gigatos | November 10, 2021


Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator-in ancient Greek, Κλεοπᾰ́τρᾱ Φιλοπάτωρ, romanized: Kleopátrā Philopátōr-(69 b.c.-10 or 12 August 30 BC) was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt, although nominally she was succeeded as pharaoh by her son Caesarion. She was also a diplomat, naval commander, linguist She was a descendant of Ptolemy I Sóter, founder of the dynasty, a Greco-Macedonian general of Alexander the Great. After Cleopatra”s death, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, marking the end of the Hellenistic period that had begun with the reign of Alexander (336-323 B.C.). Her mother tongue was Greek koine, although she was the first Ptolemaic sovereign to learn the Egyptian language.

In 58 B.C. she presumably accompanied her father, Ptolemy XII, during his exile in Rome following a revolt in Egypt, which allowed her older sister, Berenice IV, to claim the throne; she was assassinated in 55 B.C. when her father returned to Egypt with Roman military assistance. When Ptolemy died in 51 BC, Cleopatra and her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII, acceded to the throne as co-regents but a rift between the two sparked a civil war.

Following his defeat in 48 BC at the Battle of Pharsalus by his rival Julius Caesar during the Second Roman Civil War, the Roman statesman Pompey the Great fled to Egypt, a client state of Rome. Ptolemy XIII ordered Pompey”s assassination while Caesar occupied Alexandria in pursuit of his enemy. As consul of the Roman Republic, Caesar tried to reconcile Ptolemy XIII with his sister Cleopatra, but POTINUS the Eunuch, chief adviser to the Egyptian monarch, believed that the terms proposed by the consul benefited his sister and so his forces besieged Caesar and Cleopatra in Alexandria. The siege was lifted by the arrival of Caesar”s allies in early 47 B.C. and Ptolemy XIII died shortly thereafter at the Battle of the Nile. Arsinoe IV, Cleopatra”s younger sister who had led the siege, went into exile in Ephesus and Caesar, by then elected dictator, declared Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIV co-rulers of Egypt. However, the Roman general began a sentimental relationship with the Egyptian queen from which Caesarion, the future Ptolemy XV, was born. Cleopatra traveled to Rome in 46 and 44 B.C. as a vassal queen and stayed at Caesar”s villa. When Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C., Cleopatra tried to have her son designated as heir, but was unable to due to the rise to power of Octavian (later known as Augustus and who would become the first emperor of Rome in 27 B.C.). Cleopatra then ordered the assassination of her brother Ptolemy XIV and elevated her son Caesarion as co-regent of Egypt.

During the third civil war of the Roman Republic (43-42 BC), Cleopatra allied herself with the Second Triumvirate, formed by Octavian, Mark Antony and Lepidus. After their meeting in Tarsus in 41 BC, the Egyptian ruler began a relationship with Mark Antony from which three children were born: Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II and Ptolemy Philadelphus. Antony used his authority as triumvir to execute Arsennius IV, fulfilling Cleopatra”s wish. He increasingly relied on the Egyptian queen for both funding and military aid during his invasions of the Parthian Empire and the Kingdom of Armenia. In the Donations of Alexandria, Cleopatra”s sons with Mark Antony were appointed rulers over various territories under Antony”s authority. This fact, coupled with Mark Antony”s marriage to Cleopatra after his divorce from Octavia the Younger, Octavian”s sister, sparked the fourth civil war of the Roman Republic. After engaging in a propaganda war, Octavian forced Antony”s allies in the Roman Senate to flee and declared war on Cleopatra in 32 B.C. Antony and Cleopatra”s war fleet was defeated by Octavian”s fleet, under the command of his general Agrippa, at the battle of Accius in 31 B.C. The victorious Roman troops invaded Egypt in 30 B.C. and defeated Antony”s, after which he committed suicide. When Cleopatra learned that Octavian intended to take her to Rome to exhibit her in a triumphal procession, she also committed suicide, popularly believed to have been bitten by a poisonous snake.

Cleopatra”s legacy remains in numerous works of art, both ancient and modern, and numerous dramatizations of her life in literature and other media. Several works of Roman historiography and Latin poetry portray the queen of Egypt, the latter generally giving a negative and polemical view of her likeness that survived in medieval and Renaissance literature. The visual arts of antiquity represented Cleopatra on Roman and Ptolemaic coins, sculptures, busts, reliefs, glass vessels, cameos and paintings. She was the subject of many works of Renaissance and Baroque art, including sculptures, paintings, poems and plays such as William Shakespeare”s Antony and Cleopatra (1608) and operas such as Handel”s Julius Caesar in Egypt (1724). In recent times, Cleopatra has appeared in both fine and applied art, in burlesque satires, in Hollywood films such as Cleopatra (1963) played by Elizabeth Taylor, or as the image of commercial brands, making her an icon of “Egyptomania” since the 19th century.

The Latin form of Cleopatra comes from the Ancient Greek Kleopátrā (Greek, Κλεοπᾰ́τρᾱ), meaning “glory of her father” in the feminine form. This is derived from kléos (κλέος) ”glory” and patḗr (πᾰτήρ) ”father”, using the genitive patros (πατρός). The masculine form would have been written as Kleopatros (Κλεόπᾰτρος) or Pátroklos (Πάτροκλος). Cleopatra was the name of Alexander the Great”s sister, as well as Cleopatra Alcyone, wife of Meleager in Greek mythology. Through the marriage of Ptolemy V Epiphanes and Cleopatra I Sira (a Seleucid princess), the name was introduced into the Ptolemaic dynasty. Cleopatra”s adopted title Theā́ Philopátōra (Θεᾱ́ Φιλοπάτωρα) means “goddess who loves her father”. As for accentuation, the Spanish bibliography uses the forms Filopator, Filópator and Filopátor, opting throughout this article for the last one, according to the Spanish transcription of the Greek proper names in Galiano (1969, p. 81).

