Cleopatra VII
Cleopatra was the last queen of Egypt. She was born in 69 BC and died in 30 BC by committing suicide.
She had two husbands, Ptolemy XIII and Mark Antony. She also had an affair with Caesar. In spite of all
her love affairs and the wars during her reign, some people still think Cleopatra was the best queen of
Egypt.
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Cleopatra had excellent military back-up at the beginning of her life. First of all, Cleopatra was a Ptolemy
and the Ptolemies had ruled for over 200 years! How? The answer to that is power. The Ptolemies started
with Alexander the Great the person that Alexandria was named after. While Alexander was dying, he
muttered “To the strongest,”(He meant Egypt goes to the strongest.) or maybe he didn’t say that, but the
generals said that he did. Each of the generals boasted about how strong they were, all wanting to rule
Egypt, the richest country in the world at that time. The generals were Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Antigonus.
Ptolemy was a rich spoiled brat from Macedonia (It was also rumored that he was a half brother to
Alexander. Ptolemy probably started the rumor to give him a better chance to get Egypt.) As soon as
Alexander died, Ptolemy stole the throne from his fellow generals saying that it was rightfully his and that
is how the Ptolemies became rulers of Egypt.!
Now back to Cleopatra, who was the last pharaoh of Egypt before the Romans took over. Cleopatra had a
little of Ptolemy I in her blood maybe more than her father (Ptolemy XI Auletes). When Cleopatra was 17-
18 years old her father died leaving the throne to his son Ptolemy XIII and his daughter Cleopatra VII. He
wrote in his will that they would be married and rule Egypt hand in hand. They despised that, but still they
got married. Ptolemy XIII exiled Cleopatra from Egypt, so he could rule Egypt all alone. He through her
out in the desert and said that she was dead. Caesar thought it was fishy, so he went out to see if Cleopatra
had really died. On the night of his arrival, Cleopatra had a friend, Apollodorus, from Sicily carry her in a
carpet to meet Caesar. Caesar saw that she was alive and restored her to her throne. Ptolemy XIII thought
that Caesar could not just restore her to the thrown so Ptolemy became enraged and started a war against
Cleopatra and Caesar.!
Of course Caesar and Cleopatra won because of the military back-up Caesar had with his Roman soldiers,
the best army in the world. The Romans then started to hate Cleopatra and her exotic ways and charms.
Cleopatra was powerful. She was optimistic, high-spirited, always a winner using skill or just plain
cheating, popular, a queen, and a loyal friend.
Now, if you’re thinking Cleopatra is too flirtatious and a slut, you’re wrong. Cleopatra also was very
smart. She knew eleven languages. She knew Egyptian, Parathion, Ethiopian, Arabic, Hebrew,
Troglodytian, Syrian, Latin, Median, Macedonian, and Greek. She was taught by the smartest people in
the world (the Romans). She also had skills that most women in Egypt did not have. They were political
and intellectual skills. She was also talented. She could impress anyone with her wit and money. She
impressed Caesar by meeting him in a carpet when everyone thought she was dead.
There, now you know about this powerful and smart queen, that’s not all she was. In addition she was
dramatically unique. Cleopatra, amazing but true, had no Egyptian blood in her at all. She had
Macedonian and Greek blood. Cleopatra’s father was also a little bizarre. He was a follower of Dionysus,
he LOVED wine. He believed in playing the flute like Pan. He did not believe in ruling. Egypt rejected
him for that. “All day no work, but play ” was most likely her father’s motto. Cleopatra was also a beliver
in the gods similar to her father. She worshipped Dionysus, Apollo, Pan, Athena, Aphrodite, and mother
earth. She had a sense of humor. She was also praised by Egypt for her strength and intelligence. Another
unique fact is that Cleopatra played a game like chess. She probably cheated too. Cleopatra had a large
family, larger than