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Cleopatra VII Philopator ( grc-gre, Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ}; 69 BC10 August 30 BC) was queen of the
Ptolemaic Kingdom The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek state based in Egypt during the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic Period. It was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy ...
of
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
from 51 to 30 BC, and its last active ruler.She was also a diplomat, naval commander, linguist, and medical author; see and . A member of the
Ptolemaic dynasty The Ptolemaic dynasty (; grc, Πτολεμαῖοι, ''Ptolemaioi''), the Thirty-third dynasty of Egypt, sometimes referred to as the Lagid dynasty (Λαγίδαι, ''Lagidae;'' after Ptolemy I Soter, Ptolemy I's father, Lagus), was a Ancient ...
, she was a descendant of its founder
Ptolemy I Soter Ptolemy I Soter (; gr, Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, ''Ptolemaîos Sōtḗr'' "Ptolemy the Savior"; c. 367 BC – January 282 BC) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ...
, a Macedonian Greek general and companion of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
. writes about
Ptolemy I Soter Ptolemy I Soter (; gr, Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, ''Ptolemaîos Sōtḗr'' "Ptolemy the Savior"; c. 367 BC – January 282 BC) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ...
: "The Ptolemaic dynasty, of which Cleopatra was the last representative, was founded at the end of the fourth century BC. The Ptolemies were not of Egyptian extraction, but stemmed from Ptolemy Soter, a Macedonian Greek in the entourage of Alexander the Great."For additional sources that describe the Ptolemaic dynasty as " Macedonian Greek", please see , , , and . Alternatively, describes them as a "Macedonian, Greek-speaking" dynasty. Other sources such as and describe the Ptolemies as "Greco-Macedonian", or rather Macedonians who possessed a Greek culture, as in .
After the
death of Cleopatra The death of Cleopatra VII, the last ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the used ...

death of Cleopatra
, Egypt became a province of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
, marking the end of the second to last Hellenistic state and
the age ''The Age'' is a daily newspaper in Melbourne Melbourne ( ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or ca ...
that had lasted since the reign of Alexander (336–323 BC). notes that the Hellenistic period, beginning with the reign of Alexander the Great, came to an end with the death of Cleopatra in 30 BC. Michael Grant stresses that the
Hellenistic Greeks Hellenistic Greece is the historical period of the country following Classical Greece, between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the annexation of the classical Greek Achaean League heartlands by the Roman Republic. This culminated ...
were viewed by contemporary
Romans Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...
as having declined and diminished in greatness since the age of
Classical Greece Classical Greece was a period of around 200 years (the 5th and 4th centuries BC) in Ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dar ...
, an attitude that has continued even into the works of modern
historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historians in developing history as an academic discipline, and by extension is any body of historical work on a particular subject. The historiography of a specific topic covers how historians hav ...

historiography
. Regarding Hellenistic Egypt, Grant argues, "Cleopatra VII, looking back upon all that her ancestors had done during that time, was not likely to make the same mistake. But she and her contemporaries of the first century BC had another, peculiar, problem of their own. Could the 'Hellenistic Age' (which we ourselves often regard as coming to an end in about her time) still be said to exist at all, could ''any'' Greek age, now that the Romans were the dominant power? This was a question never far from Cleopatra's mind. But it is quite certain that she considered the Greek epoch to be by no means finished, and intended to do everything in her power to ensure its perpetuation."
Her native language was
Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, Greek spoken and written d ...
, and she was the only Ptolemaic ruler to learn the
Egyptian language The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), also known as Afrasian or Hamito-Semitic or Semito-Hamiti ...
. In 58 BC, Cleopatra presumably accompanied her father,
Ptolemy XII Auletes Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos Philopator Philadelphos ( grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος Νέος Διόνυσος Φιλοπάτωρ Φιλάδελφος, ; – before 22 March 51 BC) was a Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty The Ptolemaic dynasty ...

Ptolemy XII Auletes
, during his exile to Rome after a revolt in Egypt (a Roman client state) allowing his daughter
Berenice IV Berenice IV Epiphaneia ( grc-gre, Βερενίκη; 77–55 BC, born and died in Alexandria, Egypt) was a Greek Princess and Queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Biography Early life prior to reign Berenice was the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes and ...
to claim the throne. Berenice was killed in 55 BC when Ptolemy returned to Egypt with Roman military assistance. When he died in 51 BC, the joint
reign of Cleopatra The reign of Cleopatra VII of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, Egypt began with the Early life of Cleopatra VII, death of her father, the ruling pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes, by March 51 BC. It ended with death of Cleopatra, her death o ...
and her brother
Ptolemy XIII Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator ( grc-gre, Πτολεμαῖος Θεός Φιλοπάτωρ, ''Ptolemaĩos''; c. 62 BC – 13 January 47 BC) was Pharaoh of Egypt from 51 to 47 BC, and one of the last members of the Ptolemaic dynasty The Ptol ...
began, but a falling-out between them led to open
civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine publis ...
. After losing the 48 BC
Battle of Pharsalus The Battle of Pharsalus was the decisive battle of Caesar's Civil War Caesar's Civil War (49–45 BC) was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a stat ...

Battle of Pharsalus
in
Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, Elláda, ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeastern Europe Southeast Europe or Southeastern Europe () is a geographical subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geogr ...
against his rival
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
(a
Roman dictator A dictator was a magistrate The term magistrate is used in a variety of systems of governments and laws to refer to a civilian officer who administers the law. In , a ' was one of the highest ranking government officers, and possessed both an ...
and
consul Consul (abbrev. ''cos.''; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the powe ...
) in
Caesar's Civil War Caesar's Civil War (49–45 BC) was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public r ...

Caesar's Civil War
, the
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...
statesman
Pompey Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (; 29 September 106 BC – 28 September 48 BC), known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a leading Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization f ...
fled to Egypt. Pompey had been a political ally of Ptolemy XII, but Ptolemy XIII, at the urging of his court eunuchs, had Pompey ambushed and killed before Caesar arrived and occupied
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
. Caesar then attempted to reconcile the rival Ptolemaic siblings, but Ptolemy's chief adviser,
Potheinos Pothinus or Potheinos ( grc-gre, Ποθεινὸς; early 1st century BC – 48 or 47 BC), a eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a man A man is an adult male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male ...
, viewed Caesar's terms as favoring Cleopatra, so his forces besieged her and Caesar at the palace. Shortly after the siege was lifted by reinforcements, Ptolemy XIII died in the 47 BC Battle of the Nile; Cleopatra's half-sister
Arsinoe IV Arsinoë IV ( grc-gre, Ἀρσινόη; between 68 and 63 BC – 41 BC) was the fourth of six children and the youngest daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes. Queen and co-ruler of Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemaic Egypt with her brother Ptolemy XIII Theos ...
was eventually exiled to
Ephesus Ephesus (; gr, Ἔφεσος, Éphesos; tr, Efes; may ultimately derive from hit, 𒀀𒉺𒊭, Apaša) was a city in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Gree ...

Ephesus
for her role in carrying out the siege. Caesar declared Cleopatra and her brother
Ptolemy XIV Ptolemy XIV Philopator ( grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος Φιλοπάτωρ, ''Ptolemaĩos''; c. 59 – 44 BC) was a son of Ptolemy XII of Egypt and one of the last members of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), offic ...

Ptolemy XIV
joint rulers but maintained a private affair with Cleopatra that produced a son,
Caesarion Ptolemy XV Caesar). (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος, ; 23 June 47 BC – August 30 BC), nicknamed Caesarion (), was the last pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head o ...

Caesarion
. Cleopatra traveled to Rome as a client queen in 46 and 44 BC, where she stayed at Caesar's
villa A villa is a type of house that was originally an ancient Roman In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman ...
. After the assassinations of Caesar and (on her orders) Ptolemy XIV in 44 BC, she named Caesarion co-ruler as
Ptolemy XV Ptolemy XV Caesar). (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος, ; 23 June 47 BC – August 30 BC), nicknamed Caesarion (), was the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, reigning with his mother Cleopatra from 2 September 44 BC until her death by 12 August 30 ...
. In the
Liberators' civil war The Liberators' civil war (43–42 BC) was started by the Second Triumvirate to avenge Julius Caesar's Assassination of Julius Caesar, assassination. The war was fought by the forces of Mark Antony and Augustus, Octavian (the Second Triumvirate ...
of 43–42 BC, Cleopatra sided with the Roman
Second Triumvirate The Second Triumvirate (43–32 BC) was a political alliance formed after the Roman dictator Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city o ...
formed by Caesar's grandnephew and heir
Octavian Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate (the first phase of the Roman Empire) has consolidated ...
,
Mark Antony Marcus Antonius (14 January 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony, was a Ancient Rome, Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the Crisis of the Roman Republic, transformation of the Roman Republic f ...
, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. After their meeting at
Tarsos Tarsus (Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** ...
in 41 BC, the queen had an affair with Antony. He carried out the execution of Arsinoe at her request, and became increasingly reliant on Cleopatra for both funding and military aid during his invasions of the
Parthian Empire The Parthian Empire (), also known as the Arsacid Empire (), was a major political and cultural power in from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, , who led the tribe in conquering the region of in 's northeast, ...

Parthian Empire
and the
Kingdom of ArmeniaKingdom of Armenia may refer to: *Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity), also known as Artaxiad or Arsacid Armenia, 380 BC to AD 387/428 *Kingdom of Armenia (Middle Ages), also known as Bagratid Armenia, AD 885 to 1045 Other ancient Armenian kingdoms *Satr ...
. The
Donations of Alexandria The Donations of Alexandria (Autumn 34 BC) were a political act by Cleopatra, Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony in which they distributed lands held by Rome and Parthia amongst Cleopatra's children, and granted them many titles, especially for Caesar ...

Donations of Alexandria
declared their children
Alexander Helios Alexander Helios ( el, Ἀλέξανδρος Ἥλιος; late 40 BC – unknown, but possibly between 29 and 25 BC) was a Ptolemaic prince and was a son of the Macedonian queen Cleopatra VII Cleopatra VII Philopator ( grc-koi, Κλεο ...
,
Cleopatra Selene II Cleopatra Selene II (Ancient Greek, Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Σελήνη; summer 40 BC – BC; the numeration is modern) was a Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemaic princess and Queen of Numidia (briefly in 25 BC) and Mauretania (25 BC – 5 BC). She wa ...

Cleopatra Selene II
, and
Ptolemy Philadelphus Ptolemy II Philadelphus ( gr, Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος ''Ptolemaios Philadelphos'', "Ptolemy, sibling-lover"; 309 – 28 January 246 BC), also known posthumously as Ptolemy the Great, was the pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 t ...
rulers over various erstwhile territories under Antony's triumviral authority. This event, their marriage, and Antony's divorce of Octavian's sister
Octavia Minor Octavia the Younger ( la, Octavia Minor; 69/66–11 BC) was the elder sister of the first Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶ ...
led to the Final War of the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
. Octavian engaged in a war of propaganda, forced Antony's allies in the to flee Rome in 32 BC, and declared war on Cleopatra. After defeating Antony and Cleopatra's naval fleet at the 31 BC
Battle of Actium The Battle of Actium was a naval battle in the last war of the Roman Republic The War of Actium (32–30 BC) was the last civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within ...
, Octavian's forces invaded Egypt in 30 BC and defeated Antony, leading to Antony's suicide. When Cleopatra learned that Octavian planned to bring her to his
Roman triumph The Roman triumph (') was a civil ceremonyA civil, or registrar, ceremony is a non-religious legal marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally recognised union between people, called spouses, tha ...
al procession, she killed herself by poisoning, contrary to the popular belief that she was bitten by an
asp ASP may refer to: Combat * ASP pistol * ASP, Inc., law enforcement weapon manufacturer ** A type of Expandable baton, extending baton * Ammunition supply point or ammunition dump Computing * Active Server Pages, a web-scripting interface by Mic ...
. Cleopatra's legacy survives in ancient and modern
works of art A work of art, artwork, art piece, piece of art or art object is an artistic creation of aesthetic Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such a ...
.
Roman historiographyRoman historiography stretches back to at least the 3rd century BC and was indebted to earlier Greek historiography Hellenic historiography (or Greek historiography) involves efforts made by Greeks to track and record historical events. By the 5th c ...
and
Latin poetry The history of Latin poetry can be understood as the adaptation of Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locat ...
produced a generally critical view of the queen that pervaded later
Medieval In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
and
Renaissance literature Renaissance literature refers to European literature which was influenced by the intellectual and cultural tendencies associated with the Renaissance. The literature of the Renaissance was written within the general movement of the Renaissance, ...
. In the visual arts, her ancient depictions include Roman busts,
paintings Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics Fluid mechanics is the branch of physics concerned with the mechanics Mechanics (Ancient ...
, and
sculptures Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sculptural processes originally used carving (the removal of material) and modelling (the addition of material, as clay), ...

sculptures
, cameo carvings and
glass Glass is a non- crystalline, often transparency and translucency, transparent amorphous solid, that has widespread practical, technological, and decorative use in, for example, window panes, tableware, and optics. Glass is most often formed by ...
, Ptolemaic and
Roman coinage Roman currency for most of Roman history consisted of gold, silver, bronze, orichalcum#Numismatics, orichalcum and copper coinage (see: Roman metallurgy). From its introduction to the Roman Republic, Republic, during the third century BC, well ...
, and
relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the ...
s. In
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...
and
Baroque art The Baroque (, ; ) is a style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historic ...
, she was the subject of many works including
opera Opera is a form of theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a s ...

opera
s, paintings, poetry, sculptures, and theatrical dramas. She has become a
pop culture icon Pop or POP may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Music * Pop music, a musical genre Artists * POP, a Japanese idol group now known as Gang Parade * Pop!, a UK pop group * Pop! featuring Angie Hart, an Australian band Albums * Pop (Gas al ...
of
Egyptomania Egyptomania was the renewed interest of Europeans and Americans in ancient Egypt during the nineteenth century as a result of Napoleon Napoléon Bonaparte (15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader. He ro ...

Egyptomania
since the
Victorian era In the history of the United Kingdom The history of the United Kingdom began in the early eighteenth century with the Treaty of Union A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international l ...
, and in modern times, Cleopatra has appeared in the applied and fine arts,
burlesque A burlesque is a literary, dramatic or musical work intended to cause laughter by caricaturing the manner or spirit of serious works, or by ludicrous treatment of their subjects. William Shakespeare, Shakespeare's Pyramus and Thisbe scene in ''Mi ...
satire, Hollywood films, and brand images for commercial products.


Etymology

The Latinized form
Cleopatra Cleopatra VII Philopator ( grc-gre, Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ}; 69 BC10 August 30 BC) was queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, Egypt from 51 to 30 BC, and its last active ruler.She was also a diplomat, Ancient ...
comes from the
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
(), meaning "glory of her father", from (, "glory") and (, "father"). The masculine form would have been written either as () or (). Cleopatra was the name of Alexander the Great's sister, as well as
Cleopatra Alcyone Cleopatrē Alcyone ( grc, Κλεοπάτρη Ἀλκυόνη, Kleopátrē Alkuónē) was the daughter of Idas and Marpessa and the wife of Meleager. Mythology Alcyone died of grief or hanged herself when her husband, Meleager was killed.Gaius Jul ...
, wife of
Meleager In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A b ...

Meleager
in
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myth Myth is a folklore genre Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psyc ...
. Through the marriage of
Ptolemy V Epiphanes egy, Iwaennetjerwymerwyitu Seteppah Userkare Sekhem-ankhamun Clayton (2006) p. 208. , predecessor = Ptolemy IV egy, Iwaennetjerwymenkhwy Setepptah Userkare Sekhemankhamun#Clayton06, Clayton (2006) p. 208. , predecessor = Ptolemy III , succ ...
and
Cleopatra I Syra Cleopatra I Syra (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
(a Seleucid princess), the name entered the
Ptolemaic dynasty The Ptolemaic dynasty (; grc, Πτολεμαῖοι, ''Ptolemaioi''), the Thirty-third dynasty of Egypt, sometimes referred to as the Lagid dynasty (Λαγίδαι, ''Lagidae;'' after Ptolemy I Soter, Ptolemy I's father, Lagus), was a Ancient ...
. Cleopatra's adopted title () means "goddess who loves her father". offers an alternative rendering of the title Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator as "Cleopatra the Father-Loving Goddess".


