[note 59] The writings of Cicero, who knew her personally, provide an unflattering portrait of Cleopatra. And just when history was starting to drag a bit, feminist thought and women filmmakers getting their long-overdue space in Hollywood have given rise to the retelling of historic events from a feminist perspective, giving filmmakers a chance to venture once again into previously chartered territories using a new lens. , By the spring of 40 BC, Antony left Egypt due to troubles in Syria, where his governor Lucius Decidius Saxa was killed and his army taken by Quintus Labienus, a former officer under Cassius who now served the Parthian Empire.  Cleopatra provided Antony with 200 ships for his campaign and as payment for her newly acquired territories. , In 58 BC the Romans annexed Cyprus and on accusations of piracy drove Ptolemy of Cyprus, Ptolemy XII's brother, to commit suicide instead of enduring exile to Paphos.  Cleopatra Selene II was bestowed with Crete and Cyrene.  However, these plans were ultimately abandoned when Malichus I, as advised by Octavian's governor of Syria, Quintus Didius, managed to burn Cleopatra's fleet in revenge for his losses in a war with Herod that Cleopatra had largely initiated. , Whereas myths about Cleopatra persist in popular media, important aspects of her career go largely unnoticed, such as her command of naval forces, administrative acts, and publications on ancient Greek medicine. , Georges Méliès's Robbing Cleopatra's Tomb (French: Cléopâtre), an 1899 French silent horror film, was the first film to depict the character of Cleopatra.  This portrait features the royal diadem and similar facial features as the Berlin and Vatican heads, but has a more unique hairstyle and may actually depict Cleopatra Selene II, daughter of Cleopatra. [note 41] Perhaps owing to his still childless marriage with Calpurnia, Caesar remained publicly silent about Caesarion (but perhaps accepted his parentage in private). , Antony's enlargement of the Ptolemaic realm by relinquishing directly controlled Roman territory was exploited by his rival Octavian, who tapped into the public sentiment in Rome against the empowerment of a foreign queen at the expense of their Republic.  By the spring of 48 BC Cleopatra had traveled to Roman Syria with her younger sister, Arsinoe IV, to gather an invasion force that would head to Egypt.  Although the common view of Cleopatra was one of a prolific seductress, she had only two known sexual partners, Caesar and Antony, the two most prominent Romans of the time period, who were most likely to ensure the survival of her dynasty. Theodotus was found years later in Asia, by Marcus Junius Brutus, and executed.  She was now followed by Octavia and Livia, whose statues were most likely erected in the Forum of Caesar to rival that of Cleopatra's, erected by Caesar.  He left three legions in Egypt, later increased to four, under the command of the freedman Rufio, to secure Cleopatra's tenuous position, but also perhaps to keep her activities in check. When Cleopatra learned that Octavian planned to bring her to his Roman triumphal procession, she killed herself by poisoning, contrary to the popular belief that she was bitten by an asp.  In Egypt, Antony continued to enjoy the lavish royal lifestyle he had witnessed aboard Cleopatra's ship docked at Tarsos. Shortly after the siege was lifted by reinforcements, Ptolemy XIII died in the 47 BC Battle of the Nile; Cleopatra's half-sister Arsinoe IV was eventually exiled to Ephesus for her role in carrying out the siege.  Cleopatra sailed up the Kydnos River to Tarsos in Thalamegos, hosting Antony and his officers for two nights of lavish banquets on board the ship. , Lucius Pinarius, Mark Antony's appointed governor of Cyrene, received word that Octavian had won the Battle of Actium before Antony's messengers could arrive at his court.  Cleopatra's former rebellious governor of Cyprus was also handed over to her for execution. , In Greece, Caesar and Pompey's forces engaged each other at the decisive Battle of Pharsalus on 9 August 48 BC, leading to the destruction of most of Pompey's army and his forced flight to Tyre, Lebanon. (Peter D. Tillman / CC BY-SA 2.0 ) In 246 BC, Ptolemy II Philadelphus was succeeded by Ptolemy III Euergetes who governed from 246 BC to 221 BC.  