Cleopatra Essay

1039 words - 5 pages


Cleopatra VII was the last ruler of Egypt, reigning from 51-30 BC, she ruled first with her two younger brothers and then with her son.


Early reign.

Cleopatra’s family had been ruling Egypt for centuries (Bragg and O'Malley 20). She was 18 years old when she became Queen of Egypt in the year 51 BC (Stanley and Vennema 6). Following custom, she got married to her ten-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII (Blackaby 13). Cleopatra and Ptolemy ruled together and three advisers guided Ptolemy because of his young age (Stanley and Vennema 6). At the age of 20, Cleopatra’s ambitiousness caused her to be driven out of Egypt by these advisers (Stanley, Diane, and Peter Vennema 6).

Power Struggle: Caesar and Antony

Cleopatra fled to Syria and was determined to fight for her throne, so she raised an army there (Stanley and Vennema 8). Cleopatra was setting up camps in front of the capital and she was prepared to go to war against her brother (Crawford). The arrival of Roman general Julius Caesar in Alexandra interrupted the battle before it could begin (Stanley and Vennema 8). Cleopatra was aware that she could use Caesar’s interest in her family feud for her benefit (Crawford). She asked her servant, Apollodorus, to roll her up in a carpet and send her to Caesar (Blackaby 23). On this night they became man and wife (Stanley and Vennema 10). Caesar wanted to make peace with Ptolemy, but it came to war in the end (Stanley and Vennema 10). The war lasted for 6 months and ended in Ptolemy being drowned (Blackaby 26). Cleopatra was once again crowned the queen of Egypt but this time she ruled with her younger brother, Ptolemy XIV (Stanley and Vennema 10).

Caesar wanted to see more of Egypt so Cleopatra planned a cruise up the Nile for him (Stanley and Vennema 12). Cleopatra had a son with him even though Caesar was already married, and Egyptian custom also required that Cleopatra marry her remaining brother, Ptolemy XIV (Crawford). Cleopatra soon killed he brother so he could not threaten her rule (Blackaby 38). On the ides of March, more than 60 men including his friend, Brutes, stabbed Caesar to death (Blackaby 40). Caesars will was read and had no mention of his son Caesarion (Blackaby 41).

Cleopatra's foreign policy goal, in addition to preserving her personal power, was to maintain Egypt's independence from the rapidly expanding Roman Empire (Crawford). She built up Egypt’s economy by trading with eastern nations, this led Egypt into becoming a world power (Crawford). By working with Roman general Mark Antony, Cleopatra hoped to keep Octavian, Julius Caesar's heir and Antony's rival, from taking Egypt from her rule (Crawford). Cleopatra and Antony were said to be in love (Crawford). Cleopatra had a lot of influence over Antony; he even assassinated Cleopatra’s sister for her (“Cleopatra”). Over the years they had three children (Stanley and Vennema 26). The oldest were twins, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene (Stanley and Vennema 26). The...

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