Biography


Background

Ptolemaic
pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the conte ...

pharaoh
s were crowned by the Egyptian
high priest of Ptah The High Priest of Ptah was sometimes referred to as "the Greatest of the Directors of Craftsmanship" (''wikt:wr-ḫrp-ḥmwt, wr-ḫrp-ḥmwt''). This title refers to Ptah as the patron ancient Egyptian deities, god of the craftsmen.Dodson and ...
at
Memphis Memphis most commonly refers to: * Memphis, Egypt, a former capital of ancient Egypt * Memphis, Tennessee, a major American city Memphis may also refer to: Places United States * Memphis, Alabama * Memphis, Florida * Memphis, Indiana * Memphis ...
, but resided in the multicultural and largely
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
city of
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
, established by
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
of
Macedon Macedonia (; grc-gre, Μακεδονία), also called Macedon (), was an Classical antiquity, ancient monarchy, kingdom on the periphery of Archaic Greece, Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. Th ...
.For a thorough explanation about the foundation of Alexandria by Alexander the Great and its largely
Hellenistic Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the common supra-regional form of Greek spoken and written during the Hellenistic period ...
nature during the
Ptolemaic period The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , o ...
, along with a survey of the various ethnic groups residing there, see .For further validation about the founding of Alexandria by Alexander the Great, see .For further validation of Ptolemaic rulers being crowned at Memphis, see .
They spoke Greek and governed Egypt as
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
Greek monarchs, refusing to learn the native Egyptian language.The refusal of Ptolemaic rulers to speak the native language,
Late Egyptian Late Egyptian is the stage of the Egyptian language The Egyptian language or Ancient Egyptian ( egy, 𓂋𓏺𓈖 𓆎𓅓𓏏𓊖, , cop, ϯⲙⲉⲧⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ) is an Afro-Asiatic language Afroasiatic (Afro-Asiatic), als ...
, is why
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
(i.e.
Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, Greek spoken and written d ...
) was used along with Late Egyptian on official court documents such as the
Rosetta Stone The Rosetta Stone is a granodiorite stele inscribed with three versions of a Rosetta Stone decree, decree issued in Memphis, Egypt, in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty on behalf of King Ptolemy V Epiphanes. The top and middle texts are in Eg ...

Rosetta Stone
().As explained by , Ptolemaic Alexandria was considered a ''
polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (199 ...

polis
'' (
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
) separate from the country of Egypt, with citizenship reserved for
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
and
Ancient Macedonians The Macedonians ( el, Μακεδόνες, ''Makedónes'') were an ancient tribe that lived on the alluvial plain around the rivers Haliacmon and lower Vardar, Axios in the northeastern part of Geography of Greece#Mainland, mainland Greece. Es ...
, but various other ethnic groups resided there, especially the
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
, as well as native
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning t ...
,
Syrians Syrians ( ar, سُورِيُّون, ''Sūriyyūn''), also known as the Syrian people ( ar, الشَّعْب السُّورِيّ, ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association - Library of Congress) is a set of standards for romanization, the rep ...
, and
Nubians Nubians () are an ethno-linguistic group of people who are indigenous to the region which is now present-day Northern Sudan Sudan (; ar, السودان, as-Sūdān), officially the Republic of the Sudan ( ar, جمهورية السودا ...

Nubians
.For further validation, see .For the multiple languages spoken by Cleopatra, see and .For further validation about Ancient Greek being the official language of the Ptolemaic dynasty, see .
In contrast, Cleopatra could speak multiple languages by adulthood and was the first Ptolemaic ruler to learn the Egyptian language.For further information, see . Plutarch implies that she also spoke
Ethiopian Ethiopians are the native inhabitants of Ethiopia, as well as the global diaspora of Ethiopia. Ethiopians constitute Ethiopians#Component Ethnicities, several component ethnic groups, many of which are closely related to ethnic groups in neighb ...
, the language of the " Troglodytes",
Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the Israelites and their longest-survivi ...
(or
Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (Classical Syriac ...
),
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...
, the Syrian language (perhaps
Syriac Syriac may refer to: *Syriac language, a dialect of Middle Aramaic * Syriac alphabet ** Syriac (Unicode block) ** Syriac Supplement * Neo-Aramaic languages also known as Syriac in most native vernaculars * Syriac Christianity, the churches using Sy ...

Syriac
),
Median In statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a m ...
, and Parthian, and she could apparently also speak
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
, although her
Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Laz ...
contemporaries would have preferred to speak with her in her native
Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic or Biblical Greek, was the koiné language, common supra-regional form of Greek language, Greek spoken and written d ...
.For the list of languages spoken by Cleopatra as mentioned by the ancient historian
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
, see , who also mentions that the rulers of
Ptolemaic Egypt The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , o ...
gradually abandoned the
Ancient Macedonian language Ancient Macedonian, the language of the ancient Macedonians The Macedonians ( el, Μακεδόνες, ''Makedónes'') were an ancient tribe that lived on the alluvial plain around the rivers Haliacmon and lower Vardar, Axios in the northe ...
. For further information and validation see .
Aside from Greek, Egyptian, and Latin, these languages reflected Cleopatra's desire to restore
North African North Africa is a region encompassing the northern portion of the African continent. There is no singularly accepted scope for the region, and it is sometimes defined as stretching from the Atlantic shores of Mauritania ) , image_map = Mauri ...
and
West Asian Western Asia, also West Asia, is the westernmost subregion of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hem ...
territories that once belonged to the
Ptolemaic Kingdom The Ptolemaic Kingdom (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαϊκὴ βασιλεία, Ptolemaïkḕ basileía) was an Ancient Greece, Ancient Greek state based in Egypt during the Hellenistic period, Hellenistic Period. It was founded in 305 BC by Ptolemy ...
. Roman interventionism in Egypt predated the
reign of Cleopatra The reign of Cleopatra VII of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, Egypt began with the Early life of Cleopatra VII, death of her father, the ruling pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes, by March 51 BC. It ended with death of Cleopatra, her death o ...
. When
Ptolemy IX Lathyros Ptolemy IX Soter II Ptolemy IX also took the same title 'Soter' as Ptolemy I Soter, Ptolemy I. In older references and in more recent references by the German historian Huss, Ptolemy IX Soter II may be numbered VIII. ( el, Πτολεμαῖος Σ ...
died in late 81 BC, he was succeeded by his daughter
Berenice III Berenice III (Greek language, Greek: Βερενίκη; 120–80 BC) was also known as Cleopatra, lived between 91 and 88 BC. Scholars studying Berenice III refer to her sometimes as Cleopatra Berenice in modern scholarship. She was co-regent ...

Berenice III
. However, with opposition building at the royal court against the idea of a sole reigning female monarch, Berenice III accepted joint rule and marriage with her cousin and stepson
Ptolemy XI Alexander II Ptolemy XI Alexander II ( gr, Πτολεμαῖος Ἀλέξανδρος, ''Ptolemaĩos Aléxandros'') was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty who ruled Egypt for a few days in 80 BC. He was a son of Ptolemy X Alexander I and Cleopatra Selene ...
, an arrangement made by the Roman dictator
Sulla Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (; 138–78 BC), commonly known as Sulla, was a Roman general A general officer is an officer of high rank in the armies, and in some nations' air forces, space forces, or marines Marines or naval infan ...

Sulla
. Ptolemy XI had his wife killed shortly after their marriage in 80 BC, but was
lynched Lynching is an extrajudicial killing An extrajudicial killing (also known as extrajudicial execution or extralegal killing) is the homicide, killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any Judiciary, judicial proc ...

lynched
soon thereafter in the resulting riot over the assassination. Ptolemy XI, and perhaps his uncle Ptolemy IX or father
Ptolemy X Alexander I Ptolemy X Alexander I ( gr, Πτολεμαῖος Ἀλέξανδρος, ''Ptolemaĩos Aléxandros'') was King of Ancient Egypt, Egypt from 107 BC till his death in 88 BC, in co-regency with Cleopatra III of Egypt, Cleopatra III as Ptolemy Philome ...
, willed the Ptolemaic Kingdom to Rome as collateral for loans, so that the Romans had legal grounds to take over Egypt, their
client state A client state, in international relations International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) is the scientific study of interactions between sovereign states. In a broader sense, it concerns all activ ...
, after the assassination of Ptolemy XI. The Romans chose instead to divide the Ptolemaic realm among the
illegitimate Legitimacy, in traditional Western common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opi ...
sons of Ptolemy IX, bestowing
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or poli ...
to
Ptolemy of Cyprus Ptolemy of Cyprus was the king of Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected t ...
and
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...
to
Ptolemy XII Auletes Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos Philopator Philadelphos ( grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος Νέος Διόνυσος Φιλοπάτωρ Φιλάδελφος, ; – before 22 March 51 BC) was a Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty The Ptolemaic dynasty ...

Ptolemy XII Auletes
.


Early childhood

Cleopatra VII was born in early 69 BC to the ruling Ptolemaic pharaoh Ptolemy XII and an unknown mother, states that Cleopatra could have been born in either late 70 BC or early 69 BC. presumably Ptolemy XII's wife
Cleopatra VI Tryphaena Cleopatra VI Tryphaena ( el, Κλεοπάτρα Τρύφαινα) or Cleopatra Tryphaena II (died c. 57 BC) was a queen of Ptolemaic Egypt who ruled alongside Berenice IV, who was either her sister or daughter. Although called ''Cleopatra VI Tryph ...
(also known as
Cleopatra V Tryphaena Cleopatra V ( el, Κλεοπάτρα Τρύφαινα; died or ) was a Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt. She is the only surely attested wife of Ptolemy XII Auletes, Ptolemy XII. Her only known child is Berenice IV, but she was al ...
),For further information and validation see and . For alternate speculation, see and . the mother of Cleopatra's older sister,
Berenice IV Epiphaneia Berenice IV Epiphaneia ( grc-gre, Βερενίκη; 77–55 BC, born and died in Alexandria, Egypt) was a Greek Princess and Queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Biography Early life prior to reign Berenice was the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes and ...
.Due to discrepancies in academic works, in which some consider
Cleopatra VI Cleopatra VI Tryphaena ( el, Κλεοπάτρα Τρύφαινα) or Cleopatra Tryphaena II (died c. 57 BC) was a queen of Ptolemaic Egypt who ruled alongside Berenice IV, who was either her sister or daughter. Although called ''Cleopatra VI Tryph ...
to be either a daughter of
Ptolemy XII Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos Philopator Philadelphos ( grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος Νέος Διόνυσος Φιλοπάτωρ Φιλάδελφος, ; – before 22 March 51 BC) was a Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Ancient Egypt. He was ...

Ptolemy XII
or his wife, identical to that of
Cleopatra V Cleopatra V ( el, Κλεοπάτρα Τρύφαινα; died or ) was a Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt. She is the only surely attested wife of Ptolemy XII Auletes, Ptolemy XII. Her only known child is Berenice IV, but she was al ...
, states that Ptolemy XII had six children, while mentions only five.
Cleopatra Tryphaena disappears from official records a few months after the birth of Cleopatra in 69 BC. The three younger children of Ptolemy XII, Cleopatra's sister
Arsinoe IV Arsinoë IV ( grc-gre, Ἀρσινόη; between 68 and 63 BC – 41 BC) was the fourth of six children and the youngest daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes. Queen and co-ruler of Ptolemaic Kingdom, Ptolemaic Egypt with her brother Ptolemy XIII Theos ...
and brothers
Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator ( grc-gre, Πτολεμαῖος Θεός Φιλοπάτωρ, ''Ptolemaĩos''; c. 62 BC – 13 January 47 BC) was Pharaoh of Egypt from 51 to 47 BC, and one of the last members of the Ptolemaic dynasty (305–30 BC) ...
and
Ptolemy XIV Ptolemy XIV Philopator ( grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος Φιλοπάτωρ, ''Ptolemaĩos''; c. 59 – 44 BC) was a son of Ptolemy XII of Egypt and one of the last members of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), offic ...

Ptolemy XIV
, were born in the absence of his wife. Cleopatra's childhood tutor was Philostratos, from whom she learned the Greek arts of oration and
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about Metaphysics, existence, reason, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, language. Such questio ...
. During her youth Cleopatra presumably studied at the
Musaeum Image:ancientlibraryalex.jpg, The Ancient Library of Alexandria. The Musaeum or Mouseion at Alexandria ( grc, Μουσεῖον τῆς Ἀλεξανδρείας), which included the famous Library of Alexandria, was an institution said to have be ...
, including the
Library of Alexandria The Great Library of Alexandria in Alexandria, Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. The Library was part of a larger research institution called the Musaeum, Mouseion, which was dedicated to the ...

Library of Alexandria
.


Reign and exile of Ptolemy XII

In 65 BC the
Roman censor The censor (at any time, there were two) was a magistrate in ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of ...
Marcus Licinius Crassus Marcus Licinius Crassus (; 115 – 53 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'', a ...

Marcus Licinius Crassus
argued before the Roman Senate that Rome should annex Ptolemaic Egypt, but his proposed bill and the similar bill of
tribune Tribune () was the title of various elected officials in ancient Rome In historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the ...

tribune
Servilius Rullus Publius Servilius Rullus was plebeian tribune Tribune of the plebs, tribune of the people or plebeian tribune ( la, tribunus plebis) was the first office of the Roman state that was open to the plebeians The plebeians, also called plebs, were, ...
in 63 BC were rejected. Ptolemy XII responded to the threat of possible annexation by offering
remuneration Remuneration is the pay or other financial compensation provided in exchange for an employee's ''services performed'' (not to be confused with giving (away), or donating, or the act of providing to). A number of complementary Employee benefit, ben ...

remuneration
and lavish gifts to powerful Roman statesmen, such as
Pompey Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (; 29 September 106 BC – 28 September 48 BC), known in English as Pompey or Pompey the Great, was a leading Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization f ...
during his campaign against
Mithridates VI of Pontus Mithridates or Mithradates VI Eupator ( grc-gre, Μιθραδάτης; 135–63 BC) was ruler of the Kingdom of Pontus The Kingdom of Pontus ( grc, Βασιλεία τοῦ Πόντου, ''Basileía toû Póntou'') was a Hellenistic The ...

Mithridates VI of Pontus
, and eventually
Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened ...

Julius Caesar
after he became
Roman consul A consul held the highest elected political office The incumbent is the current holder of an office An office is a space where an Organization, organization's employees perform Business administration, administrative Work (human acti ...
in 59 BC.For further information and validation, see . In 1972, Michael Grant calculated that 6,000 talents, the price of Ptolemy XII's fee for receiving the title "friend and ally of the Roman people" from the
triumvirs A triumvirate ( la, triumvirātus) or a triarchy is a political institution ruled or dominated by three powerful individuals known as triumvirs ( la, triumviri). The arrangement can be formal or informal. Though the three are notionally equal, ...
Pompey and Julius Caesar, would be worth roughly £7 million or US$17 million, roughly the entire annual tax revenue for Ptolemaic Egypt.
However, Ptolemy XII's profligate behavior bankrupted him, and he was forced to acquire loans from the Roman banker Gaius Rabirius Postumus. In 58 BC the Romans annexed Cyprus and on accusations of piracy drove Ptolemy of Cyprus, Ptolemy XII's brother, to commit suicide instead of enduring exile to
Paphos Paphos ( el, Πάφος , Cypriot Turkish: Baf) is a coastal city in southwest Cyprus and the capital of Paphos District. In classical antiquity, two locations were called Paphos: Paphos#Old Paphos, Old Paphos, today known as Kouklia, and Papho ...

Paphos
.For political background information on the Roman annexation of Cyprus, a move pushed for in the by
Publius Clodius Pulcher Publius Clodius Pulcher (93–52 BC) was a populist Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city of Italy *, Roman civilization from 8th century BC to 5th century AD *, the people of ancient Rome *', shortened to ''Romans'' ...
, see .
Ptolemy XII remained publicly silent on the death of his brother, a decision which, along with ceding traditional Ptolemaic territory to the Romans, damaged his credibility among subjects already enraged by his economic policies. Ptolemy XII was then exiled from Egypt by force, traveling first to
Rhodes Rhodes (; el, Ρόδος, translit=Ródos ) is the largest of the Dodecanese The Dodecanese (, ; el, Δωδεκάνησα, ''Dodekánisa'' , literally "twelve islands") are a group of 15 larger plus 150 smaller Greek#REDIRECT Greek Gre ...

