Queen Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last ruler of Egypt from the Ptolemaic kingdom. She ruled with her two older brothers and then with her son for about three decades. She was a general under the orders of Alexander the Great during his conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C. She was clever, educated, and knew several languages and that is why she was the dominant ruler in all three of her co-regencies. In addition to this, she was a naval commander, a medical author, and a diplomat. Koine Greek was her first language and the queen was the first Ptolemaic ruler to learn the Egyptian language. Through our article, you will know all the information about Queen Cleopatra:
The History of Queen Cleopatra
Her sister Berenice IV was able to reach the throne after the exile of her father to Rome in 58 B.C. But her sister was killed after Ptolemy XII reached Egypt. When Ptolemy XII died in 51 B.C, Cleopatra was able to reach the throne with her brother Ptolemy XIII. A sudden fall out between them led to a civil war. Ptolemy XIII killed Pompey, the Roman statesman, and Caesar occupied Alexandria in pursuit of Pompey. Then Caesar tried to reconcile Cleopatra with Ptolemy III. Eventually, Ptolemy XIII died in the Battle of the Nile in 47 B.C. Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIV became the rulers of Egypt.
Caesar and Cleopatra
Queen Cleopatra got a son called Caesarion “Ptolemy XV” from a relationship with Caesar. She traveled to Rome in 46 B.C and stayed in the villa of Caesar. Caesar was killed in 44 B.C and Cleopatra wanted Caersarion to be his heir but his grandnephew Octavian was the one who took the leadership so Cleopatra had Ptolemy XIV killed and elevated her son Caesarion as a co-ruler. Cleopatra had identified herself with the goddess Isis, the sister-wife of Osiris, which was an Egyptian tradition to associate royalty with divinity to strengthen the position of kings and queens.
Queen Cleopatra and Her Memorable Love Story with Antony
Cleopatra met Mark Antony at Tarsos in 41 BC, and this led to a lovely relationship between them. Antony was seduced with her charm as she was dressed in the robes of Isis so he promised to take care of her and protect Egypt. They got three children out of their relationship, who is Alexander Helios “sun”, Cleopatra Selene II “moon”, and Ptolemy Philadelphus. Antony relied totally on Cleopatra on both the funding and the military and all through his invasions. Cleopatra’s children were declared rulers over some lands under the authority of Antony.
Octavian forced Antony’s supporters in the Roman Senate to flee Rome in 32 B.C and declared war on Cleopatra. Antony and Cleopatra were defeated in the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C by Agrippa, the general of Octavian. The forces of Octavian invaded Egypt in 30 B.C and caused the suicide of Antony. Upon discovering Octavian’s plan, which was about bringing Cleopatra to Rome for his triumphal procession, she committed suicide by poisoning “Was Bitten by an Asp”. The asp is a symbol of divine royalty. According to what Cleopatra wished for, she was buried next to Antony. Octavian was left to celebrate his triumph over Cleopatra, his conquest to Egypt, and his consolidation of power in Rome.
Queen Cleopatra as an Ancient and Modern Icon
Queen Cleopatra was the most famous female rulers in Ancient Egypt and her legacy survived in many works of art in either ancient or modern. She was described in Roman history and in the Latin works. Ancients depict Cleopatra in visual arts through Roman and Ptolemaic coinage, statues, busts, reliefs, cameo glass, cameo carvings, and paintings. Cleopatra was even the main subject in the renaissance works, which included sculptures, paintings, and dramatic works such as the dramatic work of William Shakespeare “Antony and Cleopatra” in 1608. In Modern time, they use Cleopatra as a commercial brand just like the Hollywood movie; Cleopatra in 1963.
Interesting Facts about Cleopatra
- Cleopatra wasn’t Egyptian. She traced her family origins to Macedonian Greece and Ptolemy I Soter, who was one of Alexander the Great’s generals.
- Cleopatra’s beauty wasn’t her biggest assets as her intellect was her biggest reason to be a great queen.
- She knew many languages and she also knew how to deal with science, mathematics, philosophy, oratory, and astronomy.
- Surprisingly, Cleopatra had a hand in the death of her three siblings.
- Cleopatra teamed with Julius Caesar, and Ptolemy drowned in the Nile River after being defeated in the battle.
- After the war, Cleopatra remarried to her younger brother Ptolemy XIV.
- She is believed to have had him murdered to make her son her co-ruler.
- She was also responsible for the execution of her sister, Arsinoe, who she considered a rival to the throne in 41 B.C.
Queen Cleopatra Death
The story behind Cleopatra’s death isn’t accurate as Antony, her beloved was stabbed in his stomach but the story about her bitten by an asp “A Viper or an Egyptian Cobra” isn’t certain. Some Egyptologists believe that she was poisoned through one of her combs. Many scholars assume that she used a pin dipped in some form of potent toxin.
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What Should I Wear While Being in Egypt?
You should wear whatever you want. It is advised to wear something light from cotton or linen, comfortable and put on sunblock during your time in Egypt in the summer and wear comfortable footwear like a closed-toe shoe to sustain the sandy terrain.
What to Pack for Your Egypt Tour?
You should bring a brimmed hat and sunglasses if you not used to the Egyptian sun &pack everything you could ever need and put in a small bag so you could move easily between your destinations.
Are All Nile Cruises Available at Any Time?
Yes, it is available all years. as the Nile from Aswan to Luxor takes three to four days of sailing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the total cost of 600$ and the Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan take four to five days in Saturday, Monday and Thursday for the coast of 650$.
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Is it safe to travel to Egypt?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to travel to egypt, You will feel secure in Egypt as the current atmosphere of the country is very peaceful after the government took powerful measures like restructuring the entire tourist police to include all the important and tourist attractions in Egypt and construct an entire environment dedicated for ensuring the lives of all tourists.
What are Egypt's Visa Requirements?
They are very simples, If you want to apply for a Visa On Arrival that lasts for 30 days then you should be one of the eligible countries(check the link), have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining and pay 25$ USD entry fee in cash. As for the E-Visa for 30 days, you should have a valid passport for at least 8 months, complete the online application, pay the e-visa fee then print the e-visa to later be presented to the airport border guard. You could be one of the countries eligible for a free visa for 90 days.
What is the Weather is Like?
The temperature of Egypt ranges from 37c to 14 c, Summer in Egypt is somehow hot and winter is cool and mild but sometimes it becomes cold at night. The average of low temperatures vary from 9.5 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 23 ¡ÆC in the summertime and average high temperatures vary from 17 ¡ÆC in the wintertime to 32 ¡ÆC in the summertime while the temperature is moderate all along the coasts.
What is the Best Time of Visit Egypt?
It is known the best time to travel to Egypt is in the winter from September to April as the climate becomes a bit tropical, a warm atmosphere with a winter breeze. You will also be notified a week before your trip if the weather is unsafe or if any changes have been made.
Should I Give Tips in Egypt?
It is totally up to you, but if you choose to you can tip the servers at your restaurant 5-10% by handing it to them directly and 5 Egyptian Pounds as a general tip of anyone.
Can I Enter the Pyramids?
Yes, you can enter the pyramids for the small fee of 20$.
How to Enjoy Egypt During Ramadan?
Ramadan is a special time of year for Muslims that should be celebrated by non-Muslims and feel the essence of the Islamic culture. You can fast with the Muslim or just observe but you are always welcome to join the celebrations and festivals.