Cleopatra innovatively utilised Roman politicians to benefit both herself and Egypt. Cleopatra's skillful manipulation of Roman generals consequences in her triumphs but also ultimately the downfall of Egypt. Many agree that Cleopatra never truly loved Caesar or Antony but it does seem evident that at least Casar did in fact love Cleopatra. While Cleopatra skillfully used Caesar and Antony to rid her of enemies and threats to the throne it was also a Roman politicians that effected the end of her reign and the prosperity of Egypt. Cleopatra’s manipulation of Roman politians which at first benefited her but ultimately was the source of her destruction.
At the time Cleopatra gained power the future of the Dynasty was in danger. Places like Cyprus, Coele-Syria, and Cyrenaica were not under her kingdom anymore, and in the remaining places there was poverty and famine. But Cleopatra was an ambitious woman and wanted her kingdom to be a strong and great empire. Between Pompey and Julius Caesar there was a conflict which leads to in a struggle. Cleopatra supported him however he was defeated and after his defeat Caesar came in Egypt, in Alexandria.
Political turmoil also shaped this period. Soon after they assumed power, complications arose between Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII. Eventually Cleopatra fled to Syria, where she assembled an army to defeat her rival in order to declare the throne for herself. In 48, she returned to Egypt with her military might and faced her brother at Pelusium, located on the empire’s eastern edge. Most of what we know about Cleopatra was written after her death when it was politically expedient to portray her as a threat to Rome and its stability. Thus, some of what we know about Cleopatra may have been exaggerated or misrepresented by those sources. Cassius Dio, one of the ancient sources that tells her story, summarizes her story as “She captivated the two greatest Romans of her day, and
Wanting to avoid yet another Roman civil war, Octavian did not want to pit Romans against Romans, and so he instead chose to ignore Antony and focus Rome’s suspicion and hostility on Antony’s wife — Cleopatra — instead (Schiff). Two themes dominated the propaganda spread by Octavian. The first being that Cleopatra had used sex to ensnare Antony and lure him away from his wife (and Octavian’s sister), Octavia, causing him to become totally subservient to the Egyptian queen who was now forcing him to oppose Rome’s best interests by giving Cleopatra and her children Roman territories; and the second, and arguably worse, theme was that Cleopatra’s true goal was not to secure the welfare of Egypt, but the subjection of Rome to Egypt (Burstein
Some characters in history have been mischaracterized or mythologized, but none have been as misconstrued as Cleopatra VII, the last queen of Egypt. In Roller’s 2010 publication, Cleopatra: A Biography, he discusses many aspects of Cleopatra’s life, but most importantly her power. This novel is the first to be based solely on primary materials from the Greco-Roman period while Cleopatra was alive. These sources include literature, Egyptian documents, and representations in art and coinage. The author’s stated purpose for writing this book is “to create a portrait of Cleopatra based solely on information from the ancient world” (x). Roller achieves his purpose by organizing his work chronologically beginning with Cleopatra’s lineage and ending with the downfall to her kingdom around 34 B.C. In order to grasp some of the information in this novel, the reader must first draw upon Egyptian and Greco-Roman art as well as Greek and Latin literature (Roller x). In addition to the primary sources used to write this book, Duane also did research at Harvard College Library, Ohio State University, and the Institut für Archäologie, Karl- Franzens Universität (Roller xi). While Roller successfully provides information about Cleopatra with his well narrated novel, he distracts the reader with a regular use of names and a countless mention of geographical places.
Born in 69 B.C. her lineage can be traced back to the Greek general Ptolemy, who established the dynasty around three centuries earlier (Keko). Cleopatra was a daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes. Her mother is believed to be Cleopatra V Tryphaena, the king's wife and possible half sister (Cleopatra). She was the third child born into her family. She had two older sisters, Cleopatra VI and Berenice IV, a younger sister Arsinoe IV, as well as two younger brothers, Ptolemy XIII
Cleopatra for days pondered how to both exact revenge on her foolish husband, and how to gain the throne back rightfully to her. After almost a month, she set sail with some servants that were still rather faithful to her, and set out for Rome. Cleopatra was fearful of this Rome and their leaders, but as she sailed along to Rome, she developed a plan. After a month, the boat with Cleopatra arrived to Rome, and Cleopatra had one of her servants do her a favor. She had him wrap her up in an old rug, and smuggle her into Caesar’s base. The servant brought her into the room where Caesar was working, and just talked with him until he felt comfortable. After a while of this, the servant almost instantly unrolled the rug, and to Caesar's great surprise, out rolled the Pharaoh's wife Cleopatra. At the time Cleopatra was 21 years old and Caesar had been about 65 years old, so there was a very large age gap between