Rhodes
, then
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...
, and finally the
villa A villa is a type of house that was originally an ancient Roman In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman ...
of
triumvir A triumvirate ( la, triumvirātus) or a triarchy is a political regime ruled or dominated by three powerful individuals known as triumvirs ( la, triumviri). The arrangement can be formal or informal. Though the three are notionally equal, this ...
Pompey in the
Alban Hills The Alban Hills are the caldera A caldera is a large cauldron A cauldron (or caldron) is a large cast iron Cast iron is a group of iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content more than 2%. Its usefulness derives from its relatively low ...
, near
Praeneste Palestrina (ancient ''Praeneste''; grc, Πραίνεστος, ''Prainestos'') is a modern Italian city and ''comune'' (municipality) with a population of about 22,000, in Lazio, about east of Rome. It is connected to the latter by the Via Prene ...
, Italy.For further information, see . Ptolemy XII spent nearly a year there on the outskirts of Rome, ostensibly accompanied by his daughter Cleopatra, then about 11. expresses little doubt about this: "deposed in late summer 58 BC and fearing for his life,
Auletes In some accounts, Auletes (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population ...

Auletes
had fled both his palace and his kingdom, although he was not completely alone. For one Greek source reveals he had been accompanied 'by one of his daughters', and since his eldest
Berenice IV Berenice IV Epiphaneia ( grc-gre, Βερενίκη; 77–55 BC, born and died in Alexandria, Egypt) was a Greek Princess and Queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Biography Early life prior to reign Berenice was the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes and ...
, was monarch, and the youngest, Arisone, little more than a toddler, it is generally assumed that this must have been his middle daughter and favourite child, eleven-year-old Cleopatra."
Berenice IV sent an embassy to Rome to advocate for her rule and oppose the reinstatement of her father Ptolemy XII, but Ptolemy had assassins kill the leaders of the embassy, an incident that was covered up by his powerful Roman supporters.For further information, see . When the Roman Senate denied Ptolemy XII the offer of an armed escort and provisions for a return to Egypt, he decided to leave Rome in late 57 BC and reside at the
Temple of Artemis The Temple of Artemis or Artemision ( gr, Ἀρτεμίσιον; tr, Artemis Tapınağı), also known as the Temple of Diana, was a Greek temple dedicated to an ancient, local form of the goddess Artemis (associated with Diana (mythology), ...

Temple of Artemis
in
Ephesus Ephesus (; gr, Ἔφεσος, Éphesos; tr, Efes; may ultimately derive from hit, 𒀀𒉺𒊭, Apaša) was a city in ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Gree ...

Ephesus
. The Roman financiers of Ptolemy XII remained determined to restore him to power. Pompey persuaded Aulus Gabinius, the Roman Syria, Roman governor of Syria, to invade Egypt and restore Ptolemy XII, offering him 10,000 talents for the proposed mission. Although it put him at odds with Roman law, Gabinius invaded Egypt in the spring of 55 BC by way of Hasmonean dynasty, Hasmonean Judea, where Hyrcanus II had Antipater the Idumaean, father of Herod the Great, furnish the Roman-led army with supplies. As a young cavalry officer,
Mark Antony Marcus Antonius (14 January 1 August 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark Antony, was a Ancient Rome, Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the Crisis of the Roman Republic, transformation of the Roman Republic f ...
was under Gabinius's command. He distinguished himself by preventing Ptolemy XII from massacring the inhabitants of Pelousion, and for rescuing the body of Archelaus (high priest of Comana Cappadocia), Archelaos, the husband of Berenice IV, after he was killed in battle, ensuring him a proper royal burial. Cleopatra, then 14 years of age, would have traveled with the Roman expedition into Egypt; years later, Antony would profess that he had fallen in love with her at this time. Gabinius was put on trial in Rome for abusing his authority, for which he was acquitted, but his second trial for accepting bribes led to his exile, from which he was recalled seven years later in 48 BC by Caesar. Crassus replaced him as governor of Syria and extended his provincial command to Egypt, but he was killed by the Parthian Empire, Parthians at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. Ptolemy XII had Berenice IV and her wealthy supporters executed, seizing their properties. He allowed Gabinius's largely Germanic peoples, Germanic and Gaul, Gallic Roman garrison, the Gabiniani, to harass people in the streets of Alexandria and installed his longtime Roman financier Rabirius as his chief financial officer.For further information on Roman financier Rabirius, as well as the Gabiniani left in Egypt by Gabinius, see . Within a year Rabirius was placed under protective custody and sent back to Rome after his life was endangered for draining Egypt of its resources.For further information, see . Despite these problems, Ptolemy XII created a will designating Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII as his joint heirs, oversaw major construction projects such as the Temple of Edfu and a temple at Dendera, and stabilized the economy.For further information, see . On 31 May 52 BC, Cleopatra was made a regent of Ptolemy XII, as indicated by an inscription in the Dendera Temple complex, Temple of Hathor at Dendera.For further information, see . Rabirius was unable to collect the entirety of Ptolemy XII's debt by the time of the latter's death, and so it was passed on to his successors Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII.


Accession to the throne

Ptolemy XII died sometime before 22 March 51 BC, when Cleopatra, in her first act as queen, began her voyage to Hermonthis, near Thebes, Egypt, Thebes, to install a new sacred Buchis bull, worshiped as an intermediary for the god Montu in the Ancient Egyptian religion.For further information, see and . states that the partial solar eclipse of 7March 51 BC marked the death of Ptolemy XII and accession of Cleopatra to the throne, although she apparently suppressed the news of his death, alerting the Roman Senate to this fact months later in a message they received on 30 June 51 BC.However, claims that the Senate was informed of his death on 1August 51 BC. Michael Grant indicates that Ptolemy XII could have been alive as late as May, while an ancient Egyptian source affirms he was still ruling with Cleopatra by 15 July 51 BC, although by this point Cleopatra most likely "hushed up her father's death" so that she could consolidate her control of Egypt. Cleopatra faced several pressing issues and emergencies shortly after taking the throne. These included famine caused by drought and a low level of the annual flooding of the Nile, and lawless behavior instigated by the Gabiniani, the now unemployed and assimilated Roman soldiers left by Gabinius to garrison Egypt. Inheriting her father's debts, Cleopatra also owed the
Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public relations Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an indiv ...
17.5 million drachmas. In 50 BC Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, proconsul of Syria, sent his two eldest sons to Egypt, most likely to negotiate with the Gabiniani and recruit them as soldiers in the desperate defense of Syria Roman-Parthian Wars, against the Parthians. However, the Gabiniani tortured and murdered these two, perhaps with secret encouragement by rogue senior administrators in Cleopatra's court. Cleopatra sent the Gabiniani culprits to Bibulus as prisoners awaiting his judgment, but he sent them back to Cleopatra and chastised her for interfering in their adjudication, which was the prerogative of the Roman Senate. Bibulus, siding with Pompey in
Caesar's Civil War Caesar's Civil War (49–45 BC) was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a state of the classical Roman civilization, run through public In public r ...

Caesar's Civil War
, failed to prevent Caesar from landing a naval fleet in Greece, which ultimately allowed Caesar to reach Egypt in pursuit of Pompey. By 29 August 51 BC, official documents started listing Cleopatra as the sole ruler, evidence that she had rejected her brother Ptolemy XIII as a co-ruler. She had probably married him, but there is no record of this. The Ptolemaic practice of sibling marriage was introduced by Ptolemy II and his sister Arsinoe II. A Osiris myth, long-held royal Egyptian practice, it was loathed by contemporary
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
. writes the following about the sibling marriage of Ptolemy II and Arsinoe II: "Ptolemy Keraunos, who wanted to become king of Macedon... killed Arsinoë's small children in front of her. Now queen without a kingdom, Arsinoë fled to Egypt, where she was welcomed by her full brother Ptolemy II. Not content, however, to spend the rest of her life as a guest at the Ptolemaic court, she had Ptolemy II's wife exiled to Upper Egypt and married him herself around 275 B.C. Though such an incestuous marriage was considered scandalous by the Greeks, it was allowed by Egyptian custom. For that reason, the marriage split public opinion into two factions. The loyal side celebrated the couple as a return of the divine marriage of Zeus and Hera, whereas the other side did not refrain from profuse and obscene criticism. One of the most sarcastic commentators, a poet with a very sharp pen, had to flee Alexandria. The unfortunate poet was caught off the shore of Crete by the Ptolemaic navy, put in an iron basket, and drowned. This and similar actions seemingly slowed down vicious criticism." By the reign of Cleopatra, however, it was considered a normal arrangement for Ptolemaic rulers. Despite Cleopatra's rejection of him, Ptolemy XIII still retained powerful allies, notably the eunuch
Potheinos Pothinus or Potheinos ( grc-gre, Ποθεινὸς; early 1st century BC – 48 or 47 BC), a eunuch A eunuch ( ) is a man A man is an adult male Male (♂) is the sex of an organism that produces the gamete known as sperm. A male ...
, his childhood tutor, regent, and administrator of his properties. Others involved in the cabal against Cleopatra included Achillas, a prominent military commander, and Theodotus of Chios, another tutor of Ptolemy XIII. Cleopatra seems to have attempted a short-lived alliance with her brother Ptolemy XIV, but by the autumn of 50 BC Ptolemy XIII had the upper hand in their conflict and began signing documents with his name before that of his sister, followed by the establishment of his first regnal date in 49 BC.For further information, see .


Assassination of Pompey

In the summer of 49 BC, Cleopatra and Ptolemaic army, her forces were still fighting against Ptolemy XIII within Alexandria when Pompey's son Gnaeus Pompeius (son of Pompey the Great), Gnaeus Pompeius arrived, seeking military aid on behalf of his father. After returning to Italy from Gallic Wars, the wars in Gaul and crossing the Rubicon in January of 49 BC, Caesar had forced Pompey and his supporters to Caesar's Civil War#Civil War, flee to Greece. In perhaps their last joint decree, both Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII agreed to Gnaeus Pompeius's request and sent his father 60 ships and 500 troops, including the Gabiniani, a move that helped erase some of the debt owed to Rome. Losing the fight against her brother, Cleopatra was then forced to flee Alexandria and withdraw to the region of Thebes. By the spring of 48 BC Cleopatra had traveled to Roman Syria with her younger sister, Arsinoe IV, to gather an invasion force that would head to Egypt. She returned with an army, but her advance to Alexandria was blocked by her brother's forces, including some Gabiniani mobilized to fight against her, so she camped outside Pelousion in the eastern Nile Delta. In Greece, Caesar and Pompey's forces engaged each other at the decisive
Battle of Pharsalus The Battle of Pharsalus was the decisive battle of Caesar's Civil War Caesar's Civil War (49–45 BC) was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic The Roman Republic ( la, Rēs pūblica Rōmāna ) was a stat ...

Battle of Pharsalus
on 9August 48 BC, leading to the destruction of most of Pompey's army and his forced flight to Tyre, Lebanon.For further information, see and . Given his close relationship with the Ptolemies, Pompey ultimately decided that Egypt would be his place of refuge, where he could replenish his forces.For further information, see . Ptolemy XIII's advisers, however, feared the idea of Pompey using Egypt as his base in a protracted Roman civil war. In a scheme devised by Theodotus, Pompey arrived by ship near Pelousion after being invited by a written message, only to be ambushed and stabbed to death on 28 September 48 BC.For further information, see and . Ptolemy XIII believed he had demonstrated his power and simultaneously defused the situation by having Pompey's head, severed and embalmed, sent to Caesar, who arrived in Alexandria by early October and took up residence at the royal palace. Caesar expressed grief and outrage over the killing of Pompey and called on both Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra to disband their forces and reconcile with each other.For further information, see and .


Relationship with Julius Caesar

Ptolemy XIII arrived at Alexandria at the head of his army, in clear defiance of Caesar's demand that he disband and leave his army before his arrival. Cleopatra initially sent emissaries to Caesar, but upon allegedly hearing that Caesar was inclined to having affairs with royal women, she came to Alexandria to see him personally. Historian Cassius Dio records that she did so without informing her brother, dressed in an attractive manner, and charmed Caesar with her wit.
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
provides an entirely different and perhaps mythical account that alleges she was bound inside a bed sack to be smuggled into the palace to meet Caesar.For further information, see and . When Ptolemy XIII realized that his sister was in the palace consorting directly with Caesar, he attempted to rouse the populace of Alexandria into a riot, but he was arrested by Caesar, who used his oratorical skills to calm the frenzied crowd. Caesar then brought Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII before the Boule (ancient Greece), assembly of Alexandria, where Caesar revealed the written will of Ptolemy XII—previously possessed by Pompey—naming Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII as his joint heirs.For further information, see . Caesar then attempted to arrange for the other two siblings, Arsinoe IV and Ptolemy XIV, to rule together over Cyprus, thus removing potential rival claimants to the Egyptian throne while also appeasing the Ptolemaic subjects still bitter over the loss of Cyprus to the Romans in 58 BC. Judging that this agreement favored Cleopatra over Ptolemy XIII and that the latter's army of 20,000, including the Gabiniani, could most likely defeat Caesar's army of 4,000 unsupported troops, Potheinos decided to have Achillas lead their forces to Alexandria to attack both Caesar and Cleopatra.For further information, see . After Caesar managed to execute Potheinos, Arsinoe IV joined forces with Achillas and was declared queen, but soon afterward had her tutor Ganymedes (eunuch), Ganymedes kill Achillas and take his position as commander of her army.For further information, see . Ganymedes then tricked Caesar into requesting the presence of the erstwhile captive Ptolemy XIII as a negotiator, only to have him join the army of Arsinoe IV. The resulting Siege of Alexandria (47 BC), siege of the palace, with Caesar and Cleopatra trapped together inside, lasted into the following year of 47 BC.For further information, see and . Sometime between January and March of 47 BC, Caesar's reinforcements arrived, including those led by Mithridates I of the Bosporus, Mithridates of Pergamon and Antipater the Idumaean.For further information, see .As part of the siege of Alexandria, states that Caesar's reinforcements came in January, but says that his reinforcements came in March. Ptolemy XIII and Arsinoe IV withdrew their forces to the Nile, Battle of the Nile (47 BC), where Caesar attacked them. Ptolemy XIII tried to flee by boat, but it capsized, and he drowned.For further information and validation, see and . Ganymedes may have been killed in the battle. Theodotus was found years later in Asia, by Marcus Junius Brutus, and executed. Arsinoe IV was forcefully paraded in Caesar's Roman triumph, triumph in Rome before being exiled to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Cleopatra was conspicuously absent from these events and resided in the palace, most likely because she had been pregnant with Caesar's child since September 48 BC. Caesar's term as consul had expired at the end of 48 BC. However, Antony, an officer of his, helped to secure Caesar's appointment as Roman dictator, dictator lasting for a year, until October 47 BC, providing Caesar with the legal authority to settle the dynastic dispute in Egypt. Wary of repeating the mistake of Cleopatra's sister Berenice IV in having a female monarch as sole ruler, Caesar appointed Cleopatra's 12-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIV, as joint ruler with the 22-year-old Cleopatra in a nominal sibling marriage, but Cleopatra continued living privately with Caesar.For further information and validation, see and . states that at this point (47 BC) Ptolemy XIV was 12 years old, while claims that he was still only 10 years of age. The exact date at which Cyprus was returned to her control is not known, although she had a governor there by 42 BC. Caesar is alleged to have joined Cleopatra for a cruise of the Nile and sightseeing of Ancient Egyptian architecture, Egyptian monuments, although this may be a romantic tale reflecting later well-to-do Roman proclivities and not a real historical event. The historian Suetonius provided considerable details about the voyage, including use of ''Thalamegos'', the pleasure barge constructed by Ptolemy IV, which during his reign measured in length and in height and was complete with dining rooms, state rooms, holy shrines, and Promenade deck, promenades along its two decks, resembling a floating villa. Caesar could have had an interest in the Nile cruise owing to his fascination with geography; he was well-read in the works of Eratosthenes and Pytheas, and perhaps wanted to discover the source of the river, but turned back before reaching Ethiopia. Caesar departed from Egypt around April 47 BC, allegedly to confront Pharnaces II of Pontus, the son of Mithridates VI of Pontus, who was stirring up trouble for Rome in Anatolia. It is possible that Caesar, married to the prominent Roman woman Calpurnia (wife of Caesar), Calpurnia, also wanted to avoid being seen together with Cleopatra when she bore him their son. He left three legions in Egypt, later increased to four, under the command of the freedman Rufio (officer of Caesar), Rufio, to secure Cleopatra's tenuous position, but also perhaps to keep her activities in check.
Caesarion Ptolemy XV Caesar). (; grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος, ; 23 June 47 BC – August 30 BC), nicknamed Caesarion (), was the last pharaoh Pharaoh ( , ; cop, , Pǝrro) is the common title now used for the monarch A monarch is a head o ...

