Cleopatra was the daughter of the Egyptian Ptolemy XII and she succeeded him as a queen in 51BC jointly with her brother Ptolemy XIII. She was described as beautiful and charming. On contrary with the pictures that reached to us in depicting her. About the men who fallen in love with her, she attracted them by her strong personality, quaint charisma and her intelligence.
She always had a conflict with her brother that ended up with her expulsion from Egypt and these countries at this time was a kingdom under Roman protection and the basic wheat source for the Roman- Caesar came to Egypt after Bombay defeat in Pharsalus in 48 BC. He found civil war still there and Cleopatra was trying to back to Egypt so she proceeded to appear suddenly in front of Caesar wrapped in a carpet as they claimed in which she can beg him to help her in achieving her purpose and she attracted him –who knows- by her charms or clear logic that she will be a better governor than her brother. Cesar helped her to overcome Ptolemy who was drowned at the end of the battle.
Cleopatra governed for a few years and in 40 BC her kingdom was a part of the imperial share of Markus Antonius when he divided Roman world with each of Octavius and Lipidos after Julius Caesar death. Antonius loved Cleopatra and this relationship cost him his popularity in Rome.
The matter of Antonius ended up with suicide after defeat from Octavius in Actium battle in 31 BC. When Cleopatra heard this news ,she committed a suicide too.
Cleopatra VII (69 BC – 30 BC) the queen of Egypt, the famous in history and drama with her relationship with Julius Caesar then Markus Antonius and his father Ptolemy XV (cesarean).
In 51BC she became a queen when her father Ptolemy XII died and governed continuously with her brothers Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIIII and her son Ptolemy XV Cesarean after victory of the Roman armies Octavian (later the new emperor Augustus) on her joint forces. Cleopatra committed a suicide and Antonius did also. Egypt fell under the control of Roman domination.
She was born 69BC, Cleopatra was described as actively affected on the Roman policy in the critical period, also was described as she came to represent the first model of romantic ,beautiful and charming woman as no woman did before in ancient ages .
She is daughter of king Ptolemy XII “Aulitis”, Cleopatra was destined to become the last queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty which governed Egypt after the death of Alexander the Great in 323BC and to be joined to Rome in 30BC.
The officer of Alexander the Great named as Ptolemy who established the dynasty and became Ptolemy I, the governor of Egypt. Cleopatra was from the Ptolemaic dynasty and for a political reason; she called herself “New Isis” which distinguished her from Queen Cleopatra III who claimed that she was an embodiment of the district of Isis too.
When Ptolemy XII died in 51BC, the throne went to his young son Ptolemy XIII and his daughter Cleopatra VII. It is known that Cleopatra when she was a daughter of 18 years was, she was elder than her brother around 8 years so she became the dominant governor. Evidences indicate that the first decree which contains name of Ptolemy precedes Cleopatra was in October 50BC.
Cleopatra realized that she needed the Roman support, specifically Caesar support if she wanted to get the throne back.
Historians say that both of Cleopatra and Caesar sought to use each other. Caesar sought for money to repay the debts incurred by father of Cleopatra “Aulitis” in order to maintain the throne while Cleopatra was determined to keep her throne and if possible to get the glories of the first Ptolemy’s besides returning the most of their ascendancy included Syria, Palestine and Cyprus, the bonds of relationship between them strengthened and she gave birth a child to him after his departure and called him Ptolemy XV and Alexandrians called him Caesar.
Forming her army and facing her brother
King Ptolemy XIII fell under the influence of his advisers who worked on keeping Cleopatra away and her expulsion from Alexandria in order to be a sole governor so she turned to the east of Egypt thus she was able to recruit an army of the Bedouins to restore her right in ruling Egypt. After she arrived to Beloziom (currently Port Said) where her brother’s army faced her, and the ship of the Roman leader Bombay had arrived as a result of his defeat in Pharsalus battle(48BC) thus the King’s advisor planned to kill him and present his head to victorious leader Julius Caesar who arrived Alexandria in 2nd Oct 48BC.
Cleopatra succeeded in penetrating her enemies’ sides after her brother Ptolemy XIII tried to get closer to Caesar where he found it a chance to announce his all loyalty and he did his best to flatter and get closer, the historian said about the relationship between Cleopatra and Caesar began at the royal palace, he decided to stand beside her and get her back to the throne of Egypt.
