an easy booty because the land did not have strong land forces and there was famine and an epidemic. Cassius finally wanted to prevent Cleopatra from bringing a strong reinforcement for Antony and Octavian. But he could not execute the invasion of Egypt because at the end of 43 BC Brutus summoned him back to Smyrna. Cassius tried to blockade Cleopatra’s way to the Caesarians. For this purpose Lucius Staius Murcus moved with 60 ships and a legion of elite troops into position at Cape Matapan in the south of the Peloponnese. Nevertheless Cleopatra sailed with her fleet from Alexandria to the west along the Libyan coast to join the Caesarian leaders but she was forced to return to Egypt because her ships were damaged by a violent storm and she became ill. Staius Murcus learned of the misfortune of the queen and saw parts of her wrecked ships at the coast of Greece. He then sailed with his ships into the Adriatic Sea.
Cleopatra and Mark Antony In 41 BC, Mark Antony, one of the triumvirs who ruled Rome in the power vacuum following Caesar's death, sent his intimate friend Quintus Dellius to Egypt. Dellius had to summon Cleopatra to Tarsus to meet there Antony and answer questions about her loyalty. During the Roman civil war she allegedly had paid much money to Cassius. It seems that in reality Antony wanted Cleopatra’s promise to support his intended war against the Parthians. Cleopatra arrived in great state, and so charmed Antony that he chose to spend the winter of 41 BC–40 BC with her in Alexandria.
To safeguard herself and Caesarion, she had Antony order the death of her sister Arsinoe, who was living at the temple of Artemis in Ephesus, which was under Roman control. The execution was carried out in 41 BC on the steps of the temple, and this violation of temple sanctuary scandalised Rome. Cleopatra had also executed her strategos of Cyprus, Serapion, who had supported Cassius against her intentions.
On 25 December 40 BC, Cleopatra gave birth to twins fathered by Antony, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II. Four years later, Antony visited Alexandria again en route to make war with the Parthians. He renewed his relationship with Cleopatra, and from this point on Alexandria would be his home. He married Cleopatra according to the Egyptian rite (a letter quoted in Suetonius suggests this), although he was at the time married to Octavia Minor, sister of his fellow triumvir Octavian. He and Cleopatra had another child, Ptolemy Philadelphus.
At the Donations of Alexandria in late 34 BC, following Antony's conquest of Armenia, Cleopatra and Caesarion were crowned co-rulers of Egypt and Cyprus; Alexander Helios was crowned ruler of Armenia, Media, and Parthia; Cleopatra Selene II was crowned ruler of Cyrenaica and Libya; and Ptolemy Philadelphus was crowned ruler of Phoenicia, Syria, and Cilicia. Cleopatra was also given the title of "Queen of Kings" by Antonius. Her enemies in Rome feared that Cleopatra "was planning a war of revenge that was to array all the East against Rome, establish herself as empress of the world at Rome, cast justice from Capitolium, and inaugurate a new universal kingdom." Caesarion was not only elevated having coregency with Cleopatra, but also proclaimed with many titles, including god, son of god and king of kings, and was depicted as Horus. Egyptians thought Cleopatra to be a reincarnation of goddess Isis, as she called herself (Nea Isis).
Relations between Antony and Octavian, disintegrating for several years, finally broke down in 33 BC, and Octavian convinced the Senate to levy war against Egypt. In 31 BC Antony's forces faced the Romans in a naval action off the coast of Actium. Cleopatra was present with a fleet of her own. Popular legend states that when she saw that Antony's poorly equipped and manned ships were losing to the Romans' superior vessels, she took flight and that Antony abandoned the battle to follow her, but no contemporary evidence states this was the case. Following the Battle of Actium, Octavian invaded Egypt. As he approached Alexandria, Antony's armies deserted to Octavian on August 1, 30 BC.