Historical context

The Ptolemaic pharaohs were crowned by the high priest of Ptah in Memphis, Egypt, but resided in the multicultural and largely Greek city of Alexandria, established by Alexander the Great of Macedon. They spoke Greek and ruled Egypt as Hellenistic Greek monarchs, refusing to learn the native Egyptian language. In contrast, Cleopatra could speak several languages before she reached adulthood and was the first Ptolemaic ruler to learn the Egyptian language. She also spoke Ethiopian, Troglodyte, Hebrew (or Aramaic), Arabic, Syriac (perhaps Syriac), Medo, Parthian, and Latin, although her Roman contemporaries might have preferred to speak to her in her native Koine Greek. Her knowledge of all these languages also reflected Cleopatra”s desire to restore the territories of North Africa and West Asia that once belonged to the Ptolemaic Kingdom.

Roman interventionism in Egypt preceded Cleopatra”s reign. When Ptolemy IX Latirius died at the end of 81 B.C., he was succeeded by his daughter Berenice III, However, with opposition in the royal court to the idea of a reigning female monarch, Berenice III accepted joint rule and marriage to her cousin and stepson Ptolemy XI Alexander II, an arrangement imposed by the Roman dictator Sulla. Ptolemy XI had his wife killed shortly after their marriage in 80 B.C., Ptolemy XI, and perhaps his uncle Ptolemy IX or his father Ptolemy X Alexander I, disposed of the Ptolemaic Kingdom to Rome as collateral for loans, so that the Romans had legal grounds to seize Egypt, their client state, after the assassination of Ptolemy XI. Instead, the Romans preferred to divide the Ptolemaic kingdom among the illegitimate sons of Ptolemy IX, granting Cyprus to Ptolemy of Cyprus and Egypt to Ptolemy XII Auletes.

First years

Cleopatra was born in early 69 BC to the union of the reigning pharaoh Ptolemy XII and an unknown mother, possibly Ptolemy XII”s wife Cleopatra VI Tryphaena (also known as Cleopatra V), mother of Cleopatra”s older sister Berenice IV Epiphenna. Cleopatra Tryphaena disappears from official records a few months after Cleopatra”s birth in 69 BC. Ptolemy XII”s three younger children, Cleopatra”s sister Arsínoe IV, and brothers Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator and Ptolemy XIV, were born in the absence of his wife. Cleopatra”s childhood tutor was Philostratus, from whom she learned the arts of oratory and Greek philosophy. During her youth, she presumably studied at the Museion (which included the Library of Alexandria).

Reign and exile of Ptolemy XII

In 65 BC the Roman censor Marcus Licinius Crassus argued before the Roman Senate that Rome should annex Ptolemaic Egypt, but his bill and a similar one by the tribune Servilius Rulus in 63 BC were rejected. Ptolemy XII responded to the threat of possible annexation by offering remuneration and generous gifts to powerful Roman statesmen, such as Pompey during his campaign against Mithridates VI of Pontus, or Julius Caesar after his election as Roman consul in 59 B.C. Ptolemy XII”s profligate behavior bankrupted him and he was forced to obtain loans from the Roman banker Gaius Rabirius Postumus.

In 58 BC the Romans annexed Cyprus to their empire and, under accusations of piracy, Ptolemy of Cyprus, brother of Ptolemy XII, decided to commit suicide rather than go into exile in Paphos. Ptolemy XII kept publicly silent about his brother”s death, a decision that, along with ceding traditionally Ptolemaic territory to the Romans, damaged his credibility among subjects already angered by his economic policies. Ptolemy XII, either forcibly or voluntarily, exiled himself from Egypt, traveling first to Rhodes, then to Athens, and finally to the triumvir Pompey”s villa in the Albanos hills near Palestrina, Italy, where he spent nearly a year outside Rome, apparently accompanied by his daughter Cleopatra, then about 11 years old. Berenice IV sent an embassy to Rome to defend her rule and oppose the reinstatement of her father Ptolemy XII, but Ptolemy murdered the leaders of the embassy, an incident that was covered up by his powerful Roman supporters. When the Roman Senate denied Ptolemy XII”s request for an armed escort and provisions for his return to Egypt, he decided to leave Rome in late 57 B.C. and reside in the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.

The Roman financiers of Ptolemy XII remained determined to restore him to power. Pompey persuaded Aulus Gabinius, the Roman governor of Syria, to invade Egypt and restore Ptolemy XII, offering him 10,000 talents for this mission. Although he placed it outside Roman law, Gabinius invaded Egypt in the spring of 55 B.C. via Hasmonean Judea, where Hyrcanus II had Antipater of Idumea, father of Herod I the Great, to supply the Roman-led army. By then a young cavalry officer, Mark Antony was under the orders of Gabinius; he distinguished himself by preventing Ptolemy XII from massacring the inhabitants of Pelusium and by rescuing the body of Archelaus, the husband of Berenice IV, after he was killed in battle, assuring him a proper royal burial. Cleopatra, now 14 years old, had traveled with the Roman expedition to Egypt; years later, Antony would declare that he had fallen in love with her at this time.