However, Ptolemy was eventually executed by the Roman emperor Caligula in 40 AD, perhaps under the pretense that Ptolemy had unlawfully minted his own royal coinage and utilized regalia reserved for the Roman emperor.  Cleopatra sent the Gabiniani culprits to Bibulus as prisoners awaiting his judgment, but he sent them back to Cleopatra and chastised her for interfering in their adjudication, which was the prerogative of the Roman Senate. Octavian. Here's All You Need to Know About the Egyptian Monarch, Zaheer Khan-Sagarika Ghatge Expecting First Child, Gal Gadot's Casting Sparks Criticism, Cleopatra Was Not Arab, But Twitter is Slamming Israeli Gal Gadot for Playing Her Role in Film, Israeli Actress Gal Gadot's Casting as Egyptian Queen Cleopatra in Hollywood Film Sparks Criticism, 5 Films that Immortalised Egyptian Queen Cleopatra in Popular Culture, Glamorous Pictures of Bollywood Fashionista Sonam Kapoor, Rochelle Rao Sets Social Media on Blaze With Her Vacation Pictures.  However, the Gabiniani tortured and murdered these two, perhaps with secret encouragement by rogue senior administrators in Cleopatra's court.  The Jewish Roman historian Josephus, writing in the 1st century AD, provides valuable information on the life of Cleopatra via her diplomatic relationship with Herod the Great. They were the last dynasty of ancient Egypt.  By the summer of 36 BC, she had given birth to Ptolemy Philadelphus, her second son with Antony.  Antony was well received by the populace of Alexandria, both for his heroic actions in restoring Ptolemy XII to power and coming to Egypt without an occupation force like Caesar had done.  It is likely, due to political expediency, that Antony's visage was made to conform not only to hers but also to those of her Macedonian Greek ancestors who founded the Ptolemaic dynasty, to familiarize himself to her subjects as a legitimate member of the royal house.  The emperor Augustus installed Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II, after their wedding in 25 BC, as the new rulers of Mauretania, where they transformed the old Carthaginian city of Iol into their new capital, renamed Caesarea Mauretaniae (modern Cherchell, Algeria). [note 6] After the death of Cleopatra, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, marking the end of the second to last Hellenistic state and the age that had lasted since the reign of Alexander (336–323 BC). [note 50] Antony sent a report to Rome requesting ratification of these territorial claims, now known as the Donations of Alexandria.  A subscript in a different handwriting at the bottom of the papyrus reads "make it happen" or "so be it" (Ancient Greek: γινέσθωι, romanized: ginésthōi);[note 53] this is likely the autograph of the queen, as it was Ptolemaic practice to countersign documents to avoid forgery. These included famine caused by drought and a low level of the annual flooding of the Nile, and lawless behavior instigated by the Gabiniani, the now unemployed and assimilated Roman soldiers left by Gabinius to garrison Egypt. [note 36] Ganymedes then tricked Caesar into requesting the presence of the erstwhile captive Ptolemy XIII as a negotiator, only to have him join the army of Arsinoe IV. , Ptolemy XII died sometime before 22 March 51 BC, when Cleopatra, in her first act as queen, began her voyage to Hermonthis, near Thebes, to install a new sacred Buchis bull, worshiped as an intermediary for the god Montu in the Ancient Egyptian religion. He distinguished himself by preventing Ptolemy XII from massacring the inhabitants of Pelousion, and for rescuing the body of Archelaos, the husband of Berenice IV, after he was killed in battle, ensuring him a proper royal burial.  Sosigenes of Alexandria, one of the members of Cleopatra's court, aided Caesar in the calculations for the new Julian calendar, put into effect 1 January 45 BC. Who Was Cleopatra and Was She Arab? In the visual arts, her ancient depictions include Roman busts, paintings, and sculptures, cameo carvings and glass, Ptolemaic and Roman coinage, and reliefs.  The three younger children of Ptolemy XII, Cleopatra's sister Arsinoe IV and brothers Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator and Ptolemy XIV, were born in the absence of his wife. Cleopatra was married to her brother and co-ruler Ptolemy XIII, who …  Her rival Herod was occupied with civil war in Judea that required heavy Roman military assistance, but received none from Cleopatra. This practice was soon imitated by common Egyptians.  