Culture Magazine

Cleopatra the Last of the Ptolemy Family

By Egyking
In ancient egypt Cleopatra was the last of the Ptolemy family to rule Egypt. She was the wife of Julius Caesar and later on Marc Anthony, too. During her reign, Egypt again became a factor in Mediterranean politics. 
She was a woman of genius and a worthy opponent of Rome. Her main preoccupations were to preserve the independence of Egypt, to extend its territory if possible, and to secure the throne for her children.

Cleopatra the last of the Ptolemy family


She lived from 69-30 B.C. and ruled Egypt from 51-31 B.C.. For a short while she co-ruled the empire with her younger brother Ptolemy 13, but because of a battle for power between the two of them she ended up being forced to flee to Syria. During the threatening civil war in the Roman Empire Caesar arrived in Egypt (48 B.C.). Cleopatra wanted to gain Rome‘s support so she could mount the Egyptian throne and solemnly rule Egypt.
She let herself be transported from Syria to Egypt rolled up in a carpet to outsmart her brothers guards. She did so successfully. Cleopatra and Caesar engaged in a love affair and she had all the support she wanted. Caesar fathered her firstborn son Ptolemy also known as Caesarion, little Caesar. The Romans though did not acknowledge Cesarion’s roman heritage and displayed her as the one who degraded Roman virtue.
After the death of Cesar in 44 B.C. she formed a political and personal alliance with Marc Anthony, Cesar’s right hand in military affairs, and they married in 37 B.C . Cleopatra and Marc Anthony challenged the Roman empire by pronouncing Cesarion the true ruler of Egypt and Rome since he was the son of Cesar. This lead to an ongoing war between Rome under the leadership of Octavo and Egypt lead by Cleopatra.
After the ruinous defeat at Actium in 31 B.C., she was unable to continue the fight against Rome. Rather than witness the incorporation of Egypt into the Roman Empire, she chose to die by the bite of the asp. The asp was considered the minister of the sun god whose bite conferred not only immortality but also divinity.
The end of Cleopatra meant the end of the Ptolemy dynasty. Under Octavo Egypt was reduced to a mere province in the great Roman Empire. 

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