There are a number of unverifiable stories about Cleopatra, of which one of the best known is that, at one of the lavish dinners she shared with Antony, she playfully bet him that she could spend ten million sesterces on a dinner. He accepted the bet. The next night, she had a conventional, unspectacular meal served; he was ridiculing this, when she ordered the second course — only a cup of strong vinegar. She then removed one of her priceless pearl earrings, dropped it into the vinegar, allowed it to dissolve, and drank the mixture. The earliest report of this story comes from Pliny the Elder and dates to about 100 years after the banquet described would have happened. The calcium carbonate in pearls does dissolve in vinegar, but slowly unless the pearl is first crushed.
Death The ancient sources, particularly the Roman ones, are in general agreement that Cleopatra killed herself by inducing an Egyptian cobra to bite her. The oldest source is Strabo, who was alive at the time of the event, and might even have been in Alexandria. He says that there are two stories: that she applied a toxic ointment, or that she was bitten by an asp. Several Roman poets, writing within ten years of the event, all mention bites by two asps, as does Florus, a historian, some 150 years later. Velleius, sixty years after the event, also refers to an asp. Other authors have questioned these historical accounts, stating that it is possible that Augustus had her killed.
In 2010, the German historian Christoph Schaefer challenged all other theories, declaring that the queen had actually been poisoned and died from drinking a mixture of poisons. After studying historic texts and consulting with toxicologists, the historian concluded that the asp could not have caused a slow and pain free death, since the asp (Egyptian cobra) venom paralyses parts of the body, starting with the eyes, before causing death. Schaefer and his toxicologist Dietrich Mebs decided Cleopatra used a mixture of hemlock, wolfsbane and opium.
Plutarch, writing about 130 years after the event, reports that Octavian succeeded in capturing Cleopatra in her Mausoleum after the death of Antony. He ordered his freedman Epaphroditus to guard her to prevent her from committing suicide because he allegedly wanted to present her in his triumph. But Cleopatra was able to deceive Epaphroditus and kill herself nevertheless. Plutarch states that she was found dead, her handmaiden, Iras dying at her feet, and another handmaiden, Charmion, adjusting her crown before she herself falls. He then goes on to state that an asp was concealed in a basket of figs that was brought to her by a rustic, and, finding it after eating a few figs, she held out her arm for it to bite. Other stories state that it was hidden in a vase, and that she poked it with a spindle until it got angry enough to bite her on the arm. Finally, he eventually writes, in Octavian's triumphal march back in Rome, an effigy of Cleopatra that has an asp clinging to it is part of the parade.
Suetonius, writing about the same time as Plutarch, also says Cleopatra died from an asp bite.
Shakespeare gave us the final part of the image that has come down to us, Cleopatra clutching the snake to her breast. Before him, it was generally agreed that she was bitten on the arm.
Plutarch tells us of the death of Antony. When his armies desert him and join with Octavian, he cries out that Cleopatra has betrayed him. She, fearing his wrath, locks herself in her monument with only her two handmaidens and sends messengers to Antony that she is dead. Believing them, Antony stabs himself in the stomach with his sword, and lies on his couch to die. Instead, the blood flow stops, and he begs any and all to finish him off.
Another messenger comes from Cleopatra with instructions to bear him to her, and he, rejoicing that Cleopatra is still alive, consents. She won't open the door, but tosses ropes out of a window. After Antony is securely trussed up, she and her handmaidens haul him up into the monument. This nearly finishes him off. After dragging him in through the window, they lay him on a couch. Cleopatra tears off her clothes and covers him with them. She raves and cries, beats her breasts and engages in self-mutilation. Antony tells her to calm down, asks for a glass of wine, and dies upon finishing it.
The site of their Mausoleum is uncertain, though it is thought by the Egyptian Antiquities Service, to be in or near the temple of Taposiris Magna south west of Alexandria.
Cleopatra's son by Caesar, Caesarion, was proclaimed pharaoh by the Egyptians, after Alexandria fell to Octavian. Caesarion was captured and killed, his fate reportedly sealed when one of Octavian's advisers paraphrased Homer: "It is bad to have too many Caesars." This ended not just the Hellenistic line of Egyptian pharaohs, but the line of all Egyptian pharaohs. The three children of Cleopatra and Antony were spared and taken back to Rome where they were taken care of by Antony's wife, Octavia Minor. The daughter, Cleopatra Selene, was married by arrangements by Octavian to Juba II of Mauretania.