However, on 1 August 30 BC, Antony's naval fleet surrendered to Octavian, followed by Antony's cavalry.  Historian Cassius Dio records that she did so without informing her brother, dressed in an attractive manner, and charmed Caesar with her wit.  The Battle of Actium raged on without Cleopatra and Antony until the morning of 3 September, and was followed by massive defections of officers, troops, and allied kings to Octavian's side. He was not the last of the Ptolemaic rulers, however. , In an event held at the gymnasium soon after the triumph, Cleopatra dressed as Isis and declared that she was the Queen of Kings with her son Caesarion, King of Kings, while Alexander Helios was declared king of Armenia, Media, and Parthia, and two-year-old Ptolemy Philadelphos was declared king of Syria and Cilicia.  A cult dedicated to Cleopatra still existed as late as 373 AD when Petesenufe, an Egyptian scribe of the book of Isis, explained that he "overlaid the figure of Cleopatra with gold.  It was erected there by Caesar and remained in the temple at least until the 3rd century AD, its preservation perhaps owing to Caesar's patronage, although Augustus did not remove or destroy artworks in Alexandria depicting Cleopatra.  Cleopatra had no other option but to stay in Egypt and negotiate with Octavian.  Her sudden death led to a reconciliation of Octavian and Antony at Brundisium in Italy in September 40 BC. Cleopatra was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty, which began with Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian general and a companion of Alexander the Great, who took over Egypt in 305-304 BC.  Cleopatra, aboard her flagship, the Antonias, commanded 60 ships at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, at the rear of the fleet, in what was likely a move by Antony's officers to marginalize her during the battle.  However, she was depicted in an Egyptian statue as the goddess Isis, while some of her coinage depicts her as Venus-Aphrodite. [note 20] Berenice IV sent an embassy to Rome to advocate for her rule and oppose the reinstatement of her father Ptolemy XII, but Ptolemy had assassins kill the leaders of the embassy, an incident that was covered up by his powerful Roman supporters.  A male servant holds the mouth of an artificial Egyptian crocodile (possibly an elaborate tray handle), while another man standing by is dressed as a Roman. Daughter of King Ptolemy XII Auletes, Cleopatra was destined to become the last queen of the Macedonian dynasty that ruled Egypt between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 bce and its annexation by Rome in 30 bce.  When Octavia returned to Rome Octavian portrayed his sister as a victim wronged by Antony, although she refused to leave Antony's household. [note 45] Cleopatra managed to clear her name as a supposed supporter of Cassius, arguing she had really attempted to help Dolabella in Syria, and convinced Antony to have her exiled sister, Arsinoe IV, executed at Ephesus. Cleopatra VII was the of Ptolemaic rulers that reigned over Egypt | Image source: Twitter.  Fictional novels such as H. Rider Haggard's Cleopatra (1889) and Théophile Gautier's One of Cleopatra's Nights (1838) depicted the queen as a sensual and mystic Easterner, while the Egyptologist Georg Ebers's Cleopatra (1894) was more grounded in historical accuracy.  The high degree of inbreeding among the Ptolemies is also illustrated by Cleopatra's immediate ancestry, of which a reconstruction is shown below.  Cleopatra Selene II imported many important scholars, artists, and advisers from her mother's royal court in Alexandria to serve her in Caesarea, now permeated in Hellenistic Greek culture.  Losing the fight against her brother, Cleopatra was then forced to flee Alexandria and withdraw to the region of Thebes. , Cleopatra invited Antony to come to Egypt before departing from Tarsos, which led Antony to visit Alexandria by November 41 BC. the asp) rises between her legs, Eros floats above, and Anton, the alleged ancestor of the Antonian family, looks on in despair as his descendant Antony is led to his doom.  