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The majority of the following article contains the fictional portrayal of one or more historical figures. Details in this article may differ from real world facts. For more information on the historical figure(s), consult the links provided within or at the bottom of the article.

"If Father is killed, then one of us will become pharaoh. O, I do not want him to die, but I do want to be ready if necessary to be Egypt's ruler, the best ever known. I must apply myself to gain wisdom."
—Cleopatra[4]

Cleopatra Philopator VII (69 BC – 30 BC) was the Queen of Egypt from 51 BC to 30 BC and the final ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Her father was King Ptolemy XII Auletes. In 57 BC, Cleopatra occupied her father to seek support in Rome when his rule was threatened. They stayed there for over three years and finally returned to Alexandria in 55 BC.

Biography[]

Early life[]

Cleopatra was born in 69 BC[1] to King Ptolemy XII Auletes of Egypt and Cleopatra V. She had five siblings, including two elder sisters, Tryphaena and Berenice, younger sister Arsinoë, and two younger brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. Cleopatra had no memory of her mother, whom died when she was very young.[4] She was raised in Alexandria.

57 BC – 55 BC[]

In early 57 BC, an attempt was made on the life of Cleopatra's father, causing him to disappear from the palace. Tryphaena soon took over his bedchambers. Cleopatra began to fear that her sister would have her killed. Through her friend Olympus, she learned of her father's plans to seek help in Rome. Cleopatra decided to go with her father and left with him in late February. She was accompanied by her loyal servant Neva and guard Puzo. After setting sail, they received word that Tryphaena had declared herself queen. Cleopatra and her father finally arrived in Rome in mid-May after a lengthy journey. A wealthy citizen, named Tullus Atticus, offered them his home to stay at.

In Rome, Cleopatra helped her father through her linguistic skills. Officials were less likely to mock him since she spoke their language. Shortly after their arrival, they received word that Tryphaena had been killed by allies of King Ptolemy. The victory was short-lived because Berenice seized the throne right after. The following month, Cleopatra was befriended by Julia, the daughter of Julius Caesar and wife of Pompey. She spent the summer in Herculaneum and often visited with Julia. Cleopatra returned in the fall to learn that her father had squandered his time by not meeting with officials. She was annoyed about their departure being delayed until the next year.

The following February 56 BC, Cleopatra was introduced to the Roman lawyer, Cicero. He later made an argument to the Senate against helping King Ptolemy, causing yet another delay. In the meantime, she got to know Marc Antony better, though he often annoyed her. Cleopatra returned to Herculaneum for the summer. That winter, Cleopatra reproached Cicero during Saturnalia. He subsequently made a speech "washing himself" of the affair. In early March, Cleopatra and her father arrived in Alexandria with Marc Antony leading the troops. Her father's crown was restored and Berenice was executed. Cleopatra then went on a trip up the Nile to learn more about Egypt in preparation for becoming queen one day.

Later life[]

Cleopatra, following customs, married her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII. They became co-rulers upon their father's death in 51 BC when she was eighteen and he ten. At twenty-one, Cleopatra went into hiding when Pompey arrived in Egypt seeking asylum from Julius Caesar's army. Ptolemy had Pompey beheaded in hopes of gaining favor with Caesar, which backfired. Cleopatra devised a way to meet Caesar by wrapping herself in a carpet and being carried to his bedchambers. Caesar fell in love with Cleopatra, and together they had a son named Ptolemy XV Caesarion. Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

Some years later, Cleopatra and Marc Antony fell in love and, according to some, married in an Egyptian ceremony. They had three children, including twins Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, and Ptolemy Philadelphus. Together the couple tried to protect Alexandria after Caesar's successor Octavian declared war. After a bad defeat, his army came to Alexandria. Cleopatra arranged for her son Caesarion to flee, but he was later discovered. Antony committed suicide and bled to death in Cleopatra's arms. Cleopatra then took her life by allowing a poisonous snake to bite her.

Physical appearance[]

Cleopatra described herself as being "pure Macedonian Greek." She also said that she looked similar to her servant, Neva, whom was also of Macedonian Greek ancestry. They both had light skin and blue eyes.[4] Plutarch described Cleopatra's beauty as "not in itself so remarkable that none could be compared with her," "but the contact of her presence, if you lived with her, was irresistible."[5]

Personality and traits[]

Cleopatra was depicted as calm, level-headed, and confident, despite her young age. She wanted to be queen, much like her older sisters, Tryphaena and Berenice. However, Cleopatra felt that she was better suited for the position because, unlike them, she actually cared for the Egyptian people. She was gifted with language, being able to speak Greek, Hebrew, Latin, among others. Notably, she spoke Egyptian unlike many in her lineage. She greatly desired to gain wisdom to help the people her country. Cleopatra often went to the Library and Mouseion of Alexandria, where she spent much of her time reading the scrolls and debating with her friends.

Family tree[]

The Ptolemy Family Tree[1]
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy XII
(100 BC-51 BC)
 
Cleopatra V
Trayphaena

(?BC-69? BC)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cleopatra VI
Tryphaena

(79? BC-57 BC)
 
Berenice IV
(77? BC-55 BC)
 
 
 
 
Arsinoë
(68 BC-45 BC)
 
Ptolemy XIII
(61 BC-47 BC)
 
Ptolemy XIV
(59 BC-44 BC)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Julius Gaius
Caesar

(102 BC-44 BC)
 
Cleopatra VII
(69 BC-30 BC)
 
Marc Antony
(82 BC-30 BC)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy XV
Caesarion

(47 BC-30? BC)
 
Alexander Helios
(40 BC-?BC)
 
Cleopatra Selene
(40 BC-?BC)
 
Juba II
(c.45 BC-AD 23?)
 
Ptolemy
Philadelphus

(36 BC-?BC)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ptolemy of
Mauretania

(c.24 BC-AD 40?)
 
Drusilla
(22? BC-AD?)
 
Marcus Antonius
Felix
 
Key:
♛ - Pharaoh (King or Queen) of Egypt

Behind the scenes[]

Cleopatra

Elisa Moolecherry as Cleopatra

Appearances[]

In chronological order:

References[]

See also[]



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Further reading[]

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