Caesarion
, Cleopatra's alleged child with Caesar, was born 23 June 47 BC and was originally named "Pharaoh Caesar", as preserved on a stele at the Serapeum in Memphis.For further information and validation, see and . Perhaps owing to his still childless marriage with Calpurnia, Caesar remained publicly silent about Caesarion (but perhaps accepted his parentage in private). writes the following about Caesar and his parentage of Caesarion: "The matter of parentage became so tangled in the propaganda war between Antonius and Octavian in the late 30s B.C.—it was essential for one side to prove and the other to reject Caesar's role—that it is impossible today to determine Caesar's actual response. The extant information is almost contradictory: it was said that Caesar denied parentage in his will but acknowledged it privately and allowed the use of the name Caesarion. Caesar's associate C. Oppius even wrote a pamphlet proving that Caesarion was not Caesar's child, and C. Helvius Cinna—the poet who was killed by rioters after Antonius' funeral oration—was prepared in 44 B.C. to introduce legislation to allow Caesar to marry as many wives as he wished for the purpose of having children. Although much of this talk was generated after Caesar's death, it seems that he wished to be as quiet as possible about the child but had to contend with Cleopatra's repeated assertions." Cleopatra, on the other hand, made repeated official declarations about Caesarion's parentage, naming Caesar as the father. Cleopatra and her nominal joint ruler Ptolemy XIV visited Rome sometime in late 46 BC, presumably without Caesarion, and were given lodging in Caesar's villa within the Horti Caesaris.For further information and validation, see . As with their father Ptolemy XII, Caesar awarded both Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIV the legal status of "friend and ally of the Roman people" ( ), in effect client rulers loyal to Rome. Cleopatra's visitors at Caesar's villa across the Tiber included the senator Cicero, who found her arrogant. Sosigenes of Alexandria, one of the members of Cleopatra's court, aided Caesar in the calculations for the new Julian calendar, put into effect 1January 45 BC. The Temple of Venus Genetrix, established in the Forum of Caesar on 25 September 46 BC, contained a golden statue of Cleopatra (which stood there at least until the 3rd century AD), associating the mother of Caesar's child directly with the goddess Venus (mythology), Venus, mother of the Romans. The statue also subtly linked the Egyptian goddess Isis with the Roman religion. Cleopatra's presence in Rome most likely had an effect on the events at the Lupercalia festival a month before Caesar's assassination. Antony attempted to place a royal diadem on Caesar's head, but the latter refused in what was most likely a staged performance, perhaps to gauge the Roman public's mood about accepting Hellenistic-style kingship. Cicero, who was present at the festival, mockingly asked where the diadem came from, an obvious reference to the Ptolemaic queen whom he abhorred. Assassination of Julius Caesar, Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March (15 March 44 BC), but Cleopatra stayed in Rome until about mid-April, in the vain hope of having Caesarion recognized as Caesar's heir. However, Caesar's will named his grandnephew
Octavian Caesar Augustus (23 September 63 BC19 August AD 14) was the first Roman emperor, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate (the first phase of the Roman Empire) has consolidated ...
as the primary heir, and Octavian arrived in Italy around the same time Cleopatra decided to depart for Egypt. A few months later, Cleopatra had Ptolemy XIV killed by poisoning, elevating her son Caesarion as her co-ruler.For further information, see .


Cleopatra in the Liberators' civil war

Octavian, Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus formed the
Second Triumvirate The Second Triumvirate (43–32 BC) was a political alliance formed after the Roman dictator Julius Caesar Gaius Julius Caesar (; 12 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *, the capital city o ...
in 43 BC, in which they were each Elections in the Roman Republic, elected for five-year terms to restore order in the Republic and Liberators' civil war, bring Caesar's assassins to justice. Cleopatra received messages from both Gaius Cassius Longinus, one of Caesar's assassins, and Publius Cornelius Dolabella (consul 44 BC), Publius Cornelius Dolabella, proconsul of Syria and Caesarian loyalist, requesting military aid. She decided to write Cassius an excuse that her kingdom faced too many internal problems, while sending the four legions left by Caesar in Egypt to Dolabella. However, these troops were captured by Cassius in Palestine (region), Palestine. While Serapion (strategos), Serapion, Cleopatra's governor of Cyprus, defected to Cassius and provided him with ships, Cleopatra took her own fleet to Greece to personally assist Octavian and Antony, but her ships were heavily damaged in a Mediterranean storm and she arrived too late to aid in the fighting. By the autumn of 42 BC, Antony had defeated the forces of Caesar's assassins at the Battle of Philippi in Greece, leading to the suicide of Cassius and Brutus. By the end of 42 BC, Octavian had gained control over much of Greek East and Latin West, the western half of the Roman Republic and Antony the eastern half, with Lepidus largely marginalized. In the summer of 41 BC, Antony established his headquarters at
Tarsos Tarsus (Hittite Hittite may refer to: * Hittites, ancient Anatolian people ** Hittite language, the earliest-attested Indo-European language ** Hittite grammar ** Hittite phonology ** Hittite cuneiform ** Hittite inscriptions ** Hittite laws ** ...
in Anatolia and summoned Cleopatra there in several letters, which she rebuffed until Antony's envoy Quintus Dellius convinced her to come. The meeting would allow Cleopatra to clear up the misconception that she had supported Cassius during the civil war and address territorial exchanges in the Levant, but Antony also undoubtedly desired to form a personal, romantic relationship with the queen. Cleopatra sailed up the Berdan River, Kydnos River to Tarsos in ''Thalamegos'', hosting Antony and his officers for two nights of lavish banquets on board the ship.As explained by , Cleopatra, having read Antony's personality, boldly presented herself to him as the Egyptian goddess Isis (in the appearance of the Greek goddess Aphrodite) meeting her divine husband Osiris (in the form of the Greek god Dionysus), knowing that the priests of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus had associated Antony with Dionysus shortly before this encounter. According to , a cult surrounding Isis had been spreading across the region for hundreds of years, and Cleopatra, like many of her predecessors, sought to identify herself with Isis and be venerated. In addition, some surviving coins of Cleopatra also depict her as Venus–Aphrodite, as explained by . Cleopatra managed to clear her name as a supposed supporter of Cassius, arguing she had really attempted to help Dolabella in Syria, and convinced Antony to have her exiled sister, Arsinoe IV, executed at Ephesus. Cleopatra's former rebellious governor of Cyprus was also handed over to her for execution.


Relationship with Mark Antony

Cleopatra invited Antony to come to Egypt before departing from Tarsos, which led Antony to visit Alexandria by November 41 BC. Antony was well received by the populace of Alexandria, both for his heroic actions in restoring Ptolemy XII to power and coming to Egypt without an occupation force like Caesar had done. In Egypt, Antony continued to enjoy the lavish royal lifestyle he had witnessed aboard Cleopatra's ship docked at Tarsos. He also had his subordinates, such as Publius Ventidius Bassus, Battle of Mount Gindarus, drive the Parthians out of Anatolia and Syria.For further information about Publius Ventidius Bassus and his victory over Parthian Empire, Parthian forces at the Battle of Mount Gindarus, see . Cleopatra carefully chose Antony as her partner for producing further heirs, as he was deemed to be the most powerful Roman figure following Caesar's demise. With his powers as a triumvir, Antony also had the broad authority to restore former Ptolemaic lands, which were currently in Roman hands, to Cleopatra. While it is clear that both Cilicia and Cyprus were under Cleopatra's control by 19 November 38 BC, the transfer probably occurred earlier in the winter of 41–40 BC, during her time spent with Antony. By the spring of 40 BC, Antony left Egypt due to troubles in Syria, where his governor Lucius Decidius Saxa was killed and his army taken by Quintus Labienus, a former officer under Cassius who now served the
Parthian Empire The Parthian Empire (), also known as the Arsacid Empire (), was a major political and cultural power in from 247 BC to 224 AD. Its latter name comes from its founder, , who led the tribe in conquering the region of in 's northeast, ...

Parthian Empire
. Cleopatra provided Antony with 200 ships for his campaign and as payment for her newly acquired territories. She would not see Antony again until 37 BC, but she maintained correspondence, and evidence suggests she kept a spy in his camp. By the end of 40 BC, Cleopatra had given birth to twins, a boy named
Alexander Helios Alexander Helios ( el, Ἀλέξανδρος Ἥλιος; late 40 BC – unknown, but possibly between 29 and 25 BC) was a Ptolemaic prince and was a son of the Macedonian queen Cleopatra VII Cleopatra VII Philopator ( grc-koi, Κλεο ...
and a girl named
Cleopatra Selene II Cleopatra Selene II (Ancient Greek, Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Σελήνη; summer 40 BC – BC; the numeration is modern) was a Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemaic princess and Queen of Numidia (briefly in 25 BC) and Mauretania (25 BC – 5 BC). She wa ...

Cleopatra Selene II
, both of whom Antony acknowledged as his children. Helios (the Sun) and Selene (the Moon) were symbolic of a new era of societal rejuvenation, as well as an indication that Cleopatra hoped Antony would repeat the Wars of Alexander the Great, exploits of Alexander the Great by conquering the Parthian Empire, Parthians. Mark Antony's Parthian campaign in the east was disrupted by the events of the Perusine War (41–40 BC), initiated by his ambitious wife Fulvia against Octavian in the hopes of making her husband the undisputed leader of Rome. It has been suggested that Fulvia wanted to cleave Antony away from Cleopatra, but the conflict emerged in Italy even before Cleopatra's meeting with Antony at Tarsos. Fulvia and Antony's brother Lucius Antonius (brother of Mark Antony), Lucius Antonius were eventually besieged by Octavian at Perusia (modern Perugia, Italy) and then exiled from Italy, after which Fulvia died at Sicyon in Greece while attempting to reach Antony. Her sudden death led to a reconciliation of Octavian and Antony at Brundisium in Italy in September 40 BC. Although the agreement struck at Brundisium solidified Antony's control of the Roman Republic's territories east of the Ionian Sea, it also stipulated that he concede Roman Italy, Italia, Hispania, and Roman Gaul, Gaul, and marry Octavian's sister Octavia the Younger, a potential rival for Cleopatra. In December 40 BC Cleopatra received Herod in Alexandria as an unexpected guest and refugee who fled a turbulent situation in Judea. Herod had been installed as a Herodian Tetrarchy, tetrarch there by Antony, but he was soon at odds with Antigonus II Mattathias of the long-established Hasmonean dynasty. The latter had imprisoned Herod's brother and fellow tetrarch Phasael, who was executed while Herod was fleeing toward Cleopatra's court. Cleopatra attempted to provide him with a military assignment, but Herod declined and traveled to Rome, where the triumvirs Octavian and Antony named him List of Hasmonean and Herodian rulers, king of Judea. This act put Herod on a collision course with Cleopatra, who would desire to reclaim the former Ptolemaic territories that comprised his new Herodian kingdom. Relations between Antony and Cleopatra perhaps soured when he not only married Octavia, but also sired her two children, Antonia the Elder in 39 BC and Antonia Minor in 36 BC, and moved his headquarters to Athens. However, Cleopatra's position in Egypt was secure. Her rival Herod was occupied with civil war in Judea that required heavy Roman military assistance, but received none from Cleopatra. Since the authority of Antony and Octavian as triumvirs had expired on 1January 37 BC, Octavia arranged for a meeting at Taranto, Tarentum, where the triumvirate was officially extended to 33 BC. With two Roman legion, legions granted by Octavian and a thousand soldiers lent by Octavia, Antony traveled to Antioch, where he made preparations for war against the Parthians. Antony summoned Cleopatra to Antioch to discuss pressing issues, such as Herod's kingdom and financial support for his Parthian campaign. Cleopatra brought her now three-year-old twins to Antioch, where Antony saw them for the first time and where they probably first received their surnames Helios and Selene as part of Antony and Cleopatra's ambitious plans for the future. In order to stabilize the east, Antony not only enlarged Cleopatra's domain, he also established new ruling dynasties and client rulers who would be loyal to him, yet would ultimately outlast him.According to , these client state rulers installed by Antony included Herod, Amyntas of Galatia, Polemon I of Pontus, and Archelaus of Cappadocia. In this arrangement Cleopatra gained significant former Ptolemaic territories in the Levant, including nearly all of Phoenicia (Lebanon) minus Tyre, Lebanon, Tyre and Sidon, which remained in Roman hands. She also received Ptolemais Akko (modern Acre, Israel), a city that was established by Ptolemy II. Given her Seleucid dynasty, ancestral relations with the Seleucids, she was granted the region of Coele-Syria along the upper Orontes River. She was even given the region surrounding Jericho in Palestine, but she leased this territory back to Herod. At the expense of the List of Nabataean kings, Nabataean king Malichus I (a cousin of Herod), Cleopatra was also given a portion of the Nabataean Kingdom around the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea, including Ailana (modern Aqaba, Jordan). To the west Cleopatra was handed Cyrene, Libya, Cyrene along the Libyan coast, as well as Itanos and Olous in Roman Crete. Although still administered by Roman officials, these territories nevertheless enriched her kingdom and led her to declare the inauguration of a new era by double-dating Ptolemaic coinage, her coinage in 36 BC. Antony's enlargement of the Ptolemaic realm by relinquishing directly controlled Roman territory was exploited by his rival Octavian, who tapped into the public sentiment in Rome against the empowerment of a foreign queen at the expense of their Republic. Octavian, fostering the narrative that Antony was neglecting his virtuous Roman wife Octavia, granted both her and Livia, his own wife, extraordinary privileges of sacrosanctity. Some 50 years before, Cornelia Africana, daughter of Scipio Africanus, had been the first living Roman woman to have a statue dedicated to her. She was now followed by Octavia and Livia, whose statues were most likely erected in the Forum of Caesar to rival that of Cleopatra's, erected by Caesar. In 36 BC, Cleopatra accompanied Antony to the Euphrates in his journey toward invading the Parthian Empire. She then returned to Egypt, perhaps due to her advanced state of pregnancy. By the summer of 36 BC, she had given birth to
Ptolemy Philadelphus Ptolemy II Philadelphus ( gr, Πτολεμαῖος Φιλάδελφος ''Ptolemaios Philadelphos'', "Ptolemy, sibling-lover"; 309 – 28 January 246 BC), also known posthumously as Ptolemy the Great, was the pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 t ...
, her second son with Antony. Antony's Parthian War, Antony's Parthian campaign in 36 BC turned into a complete debacle for a number of reasons, in particular the betrayal of Artavasdes II of Armenia, who defected to the Parthian side. After losing some 30,000 men, more than Crassus at Carrhae (an indignity he had hoped to avenge), Antony finally arrived at Leukokome near Berytus (modern Beirut, Lebanon) in December, engaged in heavy drinking before Cleopatra arrived to provide funds and clothing for his battered troops. Antony desired to avoid the risks involved in returning to Rome, and so he traveled with Cleopatra back to Alexandria to see his newborn son.