Gabinius was brought to trial in Rome for abusing his authority, although he was acquitted, but a second trial for accepting bribes condemned him to exile, from which he was restored by Caesar seven years later in 48 B.C. Crassus replaced him as governor of Syria and extended his provincial command to Egypt, but was killed by the Parthians at the battle of Carras in 53 B.C. Ptolemy XII had Berenice IV and his wealthy supporters executed, seizing their property. Ptolemy XII had Berenice IV and his wealthy supporters executed, seizing their property. He allowed the Gabiniani, Gabinius” Roman garrison made up largely of Germans and Gauls, to harass the population in the streets of Alexandria and installed his Roman banker Rabirius as its finance officer. A year later Rabirius was placed under protective custody and sent to Rome as his life was endangered by depleting resources in Egypt. Despite these problems, Ptolemy XII drew up a will designating Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII as his co-heirs, oversaw major building projects such as the Temple of Edfu and a temple at Dendera, and stabilized the economy. On May 31, 52 B.C. Cleopatra was appointed regent for Ptolemy XII, as indicated by an inscription on the Temple of Hathor at Dendera. Rabirius was unable to collect the entire debt of Ptolemy XII at the time of his death, so it passed to his successors Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII.

Ascension to the throne

Ptolemy XII died sometime before March 22, 51 BC, when Cleopatra, in her first act as queen, began her journey to Hermontis, near Thebes, for the discovery of a new Bukhis, a sacred bull worshipped as an intermediary of the god Montu in Ancient Egyptian religion. Cleopatra had to face several pressing problems and emergencies soon after ascending the throne, such as the famine caused by drought and a low level of the annual flooding of the Nile and the lawless behavior of the Gabiniani, the soldiers of Gabinius” garrison left in Egypt, now unemployed and assimilated as Romans. Heir to her father”s debts, Cleopatra also owed the Roman Republic 17.5 million drachmas.

In 50 B.C. Marcus Calpurnius Bibulus, proconsul of Syria, sent his two eldest sons to Egypt, most likely to negotiate with the Gabiniani and recruit them as soldiers in the desperate defense of Syria against the Parthians. However the Gabiniani tortured and murdered both of them, perhaps secretly encouraged by disloyal chief administrators in Cleopatra”s court. Cleopatra sent the guilty Gabiniani to Bibullus as prisoners awaiting his trial, but he sent them back and reprimanded her for interfering with his trial, pointing out that it was the prerogative of the Roman Senate.Bibullus, Pompey”s ally in the civil war of the republic, was unable to prevent Caesar from securing a naval fleet in Greece, which eventually enabled him to reach Egypt in pursuit of Pompey, hastening Caesar”s final victory.

On August 29, 51 BC, Egyptian official documents began to include Cleopatra as sole ruler, evidence that she had rejected her brother Ptolemy XIII as co-regent. She had probably married him, according to custom, The Ptolemaic practice of sibling marriage was introduced by Ptolemy II and his sister Arsinoe II, an ancient Egyptian practice that was abhorred by their Greek contemporaries. However, at the time of Cleopatra”s reign, it was considered a normal arrangement among Ptolemaic rulers.

Despite Cleopatra”s rejection, Ptolemy XIII still retained powerful allies, especially the eunuch POTINUS, his tutor during his childhood, regent and administrator of his properties, in addition to Aquilas, a prominent military commander and Theodotus of Chios, another of his tutors. It seems that Cleopatra attempted a short-lived alliance with her brother Ptolemy XIV, but in the autumn of 50 BC, Ptolemy XIII took the lead in their conflict and began signing documents with his name before his sister”s, followed by the establishment of his first date of reign in 49 BC.

Assassination of Pompey

In the summer of 49 BC, Cleopatra and her troops were still fighting Ptolemy XIII in Alexandria, when Pompey”s son, Pompey”s son, Cnaeus Pompey, arrived in search of military aid for his father. After returning to Italy from the wars in Gaul and crossing the Rubicon in January 49 BC, Caesar had forced Pompey and his followers to flee to Greece, Caesar had forced Pompey and his followers to flee to Greece.In what was perhaps their last joint decree, both Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII agreed to Cnaeus Pompey”s request and sent their father 60 ships and 500 troops, including the Gabiniani, an action that helped erase some of the debt to Rome.As she was losing the fight against her brother, Cleopatra was forced to flee Alexandria and retreat to the region of Thebes.In the spring of 48 B.C. she traveled to Roman Syria with her younger sister, Arsinoe IV, to assemble an invasion force to head for Egypt.She returned with an army, but her advance toward Alexandria was blocked by her brother”s forces, including some Gabiniani mobilized to fight against her, so she camped outside Pelusium in the eastern Nile delta.In Greece, Caesar and Pompey”s forces clashed in the decisive Battle of Pharsalus on August 9, 48 B.C., This resulted in the destruction of most of Pompey”s army and his forced flight to Tyre.Given his close relationship with the Ptolemies, Pompey finally decided to take refuge in Egypt, where he could replenish his forces. However, Ptolemy XIII”s advisors feared the possibility that Pompey would use Egypt as a base in a protracted Roman civil war. In a conspiracy hatched by Ptolemy”s advisor Theodotus, Pompey arrived by ship near Pelusium after being invited by written message, only to be ambushed and stabbed to death on September 28, 48 B.C. Pompey was ambushed and stabbed to death on September 28, 48 BC. C. Ptolemy XIII believed that he had thus demonstrated his power and at the same time reduced tension by having Pompey”s head, severed and embalmed, sent to Caesar, who arrived in Alexandria in early October and took up residence in the royal palace. Caesar showed grief and indignation at Pompey”s murder and asked Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra to disband their forces and reconcile.