Character and cultural depictions Cleopatra was regarded as a great beauty, even in the ancient world. In his Life of Antony, Plutarch remarks that "judging by the proofs which she had had before this of the effect of her beauty upon Caius Caesar and Gnaeus the son of Pompey, she had hopes that she would more easily bring Antony to her feet. For Caesar and Pompey had known her when she was still a girl and inexperienced in affairs, but she was going to visit Antony at the very time when women have the most brilliant beauty". Later in the work, however, Plutarch indicates that "her beauty, as we are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her." Rather, what ultimately made Cleopatra attractive were her wit, charm and "sweetness in the tones of her voice."
Cassius Dio also spoke of Cleopatra's allure: "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 knowledge of how to make herself agreeable to every one. Being brilliant to look upon and to listen to, with the power to subjugate every one, even a love-sated man already past his prime, she thought that it would be in keeping with her role to meet Caesar, and she reposed in her beauty all her claims to the throne."
These accounts influenced later cultural depictions of Cleopatra, which typically present her using her charms to influence the most powerful men in the Western world.
Ancestry The high degree of inbreeding amongst the Ptolemies can be seen from the ancestry of Cleopatra VII. She only had four great-grandparents and six (out of a possible 16) great-great-grandparents (furthermore, four of those six were descended from the other two).
Last pharaoh of Egypt.
Daughter of the Pharaoh
Cleopatra VII was born in 69 B.C. in Alexandria, which was then the capital of Egypt. Her father was Egypt's pharaoh, Ptolemy XII, nicknamed Auletes or "Flute-Player." Cleopatra's mother was probably Auletes's sister, Cleopatra V Tryphaena. (It was commonplace for members of the Ptolemaic dynasty to marry their siblings.)
There was another Cleopatra in the family - Cleopatra VII's elder sister, Cleopatra VI. Cleopatra VII also had an older sister named Berenice; a younger sister, Arsinoe; and two younger brothers, both called Ptolemy. The family was not truly Egyptian, but Macedonian. They were descended from Ptolemy I, a general of Alexander the Great who became king of Egypt after Alexander's death in 323 B.C.
Ptolemy XII was a weak and cruel ruler, and in 58 B.C. the people of Alexandria rebelled and overthrew him. He fled to Rome while his eldest daughter, Berenice, took the throne. She married a cousin but soon had him strangled so that she could marry another man, Archelaus. At some point during Berenice's three-year reign Cleopatra VI died of unknown causes. In 55 B.C. Ptolemy XII reclaimed his throne with the help of the Roman general Pompey. Berenice was beheaded (her husband was executed, as well).
Cleopatra VII was now the pharaoh's oldest child. When her father died in 51 B.C., leaving his children in Pompey's care, Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIII inherited the throne.
Queen of Egypt
Cleopatra was 17 or 18 when she became the queen of Egypt. She was far from beautiful, despite her glamorous image today. She is depicted on ancient coins with a long hooked nose and masculine features. Yet she was clearly a very seductive woman. She had an enchantingly musical voice and exuded charisma. She was also highly intelligent. She spoke nine languages (she was the first Ptolemy pharaoh who could actually speak Egyptian!) and proved to be a shrewd politician.
In compliance with Egyptian tradition Cleopatra married her brother and co-ruler, Ptolemy XIII, who was about 12 at the time. But it was a marriage of convenience only, and Ptolemy was pharaoh in name only. For three years he remained in the background while Cleopatra ruled alone.
Ptolemy's advisors - led by a eunuch named Pothinus - resented Cleopatra's independence and conspired against her. In 48 B.C. they stripped Cleopatra of her power and she was forced into exile in Syria. Her sister Arsinoe went with her.
