The Early Years

Cleopatra VII was born in 69 BC. In 51 BC, at the age of 18, she ascended the throne of Egypt as the co-ruler and wife of her 12 year old brother, Ptolemy XIII, in the year 51 B.C. This was because Egyptian law stated any queen had to rule with a consort, either a brother or son. However Cleopatra wanted to rule in her own right, and using the age difference to her advantage, she had Ptolemy’s face, and name removedcleopatra_intro.jpg from the coins, and all legal documents, strengthening her power. However in 48 BC, Ptolemy and his advisers removed her in a quick coup, sending her into exile in Syria.

The Entrance of Caesar and the Struggle for Power

cleopatra_before_caesar450.jpgAt this time the civil war between Caesar and Pompey the Great was coming to an end, and after his loss, Pompey left Rome and came to Egypt. In an effort to maintain good relations Rome and Casaer, Ptolemy and one of his chief advisors, Pothinus had Pompey beheaded. Cleopatra, although exiled, was not one to be easily suppressed, and amassed an army on the Egyptian border. However, she could not invade Egypt alone, so she had herself snuck in to Alexandria-rolled up in a carpet. When the rug was brought to Caesar, Cleopatra rolled out in more in an effort to secure powerful political ties, rather than to seduce him. Yet from the beginning, Caesar and Cleopatra were instantly attracted to each other, especially the power and ambition the other possessed. Quickly thereafter, their now-notorious affair began. With Caesar’s help and incredible influence, she was reinstated as Pharaoh, which led her to have the traitorous Pothinus executed. Yet Ptolemy began to plot against her, again, but quickly his rebellion was suppressed and he drowned as fled across the Nile. Although she had affirmed her right to rule the country, she had to have a consort, who was a male of direct, royal blood, so she married her 11 year old brother Ptolemy XIV.

The Final Years

After this series of events, Cleopatra and Caesar, traveled together on a leisurely trip down the Nile, to visit the major ports in Cleopatra’s kingdom. However on this trip, Cleopatra discovered that she was pregnant with Caesar’s child. And on June 23, 47 B.C., Cleopatra gave birth to a son, whom she named Caesarion, after his father. Cleopatra envisioned her son as the future ruler of a joint, incredibly powerful Roman-Egyptian empire. However, Caesar never actually recognized Caesarion as his own son, even though the boy was his only living child. (See Caesar's Wives) Nevertheless, late that year Cleopatra, her son and her brother Ptolemy left Alexandria to live with Caesar in Rome in a palace he built for her. During her time in Rome, Caesar built monuments to Cleopatra, including the Temple of Venus Genetrix. However these happy times did not last, when on the Ides of March, in 44 BC, Caesar was stabbed to death in the Senate. Because Cleopatra was rather unpopular with the Roman people, and had enemies in the city, she returned to Egypt.


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Created by Mason Alexander