The name of this ancient Egyptian queen is probably known to everyone without exaggeration. Cleopatra was not only an outstanding ruler but also just an amazing woman.
More than two thousand years have passed since the time she died, and the memory of her lives on. No wonder, because this is one of those personalities who changed history. What exceptional gift did this extraordinary woman have?
Queen Cleopatra could hardly be called a wonderful woman. She was not such either by the standards of Ancient Egypt or by modern standards of female beauty. Despite this, two of the most potent Roman generals of their time were madly in love with her. Cleopatra was able to subjugate them to her influence because the lack of external beauty was more than compensated for by her education, great mind, and outstanding intellect.
The most famous ruler of Egypt
Cleopatra remained in history as such. But in fact, she was not even Egyptian. She was from the noble Greek dynasty of the Ptolemies. They migrated to Egypt during the time of Alexander the Great.
Not the only Queen Cleopatra in Egypt
Probably, few people know that the most famous queen of Ancient Egypt was in the seventh dynasty bearing this name. Who has heard or remembers about other Cleopatra? No one! Much is also known about her father, Ptolemy XII. The mother’s name is still a mystery. Presumably, she was the king’s sister. Such marriages at that time, in the ruling dynasty, were the norm. Plus, Cleopatra was also illegitimate! Officially, Ptolemy XII recognized only one daughter – Berenice IV.
What was the royal name of Cleopatra
When Cleopatra ascended the Egyptian throne, she was called Thea Philopator. Translated from ancient Egyptian, it meant “a goddess who loves her father.” Subsequently, the queen added to this name also “the one who loves her fatherland.” It began to sound like this: Thea Neotera Philopator Philopatris.
Extraordinary mental ability
She was a woman of a brilliant mind. Cleopatra was educated and versed in many sciences such as mathematics, astronomy, public speaking, and philosophy. Cleopatra was the first and only of the Ptolemies to adopt the Egyptians’ religion and culture. None of the representatives of this dynasty were interested in the customs of their people. All her predecessors honored the Greek gods.
In addition, the queen was a polyglot – she spoke at least nine foreign languages. Curiously, of all the Ptolemies, she was the first to learn Egyptian. Before that, no one bothered to learn the language of the country they ruled and where they lived. Cleopatra perfectly knew Hebrew, Ethiopian, Aramaic, Persian, and even Latin.
Cleopatra was the wife of her two half brothers
Then there were such laws that a woman could not rule alone. A male co-ruler was needed. Cleopatra married first one brother, then another. As long as they were alive, there was a danger that they would take the throne from her. And so it was.
Cleopatra got rid of her first husband with the help of Caesar, who took her side in this power struggle. While fleeing, Ptolemy XIII drowned in the river, very fortunately for the queen. The second husband, according to rumors, was poisoned by the queen herself. She already had a male heir, whom Cleopatra could declare co-ruler; she did not need a rival brother at all. Cleopatra ordered her sister Arsinoe to be executed. This was done right on the steps of a Roman temple. The queen methodically destroyed all competitors to the throne.
The legend of the carpet
Ptolemy XIII – the younger brother and first husband of Cleopatra, in the struggle for the throne of Egypt, gathered an army and laid siege to the capital. The queen had to flee in secret to meet with Caesar.
According to the story, Cleopatra was carried to his room in a laundry bag. The carpet appeared in Hollywood film adaptations – for the beauty and romanticization of the moment. Cleopatra calculated everything correctly: fifty-two-year-old Caesar was carried away by her and helped to turn the tide with the throne of Egypt in her favor.
Cleopatra’s Roman triumph
With its dazzling wealth and splendor, Cleopatra arrived in Rome. Everyone around knew that she was Caesar’s mistress. She received incredible honors. In Rome, especially the Romans hated her. But it was still impossible not to admire this woman. Roman beauties even began to style their hair like her.
Caesar had very ambitious life plans, in which Cleopatra was given a special place. The great Roman ruler planned to conquer half the world. Naturally, the ambitious dictator did not intend to put up with the republican system at all. He spoke about it this way: “The Republic is nothing, an empty name without a body and appearance.”
He was going to become emperor and marry Cleopatra. She was aware of her lover’s plans and, having arrived in Rome, was there, waiting for Caesar to begin to implement them. But this was not destined to come true: Caesar was killed as a result of the conspiracy. Cleopatra had to return to Egypt and be satisfied with what she had.
Secrets of the attractiveness of Queen Cleopatra
This woman was never lost in a crowd of her kind and even those who were much more beautiful than her. Cleopatra possessed incredible and unique charm. In addition, she knew how to take care of herself. The queen took milk baths, used various scrubs, shampoos based on egg yolks and honey. Cleopatra knew a lot about incense. She knew how to select aromas for specific purposes competently.
Plutarch wrote about Cleopatra that she was incredibly charming, although not beautiful in the classical sense of the word. He said that it was impossible to forget her. The queen had such a charming voice that she mesmerized the interlocutor.
Scandalous novels of Cleopatra
Both of Cleopatra’s beloved men were married and had children. Despite this, the woman managed to quickly fall in love with Caesar and his successor, Mark Antony. The latter even married her.
To impress Mark Antony, Cleopatra dressed as the Greek goddess Aphrodite for their first meeting. She arrived at the meeting in a ship decorated as the abode of the gods. Mark Antony fell at her feet like a ripe fruit. She became not only his mistress but also his faithful companion. They did everything together.
Children of Cleopatra
The Egyptian queen had four children: the firstborn, whose father was most likely Caesar, and three from Mark Antony. The twins, whom Cleopatra gave birth to her Roman spouse, bore names that translated means the Sun and the Moon.
After Cleopatra’s death, Ptolemy XV Caesarion was executed by Caesar’s adopted son, Octavian. The rest of the children were sent to be raised in Rome. The daughter later married the Moorish ruler, and what happened to the boys is not mentioned in history.
The fall of Cleopatra and Mark Antony
Due to the connection between Mark Antony and Cleopatra in Rome, he was considered a traitor. After all, he went too far: he began to distribute Roman lands to his children. Octavian announced the will of Mark Antony in the Roman Senate, where he recognized Caesarion as the heir of Egypt, and his children from Cleopatra, the heirs of other lands belonging to the Roman Empire. It had the effect of a bomb exploding!
The Senate allowed to gather an army and go to war with Egypt, represented by Mark Antony and Cleopatra. The famous naval battle between Mark Antony and Octavian ended in defeat. Although it would seem, the preponderance of forces was in the direction of Mark Antony. For some unknown reason, Cleopatra recalled her fleet from the battlefield, and her lover, without explaining anything to his soldiers, ran after her. So ineptly, he missed the victory from his hands.
Mark Antony and Cleopatra died together
The couple agreed among themselves that if they were defeated, they would commit suicide together. Mark Antony threw himself on his sword. Cleopatra supposedly took advantage of snake venom.
Cleopatra was locked up with the maids in the room; Octavian threatened her that he would deal with her children if she died. But the queen still decided to kill herself. The Romans believed that a servant carried the snake in a jar of figs. Historians are inclined to think that Cleopatra had a hollow hairpin with poison in her hair.
Tomb of Cleopatra and Mark Antony
Cleopatra wrote a letter to Octavian asking him to bury her with Mark Antony. Octavian was incredibly angry because the death of a woman robbed him of his triumph.
The burial place of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra is not yet known precisely. There are only assumptions.
The extraordinary woman Cleopatra thus became the last queen of Egypt and the representative of the Ptolemaic dynasty. After her death, Egypt lost its sovereignty and became a Roman province. With the end of Cleopatra, the powerful Egyptian civilization also fell.