Relationship with Julius Caesar

Ptolemy XIII arrived in Alexandria at the head of his army, in clear defiance of Caesar”s demand that he disband and abandon his army before his arrival. Cleopatra sent emissaries to Caesar, who supposedly told her that he was prone to having affairs with royal women. She finally decided to go to Alexandria to see him personally. The Roman historian Dion Cassius indicates that she did so without informing her brother, dressed to look as beautiful as possible and captivated him with her wit. The Greek historian Plutarch provides a completely different and perhaps imaginary account which states that she was wrapped in a mattress to enter the palace hidden and meet Caesar.

When Ptolemy XIII learned that his sister was in the palace to ally with Caesar, he attempted to raise the population of Alexandria in a riot, but was arrested by Caesar, who used his oratorical skills to calm the frenzied crowd. He subsequently brought Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII before the Council of Alexandria, where Caesar revealed the written will of Ptolemy XII – previously held by Pompey – naming Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII as his co-heirs. Caesar later tried to reach an agreement so that the other two brothers, Arsennius IV and Ptolemy XIV, would rule Cyprus together, thus eliminating possible rivals demanding the Egyptian throne while appeasing Ptolemaic subjects still embittered by the loss of Cyprus to the Romans in 58 BC.

Considering that this arrangement favored Cleopatra more than Ptolemy XIII and that the latter”s army of 20,000 soldiers, including the Gabiniani, could defeat Caesar”s army of 4,000 troops without support, POTINUS decided to have Aquilas lead his forces to Alexandria to attack Caesar and Cleopatra. The siege of the palace kept Caesar and Cleopatra trapped inside until the following year, 47 B.C. When Caesar took POTINUS prisoner and executed him, Arsennius IV joined forces with Aquilas and was declared queen; shortly thereafter his tutor Ganymede killed Ganymede and took Caesar”s army of 4,000 troops. When Caesar took POTINUS prisoner and executed him, Arsínoe IV joined forces with Aquilas and was declared queen; shortly thereafter her guardian Ganymede killed Aquilas and took his place as commander of his army. Ganymede then deceived Caesar by requesting the presence of the captive Ptolemy XIII as a negotiator, only to have him join the army of Arsínoe IV.

Sometime between January and March 47 B.C. Caesar”s reinforcements arrived, including those commanded by Mithridates of Pergamum and Antipater of Idumea. Ptolemy and Arsennius withdrew their forces to the Nile, where Caesar attacked them. Ptolemy attempted to flee in a boat, but capsized and drowned. Ganymede may have died in the battle, Theodotus was found in Asia years later by Marcus Junius Brutus and executed, while Arsinoe was ostentatiously displayed at the triumph celebrated by Caesar in Rome before being exiled to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Cleopatra was conspicuously absent from these events and remained in the palace, most likely because she had been pregnant with Caesar”s child since September 47 BC.

Caesar”s term as consul had expired at the end of 48 BC, but Antony, one of his officers, helped secure his election as dictator which lasted for a year, until October 47 BC, giving Caesar legal authority to resolve the dynastic dispute in Egypt, Trying to avoid making the mistake of Berenice IV, Cleopatra”s sister, of having only one ruler, Caesar appointed her 12-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIV, as co-ruler with 22-year-old Cleopatra in a symbolic marriage between siblings, but she continued to live privately with Caesar. The exact date when Cyprus came back under her control is unknown, although it is known that she had a governor there in 42 BC.

It is believed that Caesar took a cruise on the Nile with Cleopatra to visit the Egyptian monuments, although this may be a romantic account reflecting the later tendencies of the Roman proletariat rather than an actual historical fact. The historian Suetonius offered considerable details about the trip, such as the use of the Thalamegos, the great pleasure boat built by Ptolemy IV, which during his reign was 91 m long and 24 m high and equipped with dining rooms, luxurious cabins, sacred shrines and promenades along its two decks, a veritable floating palace. Caesar may have had an interest in the Nile cruise because of his fascination with geography; he was versed in the works of Eratosthenes and Pytheas and may have wanted to discover the source of the river, but he turned back before reaching Ethiopia.

Caesar left Egypt around April 47 B.C., supposedly to confront Farnaces II of Pontus, son of Mithridates VI, who was causing problems for Rome in Anatolia, presumably to confront Farnaces II of Pontus, son of Mithridates VI, who was causing Rome trouble in Anatolia. It is possible that Caesar, married to the prominent Roman lady Calpurnia, also wanted to avoid being seen with Cleopatra when she gave birth to their child. He left three legions in Egypt, later increased to four, under the command of the freedman Rufius to secure Cleopatra”s weak position, though perhaps also to keep her activities under control.

Caesarion, Cleopatra”s son, potentially with Caesar, was born on June 23, 47 B.C. and was originally given the name “Pharaoh Caesar,” as preserved on a stele in the serapeum at Memphis. Perhaps because of his still childless marriage to Calpurnia, Caesar maintained public silence about Caesarion (though perhaps he accepted his parentage in private). In contrast Cleopatra made repeated official statements about Caesarion”s parentage, with Caesar as the father.

Cleopatra and her nominal co-ruler, Ptolemy XIV, visited Rome sometime in late 46 B.C., presumably without Caesarion, and were given lodging at Caesar”s villa in the Horti Caesaris, presumably without Caesarion, and were given lodging in Caesar”s villa located in the Horti Caesaris. Like his father Ptolemy XII, Caesar granted Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIV the legal status of “friend and ally of the Roman people” (Latin, socius et amicus populi Romani), in effect, vassal rulers loyal to Rome. Among Cleopatra”s visitors at Caesar”s villa across the Tiber was the senator Cicero, who found her arrogant. Sosigenes of Alexandria, one of Cleopatra”s court, assisted Caesar in the calculations of the new Julian calendar, which came into force throughout the Roman orb on January 1, 45 B.C. The temple of Venus Genetrix, built in Caesar”s forum on September 25, 46 B.C., contained a golden statue of Venus Genetrix, contained a gold statue of Cleopatra (where it stood until at least the 3rd century AD), directly associating the mother of Caesar”s son with the goddess Venus, mother of the Romans; in a subtle way, the statue also linked the Egyptian goddess Isis with the Roman religion. Caesar may have had plans to build a temple dedicated to Isis in Rome, as approved by the Senate a year after his death.

