Biography on Cleopatra

By Katie Southwick

Cleopatra Was a Very Interesting Person

Cleopatra was a incredibly interesting person. At the age of 18, Cleopatra married her brother, Ptolemy XIII, and became the ruler of Egypt. Then, when her brother rose to power, she charmed Caesar so much that he was more than willing to help her. Once her brother was defeated, Caesar took Cleopatra to Rome with him, along with their newborn child. This allowed Cleopatra to make sure Eygpt did not become part of the roman Empire. However, that made the Romans distrust Cleopatra, so when Caesar was assassinated, she fled with her son back to Egypt Then, when Mark Anthony came to power, she too captured his heart and in result, the two married. This act angered Octavian, whose sister Octavia was also married to Mark Anthony. The two went to war and Mark Anthony was killed. When Cleopatra was taken prisoner, she committed suicide. This is how Cleopatra was truly interesting.

Adjectives for Cleopatra

Cunning – Cleopatra came up with a scheme to have her servant, Apollodoros, roll her up in a carpet, which he presented to Julius Caesar. Thus, she could gain entrance to the palace that was being guarded by her brother, who she was in a feud with.

Arrogant – Cleopatra believed that she was god-like (like most monarchs of this era), and she identified herself with the deities of Isis and Aphrodite.

Ruthless – Cleopatra had her remaining brother, Ptolemy XIV, executed, so there would not be any challenges to the throne.

Popular – Cleopatra was popular among her people. Even though she was from Greek decent and brought many of the Greek customs, she learned the Egyptian language, unlike rulers before her. Her people worshipped her.

Intelligent – Cleopatra used her intelligence to help Egypt become a major ruling country by helping Egypt gain independence from the expanding Roman Empire. By expanding trade routes with Eastern nations, like Arabia and India, Egypt’s wealth increase and making it more powerful.

Romantic – Cleopatra was so in love with Marc Antony that when he committed suicide when his forces were defeated in Greece., she committed suicide in order to be with him. She made sure that she was buried next to him.

Vital Facts on Cleopatra

Born: October 69 BC, Alexandria

Became Queen: 51 BC (at the age of 18)

Marriage Date: believed that she married her brother, Ptolemy XIII, on 51 BCE and Mark Anthony sometime around 37 BCE

Died: August 12, 30 BC, Alexandria. She was buried next to Marc Anthony.

Full name: Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator

Siblings: Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator, Arsinoe IV of Egypt, Ptolemy XIV of Egypt (Cleopatra had her brother killed), Berenice IV of Egypt

Children: Caesarion (believed to be the son of Julius Caesar), Cleopatra Selene II, Alexander Helios, Ptolemy Philadelphus (children of Marc Anthony)

Parents: Ptolemy XII Auletes, Cleopatra V of Egypt

Book Citation

Blackaby, Susan. Cleopatra: Egypt's Last and Greatest Queen. New York: Sterling, 2009. Print.

Events Cleopatra Faced

The event that changed Cleopatra’s life the most was her father dying when she was 18. When her father died, she was forced to marry her brother due to Egyptian law, and they became co-rulers of Egypt. One of the obstacles she faced was that her brother tried to have her killed numerous times. Her brother exiled her out of Egypt, but she used her political alliances with Julius Caesar to regain control of Egypt by having her brother killed. Another obstacle that she has overcome was being a female leader at this time. She won the hearts and respect of her Egyptian people by being one of the few rulers that knew the Egyptian language. Another obstacle that Cleopatra faced was the constant battles between Egypt and the Roman Empire. At one point, Marc Antony flipped into such a depression that he could no longer lead, so Cleopatra took over Marc Antony’s army and led them to defeat the Romans.

The Effect Cleopatra had on the World

Cleopatra has affected the world both past, in Egypt and Rome, and present. In ancient Rome, she brought the Egyptian influence of art and fashion to the Roman Empire. She introduced Papyrus to Rome, which is a type of marsh plant grown along the Nile River. Papyrus was made into sheets which the ancient Egyptians and Romans could record their history and stories on. Cleopatra’s influence on the ancient Egyptian people was tremendous, since she was such a powerful leader. She was very resourceful in the restoring of the power of Egypt. She used her relationships with great Roman leaders, like Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, to gain more political influence for her country. Cleopatra was a very strong female leader in a male dominated society. In fact, she was one of the first influential female leaders of her time. But presently, her influence is more on a commercial level. There have been many movies and plays made about her in the past 100 years. The most famous movie portraying her life was the one where Elizabeth Taylor portrayed Cleopatra. Ironically, only one image of Cleopatra survived from ancient Egypt, which is a barely visible profile on a coin. The image is not of a beautiful woman, but of a powerful woman.