Donations of Alexandria

As Antony prepared for another Parthian expedition in 35 BC, this time aimed at Kingdom of Armenia (antiquity), their ally Armenia, Octavia traveled to Athens with 2,000 troops in alleged support of Antony, but most likely in a scheme devised by Octavian to embarrass him for his military losses. claims that
Octavia Minor Octavia the Younger ( la, Octavia Minor; 69/66–11 BC) was the elder sister of the first Roman Emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶ ...
provided Antony with 1,200 troops, not 2,000 as stated in and .
Antony received these troops but told Octavia not to stray east of Athens as he and Cleopatra traveled together to Antioch, only to suddenly and inexplicably abandon the military campaign and head back to Alexandria. When Octavia returned to Rome Octavian portrayed his sister as a victim wronged by Antony, although she refused to leave Antony's household. Octavian's confidence grew as he eliminated his rivals in the west, including Sextus Pompeius and even Lepidus, the third member of the triumvirate, who was placed under house arrest after revolting against Octavian in Sicily. Dellius was sent as Antony's envoy to Artavasdes II in 34 BC to negotiate a potential marriage alliance that would wed the Armenian king's daughter to Alexander Helios, the son of Antony and Cleopatra. When this was declined, Antony marched his army into Armenia, defeated their forces and captured the king and Armenian royal family. Antony then held a military parade in Alexandria as an imitation of a Roman triumph, dressed as Dionysus and riding into the city on a chariot to present the royal prisoners to Cleopatra, who was seated on a golden throne above a silver dais. News of this event was heavily criticized in Rome as a perversion of time-honored Roman rites and rituals to be enjoyed instead by an Egyptian queen. In an event held at the Gymnasium (ancient Greece), gymnasium soon after the triumph, Cleopatra dressed as Isis and declared that she was the Queen of Kings with her son Caesarion, King of Kings, while Alexander Helios was declared king of Armenia, Media (region), Media, and Parthia, and two-year-old Ptolemy Philadelphos was declared king of Syria and Cilicia. Cleopatra Selene II was bestowed with Crete and Cyrene. Antony and Cleopatra may have been wed during this ceremony. says that it is unclear if Antony and Cleopatra were ever truly married. says that the marriage publicly sealed Antony's alliance with Cleopatra and in defiance of Octavian he would divorce Octavia in 32 BC. Coins of Antony and Cleopatra depict them in the typical manner of a Hellenistic royal couple, as explained by . Antony sent a report to Rome requesting ratification of these territorial claims, now known as the
Donations of Alexandria The Donations of Alexandria (Autumn 34 BC) were a political act by Cleopatra, Cleopatra VII and Mark Antony in which they distributed lands held by Rome and Parthia amongst Cleopatra's children, and granted them many titles, especially for Caesar ...

Donations of Alexandria
. Octavian wanted to publicize it for propaganda purposes, but the two consuls, both supporters of Antony, had it censored from public view. In late 34 BC, Antony and Octavian engaged in a heated war of propaganda that would last for years. writes that "Octavian waged a propaganda war against Antony and Cleopatra, stressing Cleopatra's status as a woman and a foreigner who wished to share in Roman power." Antony claimed that his rival had illegally deposed Lepidus from their triumvirate and barred him from raising troops in Italy, while Octavian accused Antony of unlawfully detaining the king of Armenia, marrying Cleopatra despite still being married to his sister Octavia, and wrongfully claiming Caesarion as the heir of Caesar instead of Octavian. The litany of accusations and gossip associated with this propaganda war have shaped the popular perceptions about Cleopatra from Augustan literature (ancient Rome), Augustan-period literature through to various media in modern times. Cleopatra was said to have brainwashed Mark Antony with Magic in the Graeco-Roman world, witchcraft and sorcery and was as dangerous as Homer's Helen of Troy in destroying civilization. Pliny the Elder claims in his ''Natural History'' that Cleopatra once dissolved a pearl worth tens of millions of sesterces in vinegar just to win a dinner-party bet. The accusation that Antony had stolen books from the Library of Pergamum to restock the Library of Alexandria later turned out to be an admitted fabrication by Gaius Calvisius Sabinus (consul 39 BC), Gaius Calvisius Sabinus. A papyrus document dated to February 33 BC, later used to wrap a mummy, contains the signature of Cleopatra, probably written by an official authorized to sign for her. It concerns certain tax exemptions in Egypt granted to either Quintus Caecillius or Publius Canidius Crassus,Stanley M. Burstein, in provides the name Quintus Cascellius as the recipient of the tax exemption, not the Publius Canidius Crassus provided by Duane W. Roller in . a former Roman consul and Antony's confidant who would command his land forces at Actium. A subscript in a different handwriting at the bottom of the papyrus reads "make it happen" or "so be it" ( grc, γινέσθωι, ginésthōi); notes that "[t]he fragmentary texts of ancient Greek papyri do not often make their way into the modern public arena, but this one has, and with fascinating results, while remaining almost entirely unacknowledged is the remarkable fact that Cleopatra's one-word subscription contains a blatant spelling error: , with a superfluous iota adscript." This spelling error "has not been noted by the popular media", however, being "simply transliterated [...] including, without comment, the superfluous iota adscript" (p. 208). Even in academic sources, the misspelling was largely unacknowledged or quietly corrected (pp. 206–208, 210).Although described as normal' orthography" (in contrast with correct' orthography") by Peter van Minnen (p. 208), the spelling error is "much rarer and more puzzling" than the sort one would expect from the Greek papyri from Egypt (p. 210)—so rare, in fact, that it occurs only twice in the 70,000 Greek papyri between the 3rd century BC and 8th century AD in the Papyrological Navigator's database. This is especially so when considering it was added to a word "with no etymological or morphological reason for having an iota adscript" (p. 210) and was written by "the well-educated, native Greek-speaking, queen of Egypt" Cleopatra VII (p. 208). this is likely the autograph of the queen, as it was Ptolemaic practice to Countersign (legal), countersign documents to avoid forgery.


Battle of Actium

In a speech to the Roman Senate on the first day of his consulship on 1January 33 BC, Octavian accused Antony of attempting to subvert Roman freedoms and territorial integrity as a slave to his Oriental queen. Before Antony and Octavian's joint ''imperium'' expired on 31 December 33 BC, Antony declared Caesarion as the true heir of Caesar in an attempt to undermine Octavian. In 32 BC, the Antonian loyalists Gaius Sosius and Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus (consul 32 BC), Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus became consuls. The former gave a fiery speech condemning Octavian, now a private citizen without public office, and introduced pieces of legislation against him. During the next senatorial session, Octavian entered the Senate house with armed guards and levied his own accusations against the consuls. Intimidated by this act, the consuls and over 200 senators still in support of Antony fled Rome the next day to join the side of Antony. Antony and Cleopatra traveled together to Ephesus in 32 BC, where she provided him with 200 of the 800 naval ships he was able to acquire. Ahenobarbus, wary of having Octavian's propaganda confirmed to the public, attempted to persuade Antony to have Cleopatra excluded from the campaign against Octavian. Publius Canidius Crassus made the counterargument that Cleopatra was funding the war effort and was a competent monarch. Cleopatra refused Antony's requests that she return to Egypt, judging that by blocking Octavian in Greece she could more easily defend Egypt. Cleopatra's insistence that she be involved in the battle for Greece led to the defections of prominent Romans, such as Ahenobarbus and Lucius Munatius Plancus. During the spring of 32 BC Antony and Cleopatra traveled to Athens, where she persuaded Antony to send Octavia an official declaration of divorce. This encouraged Plancus to advise Octavian that he should seize Antony's will, invested with the Vestal Virgins. Although a violation of sacred and legal rights, Octavian forcefully acquired the document from the Temple of Vesta, and it became a useful tool in the propaganda war against Antony and Cleopatra. Octavian highlighted parts of the will, such as Caesarion being named heir to Caesar, that the Donations of Alexandria were legal, that Antony should be buried alongside Cleopatra in Egypt instead of Rome, and that Alexandria would be made the new capital of the Roman Republic. In a show of loyalty to Rome, Octavian decided to begin construction of Mausoleum of Augustus, his own mausoleum at the Campus Martius. Octavian's legal standing was also improved by being elected consul in 31 BC. With Antony's will made public, Octavian had his ''casus belli'', and Rome declared war on Cleopatra, not Antony.As explained by , "politically, Octavian had to walk a fine line as he prepared to engage in open hostilities with Antony. He was careful to minimize associations with civil war, as the Roman people had already suffered through many years of civil conflict and Octavian could risk losing support if he declared war on a Roman citizenship, fellow citizen." The legal argument for war was based less on Cleopatra's territorial acquisitions, with former Roman territories ruled by her children with Antony, and more on the fact that she was providing military support to a private citizen now that Antony's triumviral authority had expired. Antony and Cleopatra had a larger fleet than Octavian, but the crews of Antony and Cleopatra's navy were not all well-trained, some of them perhaps from merchant vessels, whereas Octavian had a fully professional force. Antony wanted to cross the Adriatic Sea and blockade Octavian at either Tarentum or Brundisium, but Cleopatra, concerned primarily with defending Egypt, overrode the decision to attack Italy directly. Antony and Cleopatra set up their winter headquarters at Patrai in Greece, and by the spring of 31 BC they had moved to Actium, on the southern side of the Ambracian Gulf. Cleopatra and Antony had the support of various allied kings, but Cleopatra had already been in conflict with Herod, and an earthquake in Judea provided him with an excuse to be absent from the campaign. They also lost the support of Malichus I, which would prove to have strategic consequences. Antony and Cleopatra lost several skirmishes against Octavian around Actium during the summer of 31 BC, while defections to Octavian's camp continued, including Antony's long-time companion Dellius and the allied kings Amyntas of Galatia and List of rulers of the Paphlagonia, Deiotaros of Paphlagonia. While some in Antony's camp suggested abandoning the naval conflict to retreat inland, Cleopatra urged for a naval confrontation, to keep Octavian's fleet away from Egypt. On 2 September 31 BC the naval forces of Octavian, led by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, met those of Antony and Cleopatra at the
Battle of Actium The Battle of Actium was a naval battle in the last war of the Roman Republic The War of Actium (32–30 BC) was the last civil war A civil war, also known as an intrastate war in polemology, is a war between organized groups within ...
. Cleopatra, aboard her flagship, the ''Antonias'', commanded 60 ships at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, at the rear of the fleet, in what was likely a move by Antony's officers to marginalize her during the battle. Antony had ordered that their ships should have sails on board for a better chance to pursue or flee from the enemy, which Cleopatra, ever concerned about defending Egypt, used to swiftly move through the area of major combat in a strategic withdrawal to the Peloponnese. Burstein writes that partisan Roman writers would later accuse Cleopatra of cowardly deserting Antony, but their original intention of keeping their sails on board may have been to break the blockade and salvage as much of their fleet as possible. Antony followed Cleopatra and boarded her ship, identified by its Tyrian purple, distinctive purple sails, as the two escaped the battle and headed for Tainaron. Antony reportedly avoided Cleopatra during this three-day voyage, until her ladies in waiting at Tainaron urged him to speak with her. The Battle of Actium raged on without Cleopatra and Antony until the morning of 3September, and was followed by massive defections of officers, troops, and allied kings to Octavian's side.


Downfall and death

While Octavian occupied Athens, Antony and Cleopatra landed at Paraitonion in Egypt. The couple then went their separate ways, Antony to Cyrene to raise more troops and Cleopatra to the harbor at Alexandria in an attempt to mislead the oppositional party and portray the activities in Greece as a victory. She was afraid that news about the outcome of the battle of Actium would lead to a rebellion. It is uncertain whether or not, at this time, she actually executed Artavasdes II and sent his head to his rival, Artavasdes I of Media Atropatene, in an attempt to strike an alliance with him. Lucius Pinarius, Mark Antony's appointed governor of Cyrene, received word that Octavian had won the Battle of Actium before Antony's messengers could arrive at his court. Pinarius had these messengers executed and then defected to Octavian's side, surrendering to him the four legions under his command that Antony desired to obtain. Antony nearly committed suicide after hearing news of this but was stopped by his staff officers. In Alexandria he built a reclusive cottage on the island of Pharos that he nicknamed the ''Timoneion'', after the philosopher Timon of Athens (person), Timon of Athens, who was famous for his cynicism and misanthropy. Herod, who had personally advised Antony after the Battle of Actium that he should betray Cleopatra, traveled to Rhodes to meet Octavian and resign his kingship out of loyalty to Antony. Octavian was impressed by his speech and sense of loyalty, so he allowed him to maintain his position in Judea, further isolating Antony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra perhaps started to view Antony as a liability by the late summer of 31 BC, when she prepared to leave Egypt to her son Caesarion. Cleopatra planned to relinquish her throne to him, take her fleet from the Mediterranean into the Red Sea, and then set sail to a foreign port, perhaps in History of India, India, where she could spend time recuperating. However, these plans were ultimately abandoned when Malichus I, as advised by Octavian's governor of Syria, Quintus Didius, managed to burn Cleopatra's fleet in revenge for his losses in a war with Herod that Cleopatra had largely initiated. Cleopatra had no other option but to stay in Egypt and negotiate with Octavian. Although most likely later pro-Octavian propaganda, it was reported that at this time Cleopatra started testing the strengths of various poisons on prisoners and even her own servants. Cleopatra had Caesarion enter into the ranks of the ''ephebi'', which, along with reliefs on a stele from Koptos dated 21 September 31 BC, demonstrated that Cleopatra was now grooming her son to become the sole ruler of Egypt. In a show of solidarity, Antony also had Marcus Antonius Antyllus, his son with Fulvia, enter the ''ephebi'' at the same time. Separate messages and envoys from Antony and Cleopatra were then sent to Octavian, still stationed at Rhodes, although Octavian seems to have replied only to Cleopatra. Cleopatra requested that her children should inherit Egypt and that Antony should be allowed to live in exile in Egypt, offered Octavian money in the future, and immediately sent him lavish gifts. Octavian sent his diplomat Thyrsos to Cleopatra after she threatened to burn herself and vast amounts of her treasure within a tomb already under construction. Thyrsos advised her to kill Antony so that her life would be spared, but when Antony suspected foul intent, he had this diplomat flogged and sent back to Octavian without a deal. After lengthy negotiations that ultimately produced no results, Octavian set out to invade Egypt in the spring of 30 BC, stopping at Ptolemais in Phoenicia, where his new ally Herod provided his army with fresh supplies. Octavian moved south and swiftly took Pelousion, while Cornelius Gallus, marching eastward from Cyrene, defeated Antony's forces near Paraitonion. Octavian advanced quickly to Alexandria, but Antony returned and won a small victory over Octavian's tired troops outside the city's hippodrome. However, on 1 August 30 BC, Antony's naval fleet surrendered to Octavian, followed by Antony's cavalry. Cleopatra hid herself in her tomb with her close attendants and sent a message to Antony that she had committed suicide. In despair, Antony responded to this by stabbing himself in the stomach and taking his own life at age 53. According to Plutarch, he was still dying when brought to Cleopatra at her tomb, telling her he had died honorably and that she could trust Octavian's companion Gaius Proculeius over anyone else in his entourage. It was Proculeius, however, who infiltrated her tomb using a ladder and detained the queen, denying her the ability to burn herself with her treasures. Cleopatra was then allowed to embalm and bury Antony within her tomb before she was escorted to the palace. Octavian entered Alexandria, occupied the palace, and seized Cleopatra's three youngest children. When she met with Octavian, Cleopatra told him bluntly, "I will not be led in a triumph" ( grc, οὑ θριαμβεύσομαι, ou thriambéusomai), according to Livy, a rare recording of her exact words. Octavian promised that he would keep her alive but offered no explanation about his future plans for her kingdom. When a spy informed her that Octavian planned to move her and her children to Rome in three days, she prepared for suicide as she had no intentions of being paraded in a Roman triumph like her sister Arsinoe IV. It is unclear if Death of Cleopatra, Cleopatra's suicide on 10 August 30 BC, at age 39, took place within the palace or her tomb. It is said she was accompanied by her servants Eiras and Charmion (servant to Cleopatra), Charmion, who also took their own lives. Octavian was said to have been angered by this outcome but had Cleopatra buried in royal fashion next to Antony in Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra, her tomb. Cleopatra's physician Olympos did not explain her cause of death, although the popular belief is that she allowed an Asp (reptile), asp or Egyptian cobra to bite and poison her. Plutarch relates this tale, but then suggests an implement (, ,  'spine, cheese-grater') was used to introduce the toxin by scratching, while Dio says that she injected the poison with a needle (, ), and Strabo argued for an ointment of some kind.For the translated accounts of both Plutarch and Dio, writes that the implement used to puncture Cleopatra's skin was a hairpin. No venomous snake was found with her body, but she did have tiny puncture wounds on her arm that could have been caused by a needle. Cleopatra decided in her last moments to send Caesarion away to Upper Egypt, perhaps with plans to flee to Kingdom of Kush, Kushite Nubia, Ethiopia, or India. Caesarion, now Ptolemy XV, would reign for a mere 18 days until executed on the orders of Octavian on 29 August 30 BC, after returning to Alexandria under the false pretense that Octavian would allow him to be king. and explain the nominal short-lived reign of Caesarion as lasting 18 days in 30 August BC. However, Duane W. Roller, relaying Theodore Cressy Skeat, affirms that Caesarion's reign "was essentially a fiction created by Egyptian chronographers to close the gap between [Cleopatra's] death and official Roman control of Egypt (under the new pharaoh, Octavian)", citing, for instance, the ''Stromata'' by Clement of Alexandria ().Plutarch, translated by , wrote in vague terms that "Octavian had Caesarion killed later, after Cleopatra's death." Octavian was convinced by the advice of the philosopher Arius Didymus that there was room for only one Caesar in the world., translating Plutarch, quotes Arius Didymus as saying to Octavian that "it is not good to have too many Caesars", which was apparently enough to convince Octavian to have Caesarion killed. With the fall of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the Roman province of Egypt (Roman province), Egypt was established,Contrary to regular Roman provinces, Egypt was established by Octavian as territory under his personal control, barring the Roman Senate from intervening in any of its affairs and appointing his own Equites, equestrian praefectus augustalis, governors of Egypt, the first of whom was Gallus. For further information, see and . marking the end of the Hellenistic period. In January of 27 BC Octavian was renamed Augustus ("the revered") and Constitutional reforms of Augustus, amassed constitutional powers that established him as the first Roman emperor, inaugurating the Principate era of the
Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican can refer to: Political ideology * An advocate of a republic, a type of governme ...

