‘The Last Queen of Egypt’
Cleopatra was born during a time dominated by men, but she overcame her stereotype by becoming one of Egypt’s most successful leaders. The most notable thing about Cleopatra was not that she was just a successful ruler, but rather that she was the most influential woman of her time.
Cleopatra’s Father, Ptolemy XII was the seventh Pharaoh in a line of unmemorable Ptolemaic rulers. Because of her father, she was exposed to royalty at an early age. This affected her decisions, as she always put Egypt before herself. Eventually, Ptolemy XII had to flee to Rome, because the people of Egypt hated him. The throne was left to Cleopatra’s sister Berenice. Berenice did her best to keep Ptolemy XII out of Egypt, and away from the throne. But Berenice was beheaded by Ptolemy XII’s army. Ptolemy had the throne for five more years, until he died and the throne was left for joint rule by Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIII. This was exactly what Cleopatra needed to achieve her dream of conquering the world.
Cleopatra was only 18 when she started her reign, her brother was only 12. They were soon married, as it was a Ptolemaic tradition. Cleopatra was in an ideal position - her brother was not old enough to make any decisions and she did not have enough power for the people to want to overthrow her. Cleopatra and Ptolemy grew to hate each other. They struggled over the throne for three years, this ended when Ptolemy and his guardians gathered supporters and kicked Cleopatra out of Egypt and into Syria. While she was in Syria, she gathered her supporters and formed an army to prepare for war. During this time, Caesar had started his long voyage to Egypt.
Caesar and Pompey fought for the power of Rome, which resulted in a civil war. After Caesar defeated Pompey in the battle of Pharsalus, Pompey fled to Egypt. Caesar travelled to Egypt to find Pompey, but when he arrived he found that Pompey had been executed. Caesar heard about the war between Cleopatra and Ptolemy and tried to make peace.
Cleopatra decided that best way to defeat her brother was to gain the support of Julius Caesar, so she sailed back to Egypt in secret. To avoid suspicion, one of her servants rolled her up in a blanket and carried her straight through the town and into Caesar’s then residence. The servant unrolled the blanket and Cleopatra unravelled magnificently onto Caesar’s feet. The initial belief was that Caesar became mesmerized with her beauty, but it was proven later that she was not as attractive as first thought and that they were actually fascinated by the ambition they saw in each other.
Cleopatra and Caesar began one of the most talked about love stories in history, and after Cleopatra had gotten Caesar on her side she convinced him to kill her brother. Cleopatra then began to rule with her brother Ptolemy XIV, and just like before, she was in an ideal position.
For Cleopatra, things were finally starting to come together. She had...