Cleopatra was the Queen of Egypt and is still one of the most famous women in world history. She was the last of the Pharaohs set up in Egypt by Alexander the Great and was a Macedonian Princess by decent.When Cleopatra died, Egypt became the Roman province of Aegyptus. Keep reading for more facts about the famous Egyptian queen.
- Cleopatra’s full name was Cleopatra VII Philopator. She was born on Alexandria, Egypt in the year 69 BC.
- She was the last active Pharaoh of the Ancient Egyptian Empire. Cleopatra reigned of the kingdom for 21 years, from 51 BC until her death in 30 BC.
- Cleopatra came from a long line of the Ptolemaic dynasty. This Macedonian Greek family came to power thanks to Alexander the Great who invaded and conquered Egypt in 332 BC.
- She was one of only a few Ptolemies to learn Egyptian. Many in her family refused to learn Egyptian and chose to speak in their native Greek language instead. Cleopatra wanted learned Egyptian to be able to understand her people and they thought of her as the reincarnation of the ancient Egyptian goddess, Isis.
- Cleopatra originally ruled Egypt with her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes. Later during her reign she also ruled with her brothers, and through tradition she had to marry her brother Ptolemy XIV. Finally, she became the sole ruler and Pharaoh of Egypt.
- Cleopatra had a relationship with Roman ruler Julius Caesar. Nine months after they first met, in 47 BC, she gave birth to a son. His name was Ptolemy Caesar and he was known as Caesarion, meaning little Caesar.
- Caesarion became co-ruler of Egypt when he was three years old. Cleopatra named him co-ruler on September 2, 44 BC and they ruled together from 44 BC to 30 BC.
- She sided with Mark Antony when Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. Antony was a Roman politician who was opposed to Caesars legal heir Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus — also known as Augustus.
- Antony and Cleopatra had a relationship together. She had three children with Mark Antony named Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, who were twins, and another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus.
- Cleopatra died by committing suicide with a poisonous snake. She did this because Mark Antony’s troops lost the Battle of Actium against the army of Augustus and he killed himself. She held an asp snake to her body and let it kill her with its poisonous venom.
- Caesarion ruled Egypt briefly before he was defeated and killed. He was too young and easily overpowered by Octavian, who later declared Egypt a Roman province and became the Emperor Augustus. Caesarion was only 17 years old when he died on August 23, 30BC.
- Cleopatra is still popular and well-known in Western culture. There are many works of art that tell the story of Cleopatra. From Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra to George Bernard Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra, and the movie from 1963 which was simply called Cleopatra.
- Cleopatra was known for her incredible beauty. One common and well told story about Queen Cleopatra was that she took baths in donkey milk to preserve her beauty. In fact, myth and legend says that nearly 700 donkeys were used to provide enough milk for her daily bath!
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