Cleopatra and Caesar
Determined to regain her throne, Cleopatra amassed an army on Egypt's border. At this time Pompey was vying with Julius Caesar for control of the Roman Empire. After losing the battle of Pharsalos he sailed to Alexandria, pursued by Caesar, to seek Ptolemy's protection. But Ptolemy's advisors thought it would be safer to side with Caesar, and when Pompey arrived he was stabbed to death while the pharaoh watched.
Three days later Caesar reached Alexandria. Before he entered the city, Ptolemy's courtiers brought him a gift - Pompey's head. But Pompey had once been Caesar's friend, and Caesar was appalled by his brutal murder. He marched into the city, seized control of the palace, and began issuing orders. Both Ptolemy and Cleopatra were to dismiss their armies and meet with Caesar, who would settle their dispute. But Cleopatra knew that if she entered Alexandria openly, Ptolemy's henchmen would kill her. So she had herself smuggled to Caesar inside an oriental rug. When the rug was unrolled, Cleopatra tumbled out. It is said that Caesar was bewitched by her charm, and became her lover that very night.
When Ptolemy saw Caesar and Cleopatra together the next day, he was furious. He stormed out of the palace, shouting that he had been betrayed. Caesar had Ptolemy arrested, but the pharaoh's army - led by the eunuch Pothinus and Cleopatra's sister Arsinoe - laid seige to the palace.
In hopes of appeasing the attackers Caesar released Ptolemy XIII, but the Alexandrian War continued for almost six months. It ended when Pothinus was killed in battle and Ptolemy XIII drowned in the Nile while trying to flee. Alexandria surrendered to Caesar, who captured Arsinoe and restored Cleopatra to her throne. Cleopatra then married her brother Ptolemy XIV, who was eleven or twelve years old.
Soon after their victory Cleopatra and Caesar enjoyed a leisurely two-month cruise on the Nile. The Roman historian Suetonius wrote that they would have sailed all the way to Ethiopia if Caesar's troops had agreed to follow him. Cleopatra may have become pregnant at this time. She later gave birth to a son, Ptolemy XV, called Caesarion or "Little Caesar." It has been suggested that Caesar wasn't really Caesarion's father - despite his promiscuity, Caesar had only one other child - but Caesarion strongly resembled Caesar, and Caesar acknowledged Caesarion as his son.
After the cruise Caesar returned to Rome, leaving three legions in Egypt to protect Cleopatra. A year later he invited Cleopatra to visit him in Rome. She arrived in the autumn of 46 B.C., accompanied by Caesarion and her young brother/husband, Ptolemy XIV. In September Caesar celebrated his war triumphs by parading through the streets of Rome with his prisoners, including Cleopatra's sister Arsinoe. (Caesar spared Arsinoe's life, but later Mark Antony had her killed at Cleopatra's request.)
Cleopatra lived in Caesar's villa near Rome for almost two years. Caesar showered her with gifts and titles. He even had a statue of her erected in the temple of Venus Genetrix. His fellow Romans were scandalized by his extra-marital affair (Caesar was married to a woman named Calpurnia). It was rumored that Caesar intended to pass a law allowing him to marry Cleopatra and make their son his heir. It was also rumored that Caesar - who had accepted a lifetime dictatorship and sat on a golden throne in the Senate - intended to become the king of Rome.
On March 15, 44 B.C. a crowd of conspirators surrounded Caesar at a Senate meeting and stabbed him to death. Knowing that she too was in danger, Cleopatra quickly left Rome with her entourage. Before or immediately after their return to Egypt, Ptolemy XIV died, possibly poisoned at Cleopatra's command. Cleopatra then made Caesarion her co-regent.
Cleopatra and Mark Antony
Caesar's assassination caused anarchy and civil war in Rome. Eventually the empire was divided among three men: Caesar's great-nephew Octavian, who later became the emperor Augustus; Marcus Lepidus; and Marcus Antonius, better known today as Mark Antony.