Cleopatra”s presence in Rome most likely had consequences for the events of the Lupercals held a month before Caesar”s assassination; Antony attempted to place a royal diadem on Caesar”s head, which Caesar refused in what was probably an organized staging, perhaps to gauge the mood of the Roman public on the acceptance of a Hellenistic-style monarchy. Cicero, who was present at the festival, mockingly asked where the diadem came from, an obvious reference to the Ptolemaic queen whom he abhorred. Caesar was assassinated on the ides of March 44 B.C., but Cleopatra remained in Rome until mid-April, in the vain hope that Caesarion would be recognized as Caesar”s heir. However, in her will she named her grandnephew Octavian as the principal heir, who arrived in Italy at the same time Cleopatra decided to leave for Egypt. A few months later, Cleopatra had Ptolemy XIV poisoned to death and proclaimed her son Caesarion co-regent.

Cleopatra in the Liberator Civil War

Octavian, Antony and Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate in 43 B.C. in which they were elected for a five-year term to restore order to the Republic and bring to justice the murderers of Caesar (self-proclaimed liberators), Cleopatra received messages from both Gaius Cassius Longinus, one of the assassins, and Publius Cornelius Dolabella, proconsul of Syria and a supporter of Caesar, requesting military assistance. He decided to write to Cassius with an excuse telling him that his kingdom was facing too many internal problems, while sending Dolabella the four legions Caesar had left in Egypt. However, these troops were captured by Cassius in Palestine.Meanwhile, Serapion, Cleopatra”s strategos in Cyprus, defected and joined Cassius and provided him with ships.Cleopatra took her own fleet to Greece to personally help Octavian and Antony, but her ships were badly damaged in a Mediterranean storm and she was too late to take part in the fighting.In the fall of 42 B.C., Antony defeated the forces of Caesar”s assassins at the battle of Philippi in Greece, leading to the suicide of Cassius and Brutus.

By the end of 42 B.C., Octavian had taken control of much of the western half of the Roman Republic and Antony of the eastern half, with Lepidus largely marginalized. In the summer of 41 B.C., Antony established his headquarters at Tarsus in Anatolia and summoned Cleopatra in several letters, which she refused until Antony”s envoy, Quintus Delius, persuaded her to come to him. The meeting would allow Cleopatra to clear up the misconception that she had supported Cassius during the civil war and address territorial exchanges in the eastern Mediterranean, but no doubt Antony also wished to establish a personal and romantic relationship with the queen. Cleopatra sailed up the Kydnos River to Tarsus on the Thalamegos, hosting Antony and his officers for two nights with lavish banquets aboard ship. Cleopatra managed to clear her name as a supposed supporter of Cassius, arguing that she had actually tried to help Dolabela in Syria. She also convinced Antony to execute her sister Arsinoe IV, exiled in Ephesus. They also handed over the rebel strategos in Cleopatra”s Cyprus for execution.

Relationship with Marco Antonio

Cleopatra invited Mark Antony to come to Egypt before leaving Tarsus, which led Antony to visit Alexandria in November 41 B.C. He was well received by the people of Alexandria, both for his heroic actions during the restoration of Ptolemy XII to power and for arriving in Egypt without an occupying force as Caesar had done. In Egypt Antony continued to enjoy the luxurious royal lifestyle he had witnessed aboard Cleopatra”s ship docked at Tarsus. He also had his subordinates, such as Publius Ventidius Basus, expel the Parthians from Anatolia and Syria.

Cleopatra carefully chose Antony as her partner to bear more heirs, as he was considered the most powerful Roman figure after Caesar”s death. With his powers as triumvir, Antony also had ample authority to restore to Cleopatra former Ptolemaic lands, which were now in Roman hands. While it is clear that both Cilicia and Cyprus were under Cleopatra”s control on November 19, 38 BC, the transfer probably occurred earlier, in the winter of 41-40 BC, during the time she spent with Antony.

In the spring of 40 BC, Antony left Egypt because of trouble in Syria, where his governor Lucius Decidius Saxa was killed and his army taken by Quintus Labienus, a former officer of Cassius who now served the Parthian Empire.Cleopatra provided him with 200 ships for his campaign and as payment for his newly replenished territories.He would not see Antony again until three years later, but they corresponded and there are documents that suggest he kept a spy in his camp.Towards the end of 40 BC, Cleopatra gave birth to twins, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II, whom Antony recognized as his children. Helios (Greek, Ἥλιος) ”the sun” and Selene (Σελήνη) ”the moon”, symbolized a new era of social rejuvenation, as well as an indication that Cleopatra hoped Antony would repeat the exploits of Alexander the Great by conquering the Parthians.