Roman Empire
.


Cleopatra's kingdom and role as a monarch

Following the tradition of List of Macedonian kings, Macedonian rulers, Cleopatra ruled Egypt and other territories such as Cyprus as an absolute monarch, serving as the Ancient Greek law, sole lawgiver of her kingdom. She was the High priest, chief religious authority in her realm, presiding over religious ceremonies dedicated to the deities of both the Egyptian mythology, Egyptian and Greek mythology, Greek polytheistic faiths. She oversaw the construction of various temples to Egyptian and Greek gods, a synagogue for the Jews in Egypt, and even built the Caesareum of Alexandria, dedicated to the Imperial cult, cult worship of her patron and lover Julius Caesar. Cleopatra was directly involved in the administrative affairs of her domain, tackling crises such as famine by ordering royal granaries to distribute food to the starving populace during a drought at the beginning of her reign. Although the command economy that she managed was more of an ideal than a reality, the government attempted to impose price controls, tariffs, and state monopolies for certain goods, fixed exchange rates for foreign currencies, and rigid laws forcing peasant farmers to stay in their villages during planting and harvesting seasons. Apparent financial troubles led Cleopatra to Debasement, debase her coinage, which included silver and bronze currencies but no gold coins like those of some of her distant Ptolemaic predecessors.


Legacy


Children and successors

After her suicide, Cleopatra's three surviving children, Cleopatra Selene II, Alexander Helios, and Ptolemy Philadelphos, were sent to Rome with Octavian's sister Octavia the Younger, a former wife of their father, as their guardian. Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios were present in the Roman triumph of Octavian in 29 BC. The fates of Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus are unknown after this point. Octavia arranged the betrothal of Cleopatra Selene II to Juba II, son of Juba I, whose North African kingdom of Numidia had been turned into a Roman province in 46 BC by Julius Caesar due to Juba I's support of Pompey. The emperor Augustus installed Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II, after their wedding in 25 BC, as the new rulers of Mauretania, where they transformed the old Ancient Carthage, Carthaginian city of Iol into their new capital, renamed Caesarea Mauretaniae (modern Cherchell, Algeria). Cleopatra Selene II imported many important scholars, artists, and advisers from her mother's royal court in Alexandria to serve her in Caesarea, now permeated in Hellenistic Greek culture. She also named her son Ptolemy of Mauretania, in honor of their Ptolemaic dynastic heritage. Cleopatra Selene II died around 5 BC, and when Juba II died in 23/24 AD he was succeeded by his son Ptolemy. However, Ptolemy was eventually executed by the Roman emperor Caligula in 40 AD, perhaps under the pretense that Ptolemy had unlawfully minted his own royal coinage and utilized regalia reserved for the Roman emperor. Ptolemy of Mauretania was the last known monarch of the Ptolemaic dynasty, although Queen Zenobia, of the short-lived Palmyrene Empire during the Crisis of the Third Century, would claim descent from Cleopatra. A cult dedicated to Cleopatra still existed as late as 373 AD when Petesenufe, an Egyptian scribe of the book of Isis, explained that he "overlaid the figure of Cleopatra with gold."


Roman literature and historiography

Although almost 50 ancient works of
Roman historiographyRoman historiography stretches back to at least the 3rd century BC and was indebted to earlier Greek historiography Hellenic historiography (or Greek historiography) involves efforts made by Greeks to track and record historical events. By the 5th c ...
mention Cleopatra, these often include only terse accounts of the Battle of Actium, her suicide, and Augustan propaganda about her personal deficiencies. Despite not being a biography of Cleopatra, the ''Parallel Lives, Life of Antonius'' written by Plutarch in the 1st century AD provides the most thorough surviving account of Cleopatra's life. Plutarch lived a century after Cleopatra but relied on primary sources, such as Philotas (physician), Philotas of Amphissa, who had access to the Ptolemaic royal palace, Cleopatra's personal physician named Olympos, and Quintus Dellius, a close confidant of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Plutarch's work included both the Augustan view of Cleopatra—which became canonical for his period—as well as sources outside of this tradition, such as eyewitness reports. The History of the Jews in the Roman Empire, Jewish Roman historian Josephus, writing in the 1st century AD, provides valuable information on the life of Cleopatra via her diplomatic relationship with Herod the Great. However, this work relies largely on Herod's memoirs and the biased account of Nicolaus of Damascus, the tutor of Cleopatra's children in Alexandria before he moved to Judea to serve as an adviser and chronicler at Herod's court. The ''Roman History'' published by the official and historian Cassius Dio in the early 3rd century AD, while failing to fully comprehend the complexities of the late Hellenistic world, nevertheless provides a continuous history of the era of Cleopatra's reign. Cleopatra is barely mentioned in , the memoirs of an unknown staff officer who served under Caesar. offers speculation that the author of , written in Latin prose sometime between 46 and 43 BC, was a certain Aulus Hirtius, a military officer serving under Caesar. The writings of Cicero, who knew her personally, provide an unflattering portrait of Cleopatra. The Augustan-period authors Virgil, Horace, Propertius, and Ovid perpetuated the negative views of Cleopatra approved by the ruling Roman regime, although Virgil established the idea of Cleopatra as a figure of romance and epic melodrama. writes that Virgil, in his ''Aeneid'', described the Battle of Actium against Cleopatra "as a clash of civilizations in which Octavian and the Roman gods preserved Italy from conquest by Cleopatra and the barbaric animal-headed gods of Egypt." Horace also viewed Cleopatra's suicide as a positive choice, an idea that found acceptance by the Late Middle Ages with Geoffrey Chaucer. The historians Strabo, Velleius, Valerius Maximus, Pliny the Elder, and Appian, while not offering accounts as full as Plutarch, Josephus, or Dio, provided some details of her life that had not survived in other historical records.For further information and extracts of Strabo's account of Cleopatra in his ''Geographica'' see . Inscriptions on contemporary Ptolemaic coinage and some List of ancient Egyptian papyri, Egyptian papyrus documents demonstrate Cleopatra's point of view, but this material is very limited in comparison to Roman literary works.As explained by , this source material from Egypt dated to the reign of Cleopatra includes about 50 papyri documents in Ancient Greek, mostly from the city of Heracleopolis Magna, Heracleopolis, and only a few papyri from Faiyum, written in the Demotic Egyptian language. Overall this is a much smaller body of surviving native texts than those of any other period of Ptolemaic Egypt. The fragmentary ''Libyka'' commissioned by Cleopatra's son-in-law Juba II provides a glimpse at a possible body of historiographic material that supported Cleopatra's perspective. Cleopatra's gender has perhaps led to her depiction as a minor if not insignificant figure in ancient, medieval, and even modern historiography about ancient Egypt and the Greco-Roman world. For instance, the historian Ronald Syme asserted that she was of little importance to Caesar and that the propaganda of Octavian magnified her importance to an excessive degree. Although the common view of Cleopatra was one of a prolific seductress, she had only two known sexual partners, Caesar and Antony, the two most prominent Romans of the time period, who were most likely to ensure the survival of her dynasty. Plutarch described Cleopatra as having had a stronger personality and charming wit than physical beauty.For the description of Cleopatra by Plutarch, who claimed that her beauty was not "completely incomparable" but that she had a "captivating" and "stimulating" personality, see .


Cultural depictions


Depictions in ancient art


=Statues

= Cleopatra was depicted in various ancient works of art, in the Art of ancient Egypt, Egyptian as well as Hellenistic art, Hellenistic-Greek and Roman art, Roman styles. Surviving works include statues, Bust (sculpture), busts,
relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the ...
s, and minted coins, as well as ancient Cameo (carving), carved cameos, such as one depicting Cleopatra and Antony in Hellenistic style, now in the Altes Museum, Berlin. Contemporary images of Cleopatra were produced both in and outside of Ptolemaic Egypt. For instance, a large Gilding, gilded bronze statue of Cleopatra once existed inside the Temple of Venus Genetrix in Rome, the first time that a living person had their statue placed next to that of a deity in a Roman temple. It was erected there by Caesar and remained in the temple at least until the 3rd century AD, its preservation perhaps owing to Caesar's patronage, although Augustus did not remove or destroy artworks in Alexandria depicting Cleopatra. In regards to surviving Roman statuary, :File:Cleopatra VII, marble, Vatican Museums, Pius-Clementine Museum, Room of the Greek Cross.jpg, a life-sized Roman-style statue of Cleopatra was found near the , Rome, along the and is now housed in the , part of the Vatican Museums. Plutarch, in his ''Life of Antonius'', claimed that the public statues of Antony were damnatio memoriae, torn down by Augustus, but those of Cleopatra were preserved following her death thanks to her friend Archibius paying the emperor 2,000 talents to dissuade him from destroying hers. Since the 1950s scholars have debated whether or not the ''Esquiline Venus''—discovered in 1874 on the Esquiline Hill in Rome and housed in the of the Capitoline Museums—is a depiction of Cleopatra, based on the statue's commons:Esquiline Venus (Musei Capitolini), hairstyle and facial features, apparent royal diadem worn over the head, and the uraeus Egyptian cobra wrapped around the base. Detractors of this theory argue that the face in this statue is thinner than the face on :File:Berlín Cleopatra 01.JPG, the Berlin portrait and assert that it was unlikely she would be depicted as the naked goddess Venus (mythology), Venus (or the Greek Aphrodite). However, she was depicted in an Egyptian statue as the goddess Isis, while some of her coinage depicts her as Venus-Aphrodite. She also dressed as Aphrodite when meeting Antony at Tarsos. The ''Esquiline Venus'' is generally thought to be a mid-1st-century AD Interpretatio graeca, Roman copy of a 1st-century BC Greek original from the school of Pasiteles.


=Coinage portraits

= Surviving coinage of Cleopatra's reign include specimens from every regnal year, from 51 to 30 BC. Cleopatra, the only Ptolemaic queen to issue coins on her own behalf, almost certainly inspired her partner Caesar to become the first living Roman to present his portrait on his own coins. writes the following: "Cleopatra was the only female Ptolemy to issue coins on her own behalf, some showing her as Venus-Aphrodite. Caesar now followed her example and, taking the same bold step, became the first living Roman to appear on coins, his rather haggard profile accompanied by the title 'Parens Patriae', 'Father of the Fatherland'." Cleopatra was also the first foreign queen to have her image appear on Roman currency. Coins dated to the period of her marriage to Antony, which also bear his image, portray the queen as having a very similar aquiline nose and prominent chin as that of her husband. These similar facial features followed an artistic convention that represented the mutually-observed harmony of a royal couple. Her strong, almost masculine facial features in these particular coins are strikingly different from the smoother, softer, and perhaps idealized Ancient Greek sculpture, sculpted images of her in either the Egyptian or Hellenistic styles. Her masculine facial features on minted currency are similar to that of her father,
Ptolemy XII Auletes Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos Philopator Philadelphos ( grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος Νέος Διόνυσος Φιλοπάτωρ Φιλάδελφος, ; – before 22 March 51 BC) was a Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty The Ptolemaic dynasty ...

Ptolemy XII Auletes
, and perhaps also to those of her Ptolemaic ancestor Arsinoe II (316–260 BC) and even depictions of earlier queens such as Hatshepsut and Nefertiti. It is likely, due to political expediency, that Antony's visage was made to conform not only to hers but also to those of her Macedon, Macedonian Greek ancestors who founded the Ptolemaic dynasty, to familiarize himself to her subjects as a legitimate member of the royal house. The inscriptions on the coins are written in Greek, but also in the nominative case of Roman coins rather than the genitive case of Greek coins, in addition to having the letters placed in a circular fashion along the edges of the coin instead of across it horizontally or vertically as was customary for Greek ones. These facets of their coinage represent the synthesis of Roman and Hellenistic culture, and perhaps also a statement to their subjects, however ambiguous to modern scholars, about the superiority of either Antony or Cleopatra over the other. Diana Kleiner argues that Cleopatra, in one of her coins minted with the dual image of her husband Antony, made herself more masculine-looking than other portraits and more like an acceptable Patronage in ancient Rome, Roman client queen than a Hellenistic ruler. Cleopatra had actually achieved this masculine look in coinage predating her affair with Antony, such as the coins struck at the Ashkelon mint during her brief period of exile to Syria and the Levant, which Joann Fletcher explains as her attempt to appear like her father and as a legitimate successor to a male Ptolemaic ruler. Various coins, such as a silver tetradrachm minted sometime after Cleopatra's marriage with Antony in 37 BC, depict her wearing a royal diadem and a Greco-Roman hairstyle, 'melon' hairstyle. The combination of this hairstyle with a diadem is also featured in two surviving sculpted marble heads.For further information, see . This hairstyle, with hair braided back into a bun, is the same as that worn by her Ptolemaic ancestors Arsinoe II and Berenice II in their own coinage. After her visit to Rome in 46–44 BC it became fashionable for Women in ancient Rome, Roman women to adopt it as one of Roman hairstyles, their hairstyles, but it was abandoned for a more modest, austere look during the conservative rule of Augustus.


=Greco-Roman busts and heads

= Of the surviving Greco-Roman-style busts and heads of Cleopatra,There is academic disagreement on whether the following portraits are considered "heads" or "busts". For instance, exclusively uses the former, while prefers the latter. the sculpture known as the "commons:Bust of Cleopatra VII in the Altes Museum Berlin, Berlin Cleopatra", located in the Antikensammlung Berlin collection at the Altes Museum, possesses her full nose, whereas the head known as the "commons:Bust of Cleopatra VII in the Vatican Museums, Museo Gregoriano Profano, Vatican Cleopatra", located in the Vatican Museums, is damaged with a missing nose.For further information and validation, see , , and . Both the Berlin Cleopatra and Vatican Cleopatra have royal diadems, similar facial features, and perhaps once resembled the face of her bronze statue housed in the Temple of Venus Genetrix.For further information and validation, see and . Both heads are dated to the mid-1st century BC and were found in Roman villas along the Via Appia in Italy, the Vatican Cleopatra having been unearthed in the Villa of the Quintilii.For further information, see , and . Francisco Pina Polo writes that Cleopatra's coinage present her image with certainty and asserts that the sculpted portrait of the Berlin head is confirmed as having a similar profile with her hair pulled back into a bun, a diadem, and a hooked nose. A third commons:category:Bust of Cleopatra Selene II (Archaeological Museum of Cherchell), sculpted portrait of Cleopatra accepted by scholars as being authentic survives at the Archaeological Museum of Cherchell, Algeria. This portrait features the royal diadem and similar facial features as the Berlin and Vatican heads, but has a more unique hairstyle and may actually depict Cleopatra Selene II, daughter of Cleopatra. provides a detailed discussion about commons:category:Bust of Cleopatra Selene II (Archaeological Museum of Cherchell), this bust and its ambiguities, noting that it could represent Cleopatra, but that it is more likely her daughter
Cleopatra Selene II Cleopatra Selene II (Ancient Greek, Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Σελήνη; summer 40 BC – BC; the numeration is modern) was a Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemaic princess and Queen of Numidia (briefly in 25 BC) and Mauretania (25 BC – 5 BC). She wa ...