In 42 B.C. Mark Antony summoned Cleopatra to Tarsus (in modern-day Turkey) to question her about whether she had assisted his enemies. Cleopatra arrived in style on a barge with a gilded stern, purple sails, and silver oars. The boat was sailed by her maids, who were dressed as sea nymphs. Cleopatra herself was dressed as Venus, the goddess of love. She reclined under a gold canopy, fanned by boys in Cupid costumes.
Antony, an unsophisticated, pleasure-loving man, was impressed by this blatant display of luxury, as Cleopatra had intended. Cleopatra entertained him on her barge that night, and the next night Antony invited her to supper, hoping to outdo her in magnificence. He failed, but joked about it in his good-natured, vulgar way. Cleopatra didn't seem to mind his tasteless sense of humor - in fact, she joined right in. Like Caesar before him, Antony was enthralled. Forgetting his responsibilities, he accompanied Cleopatra to Alexandria and spent the winter with her there.
The Greek writer Plutarch wrote of Cleopatra, "Plato admits four sorts of flattery, but she had a thousand. Were Antony serious or disposed to mirth, she had at any moment some new delight or charm to meet his wishes; at every turn she was upon him, and let him escape her neither by day nor by night. She played at dice with him, drank with him, hunted with him; and when he exercised in arms, she was there to see. At night she would go rambling with him to disturb and torment people at their doors and windows, dressed like a servant-woman, for Antony also went in servant's disguise . . . However, the Alexandrians in general liked it all well enough, and joined good-humouredly and kindly in his frolic and play."
Finally, "rousing himself from sleep, and shaking off the fumes of wine," Antony said goodbye to Cleopatra and returned to his duties as a ruler of the Roman empire. Six months later Cleopatra gave birth to twins, Cleopatra Selene and Alexander Helios. It was four years before she saw their father again. During that time Antony married Octavian's half-sister, Octavia. They had three children.
In 37 B.C., while on his way to invade Parthia, Antony enjoyed another rendezvous with Cleopatra. He hurried through his military campaign and raced back to Cleopatra. From then on Alexandria was his home, and Cleopatra was his life. He married her in 36 B.C. and she gave birth to another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus.
Meanwhile, back in Rome, Octavia remained loyal to her bigamous husband. She decided to visit Antony, and when she reached Athens she received a letter from him saying that he would meet her there. However, Cleopatra was determined to keep Antony away from his other wife. She cried and fainted and starved herself and got her way. Antony cancelled his trip, and Octavia returned home without seeing her husband.
The Roman people were disgusted by the way Antony had treated Octavia. They were also angry to hear that Cleopatra and Antony were calling themselves gods (the New Isis and the New Dionysus). Worst of all, in 34 B.C. Antony made Alexander Helios the king of Armenia, Cleopatra Selene the queen of Cyrenaica and Crete, and Ptolemy Philadelphus the king of Syria. Caesarion was proclaimed the "King of Kings," and Cleopatra was the "Queen of Kings."
Outraged, Octavian convinced the Roman Senate to declare war on Egypt. In 31 B.C. Antony's forces fought the Romans in a sea battle off the coast of Actium, Greece. Cleopatra was there with sixty ships of her own. When she saw that Antony's cumbersome, badly-manned galleys were losing to the Romans' lighter, swifter boats, she fled the scene. Antony abandoned his men to follow her. Although it is possible that they had prearranged their retreat, the Romans saw it as proof that Antony was enslaved by his love of Cleopatra, unable to think or act on his own.
For three days Antony sat alone in the prow of Cleopatra's ship, refusing to see or speak to her. They returned to Egypt, where Antony lived alone for a time, brooding, while Cleopatra prepared for an invasion by Rome. When Antony received word that his forces had surrendered at Actium and his allies had gone over to Octavian, he left his solitary home and returned to Cleopatra to party away their final days.
Cleopatra began experimenting with poisons to learn which would cause the most painless death. She also built a mausoleum to which she moved all of her gold, silver, emeralds, pearls, ebony, ivory, and other treasure.