She came from the Ptolemaic dynasty, which included over 15 rulers. Cleopatra entered politics as a teenager when she co-ruled with her father. Julius Caesar was one of Cleopatra’s love interests, and they had a son named Caesarion. Cleopatra utilized Caesar’s military strength to defeat Ptolemy XIII and gain full reign over Egypt with another brother. Caesar supported Cleopatra’s role in politics and had a gold-plated statue of her placed in the temple of Venus. After Caesar’s death, Cleopatra became politically and romantically involved with Marc Antony. Antony needed Cleopatra’s military and financial support for his invasion of the Persian Empire. However, when he met Cleopatra he became so enamored with her that he abandoned his plans for invasion and took her back to Egypt. Antony and Cleopatra later got married and had three children. Antony gave her control over territories in Syria and Lebanon. This contributed to Cleopatra’s legacy because she was not just known as the wife of a political figure, but also a strong ruler of her own
She was a descendant of the greek Ptolemy I who was a friend of Alexander the Great, who had conquered Egypt a few centuries before her time, and was a general in Alexander’s army (Hawass 2010:16). Upon the death of Alexander the Great Ptolemy I took control of Egypt and started the Ptolemaic dynasty (Hawass 2010:16). Cleopatra VII, was born in 69 B.C.; she was the second daughter and child of Ptolemy XII, who had five legitimate children in all (Roller 2010:3). During the first few years of Cleopatra VII’s life marked a fairly quiet time in the reign of her father; but during this time he gave an extensive amount of money to Roman leaders as a payment for their support of his leadership and help in controlling the Egyptian people (Roller 2010:18-21). Ptolemy XII began taking loans from a Roman banker to help support this habit, and imposed heavy taxes on his people which caused a revolt and strike of farmers. Despite all this influx of revenue Ptolemy continued to spend exorbitant amounts on both gifts for Roman leaders and for his own lavish tastes, feeding his debts to Rome (Roller and Roller 2010:21). Due to the unrest of the now starving people in Egypt of that time, and the fact that Ptolemy XII let his brother Ptolemy of Cyprus fall, watching silently as Cyprus became a Roman territory, there was an uprising in 58 B.C. (Roller 2010:22). So Ptolemy XII escaped Egypt and the revolt of his people by fleeing
Cleopatra now is more commonly identified by her stunning beauty, but that is not all there was to her although her looks and sex appeal did help her rule there was more to the young girl who ruled Egypt at the early age of eighteen. A queen who played a role in several of her siblings’ deaths and married her younger brother aged twelve at time of marriage was also a queen who took charge and ruled Egypt her way to disregard tradition and put in a significant amount of effort to solve the conflict between Egypt and Rome. The question here is Cleopatra a caring or a ruthless ruler during her thee.
As the last reigning pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt, Cleopatra VII straddled Greek, Egyptian, and Roman history. During the centuries surrounding her lifetime, few women ruled their own countries, let alone with strength and competence. Cleopatra immersed herself in politics, intrigue, and military tactics. Her influence spans over two thousand years, its impression persevering into modern day. Her unfortunate defeat by the fledgling Roman Empire extinguished a bright flame of intellectual and physical brilliancy. Rome portrayed her as an unscrupulous whore, driven by cold-hearted ambition and passionate lust. As Winston Churchill aptly expressed, “History is written by the victors.” With
In 69 BC Cleopatra was born into an Egyptian dynasty. A dynasty in decline and under the protection of Rome. At the young age of 18 she assumed the throne along with one
Since, Cleopatra wanted her son, Caesarion, to be the heir of Caesar, she asked Marc to help her do so. They then, formed a military alliance against Octavian, another military leader from Rome, because apparently he turned on them. Even though they had the alliance, Octavian defeated Cleopatra and Marc Antony.
Also, she was the daughter of Ptolemy XII (Auletes) believed to be the kings wife or possibly his half-sister. In 51 B.C., upon natural death of Auletes, the Egyptian throne was passed to 18 year old Cleopatra and 10 year old brother, Ptolemy XII. Soon, after the siblings gained power over the throne, Ptolemy’s advisers acted against Cleopatra, the brother was forced to flee Egypt for Syria in 49 B.C (History 1). After, she raised an army of mercenaries’ to go after the brother and his forces. The two armies would meet on Egypt’s eastern Border, Cleopatra needed help, so she sought to get Caesar’s support as she would smuggle herself into the palace to plead her side of the issue (History 1). Also, as soon as the conflict was over she would have sexual relations with Caesar, he would remain in Egypt with Cleopatra (History 1). In 47 B.C., she gave birth to a son named Ptolemy Caesar who was believed to be the child of both Caesar and Cleopatra; known to the people of Egypt as Caesarion (Little Caesar). Especially, the death of Caesar and Ptolemy, in 44 B.C. was too much so she went back to Egypt to rename her 3 year old son from Caesarion to Ptolemy XV. The Roman Senate soon after thought of Cleopatra’s sons as a reward or
After Ptolemy XIII’s death, Caesar restored Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIV, her youngest brother, as rulers of Egypt. In 47 B.C., Cleopatra gave birth to a child that was believed to be Caesar’s. The child was Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar, but was known to the Egyptian people as Caesarion, which means “Little Caesar.” In 46 to 45 B.C. Cleopatra, Ptolemy XIV, and Caesarion traveled to Rome to be with Caesar. He was murdered soon after in March of 44 B.C. They returned to Egypt where Ptolemy XIV died soon after their return. (“Cleopatra VII’s Childhood…”) Cleopatra feared for their lives because of the Caesarion posed to Octavian. (“Cleopatra: The Woman…”)