Cleopatra: Her True Story

The truth comes out in Cleopatra's remarkable story

Cleopatra's Beginning

Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator was born on 69 B.C. Her father, Ptolemy Auletes, died and left the kingdom to Cleopatra and her 12-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII. Cleopatra was forced to have a consort to rule, so she married her brother, Ptolemy XIII. Soon she began dropping her brother's name from any official documents. Cleopatra had her mercenaries kill the Roman governor of Syria's sons when they had asked for her assistance against the Parthians. By doing this she had alarmed the more powerful court officials of Alexandria.

Cleopatra Makes Enemies

Fueled by fear, Pothinus and Achillas overthrew Cleopatra in favor of her brother. They thought her brother would be easier to influence because he was mentally disabled. They became his council of regency. Cleopatra was thought to have fled to Thebaid. While she was away, Julius Caesar placed himself in the royal throne when Ptolemy XIII was gone to Pelusium. Cleopatra didn't want any decisions to be made without her, so she was smuggled into the royal palace. Cleopatra had herself rolled up in a in a carpet. She was delivered to Caesar. Ptolemy and Cleopatra were set to appear before Caesar the next morning, but by that time the next morning, her and Caesar were already star crossed lovers. Ptolemy stormed away saying he had been betrayed. He was soon captured, but drowned in the Nile when he was trying to flee.

Cleopatra and Caesar: Star-Crossed Lovers?

Cleopatra was now the sole ruler of Egypt. She married her brother Ptolemy XIV. Cleopatra and Caesar traveled back to Rome together. Cleopatra soon became pregnant with Caesar's son. Many disapproved of this. There were laws against bigamy and against marrying foreigners. Caesar ignored them. Cleopatra didn't help, and began referring to herself as New Isis, saying she was a goddess. Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C. when a Rome senate discovered Caesar was preparing to set himself up as king. No mention of Cleopatra or their son Caesarion was in his will. Fearing for her and her son's life, she fled back home to Alexandria. Later she returned, and had her brother Ptolemy XIV killed. She regained the throne, and made her four-year-old son co-regent. She waited to see who the next man in power of Rome would be. That man was Marc Antony.

Antony and Cleopatra? Together Forever?

In 41 B.C. Marc Antony invited Cleopatra to Tarsus. They met, and became lovers. Antony was already married, but to a woman in middle class. Cleopatra was royalty. The two were thought to have spent much time together. Soon Cleopatra had Antony wrapped around her finger. She could make him do whatever she wanted. She had her sister Arsinoe assassinated. Antony divorced his wife, and the western part of the known world had to recognize his relationship with Cleopatra. By doing this he made enemies with Octavian. Octavian was the emperor of Rome and the brother of whom Antony divorced. Rome forces marched to Alexandria, and Antony made half an attempt at defending it. In 31 B.C., Antony was defeated in Greece. He sent for Cleopatra. They lied to him, and had told him she was dead. He then committed suicide with his own sword. Cleopatra came, and stayed with him until the end of his life.

Cleopatra's End

After Antony's death, she was taken to Octavian. She was told she'd be displayed as a slave to all of the countries she had ruled over. Cleopatra did not want the humiliation, so she got her servants to bring her a snake. Her religion believed that if you died from a snake bite, you would become immortal. Cleopatra died on August 12, 30 B.C. at the age of 39. Caesarion was strangled to death. Her children she had with Antony were raised by Antony's ex-wife, Octavion's sister.