In 30 B.C. Octavian reached Alexandria. Mark Antony marched his army out of the city to meet the enemy. He stopped on high ground to watch what he expected would be a naval battle between his fleet and the Roman fleet. Instead he saw his fleet salute the Romans with their oars and join them. At this Antony's cavalry also deserted him. His infantry was soon defeated and Antony returned to the city, shouting that Cleopatra had betrayed him. Terrified that he would harm her, Cleopatra fled to the monument that housed her treasures and locked herself in, ordering her servants to tell Antony she was dead. Believing it, Antony cried out, "Now, Antony, why delay longer? Fate has snatched away your only reason for living."
He went to his room and opened his coat, exclaiming that he would soon be with Cleopatra. He ordered a servant named Eros to kill him, but Eros killed himself instead. "Well done, Eros," Antony said, "you show your master how to do what you didn't have the heart to do yourself." Antony stabbed himself in the stomach and passed out on a couch. When he woke up he begged his servants to put him out of his misery, but they ran away. At last Cleopatra's secretary came and told him Cleopatra wanted to see him.
Overjoyed to hear Cleopatra was alive, Antony had himself carried to her mausoleum. Cleopatra was afraid to open the door because of the approach of Octavian's army, but she and her two serving women let down ropes from a window and pulled him up. Distraught, Cleopatra laid Antony on her bed and beat her breasts, calling him her lord, husband and emperor. Antony told her not to pity him, but to remember his past happiness. Then he died.
The Death of Cleopatra
When Octavian and his men reached her monument Cleopatra refused to let them in. She negotiated with them through the barred door, demanding that her kingdom be given to her children. Octavian ordered one man to keep her talking while others set up ladders and climbed through the window. When Cleopatra saw the men she pulled out a dagger and tried to stab herself, but she was disarmed and taken prisoner. Her children were also taken prisoner and were treated well.
Octavian allowed Cleopatra to arrange Antony's funeral. She buried him with royal splendor. After the funeral she took to her bed, sick with grief. She wanted to kill herself, but Octavian kept her under close guard. One day he visited her and she flung herself at his feet, nearly naked, and told him she wanted to live. Octavian was lulled into a false sense of security.
Cleopatra was determined to die - perhaps because she had lost Mark Antony, perhaps because she knew Octavian intended to humiliate her, as her sister Arsinoe had been humiliated, by marching her through Rome in chains. With Octavian's permission she visited Antony's tomb. Then she returned to her mausoleum, took a bath, and ordered a feast. While the meal was being prepared a man arrived at her monument with a basket of figs. The guards checked the basket and found nothing suspicious, so they allowed the man to deliver it to Cleopatra.
After she had eaten, Cleopatra wrote a letter, sealed it, and sent it to Octavian. He opened it and found Cleopatra's plea that he would allow her to be buried in Antony's tomb. Alarmed, Octavian sent messengers to alert her guards that Cleopatra planned to commit suicide. But it was too late. They found the 39-year old queen dead on her golden bed, with her maid Iras dying at her feet. Her other maid, Charmion, was weakly adjusting Cleopatra's crown. "Was this well done of your lady, Charmion?" one of the guards demanded.
"Extremely well," said Charmion, "as became the descendent of so many kings." And she too fell over dead.
Two pricks were found on Cleopatra's arm, and it was believed that she had allowed herself to be bitten by an asp (a kind of poisonous snake) that was smuggled in with the figs. As she had wished, she was buried beside Antony.
Cleopatra was the last pharaoh; after her death Egypt became a Roman province. Because Caesarion was Julius Caesar's son and might pose a threat to Octavian's power, Octavian had the boy strangled by his tutor. Cleopatra's other children were sent to Rome to be raised by Octavia. Cleopatra Selene married King Juba II of Mauretania and had two children, Ptolemy and Drusilla. No one knows what happened to Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus. They may have been murdered at the order of King Herod I of Judea.