Cleopatra Selene II
. argues in favor of its depicting Cleopatra rather than her daughter, while mentions only Cleopatra as a possible likeness. observes that it could be either Cleopatra or Cleopatra Selene II, while arguing the same ambiguity applies to commons:File:An ancient Roman bust of Cleopatra VII of Ptolemaic Egypt2.jpg, the other sculpted head from Cherchel featuring a veil. In regards to the latter head, indicates it as a possible portrait of Cleopatra, not Cleoptra Selene II, from the early 1st century AD while also arguing that its masculine features, earrings, and apparent toga (the veil being a component of it) could likely mean it was intended to depict a Numidians, Numidian nobleman. disagrees about the veiled head, arguing that it was commissioned by Cleopatra Selene II at Iol (Caesarea Mauretaniae) and was meant to depict her mother, Cleopatra.
A possible Parian marble, Parian-marble :File:Isismontemartini.JPG, sculpture of Cleopatra wearing a vulture headdress in Egyptian style is located at the Capitoline Museums. Discovered near a sanctuary of Isis in Rome and dated to the 1st century BC, it is either Roman or Hellenistic-Egyptian in origin. Other possible sculpted depictions of Cleopatra include one in the British Museum, London, made of limestone, which perhaps only depicts a woman in her entourage during her trip to Rome. The woman in commons:Bust of Cleopatra VII in the British Museum, this portrait has facial features similar to others (including the pronounced aquiline nose), but lacks a royal diadem and sports a different hairstyle. However, the British Museum head, once belonging to a full statue, could potentially represent Cleopatra at a different stage in her life and may also betray an effort by Cleopatra to discard the use of royal insignia (i.e. the diadem) to make herself more appealing to the citizens of Republican Rome. Duane W. Roller speculates that the British Museum head, along with those in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, the Capitoline Museums, and in the private collection of Maurice Nahmen, while having similar facial features and hairstyles as the Berlin portrait but lacking a royal diadem, most likely represent members of the royal court or even Roman women imitating Cleopatra's popular hairstyle. File:Cleopatra VII, Marble, 40-30 BC, Vatican Museums 001.jpg, Cleopatra, mid-1st century BC, with a "melon" hairstyle and
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
royal diadem worn over her head, now in the Vatican Museums File:Cleopatra VII, Marble, 40-30 BC, Vatican Museums 003.jpg, Profile view of the Vatican Cleopatra File:-0035 Altes Museum Portrait Kleopatra VII anagoria.JPG, Cleopatra, mid-1st century BC, showing Cleopatra with a "melon" hairstyle and
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
royal diadem worn over the head, now in the Altes Museum File:Bust of Cleopatra VII - Altes Museum - Berlin - Germany 2017 (3).jpg, Profile view of the Berlin Cleopatra


=Paintings

= In the commons:House of Marcus Fabius Rufus, House of Marcus Fabius Rufus at Pompeii, Italy, a mid-1st century BC Pompeian Styles, Second Style wall painting of the goddess Venus holding a cupid near massive temple doors is most likely a depiction of Cleopatra as Venus Genetrix with her son Caesarion. The commission of the painting most likely coincides with the erection of the Temple of Venus Genetrix in the Forum of Caesar in September 46 BC, where Caesar had a gilded statue erected depicting Cleopatra. This statue likely formed the basis of her depictions in both sculpted art as well as :File:Venus and Cupid from the House of Marcus Fabius Rufus at Pompeii, most likely a depiction of Cleopatra VII.jpg, this painting at Pompeii. The :File:Venus and Cupid from the House of Marcus Fabius Rufus at Pompeii, most likely a depiction of Cleopatra VII (full view).jpg, woman in the painting wears a royal diadem over her head and is strikingly similar in appearance to the Vatican Cleopatra, which bears possible marks on the marble of its left cheek where a cupid's arm may have been torn off.The observation that the left cheek of the :commons:Bust of Cleopatra VII in the Vatican Museums, Museo Gregoriano Profano, Vatican Cleopatra once had a cupid's hand that was broken off was first suggested by Ludwig Curtius in 1933. Kleiner concurs with this assessment. See , as well as and . While has suggested the lump on top of this marble head perhaps contained a broken-off uraeus, offered the explanation that it once held a sculpted representation of a jewel. The room with the painting was walled off by its owner, perhaps in reaction to the execution of Caesarion in 30 BC by order of Octavian, when public depictions of Cleopatra's son would have been unfavorable with the new Roman regime. Behind her golden diadem, crowned with a red jewel, is a translucent veil with crinkles that suggest the "melon" hairstyle favored by the queen. wrote that the damaged lump along the hairline and diadem of the :commons:Bust of Cleopatra VII in the Vatican Museums, Museo Gregoriano Profano, Vatican Cleopatra likely contained a sculpted representation of a jewel, which directly compares to the painted red jewel in the diadem worn by Venus, most likely Cleopatra, in the fresco from Pompeii. Her Light skin, ivory-white skin, round face, long aquiline nose, and large round eyes were features common in both Roman and Ptolemaic depictions of deities. Roller affirms that "there seems little doubt that this is a depiction of Cleopatra and Caesarion before the doors of the Temple of Venus in the Forum Julium and, as such, it becomes the only extant contemporary painting of the queen." :File:Roman Wall painting from the House of Giuseppe II, Pompeii, 1st century AD, death of Sophonisba, but more likely Cleopatra VII of Egypt consuming poison (2).jpg, Another painting from Pompeii, dated to the early 1st century AD and located in the House of Giuseppe II, contains a possible depiction of Cleopatra with her son Caesarion, both wearing royal diadems while she reclines and consumes poison in an act of suicide.For further information about the painting in the House of Giuseppe II (Joseph II) at Pompeii and the possible identification of Cleopatra as one of the figures, see . The painting was originally thought to depict the Carthaginian noblewoman Sophonisba, who toward the end of the Second Punic War (218–201 BC) drank poison and committed suicide at the behest of her lover Masinissa, King of Numidia. Arguments in favor of it depicting Cleopatra include the strong connection of her house with that of the Numidian royal family, Masinissa and Ptolemy VIII Physcon having been associates, and Cleopatra's own daughter marrying the Numidian prince Juba II. Sophonisba was also a more obscure figure when the painting was made, while Cleopatra's suicide was far more famous. An asp is absent from the painting, but many Romans held the view that she received poison in another manner than a venomous snakebite. A set of double doors on the rear wall of the painting, positioned very high above the people in it, suggests the described layout of Cleopatra's tomb in Alexandria. A male servant holds the mouth of an artificial Nile crocodile, Egyptian crocodile (possibly an elaborate tray handle), while another man standing by is Toga, dressed as a Roman. In 1818 a now lost encaustic painting was discovered in the Temple of Serapis at Hadrian's Villa, near Tivoli, Lazio, Italy, that :File:Encaustic painting cleopatra.png, depicted Cleopatra committing suicide with an asp biting her bare chest. A chemical analysis performed in 1822 confirmed that the medium for the painting was composed of one-third wax and two-thirds resin. The thickness of the painting over Cleopatra's bare flesh and her drapery were reportedly similar to the paintings of the Fayum mummy portraits. A steel engraving published by John Sartain in 1885 depicting the painting as described in the archaeological report shows Cleopatra wearing Clothing in ancient Greece, authentic clothing and jewelry of Egypt in the late Hellenistic period, as well as the radiant crown of the Ptolemaic rulers, as seen in their portraits on various coins minted during their respective reigns. After Cleopatra's suicide, Octavian commissioned a painting to be made depicting her being bitten by a snake, parading this image in her stead during his triumphal procession in Rome. The portrait painting of Cleopatra's death was perhaps among the great number of artworks and treasures taken from Rome by Emperor Hadrian to decorate his private villa, where it was found in an Egyptian temple.In , Frances Pratt and Becca Fizel rejected the idea proposed by some scholars in the 19th and early 20th centuries that the painting was perhaps done by an artist of the Italian Renaissance. Pratt and Fizel highlighted the Classical antiquity, Classical style of the painting as preserved in textual descriptions and :File:Cleopatra VII, steel engraving of the encaustic painting found at Hadrian's Villa in 1818.jpg, the steel engraving. They argued that it was unlikely for a Renaissance period painter to have created works with encaustic materials, conducted thorough research into Hellenistic period Egyptian clothing and jewelry as depicted in the painting, and then precariously placed it in the ruins of the Egyptian temple at Hadrian's Villa. A Roman panel painting from Herculaneum, Italy, dated to the 1st century AD possibly depicts Cleopatra. In it she wears a royal diadem, red or reddish-brown hair pulled back into a bun, describe her hair as reddish brown, while describes her as a flame-haired redhead and, in , likewise describes her as a red-haired woman. pearl-studded hairpins, and earrings with ball-shaped pendants, :File:Posthumous painted portrait of Cleopatra VII of Egypt, from Herculaneum, Italy.jpg, the white skin of her face and neck set against a stark black background. Her hair and facial features are similar to those in the sculpted Berlin and Vatican portraits as well as her coinage. A highly similar painted bust of a woman with a blue headband in the House of the Orchard at Pompeii features Egyptian-style imagery, such as a Greek-style sphinx, and may have been created by the same artist.


=Portland Vase

= The Portland Vase, a Roman glass, Roman cameo glass vase dated to the Augustan period and now in the British Museum, includes a possible depiction of Cleopatra with Antony. In this interpretation, Cleopatra can be seen grasping Antony and drawing him toward her while a serpent (i.e. the asp) rises between her legs, Eros floats above, and Anton, the alleged ancestor of the Antonian family, looks on in despair as his descendant Antony is led to his doom. The other side of the vase perhaps contains a scene of Octavia, abandoned by her husband Antony but watched over by her brother, the emperor Augustus. The vase would thus have been created no earlier than 35 BC, when Antony sent his wife Octavia back to Italy and stayed with Cleopatra in Alexandria.


=Native Egyptian art

= The ''Bust of Cleopatra'' in the Royal Ontario Museum represents a bust of Cleopatra in the Egyptian style. Dated to the mid-1st century BC, it is perhaps the earliest depiction of Cleopatra as both a goddess and ruling pharaoh of Egypt. The sculpture also has pronounced eyes that share similarities with Roman copies of Ptolemaic sculpted works of art. The Dendera Temple complex, near Dendera, Egypt, contains Egyptian-style carved relief images along the exterior walls of the Temple of Hathor depicting Cleopatra and her young son Caesarion as a grown adult and ruling pharaoh making Ancient Egyptian offering formula, offerings to the gods. Augustus had his name inscribed there following the death of Cleopatra. A large Ptolemaic black basalt statue measuring in height, now in the Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, is thought to represent Arsinoe II, wife of Ptolemy II, but recent analysis has indicated that it could depict her descendant Cleopatra due to the three uraei adorning her headdress, an increase from the two used by Arsinoe II to symbolize her rule over Lower Egypt, Lower and Upper Egypt. The woman in the basalt statue also holds a divided, double cornucopia (''dikeras''), which can be seen on coins of both Arsinoe II and Cleopatra. In his (2006), contends that this basalt statue, like other idealized Egyptian portraits of the queen, does not contain realistic facial features and hence adds little to the knowledge of her appearance. comes to a similar conclusion about native Egyptian depictions of Cleopatra: "Apart from certain temple carvings, which are anyway in a highly stylised pharaonic style and give little clue to Cleopatra's real appearance, the only certain representations of Cleopatra are those on coins. The marble head in the Vatican is one of three sculptures generally, though not universally, accepted by scholars to be depictions of Cleopatra." Adrian Goldsworthy writes that, despite these representations in the traditional Egyptian style, Cleopatra would have dressed as a native only "perhaps for certain rites" and instead would usually dress as a Greek monarch, which would include the Greek headband seen in her Greco-Roman busts. File:Bust of Cleopatra at the Royal Ontario Museum.jpg, A granite Egyptian bust of Cleopatra from the Royal Ontario Museum, mid-1st century BC File:Statue of a Ptolemaic Queen, perhaps Cleopatra VII MET 89.2.660 EGDP013678.jpg, A marble statue of Cleopatra with her cartouche inscribed on the upper right arm and wearing a diadem with a triple uraeus, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art File:Isismontemartini.JPG, Possible sculpted head of Cleopatra VII wearing an Egyptian-style vulture headdress, discovered in Rome, either Roman art, Roman or Hellenistic Egyptian art, Parian marble, 1st century BC, from the Capitoline Museums


Medieval and Early Modern reception

In modern times Cleopatra has become an icon of popular culture, a reputation shaped by theatrical representations dating back to the Renaissance as well as paintings and films. This material largely surpasses the scope and size of existent historiographic literature about her from classical antiquity and has made a greater impact on the general public's view of Cleopatra than the latter. The 14th-century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, in ''The Legend of Good Women'', contextualized Cleopatra for the Christian world of the Middle Ages. His depiction of Cleopatra and Antony, her shining knight engaged in courtly love, has been interpreted in modern times as being either playful or misogynistic satire. However, Chaucer highlighted Cleopatra's relationships with only two men as hardly the life of a seductress and wrote his works partly in reaction to the negative depiction of Cleopatra in and , Latin works by the 14th-century Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio. The Renaissance humanist , in his 1504 ''Libretto apologetico delle donne'', was the first Italian to defend the reputation of Cleopatra and criticize the perceived moralizing and misogyny in Boccaccio's works. Works of Islamic historiography Arabic literature, written in Arabic covered the reign of Cleopatra, such as the 10th-century ''The Meadows of Gold, Meadows of Gold'' by Al-Masudi, although his work erroneously claimed that Octavian died soon after Cleopatra's suicide. Cleopatra appeared in Miniature (illuminated manuscript), miniatures for illuminated manuscripts, such as a :File:Tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, illuminated manuscript of Boccaccio, miniature by the Boucicaut master, 1409 AD (cropped).jpg, depiction of her and Antony lying in a International Gothic, Gothic-style tomb by the Boucicaut Master in 1409. In the visual arts, the sculpted depiction of Cleopatra as a free-standing nude figure committing suicide began with the 16th-century sculptors Bartolommeo Bandinelli and Alessandro Vittoria. Old master print, Early prints depicting Cleopatra include designs by the Renaissance artists Raphael and Michelangelo, as well as 15th-century woodcuts in illustrated editions of Boccaccio's works. In the performing arts, the death of Elizabeth I of England in 1603, and the German publication in 1606 of alleged letters of Cleopatra, inspired Samuel Daniel to alter and republish his 1594 play ''Cleopatra'' in 1607. He was followed by William Shakespeare, whose ''Antony and Cleopatra'', largely based on Plutarch, was first performed in 1608 and provided a somewhat salacious view of Cleopatra in stark contrast to England's own Virgin Queen. Cleopatra was also featured in operas, such as George Frideric Handel's 1724 ''Giulio Cesare in Egitto'', which portrayed the love affair of Caesar and Cleopatra; Domenico Cimarosa wrote ''Cleopatra (Cimarosa), Cleopatra'' on a similar subject in 1789.


