The Life and Death of Cleopatra
Everyone wonders how Cleopatra gained control of Egypt and what she did while she reigned. Cleopatra ruled during the Ptolemaic Dynasty (BBC). The Ptolemaic rule ended with the death of this impressive woman. In Cleopatra’s lifetime she inherited the throne of Egypt; fell in love with two influential Romans, just to kill herself to escape punishment by Octavian.
Cleopatra’s father, King Auteles’, also known as Ptolemy XII or “The Piper” because he could play the flute. Cleopatra’s mother continues to be a mystery. They think she’s Auletes’ sister Cleopatra V Tryphaina (Nardo). They’re more Greek rather than Egyptian ancestry. While Auletes’ still in power he made the silver coin value one third lower than its original worth. This imposed unfair new taxes. Rebellion soon started by the time Cleopatra turned 10. Auletes’ in his attempt to strengthen his position asked the ruler of Rome, Julius Caesar, to declare Egypt an ally.
With this lofty title he thought it would make people fear him more. Caesar agreed but he demanded large amounts of bribes. After he agreed to give Caesar the money, Egypt’s finances got worse, making himself even more unpopular with his people (Nardo). In Auletes’ attempt to try and fix his problem, he went to Rome to seek more help from Caesar. At this time, his throne became the focus to his first born daughter.
Cleopatra Tryphaina, the King’s first born seized the Egyptian throne. A few followers of the King back in Egypt, killed the usurper (Nardo). King Auletes’ other daughter, Berenice, seized the throne next. To get the throne back required a large price for a Roman nobleman to seize it. By the time Auletes’ gained power again, he died, leaving the throne to his 17 year old daughter, Cleopatra (the one we all know) and her 12 year old brother, Ptolemy X
III (“Tour Egypt :: Cleopatra: The Women Behind the Name”).
After their father died Cleopatra took control of Egypt, but the only way she could keep her throne was by marrying her younger brother Ptolemy XIII. Cleopatra turned out to be so self-absorbed that she put her portrait and name on coins ignoring her brother’s name. She even, against Ptolemaic law, removed his name from all records. During this time her hold on power started to plummet. Once the three provinces disappeared; Cyprus, coelesyria, Cyrenaica, Cleopatra’s reign started to decline. This eventually lead to her exile (“Tour Egypt :: Cleopatra: The Women Behind the Name”).
Cleopatra drew too much attention to herself by her actions, exile became her fate. Powerful Officials of Alexandria decided it would be easier to control her brother-spouse without her around. These powerful men convinced him to exile her and she fled Alexandria. She ran to Thebaid, where she successfully raised an army. Caesar during this time took control of the land that she recently left. Cleopatra wanted to have her power back in Alexandria. She accomplished this by...