Another Biography of Cleopatra VII
Cleopatra VII Philopates ("glory to her father") was a very popular name among the Ptolemy Dynasty, but the seventh was the most famous, and a legend in her time. She wasn't an Egyptian. Her bloodlines were Macedonian, Persian, and Greek. Her father was Ptolemy XII Nothos ("the Bastard"), the illegitimate son of Ptolemy XI by one of his concubines. It is said that Ptolemy XI was forced to marry his own elderly stepmother, who was also his cousin. Scholars of Egyptology also believe that her mother was Cleopatra V, the wife and sister of Ptolemy XII, and she died during Cleopatra VII's birth, or soon afterwards, of complications of childbirth.
Cleopatra's ancestry is said to connect back to Alexander the Great, who ruled Egypt in 332 B.C., and founded the city of Alexandria. After Alexander's death on June 10, 323 B.C., his staff officer, Ptolemy, declared himself him in 3-4 B.C., and called himself "Soter I" (Soter menaing savior). Ptolemy I Soter had a strong hooked nose that genetic trait of his line. Ptolemy XII Auletes ("the flute") had Soter's large nose and was Cleo's father. After her mother's death, Ptolemy married his second (unknown) wife and she gave him two sons.
By 305 B.C. Ptolemy became ruler of Egypt and founded the Ptolemaic Dynasty of twelve kings, of the same name, and Cleopatra VII. In this time, wealthy Egyptians tried to gain a Greek education and the Greeks influenced their art and architecture (A. J. Spencer, Death in Egypt. London: Penguin Books, 1991, 25). The Ptolemies continued the old Egyptian ideals and built temples to their gods, and those of Egypt. After Anthony and Cleopatra's death in 30 B.C,, Egypt came under Roman rule and they constructed monuments with Roman Emperors as Pharaoh, as in Egypt rule.
Most historians seem to agree that Cleopatra, Queen of the Egypt, was born on January 13, 69 B.C. and died, by her own hand on August 12, 30/31 B.C. (at age 39), and is buried in the royal mausoleum at the Sema at Alexandria with Marc Anthony. She was said to have been found, after her suicide, wearing a flowing gossamer veil with her jewels and ladies (Charmion and Iras)and eunuch laying around her body (also dead). There are two popular opinions (1) that she used an asp to kill herself (2) that she poisoned herself. In either case she most likely did not suffer before her death. She lay on a bed of gold, when Octavian's men broke down the door. Octavian (Caesar's heir) had denounced Mark Anthony in the Senate and in 30 B.C. he declared war on Cleopatra. Anthony and Cleopatra spent the winter in Samos, Before Cleopatra's death, Octavian told Cleo she could survive if she killed Anthony. When Cleopatra refused, Octavian had plans to kill Anthony and imprison Cleo. She tried hunger strikes and suicide, which Octavian stopped. She managed to get a message to Mark Anthony (most likely part of the plan to entrap Anthony) about her impending suicide. When Anthony got the message, he was told she was dead. He then came to her prison hoping to find a way to see her one more time. As Anthony approached her prison, in the temple, Octavian's men were waiting and Anthony was mortally wounded. Mark Anthony then found out Cleopatra was still alive and had his men use pulleys and a rope to raise his dying body up to the window in Cleo's prison. Her ladies and her pulled Anthony into the room, where she was held, and he died in her arms. At that moment, much like in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet," she killed herself.
She was a woman of great legends, and it is not clear if all these legends were true. However, we do know that she married her two half-brothers, as was the way of the Ptolemy empire. She married Ptolemy XIII (who was later drowned while running from Caesar's troops)and Ptolemy XIV, then eleven (11) years old (who was later poisoned) Both of Cleopatra's younger half brothers were born to her father's second wife.
Cleopatra's first meeting with Caesar was in order to get his help - to make her brother reconcile, with her, and allow her back into Egypt from her exile. This event was the famous Cleo in a rug ploy. After this meeting Caesar was so taken with this nubile young woman of twenty-one that he had her brother drowned in the Nile River, while he was in his battle armor. He was trying to escape Caesar's forces who were descending upon he and his men.
