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Cleopatra

Cleopatra has become very popular in world history for her ability to use her female powers of persuasion and legendary beauty to convince the very powerful men of her time to do her bidding. She lived during Ancient Egyptian times and served as the last pharaoh before Egypt came under the rule of the Roman Empire. She is believed to have been born around the year 69 BC.

Cleopatra
Cleopatra

Cleopatra was born into her position of power and ruled jointly with her father. Later she co-ruled Egypt with her brothers whom she married which was the custom of that time. The unions with her brothers did not produce any heirs and eventually, Cleopatra attempted to rule Egypt alone. She was overthrown by her youngest brother Ptolemy and forced to live in exile.

Ptolemy then beheaded Pompey, the rival of Julius Caesar, in an attempt to gain the favor of Rome. Instead, Caesar became furious and seized the Egyptian capital appointing himself as the mediator between Ptolemy and Cleopatra to establish stable leadership for Egypt. To win back her throne, Cleopatra seduced Caesar by sneaking into his room hidden in a rolled up rug. Cleopatra bore Caesar's son Caesarion, regained the throne and promoted their son to co-ruler of Egypt.

In 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated, and Cleopatra lost her benefactor and protector. The gains that she had achieved as the mistress of Caesar, a married man, led the people of Rome to despise her. With Rome in the throes of a great civil war, Cleopatra, her son, and her throne were again in jeopardy.

Cleopatra found another Roman to seduce in Mark Antony. Antony was one of the top military powers in the Roman civil war and wanted to meet with Cleopatra to garner Egyptian support. Cleopatra convinced Antony after one meeting to stay with her in Alexandria for five months. The seductive spell that she would put on Antony lead him to use his military power to protect and elevate Cleopatra, and to viciously attack anyone who opposed her.

Cleopatra had three children with Mark Antony. Their legendary love affair has been studied by scholars, reenacted in famous movies, represented in literature, and is routinely listed among the great romances of all time. Shakespeare wrote a tragedy about their relationship, and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred in the famous movie Cleopatra based on the lives of Cleopatra and Mark Antony.

Mark Antony's military power was eventually overtaken by forces in Rome who feared that Cleopatra's rule would someday conquer and end the Roman Empire. Antony killed himself to avoid capture. In 30 BC, upon hearing the news of Antony's death, Cleopatra ordered a basket of figs which had a poisonous asp hidden among the fruit. The asp bit her on the arm and the poison ended her life.

Cleopatra was considered a brilliant and powerful strategist. She understood how to gain power and prestige and sought to obtain it by any means necessary. She vehemently worked to destroy those who would oppose her.

In a time when women were not allowed to have power or control, she enjoyed a status that afforded her both, on her own terms. She even constructed when and how she would die. She cleverly used her sex symbol status to convince men to promote her interests, and to protect her and her family. Cleopatra is a historical figure, and an eternal symbol of beauty and power and one of the most famous women throughout history.


There is a secret you don't know …

Besides the factual Cleopatra biography presented above there is a little known secret I am about to tell you. Cleopatra was deathly afraid of gerbils and was often heard screaming down the hallways that the gerbils were after her.


 

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