Cleopatra's insistence that she be involved in the battle for Greece led to the defections of prominent Romans, such as Ahenobarbus and Lucius Munatius Plancus. She was able to work shrewdly with Roman generals and leaders to advance the interests of her kingdom.  In order to stabilize the east, Antony not only enlarged Cleopatra's domain, he also established new ruling dynasties and client rulers who would be loyal to him, yet would ultimately outlast him. , Following the tradition of Macedonian rulers, Cleopatra ruled Egypt and other territories such as Cyprus as an absolute monarch, serving as the sole lawgiver of her kingdom.  In a show of solidarity, Antony also had Marcus Antonius Antyllus, his son with Fulvia, enter the ephebi at the same time.  Cleopatra seems to have attempted a short-lived alliance with her brother Ptolemy XIV, but by the autumn of 50 BC Ptolemy XIII had the upper hand in their conflict and began signing documents with his name before that of his sister, followed by the establishment of his first regnal date in 49 BC.  By the autumn of 42 BC, Antony had defeated the forces of Caesar's assassins at the Battle of Philippi in Greece, leading to the suicide of Cassius and Brutus.  The French dramatist Victorien Sardou and Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw produced plays about Cleopatra, while burlesque shows such as F. C. Burnand's Antony and Cleopatra offered satirical depictions of the queen connecting her and the environment she lived in with the modern age.  Octavian's confidence grew as he eliminated his rivals in the west, including Sextus Pompeius and even Lepidus, the third member of the triumvirate, who was placed under house arrest after revolting against Octavian in Sicily. Films like Caesar and Cleopatra (1945), A Queen for Caesar (1962), Cleopatra (1963) and Antony and Cleopatra (1972) have previously tried to analyse the film from a variety of angles.  Despite not being a biography of Cleopatra, the Life of Antonius written by Plutarch in the 1st century AD provides the most thorough surviving account of Cleopatra's life. [note 86] Strabo was the only ancient historian who claimed that Ptolemy XII's children born after Berenice IV, including Cleopatra, were illegitimate.  Cleopatra's adopted title Theā́ Philopátōra (Θεᾱ́ Φιλοπάτωρα) means "goddess who loves her father.  Dated to the mid-1st century BC, it is perhaps the earliest depiction of Cleopatra as both a goddess and ruling pharaoh of Egypt. The names of the last two, the short-lived Thirty-First Dynasty and the longer-lasting Ptolemaic Dynasty… [note 85] Ernle Bradford writes that Cleopatra challenged Rome not as an Egyptian woman "but as a civilized Greek. She endeared herself to the Egyptian people, participating in many Egyptian festivals and ceremonies as well as being the only Ptolemy to learn the Egyptian language besides spea…  Crassus replaced him as governor of Syria and extended his provincial command to Egypt, but he was killed by the Parthians at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. Her romantic relations with Roman emperor Julius Ceasar and Mark Antony as well as her exotic charm and alleged "powers of seduction" have earned her a popular placeholder in literature and pop-culture.  Only fragments exist of the medical and cosmetic writings attributed to Cleopatra, such as those preserved by Galen, including remedies for hair disease, baldness, and dandruff, along with a list of weights and measures for pharmacological purposes. [note 44], Octavian, Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate in 43 BC, in which they were each elected for five-year terms to restore order in the Republic and bring Caesar's assassins to justice. Cleopatra's legacy survives in ancient and modern works of art. In the Liberators' civil war of 43–42 BC, Cleopatra sided with the Roman Second Triumvirate formed by Caesar's grandnephew and heir Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. "All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. She was born Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator, … ", Another painting from Pompeii, dated to the early 1st century AD and located in the House of Giuseppe II, contains a possible depiction of Cleopatra with her son Caesarion, both wearing royal diadems while she reclines and consumes poison in an act of suicide. [note 67] Both the Berlin Cleopatra and Vatican Cleopatra have royal diadems, similar facial features, and perhaps once resembled the face of her bronze statue housed in the Temple of Venus Genetrix. In 48 BC, the Roman general Julius Caesar chased his rival, Pompey, to Egypt where Pompey was eventually murdered by Egyptian courtiers. Ptolemaic queens, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice.  