May 11, 2012
LAST QUEEN OF EGYPT: CLEOPATRA
Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt is one of the few most famous and powerful women in history to have lived. Her sexual allure and her romance with the two greatest men of her time gave her a lasting image. Therefore she is remembered as a shameless temptress and not as she should, a politically cunning, ambitious and smart woman. And so it wasn’t just because of her sexuality that she held power, it was through a whole other side of Cleopatra1.
Cleopatra’s family was originally from Greece, and not of Egyptian blood. For ten generations her family had been pharaohs (Schiff, 2) and in 80 B.C. Ptolemy XII began his rule as Pharoah, he was Cleopatra’s father. She was second oldest to five siblings. Her father had entangled Egypt in the politics of the emerging Roman State and he fled to Rome in 58 B.C. due to the anger of his people. His oldest daughter, Berenike IV, seized the throne in his three year absence, and when he came back he beheaded her. Its also believed that his other daughter, Cleopatra VI was also killed. Before his death in 51 B.C. he named Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIII as his successors.
At the age of 18 Cleopatra became Queen, marrying her 10 year old brother Ptolemy XIII, and jointly ruling Egypt with him. In documents dated on the first year, Cleopatra is seen as a solo ruler and effective monarch, because her brother was a minor and his ruling was through a regency council, it had been easy for her to push him into the background. But a year later a change is seen, where on documents Ptolemy’s name preceed’s Cleopatra’s. There is food shortage in Egypt due to the Nile River Floodings, and the Egyptian people are unhappy. At the same time Rome was distracted from Egyptian affairs since Julius Ceasar and Pompeys only link was severed, Pompey’s wife & Caesars daughter died. Caesar declared war on Pompey and Rome. Pompey’s son went to Alexandria to ask for military aid,...