Mark Antony”s Parthian campaign in the east was interrupted by the events of the Perusian War (41-40 B.C.), initiated by his ambitious wife Fulvia against Octavian in the hope of making her husband the undisputed leader of Rome. It has been suggested that Fulvia wanted to separate Antony from Cleopatra, but the conflict had already begun in Italy even before Cleopatra met Antony at Tarsus. Fulvia and Lucius Antonius, Mark Antony”s brother, were eventually besieged by Octavian at Perusia (now Perugia) and then exiled from Italy, after which she died at Sicyon in Greece while trying to reach Antony. Her sudden death led to the reconciliation of Octavian and Antony at Brundisium (now Brindisi) in September 40 B.C.; although this agreement cemented Octavian”s and Antony”s reconciliation at Brundisium (now Brindisi) in September 40 B.C.; although this agreement consolidated Cleopatra”s position in Italy. BC; although this agreement consolidated Antony”s control over the territories of the Roman republic east of the Ionian Sea, it also stipulated that he cede Italy, Hispania, and Gaul and marry Octavian”s sister, Octavia the Younger, a potential rival for Cleopatra.

In December 40 BC, Cleopatra received Herod in Alexandria as an unexpected guest and refugee fleeing a turbulent situation in Judea. Antony had established him there as tetrarch, but he was soon at odds with Antigonus II Mattathias, of the ancient Hasmonean dynasty, who had imprisoned Herod”s brother and fellow tetrarch, Phasael, who was executed when Herod fled to Cleopatra”s court. Cleopatra attempted to grant him a military assignment, but Herod refused and traveled to Rome, where the triumvirs Octavian and Antony appointed him king of Judea. This act put Herod on a collision course with Cleopatra, who wished to regain the ancient Ptolemaic territories that were part of her new kingdom.

The relationship between Antony and Cleopatra perhaps suffered when he not only married Octavia, but also had two children by her, Antonia the Greater in 39 B.C. and Antonia the Less in 36 B.C., and moved his headquarters to Athens, and moved his headquarters to Athens. However, Cleopatra”s position in Egypt was secure. Her rival Herod was occupied with a civil war in Judea that required considerable Roman military aid, but he received none from Cleopatra. Since the authority of Antony and Octavian as triumvirs had expired on January 1, 37 B.C., Octavia organized a meeting at Egypt on January 1, 37 B.C., Octavia arranged a meeting at Tarentum, where the triumvirate was officially extended until 33 B.C. With two legions granted by Octavian and a thousand soldiers on loan from Octavia, Antony traveled to Antioch, where he made preparations for war against the Parthians.

Antony summoned Cleopatra to Antioch to discuss urgent matters, such as Herod”s reign and financial support for his Parthian campaign. Cleopatra took her three-year-old twins to Antioch, where Antony first saw them and where they probably first received their surnames Helios and Selene as part of Antony and Cleopatra”s ambitious plans for the future. To stabilize the east, Antony not only expanded Cleopatra”s domains, but also established new ruling dynasties and client governments that would be loyal to him, though they would ultimately outlast him.

With this agreement Cleopatra gained important former Ptolemaic territories in the eastern Mediterranean, including almost all of Phoenicia (Lebanon) except Tyre and Sidon, which remained in Roman hands. She also received Ptolemais Akko (now Acre, Israel), a city that was established by Ptolemy II. Given his ancestral relations with the Seleucids, he was granted the region of Celesiria along the upper Orontes River. He was even granted the surrounding region of Jericho in Palestine, but ceded this territory to Herod. At the expense of the Nabataean king Malicos I (a cousin of Herod), Cleopatra also received a portion of the Nabataean kingdom around the Gulf of Aqaba on the Red Sea, including Ailana (now Aqaba, Jordan). To the west she was granted Cyrene along the Libyan coast, as well as Itano and Olunte in Roman Crete. Although still administered by Roman officials, these territories enriched her kingdom and led her to declare the establishment of a new era by minting a double date on her coins in 36 BC.

Antony”s expansion of the Ptolemaic kingdom by relinquishing territories directly controlled by the Romans was exploited by his rival Octavian, who took advantage of public sentiment in Rome against the strengthening of a foreign queen at the expense of his Republic. Octavian fostered the version that Antony was neglecting his virtuous Roman wife Octavia, granting both her and Livia Drusilla, his own wife, extraordinary privileges of sacrosanctity. Some 50 years earlier, Cornelia, daughter of Scipio Africanus, had been the first Roman woman to have a living statue dedicated to her. She was now followed by Octavia and Livia, whose statues were probably erected in Caesar”s forum to rival those of Cleopatra, erected by Caesar.

In 36 B.C., Cleopatra accompanied Antony to the Euphrates on his journey to invade the Parthian Empire. She then returned to Egypt, perhaps due to her advanced state of pregnancy. In the summer of 36 B.C., she gave birth to Ptolemy Philadelphus, her second male child with Antony.

Antony”s campaign in Parthia in 36 BC turned into a complete debacle for various reasons, in particular the treachery of Artavasdes II of Armenia, who defected to the Parthian side. After losing some 30,000 men, more than Crassus at Carras (an indignity he had hoped to avenge), Antony finally reached Leukokome near Berytus (modern Beirut, Lebanon) in December, drinking to excess before Cleopatra arrived to supply funds and clothing to his battered troops. Antony wished to avoid the dangers of returning to Rome, so he traveled with Cleopatra to Alexandria to see her newborn son.

Alexandria Donations

While Antony was preparing for another expedition against the Parthians in 35 BC, this time directed against his ally Armenia, Octavia traveled to Athens with 2000 soldiers supposedly in support of Antony, but most likely following a plan devised by Octavian to embarrass him for his military losses. Antony received these troops and told Octavia not to stray east of Athens while he and Cleopatra traveled together to Antioch, but only to then suddenly and inexplicably abandon the military campaign and return to Alexandria. When Octavia returned to Rome, Octavian presented his sister as a victim wronged by Antony, although she refused to leave Antony”s house. Octavian”s confidence grew as he eliminated his rivals in the west, including Sextus Pompey and even Lepidus, the third member of the triumvirate, who was placed under house arrest after rebelling against Octavian in Sicily.

