Cleopatra VII Philopator (69 BC – August 12, 30 BC), more commonly known simply as Cleopatra, was the last person to rule Egypt as an Egyptian pharaoh. She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great ‘s death during the Hellenistic period.
Cleopatra was a co-ruler of Egypt 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, Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where she soon joined forces with Mark Antony against Octavian (later known as Augustus ). With Antony, bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and son Ptolemy Philadelphus. Cleopatra followed Antony to the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, where she and Antony were defeated by Octavian’s forces. In 30 BC Cleopatra committed suicide, following Antony in death as well as causing the demise of her son and his namesake, along with her daughter Selene II.
Cleopatra’s 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 (1608) and the 1963 Hollywood film Cleopatra . Her life is still commemorated annually by many countries’ calendars today.
Cleopatra, was the last active ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt, briefly survived as pharaoh by her son Caesarion. She was also one of the few women who were granted reputations that were graced with titles such as “the Great” and “the Goddess”. Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV; 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 Caesarion, her son with Caesar, to co-ruler in name.
Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last person to rule Egypt as an Egyptian pharaoh. Cleopatra was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a Greek family of Macedonian origin that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s death during the Hellenistic period.
Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV; eventually she became sole ruler. She briefly married Mark Antony, who came from Rome , and then had herself and their son declared joint rulers of Egypt by giving him another legal name: Ptolemy XV Caesar (Caesarion).
Though it is said that Cleopatra doted on Caesarion more than Cleopatra VII herself, Cleopatra VII was nonetheless the mother of six of Cleopatra’s children. Cleopatra eventually went to war against co-ruler Roman Triumvir Mark Antony, and committed suicide following her defeat by Octavian’s forces at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC.
Cleopatra is remembered as a patriotic Egyptian leader who resisted Roman domination despite her relationship with the Roman dictator Julius Caesar and his successor, the future Roman Emperor Augustus.
Although Cleopatra has long been known to be beautiful , recent discoveries have led Egyptologists to believe that she may have had African features . It is still possible that she descended from Ptolemy I, one of Alexander the Great’s generals. Cleopatra took up the Egyptian name Cleopatra VII Philopator Thea Neotera (the goddess Cleopatra, devoted to her father, lover of the younger Dionysus) when she assumed power.
Cleopatra was not Cleopatra VII Philometor Soteira (the Queen who relied on oracles), as it is sometimes believed, but actually adopted this title after her coronation in 51 BCE. All statues depict Cleopatra with an unknown identity; they may represent Isis , Hathor-Isis , Arsinoe II , Nefertiti , or some other Egyptian queen.
Cleopatra was born in early 69 BC, either in early November or late October. She was the only surviving child of Cleopatra VI Tryphaena and Ptolemy XII Auletes , making her three-years younger than her brothers: she ruled to 51 BCE at age 18 years old and died at 39 years old.
Cleopatra VII was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Ancient Egypt , who reigned as pharaoh from 51 to 30 BC . Cleopatra VII Philopator (69–30 BC) ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes (80–58 BC; fl. 55 BC – 47 BC) from 51 until his death in unknown circumstances in 57 BC. Cleopatra was only 16 when she became pharaoh, and reigned until her death in Cleopatra’s suicide by snake bite at the age of 39. Cleopatra shared the throne with her father Ptolemy XII , her younger brother Ptolemy XIII (57–54 BC; ruled 55–51 BC), and later her older brother Ptolemy XIV (57–55 BC; ruled 55–51 BC).
Cleopatra VII was married to another of Egypt ‘s ancient kings, childhood friend and ally to Cleopatra VI . Though Cleopatra VII had children with both men, she produced heirs that were Alexander Helios (with Julius Caesar) and Cleatra Selene II (with Mark Antony). Cleopatra’s parents, Ptolemy XII and Cleopatra VI , were full siblings; Cleopatra VII was an only child. Cleopatra VII also had a younger brother, Ptolemy XIII (born in c. 55 BC), and possibly a stillborn younger sister Cleopatra Selene (c. 54 BC – perhaps fathered by Ptolemy XII ).
Cleopatra was the only member of her family to produce children with all three of her husbands: Julius Caesar , Mark Antony , and another as yet unidentified man.
In 65 BC, relations between king Ptolemy XII Auletes of Egypt and his daughter Cleopatra VI Philometor Soteira of Egypt became strained. Cleopatra VI decided to travel to Rome to seek official recognition as an independent ruler. She was accompanied by her son Caesarion, aged 6, who over the previous years had become Cleopatra’s co-ruler and possibly her lover . When Cleopatra stopped on the Greek island of Corfu , Ptolemy captured Cleopatra and Caesarion and sent his general Achillas and Ganymedes (Cleopatra’s minister) back to Alexandria with a strong naval force.
Most likely Cleopatra had planned this so that she could stop in Rome on her way back from Syria where she wished to meet Julius Caesar for fear of being deposed as she approached her third birthday. Cleopatra had Caesarion sent to join Cleopatra VII in Alexandria, a shrewd political move that would remove the child from Cleopatra VI ‘s dissolute lifestyle . Cleopatra’s plan was successful and Antony left CleopatraVII for her daughter in 65 BC.