Caesarion, now Ptolemy XV, would reign for a mere 18 days until executed on the orders of Octavian on 29 August 30 BC, after returning to Alexandria under the false pretense that Octavian would allow him to be king. [note 22] Within a year Rabirius was placed under protective custody and sent back to Rome after his life was endangered for draining Egypt of its resources. [note 83] Duane W. Roller speculates that Cleopatra could have been the daughter of a theoretical half-Macedonian-Greek, half-Egyptian woman from Memphis in northern Egypt belonging to a family of priests dedicated to Ptah (a hypothesis not generally accepted in scholarship),[note 84] but contends that whatever Cleopatra's ancestry, she valued her Greek Ptolemaic heritage the most.  The confused accounts in ancient primary sources have also led scholars to number Ptolemy XII's wife as either Cleopatra V or Cleopatra VI; the latter may have actually been a daughter of Ptolemy XII, and some use her as an indication that Cleopatra V had died in 69 BC rather than reappearing as a co-ruler with Berenice IV in 58 BC (during Ptolemy XII's exile in Rome). the diadem) to make herself more appealing to the citizens of Republican Rome.  He allowed Gabinius's largely Germanic and Gallic Roman garrison, the Gabiniani, to harass people in the streets of Alexandria and installed his longtime Roman financier Rabirius as his chief financial officer.  While it is clear that both Cilicia and Cyprus were under Cleopatra's control by 19 November 38 BC, the transfer probably occurred earlier in the winter of 41–40 BC, during her time spent with Antony.  She decided to write Cassius an excuse that her kingdom faced too many internal problems, while sending the four legions left by Caesar in Egypt to Dolabella.  Cicero, who was present at the festival, mockingly asked where the diadem came from, an obvious reference to the Ptolemaic queen whom he abhorred. Would this one manage to strip the exotic tale of the male gaze and show Cleopatra in a previously unseen light? [note 72] The painting was originally thought to depict the Carthaginian noblewoman Sophonisba, who toward the end of the Second Punic War (218–201 BC) drank poison and committed suicide at the behest of her lover Masinissa, King of Numidia.  Cleopatra's visitors at Caesar's villa across the Tiber included the senator Cicero, who found her arrogant.  However, with opposition building at the royal court against the idea of a sole reigning female monarch, Berenice III accepted joint rule and marriage with her cousin and stepson Ptolemy XI Alexander II, an arrangement made by the Roman dictator Sulla.  However, these troops were captured by Cassius in Palestine.  After returning to Italy from the wars in Gaul and crossing the Rubicon in January of 49 BC, Caesar had forced Pompey and his supporters to flee to Greece. , Cleopatra decided in her last moments to send Caesarion away to Upper Egypt, perhaps with plans to flee to Kushite Nubia, Ethiopia, or India. Cleopatra VII Philopator (Koinē Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ; 69 BC – 10 August 30 BC) was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Cleopatra VII (69-30 BC) *Last ruler of Ptolemaic dynasty *Connected with Julius Caesar (Roman general/dictator, assassinated in 44 BC) and Marc Anthony (Roman General) *Lost battle of Actium (31 BC) leading to Roman general Octavian's annexation of Egypt  The portrait painting of Cleopatra's death was perhaps among the great number of artworks and treasures taken from Rome by Emperor Hadrian to decorate his private villa, where it was found in an Egyptian temple.  Although the command economy that she managed was more of an ideal than a reality, the government attempted to impose price controls, tariffs, and state monopolies for certain goods, fixed exchange rates for foreign currencies, and rigid laws forcing peasant farmers to stay in their villages during planting and harvesting seasons. 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