Antony sent Quintus Delius as ambassador to Artavasdes II of Armenia in 34 BC to negotiate a possible marriage alliance between the daughter of the Armenian king and Alexander Helios, son of Antony and Cleopatra. Having rejected the proposal, Antony went with his army to Armenia, defeated his troops and captured the Armenian king and royal family and took them to Alexandria, where Antony held a military parade imitating a Roman triumph, dressed as Dionysus and entering the city in a chariot to deliver the royal prisoners to Cleopatra, who was seated on a golden throne on a silver dais. The news of this event was widely criticized in Rome as being in bad taste and a perversion of ancient and traditional Roman rites and rituals for the enjoyment of an Egyptian queen and her subjects.

At a ceremony held in the capital”s gymnasium shortly after the celebrations, Cleopatra dressed as Isis and declared that she was “Queen of Kings” and her son Caesarion, “King of Kings,” while Alexander Helios was declared king of Armenia, Media, and Parthia, and two-year-old Ptolemy Philadelphus was declared king of Syria and Cilicia. Cleopatra Selene II received Crete and Cyrene. It is possible that Antony and Cleopatra were married during this ceremony, but it is difficult to know for certain due to the controversial, contradictory and fragmentary nature of the primary sources. Antony sent a report to Rome requesting ratification of these territorial grants, now known as the Donations of Alexandria. Octavian wanted to disseminate it for political purposes, but the two consuls, both supporters of Antony, censored it to keep it out of the public domain.

At the end of 34 BC, Antony and Octavian engaged in a bitter propaganda war that would last for years. Antony claimed that his rival had illegally deposed Lepidus from the triumvirate, keeping his troops and preventing him from recruiting troops in Italy, while Octavian accused Antony of illegally arresting the king of Armenia, marrying Cleopatra even though he was still married to her sister Octavia, and illegally declaring Caesarion as Caesar”s heir instead of Octavian. The great profusion of accusations and rumors poured out during this propaganda war have shaped the popular image of Cleopatra from the literature of Augustan times to the various media of the modern era. Cleopatra was said to have brainwashed Mark Antony with witchcraft and sorcery and to be as destructive to civilization as Homer”s Helen of Troy. Horace”s Satires includes an account that Cleopatra once dissolved a pearl worth 2.5 million drachmas in vinegar just to win a bet at a dinner party. The accusation that Antony had stolen books from the Library of Pergamon to restock the Library of Alexandria turned out to be an admitted fabrication by Gaius Calvisius Sabinus.

A papyrus document from 33 B.C., later used to wrap a mummy, contains Cleopatra”s signature, probably written by an official authorized to sign for her, later used to wrap a mummy, contains Cleopatra”s signature, probably written by an official authorized to sign for her. It concerns certain tax exemptions in Egypt granted to Quintus Caecilius or Publius Canidius Crassus, a former Roman consul and trusted man of Antony who commanded his land forces at Accio. A text with a different script at the bottom of the papyrus reads “let it be done”-in ancient Greek, γινέσθωι, romanized: ginesthōi-which was undoubtedly written in the queen”s own handwriting, as it was a Ptolemaic practice to countersign documents to avoid forgeries.

Battle of Accio

In a speech to the Roman Senate on the first day of his appointment as consul on January 1, 33 B.C., Octavian accused Antony of attempting to undermine Roman liberties and territorial integrity as a slave to his eastern queen. Before the joint imperium of Antony and Octavian expired on December 31, 33 B.C., Antony declared Caesarion as the true heir to Julius Caesar in an attempt to weaken Octavian, Antony declared Caesarion as the true heir of Julius Caesar in an attempt to weaken Octavian. On January 1, 32 B.C. Gaius Sosius and Gnaeus Domitius Enobarbus, both supporters of Antony, were elected consuls. On February 1, 32 B.C. Sosius delivered a fiery speech condemning Octavian, by then a private citizen without public office, and enacted laws against him. During the next session of the Senate, Octavian entered the Senate Chamber with armed guards and made his own accusations against the consuls. Intimidated by this act, the consuls and more than 200 senators who still supported Antony fled Rome the next day to join him.

Antony and Cleopatra traveled together to Ephesus in 32 B.C., where she provided him with 200 of her 800 ships, Enobarbus, fearful that Octavian”s propaganda campaign would be confirmed to the people, tried to persuade Antony to keep Cleopatra out of the war effort against Octavian. However, Publius Canidius Crassus argued that Cleopatra was financing the war effort and that she was a competent monarch. Cleopatra rejected Antony”s pleas for her to return to Egypt, believing that by blockading Octavian in Greece she could more easily defend Egypt. Her insistence on participating in the battle for Greece provoked the defections of Roman notables such as Enobarbus and Lucius Munatius Plancus.

During the spring of 32 B.C. Antony and Cleopatra traveled to Samos and then to Athens, where she persuaded Antony to send Octavia an official declaration of divorce, prompting Plancus to advise Octavian to seize Antony”s will, in the custody of the Vestals. Despite being a violation of sacred principles and legal rights, Octavian forcibly obtained the document from the Temple of Vesta, turning it into a powerful tool in his propaganda war against Antony and Cleopatra. Octavian revealed parts of his will, such as that Caesarion was named Caesar”s heir, that the Donations of Alexandria were legal, that Antony should be buried next to Cleopatra in Egypt rather than in Rome, or that Alexandria would become the new capital of the Roman Republic. As a show of loyalty to Rome, Octavian decided to begin construction of his own mausoleum on the Field of Mars. Octavian”s legal position also improved when he was elected consul in 31 BC. With Antony”s will made public, Octavian now had his casus belli and Rome declared war on Cleopatra, The legal argument for war was based not so much on Cleopatra”s territorial acquisitions, with the former Roman territories ruled by her sons with Antony, but rather on the fact that she was providing military support to a private citizen, now that Antony”s triumviral authority had expired.