But her brothers’ advisors roused the people of Alexandria against Cleopatra, their army marched and constricted Caesar and Cleopatra at the royal palace, Alexandria’s war began which Julius Caesar sew up in the beginning of 47BC after arriving of supplies and it was finished with the death of Ptolemy XIII and his assistants, Cleopatra took over the throne of Egypt jointly with her junior brother Ptolemy XIIII and Caesar stayed with her for three months.
After Caesars’ assassination in Rome, the kingdom divided between his greatest leaders Octavius and Antonius while Octavius decided to join Egypt to the Roman empire but he had a lot of obstacles and the strongest one was Markus Antonius “Mark Antony” who wanted to govern the Roman empire alone so Cleopatra thought to marry Markus Antonius who may govern the Roman empire.
Mark Antony came to Egypt and Cleopatra went to him in a hidden way because of her fear from the Egyptian demonstrations against her, she was hidden in a carpet, she got out as mermaid in front of Antony in her best and Antony fell in love with her.
Mark Antony was married to Octavia who was the sister of Octavius (Augustus) and the Roman were prohibited to marry non Roman women then a problem of marrying Cleopatra appeared so he became an ally with her instead of joining Egypt to the Roman empire. That was a reason of hostility between Augustus and Antonius since Octavia was a sister of Augustus so the Roman empire was divided into east and west and the east included Egypt was the portion of Antonius and it was normal that Cleopatra was under the authority of the new master Antonius then she will fight him with the weapon of love and beauty, she didn’t wait for him to come to Alexandria but she sailed on a golden luxury Pharaonic ship from Egyptian shores at the same time as Antonius requested to bring her at 41BC when he arrived Tarsus city in Cilicia to reckon her on her hesitated situation from supporting Julius Caesar and his supporters.
Cleopatra admired Antonius not just because of his style since he was handsome (according to the historian’s description) but also for being smart since all expectations at that time confirmed the victory over him, thus Antonius prepared a strong army and Cleopatra followed it up closely and even the plan of the war.
The Actium battle took place at the west of Greece at 31BC and it decided the destiny of the war. Antonius defeated a lot of his ships as he was trying to break the siege which formed around him. Events accelerated, Cleopatra did her best to avoid the crisis after arriving of defeat news to Egypt. Antonius did a miserable try to address Octavius forces “new Caesar of Rome” which arrived to Alexandria at summer of 30BC; Octavius found Antonius as obstacle in his way to be a sole governor but his efforts went in vain because some fake news of Cleopatra’s death were arrived to Antonius and consequently he preferred death to life.
At the dawn of a mid-August 30BC, One of Cleopatra servants brought a cobra snake (It is likely an Egyptian Cobra) a way to suicide after hearing about her husband the Roman leader Mark Antonius defeat in the war, The poisonous cobra was slogan of kingship at the Ptolemaic dynasty to put it over the heads of the kings .
If we can believe what the Roman poets said like Virgil, Horace and Brobbertios that there were two snakes, and some of historian mentioned that the left shoulder of Cleopatra was the first to be bitten and others said that it was the left naked breast of Cleopatra.
Cleopatra committed a suicide in a miserable case where she put a poisonous snake on her breast and the new conquer Octavius Caesar wished to make her ” the Egyptian governor “walking in his victory parade in Rome, but he buried her corpse quickly and started to organize the government, announced joining Egypt to Romani authority and his announcement was in a very short sentence from five words. After Cleopatra’s death, the Roman killed her son fearing from his demands to rule the Roman Empire as a successor of Julius Caesar and his heir. A coin was minted with the picture of Cleopatra VII displayed on Alexandria museum tells her story which inspired poets and stories writers.
Cleopatra VII was the last Ptolemy governors in Egypt and she had surpassed her predecessors in intelligence, prudence and ambition. Cleopatra governed Egypt for twenty years from51BC to 30BC). The picture of Cleopatra appeared on ancient Egyptian coin as a woman with gorgeous and lively look, thin mouth and clear eyes besides Cleopatra is famous and prominent in history like Nefertiti, Semiramis, and Shahrazad.
Translated by: Mahmoud Sami Nour al Din