Modern depictions and brand imaging

In Victorian Britain, Cleopatra was highly associated with many aspects of ancient Egyptian culture and her image was used to market various household products, including oil lamps, lithographs, postcards and cigarettes. Victorian literature, Fictional novels such as H. Rider Haggard's ''Cleopatra (Haggard novel), Cleopatra'' (1889) and Théophile Gautier's ''One of Cleopatra's Nights'' (1838) depicted the queen as a sensual and mystic Easterner, while the Egyptologist Georg Ebers's ''Cleopatra'' (1894) was more grounded in historical accuracy. The French dramatist Victorien Sardou and Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw produced plays about Cleopatra, while Victorian burlesque, burlesque shows such as F. C. Burnand's ''Antony and Cleopatra'' offered satirical depictions of the queen connecting her and the environment she lived in with the modern age. Shakespeare's ''Antony and Cleopatra'' was considered canonical by the Victorian era. Its popularity led to the perception that :File:Lawrence Alma-Tadema- Anthony and Cleopatra.JPG, the 1885 painting by Lawrence Alma-Tadema depicted the meeting of Antony and Cleopatra on her pleasure barge in Tarsus, although Alma-Tadema revealed in a private letter that it depicts a subsequent meeting of theirs in Alexandria. Also based on Shakespeare's play was Samuel Barber's opera ''Antony and Cleopatra (opera), Antony and Cleopatra'' (1966), commissioned for the opening of the Metropolitan Opera House (Lincoln Center), Metropolitan Opera House. In his unfinished 1825 short story '':Wikisource:The Egyptian Nights (Pushkin/Keane), The Egyptian Nights'', Alexander Pushkin popularized the claims of the 4th-century Roman historian Aurelius Victor, previously largely ignored, that Cleopatra had prostituted herself to men who paid for sex with their lives. Cleopatra also became appreciated outside the Western world and Middle East, as the Qing dynasty, Qing-dynasty Chinese scholar Yan Fu wrote an extensive biography of her. Georges Méliès's ''Robbing Cleopatra's Tomb'' (french: Cléopâtre), an 1899 French Silent film, silent horror film, was the first film to depict the character of Cleopatra. Hollywood films of the 20th century were influenced by earlier Victorian media, which helped to shape the character of Cleopatra played by Theda Bara in ''Cleopatra (1917 film), Cleopatra'' (1917), Claudette Colbert in ''Cleopatra (1934 film), Cleopatra'' (1934), and Elizabeth Taylor in ''Cleopatra (1963 film), Cleopatra'' (1963). In addition to her portrayal as a "vampire" queen, Bara's Cleopatra also incorporated tropes familiar from 19th-century Orientalist painting, such as despotism, despotic behavior, mixed with dangerous and overt female sexuality. Colbert's character of Cleopatra served as a glamour model for selling Egyptian-themed products in department stores in the 1930s, targeting female moviegoers. In preparation for the film starring Taylor as Cleopatra, women's magazines of the early 1960s advertised how to use makeup, clothes, jewelry, and hairstyles to achieve the "Egyptian" look similar to the queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti. By the end of the 20th century there were forty-three films, two hundred plays and novels, forty-five operas, and five ballets associated with Cleopatra.


Written works

Whereas myths about Cleopatra persist in popular media, important aspects of her career go largely unnoticed, such as her command of naval forces, administrative acts, and publications on ancient Greek medicine. Only fragments exist of the medical and cosmetic writings attributed to Cleopatra, such as those preserved by Galen, including remedies for hair disease, baldness, and dandruff, along with a list of Ancient Greek units of measurement, weights and measures for Pharmacology, pharmacological purposes. Aëtius of Amida attributed a recipe for History of perfume, perfumed soap to Cleopatra, while Paul of Aegina preserved alleged instructions of hers for Hair coloring, dyeing and curling hair. The attribution of certain texts to Cleopatra, however, is doubted by Ingrid D. Rowland, who highlights that the "Berenice called Cleopatra" cited by the 3rd- or 4th-century female Roman physician Metrodora was likely conflated by medieval scholars as referring to Cleopatra.


Ancestry

Cleopatra belonged to the Macedonian Greek dynasty of the Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemies,For further information on Cleopatra's Macedonian Greek lineage, see , , and . their Ethnic groups in Europe, European origins tracing back to northern Greece. Through her father,
Ptolemy XII Auletes Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos Philopator Philadelphos ( grc-koi, Πτολεμαῖος Νέος Διόνυσος Φιλοπάτωρ Φιλάδελφος, ; – before 22 March 51 BC) was a Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty The Ptolemaic dynasty ...

Ptolemy XII Auletes
, she was a descendant of two Somatophylakes, prominent companions of
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
of History of Macedonia (ancient kingdom), Macedon: the general
Ptolemy I Soter Ptolemy I Soter (; gr, Πτολεμαῖος Σωτήρ, ''Ptolemaîos Sōtḗr'' "Ptolemy the Savior"; c. 367 BC – January 282 BC) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ...
, founder of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, and Seleucus I Nicator, the Macedonian Greek founder of the Seleucid Empire of West Asia.For further information and validation of the foundation of Hellenistic Egypt by Alexander the Great and Cleopatra's ancestry stretching back to Ptolemy I Soter, see and . While Cleopatra's paternal line can be traced, the identity of her mother is unknown.For further information, see and . She was presumably the daughter of
Cleopatra VI Tryphaena Cleopatra VI Tryphaena ( el, Κλεοπάτρα Τρύφαινα) or Cleopatra Tryphaena II (died c. 57 BC) was a queen of Ptolemaic Egypt who ruled alongside Berenice IV, who was either her sister or daughter. Although called ''Cleopatra VI Tryph ...
(also known as
Cleopatra V Tryphaena Cleopatra V ( el, Κλεοπάτρα Τρύφαινα; died or ) was a Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt. She is the only surely attested wife of Ptolemy XII Auletes, Ptolemy XII. Her only known child is Berenice IV, but she was al ...
),, , , , and label the wife of Ptolemy XII Auletes as Cleopatra V Tryphaena, while and call her Cleopatra VI Tryphaena, due to the confusion in primary sources conflating these two figures, who may have been one and the same. As explained by , Cleopatra VI may have actually been a daughter of Ptolemy XII who appeared in 58 BC to rule jointly with her alleged sister
Berenice IV Berenice IV Epiphaneia ( grc-gre, Βερενίκη; 77–55 BC, born and died in Alexandria, Egypt) was a Greek Princess and Queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Biography Early life prior to reign Berenice was the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes and ...
(while Ptolemy XII was exiled and living in Rome), whereas Ptolemy XII's wife Cleopatra V perhaps died as early as the winter of 69–68 BC, when she disappears from historical records. assumes that Ptolemy XII's wife, who he numbers as Cleopatra VI, was merely absent from the court for a decade after being expelled for an unknown reason, eventually ruling jointly with her daughter Berenice IV. explains that the Alexandrians deposed Ptolemy XII and installed "his eldest daughter, Berenike IV, and as co-ruler recalled Cleopatra V Tryphaena from 10 years' exile from the court. Although later historians assumed she must have been another of Auletes' daughters and numbered her 'Cleopatra VI', it seems she was simply the fifth one returning to replace her brother and former husband Auletes."
the sister-wife of Ptolemy XII who had previously given birth to their daughter Berenice IV.For further information, see . Contrary to other sources cited here, refer to
Cleopatra V Tryphaena Cleopatra V ( el, Κλεοπάτρα Τρύφαινα; died or ) was a Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt. She is the only surely attested wife of Ptolemy XII Auletes, Ptolemy XII. Her only known child is Berenice IV, but she was al ...
as a possible cousin or sister of Ptolemy XII Auletes.
Cleopatra I Syra Cleopatra I Syra (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
was the only member of the Ptolemaic dynasty known for certain to have introduced some non-Greek ancestry. Her mother Laodice III was a daughter born to King Mithridates II of Pontus, a Persian of the Mithridatic dynasty, and his wife Laodice (wife of Mithridates II of Pontus), Laodice who had a mixed Greek-Persian heritage.
Cleopatra I Syra Cleopatra I Syra (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...
's father Antiochus III the Great was a descendant of Queen Apama, the Sogdian Iranian peoples, Iranian wife of Seleucus I Nicator.For the Sogdian ancestry of Apama, wife of Seleucus I Nicator, see . It is generally believed that the Ptolemies did not intermarry with native
Egyptians Egyptians ( arz, المصريين, ; cop, ⲣⲉⲙⲛ̀ⲭⲏⲙⲓ, remenkhēmi) are an ethnic group of people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a spanning t ...
.As explained by , the main ethnic groups of Ptolemaic Egypt were Egyptians,
Greeks The Greeks or Hellenes (; el, Έλληνες, ''Éllines'' ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people A people is any plurality of person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has cer ...

Greeks
, and
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), ...

Jews
, each of whom were legally segregated, living in different residential quarters and forbidden to intermarry with one another in the multicultural cities of
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-largest city in Egypt after Cairo and Giza, ...

Alexandria
, Naucratis, and Ptolemais Hermiou. However, as explained by , the Ancient Egyptian religion, native Egyptian priesthood was strongly linked to their Ptolemaic royal patrons, to the point where Cleopatra is speculated to have had an Egyptian half-cousin, Pasherienptah III, the High Priest of Ptah at Memphis, Egypt.
Michael Grant asserts that there is only one known Egyptian mistress of a Ptolemy and no known Egyptian wife of a Ptolemy, further arguing that Cleopatra probably did not have any Egyptian ancestry and "would have described herself as Greek." argues that Cleopatra's grandmother, i.e. the mother of Ptolemy XII, might have been a Syrians, Syrian (though conceding that "it is possible she was also partly Greek"), but almost certainly not an Egyptian because there is only one known Egyptian mistress of a Ptolemaic ruler throughout their entire dynasty. Stacy Schiff writes that Cleopatra was a Macedonian Greek with some Persian ancestry, arguing that it was rare for the Ptolemies to have an Egyptian mistress. further argues that, considering Cleopatra's ancestry, she was not dark-skinned, though notes Cleopatra was likely not among the Ptolemies with fair features, and instead would have been honey-skinned, citing as evidence that her relatives were described as such and it "would have presumably applied to her as well." agrees to this, contending that Cleopatra, having Macedonian blood with a little Syrian, was probably not dark-skinned (as Roman propaganda never mentions it), writing "fairer skin is marginally more likely considering her ancestry," though also notes she could have had a "darker more Mediterranean complexion" because of her mixed ancestry. agrees to Goldsworthy's latter speculation of her skin color, that though almost certainly not Egyptian, Cleopatra had a darker complexion due to being Greek mixed with Persian and possible Syrian ancestry. agrees with Grant that, considering this ancestry, Cleopatra was "almost certainly dark-haired and olive-skinned." contends that it is "reasonable to infer" Cleopatra had dark hair and "pale olive skin." Duane W. Roller speculates that Cleopatra could have been the daughter of a theoretical half-Macedonian-Greek, half-Egyptian woman from
Memphis Memphis most commonly refers to: * Memphis, Egypt, a former capital of ancient Egypt * Memphis, Tennessee, a major American city Memphis may also refer to: Places United States * Memphis, Alabama * Memphis, Florida * Memphis, Indiana * Memphis ...
in northern Egypt belonging to a family of priests dedicated to Ptah (a hypothesis not generally accepted in scholarship),For further information on the identity of Cleopatra's mother, see , , , , and . Joann Fletcher finds this hypothesis to be dubious and lacking evidence. Stanley M. Burstein claims that strong circumstantial evidence suggests Cleopatra's mother could have been a member of the High Priest of Ptah, priestly family of Ptah, but that historians generally assume her mother was Cleopatra V Tryphaena, wife of Ptolemy XII. Adrian Goldsworthy dismisses the idea of Cleopatra's mother being a member of an Egyptian priestly family as "pure conjecture," adding that either Cleopatra V or a concubine "probably of Greek origin" would be Cleopatra VII's mother. Michael Grant contends that Cleopatra V was most likely Cleopatra VII's mother. Duane W. Roller notes that while Cleopatra could have been the daughter of the priestly family of Ptah, the other main candidate would be Cleopatra VI, maintaining the uncertainty stems from Cleopatra V/VI's "loss of favor" that "obscured the issue." also posits that Cleopatra being the only known ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty to speak Egyptian, along with her daughter
Cleopatra Selene II Cleopatra Selene II (Ancient Greek, Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Σελήνη; summer 40 BC – BC; the numeration is modern) was a Ptolemaic dynasty, Ptolemaic princess and Queen of Numidia (briefly in 25 BC) and Mauretania (25 BC – 5 BC). She wa ...

Cleopatra Selene II
as Queen of Mauretania publicly honoring the native Egyptian elite, both lend credence to the priestly class mistress hypothesis for maternity.
but contends that whatever Cleopatra's ancestry, she valued her Greek Ptolemaic heritage the most. concurs with this, concluding that Cleopatra "upheld the family tradition." As noted by , Cleopatra and her family were "the successor[s] to the native Pharaohs, exploiting through a highly organized bureaucracy the great natural resources of the Nile Valley." Ernle Bradford writes that Cleopatra challenged Rome not as an Egyptian woman "but as a civilized Greek." Claims that Cleopatra was an illegitimate child never appeared in Roman propaganda against her. argues that if Cleopatra had been illegitimate, her "numerous Roman enemies would have revealed this to the world." Strabo was the only ancient historian who claimed that Ptolemy XII's children born after Berenice IV, including Cleopatra, were illegitimate. Cleopatra V (or VI) was expelled from the court of Ptolemy XII in late 69 BC, a few months after the birth of Cleopatra, while Ptolemy XII's three younger children were all born during the absence of his wife. The high degree of inbreeding among the Ptolemies is also illustrated by Cleopatra's immediate ancestry, of which a reconstruction is shown below.The family tree and short discussions of the individuals can be found in . Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton refer to Cleopatra V as Cleopatra VI and Cleopatra Selene of Syria is called Cleopatra V Selene. Dotted lines in the chart below indicate possible but disputed parentage. The family tree given below also lists Cleopatra V, Ptolemy XII's wife, as a daughter of
Ptolemy X Alexander I Ptolemy X Alexander I ( gr, Πτολεμαῖος Ἀλέξανδρος, ''Ptolemaĩos Aléxandros'') was King of Ancient Egypt, Egypt from 107 BC till his death in 88 BC, in co-regency with Cleopatra III of Egypt, Cleopatra III as Ptolemy Philome ...
and
Berenice III Berenice III (Greek language, Greek: Βερενίκη; 120–80 BC) was also known as Cleopatra, lived between 91 and 88 BC. Scholars studying Berenice III refer to her sometimes as Cleopatra Berenice in modern scholarship. She was co-regent ...

Berenice III
, which would make her a cousin of her husband, Ptolemy XII, but she could have been a daughter of
Ptolemy IX Lathyros Ptolemy IX Soter II Ptolemy IX also took the same title 'Soter' as Ptolemy I Soter, Ptolemy I. In older references and in more recent references by the German historian Huss, Ptolemy IX Soter II may be numbered VIII. ( el, Πτολεμαῖος Σ ...
, which would have made her a sister-wife of Ptolemy XII instead. The confused accounts in ancient primary sources have also led scholars to number Ptolemy XII's wife as either Cleopatra V or Cleopatra VI; the latter may have actually been a daughter of Ptolemy XII, and some use her as an indication that Cleopatra V had died in 69 BC rather than reappearing as a co-ruler with Berenice IV in 58 BC (during Ptolemy XII's exile in Rome).


See also

* List of female hereditary rulers


Notes


References


Sources


Online

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Print

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Further reading

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External links


Ancient Roman depictions of Cleopatra VII of Egypt
at YouTube *
''Cleopatra''
(1852), a Victorian children's book by Jacob Abbott, Project Gutenberg edition
"Mysterious Death of Cleopatra"
at the Discovery Channel
Cleopatra VII
a
BBC History

Cleopatra VII
at World History Encyclopedia * Eubanks, W. Ralph. (1 November 2010).
How History and Hollywood Got 'Cleopatra' Wrong
. National Public Radio (NPR) (a book review of ''Cleopatra: A Life'', by Stacy Schiff). * Jarus, Owen (13 March 2014).
Cleopatra: Facts & Biography
. ''Live Science''. * Watkins, Thayer.
The Timeline of the Life of Cleopatra
" San Jose State University. * Draycott, Jane (22 May 2018).
Cleopatra's Daughter: While Antony and Cleopatra have been immortalised in history and in popular culture, their offspring have been all but forgotten. Their daughter, Cleopatra Selene, became an important ruler in her own right
. ''History Today''. {{DEFAULTSORT:Cleopatra 7 Cleopatra, 69 BC births 30 BC deaths 1st-century BC Pharaohs 1st-century BC Egyptian people 1st-century BC women rulers Deaths due to snake bites Egyptian queens regnant Female pharaohs Female Shakespearean characters Hellenistic-era people Mistresses of Julius Caesar Pharaohs of the Ptolemaic dynasty Ancient people who committed suicide 1st-century BC women writers Hellenistic Cyprus Wives of Mark Antony