Since Cleopatra was the wife of a boy of twelve (12), Caesar knew that she was still a virgin and that intrigued him. Julius Caesar, at this meeting, was approximately 52 years old and without an heir. Cleo bewitched Julius Caesar with her youthful appearance and impressed him with her craftiness (she engineered the murder of both her sister and brother-husband). Cleopatra had already been the Queen of Lower Egypt since age seventeen (17). Caesar saw their union as a extremely powerful and sensual experience.
Her only real love seemed to have been Julius Caesar (48-44), who she felt was her match in power and ambition. In 45 B.C. Cleopatra lived openly with Julius Caesar in Rome, and her statue was in Rome's Temple of Venus.
She had one child by Julius Caesar, Ptolemy XV Caesarion was born around 44 B.C. Caesar was killed on the Ides of March. Cleo fled Rome and headed back to Egypt, then she killed her brother, Ptolemy XIV and put her son, Ptolemy XV on the Egyptian throne. Later on, when her son's life was threatened, Cleopatra sent him to India to study, as told to us by the histories of Plutarch.
Two years after Caesar's death she found Mark Anthony (40-30 B.C.) attractive and she took him as her lover and he sired three of her children, and left his first wife Fulvia in Rome.
HER CHILDREN BY MARK ANTHONY:
(1)Alexander Helios (B: 40 B.C.)... twin of Selene.
(2) Cleopatra Selene (B: 40 B.C.)...twin of Alexander Helios
(3) Ptolemy Philadelphus (B: 36 B.C.)commisioned the Pharos of Alexandria to be built.
Mark Anthony lead a sordid life. Mark Anthony married (1) Fulvia (he was her third husband). Fulvia's first husband was named Curio, a friend of Mark Anthony's, with whom he reputedly had a homosexual relationship. Fulvio died in 40 B.C. right before Mark decided to marry Cleopatra, and thus legitimize their children in 40 B.C.
Mark Anthony then married (3) Octavia (then a widow), sister of Octavian, Julius Caesar's heir. This marriage took place as Cleopatra was giving birth to his last child, Ptolemy Philedephus, in 36 B.C.
CLEOPATRA AS A MOTHER:
Cleo had Philostratus (a philosopher) and Nicolaus (a historian) as tutors to her four children.
Cleopatra was of swathy, dark complexion, taking after her grandmother, a Seleucid, with some Persian blood. She had luxurious copper hair (most likely made that color by the use of henna). She reign from 51-49 B.C. and 48-30 B.C. (Foreman, Laura, Cleopatra's Palace: In Search of a Legend. New York: Discovery Books, 1999).
Cleopatra continued to hire thinkers, poets, and scientists to her court and she continued her own education as well, studying philosophy and traveling to other lands. Above all, Cleopatra was clever, intelligent, and politically oriented. She understood and spoke Egyptian, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian.
WHAT BECAME OF HER CHILDREN?:
Cleopatra's three children, by Mark Anthony, were thought to have been raised by Mark Anthony's third wife, Octavia ( Leon, Vickie, Uppity Women of Ancient Times. New York: MJF Books, 1994, 88-89) Cleopatra of Cyrene or Selene (meaning "moon") ruled from 33-31 B.C. She was Anthony and Cleo's daughter. She ruled Armenia, Media, and Parthia with her twin brother, Alexander. Octavia, sister of Octavian, arranged a marriage for this Cleopatra with Juba, King of Numidia, who was considered a gifted ruler, and she was made Queen of Mauretania, on the site of present day Morocco. They reigned for nearly 50 years and had two children. Her brother, Alexander, was made co-ruler with her. Ptolemy Phoenica was made ruler of Cilicia and Syria
BIRTH: Also shown as Born Alexandria.
DEATH: Also shown as Died suicide.
DEATH: Also shown as Died 0030 BC
Cleopatra VII Philopator, Pharoah of Egypt's Timeline
June 23, -47
December 25, -40
December 25, -40
August 12, -30