The Life Of Cleopatra. Essay

1577 words - 6 pages

Cleopatra VII was born in 69 BC in Alexandria, which was at the time the capital of Egypt. Her father was Egypt's pharaoh, Ptolemy XII he was nicknamed Auletes. Cleopatra's mother was traditionally Auletes's sister, who was named Cleopatra V Tryphaena. Of these parents bore many children including, Cleopatra VII's elder sister, who was named Cleopatra VI. Cleopatra VII, future pharaoh, also had another sister, the oldest, named Bernice; as well as younger sister named Arsinoe; and two younger brothers, both called Ptolemy. Their family was not native to Egypt, but Macedonian by nature. Ptolemy XII, Cleopatra's father, was a weak and cruel ruler, and in 58 BC the people of Alexandria rebelled and overthrew him because of their hate for him. During this time he fled to Rome while his eldest daughter, Bernice, took the throne. At this time she married a cousin but soon had him strangled so that she could marry another man named Archelaus. At some point during Bernice's three-year reign Cleopatra VI died of unknown causes and in 55 BC Ptolemy XII, Cleopatra's father, again reclaimed his throne with the help of the Roman general Pompey. Bernice was then beheaded and her husband was executed. Cleopatra VII was now the pharaoh's oldest child, so when her father passed in 51 BC, leaving his children in Pompey's care, Cleopatra and the eldest of her two brothers Ptolemy XIII inherited the throne.In obedience with Egyptian tradition when Cleopatra was about seventeen years old she married her younger brother Ptolemy XIII, who became co-ruler, at the age of about twelve. But this was a marriage of convenience only, and Ptolemy was pharaoh only in name. For three years he remained in the background while Cleopatra ruled alone, it is said that despite the glamorous image she plays today, she was far from beautiful. She is depicted on ancient coins with a long hooked nose and masculine features, yet she was clearly a very seductive woman. She was know to have had an enchanting voice and exuded charisma. She was also highly intelligent and spoke nine languages; she was the first Ptolemy pharaoh who could actually speak Egyptian!! Cleopatra proved herself to be a shrewd politician and her brother/husband Ptolemy's advisors resented her for her independence. In 48 BC they conspired against her, they stripped Cleopatra of her power and she was forced into exile in Syria with her younger sister Arsinoe.Cleopatra did not give up. Determined to regain her throne, Cleopatra amassed an army on Egypt's border. At this time Pompey was vying with Julius Caesar for control over the Roman Empire. After losing the battle of Pharsalos Pompey sailed to Alexandria, pursued by Caesar, to seek Ptolemy's protection. But Ptolemy's advisors thought it would be safer to side with Caesar, and when Pompey arrived he was stabbed to death while the pharaoh, Ptolemy, watched. Three days later Caesar reached Alexandria. Before he entered the city, Ptolemy's courtiers brought him a gift; it...

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