Antony and Cleopatra had a larger fleet than Octavian, but the crews of their navy were not well trained, some probably coming from merchant ships, while Octavian had a fully professional force at his disposal. Antony wanted to cross the Adriatic Sea and stop Octavian at Tarentum or Brundisium, but Cleopatra, concerned above all with defending Egypt, opposed the decision to attack Italy directly. They established their winter headquarters at Patrai (Greece) and by the spring of 31 B.C. had moved to Accius, south of the Gulf of Ambracia.

Antony and Cleopatra had the support of several allied kings, but Cleopatra had already been in conflict with Herod and an earthquake in Judea provided an excuse for her forces not to participate in the campaign. They also lost the support of Malicos I of Nabatea, which later proved to have strategic consequences. Antony and Cleopatra lost several skirmishes against Octavian in the vicinity of Accius during the summer of 31 B.C. and there were continuing desertions to Octavian”s camp, such as the long-time companion of Antony, Delius, and the hitherto allied kings Amintas of Galatia and Deyius. While some members of Antony”s army suggested abandoning the naval conflict to retreat inland, Cleopatra insisted on a naval confrontation, to keep Octavian”s fleet away from Egypt.

On September 2, 31 B.C. Octavian”s naval forces, led by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, engaged those of Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Accius. Cleopatra, aboard her flagship, the Antonias, was in the rear of the fleet in command of 60 ships at the mouth of the Gulf of Ambracia, in what was probably a strategy by Antony”s officers to marginalize her during the battle. Antony had ordered his ships to have sails on board for a better chance to pursue or flee from the enemy, which Cleopatra, always concerned with the defense of Egypt, used to move quickly through the main battle zone in a strategic retreat to the Peloponnese. Stanley M. Burstein opines that pro-Roman writers later accused Cleopatra of cowardly deserting Antony, but her original intention in keeping her sails aboard may have been to break the blockade and save as much of her fleet as possible. Antony followed Cleopatra and boarded her ship, identified by her distinctive purple sails, as the two escaped the battle and headed for Tenarus. Antony is said to have avoided Cleopatra during this three-day voyage, until her maidservants at Tenarus urged him to speak to her. The battle of Accius continued without Cleopatra and Antony until the morning of September 3, with mass desertions of officers, troops, and kings allied to Octavian”s army.

Fall and death

While Octavian occupied Athens, Antony and Cleopatra landed at Paraitonion in Egypt. The pair then set off separately, Antony to Cyrene to gather more troops and Cleopatra sailed to the port of Alexandria in a deceptive attempt to show the operations in Greece as a victory. It is not known for sure whether at that time she executed Artavasdes II and sent his head to her rival, Artavasdes I of Media Atropatene, in an attempt to establish an alliance with him.

Lucius Pinarius, who was appointed governor of Cyrene by Mark Antony, received the news of Octavian”s victory before the arrival of Antony”s messengers. Pinarius had the messengers executed and then defected to Octavian”s side, to whom he handed over the four legions under his command that Mark Antony aspired to obtain. Antony was on the point of committing suicide when he heard the news, but his staff officers prevented it. In Alexandria he built a small isolated house on the island of Pharos, which he named Timoneion, after the philosopher Timon of Athens, famous for his cynicism and misanthropy. Herod, who had personally advised Antony after the battle of Accius that he should betray Cleopatra, traveled to Rhodes to meet Octavian and renounce his kingship out of loyalty to Antony.Impressed by his openness and sense of loyalty, Octavian allowed him to maintain his position in Judea, further isolating Antony and Cleopatra.Perhaps Cleopatra began to see Antony as a burden in the late summer of 31 B.C., when she was preparing to leave Egypt to her son Caesarion. She planned to cede her throne to him and move her fleet from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and then setting sail for a foreign port, perhaps in India, where she could spend some time recuperating. However, these plans were not carried out when Malicos I, on the advice of Quintus Didius, governor of Syria appointed by Octavian, burned Cleopatra”s fleet in revenge for her losses in an earlier war against Herod waged largely by Cleopatra. She therefore had no choice but to stay in Egypt and negotiate with Octavian. Although it was most likely information from Octavian”s propaganda campaign, it was said that Cleopatra began to test the efficacy of various poisons on prisoners and even on her own servants.

Cleopatra had Caesarion enter the ephebeia which, together with the inscription on a Coptic stele dated September 21, 31 B.C., proves that she was preparing her son to become sole ruler of Egypt, shows that she was preparing her son to become the sole ruler of Egypt. Antony also had Mark Antony Antilo, his son with Fulvia, enlist at the same time as an ephebeian. They sent separate messages to Octavian, still stationed at Rhodes, although Octavian seems to have replied only to Cleopatra. She requested that her sons inherit Egypt and that Antony be allowed to live there in exile, offering Octavian money at a future date and sending him lavish gifts on the spot. Octavian sent his diplomat Tyrus to her when she threatened to burn herself and much of her treasure inside a large tomb already under construction. Tyrus was to advise her to kill Antony so that his life would be spared, but when Antony became suspicious of her intentions, he had him flogged and sent back without any agreement.

After lengthy negotiations that ultimately failed, Octavian set out to invade Egypt in the spring of 30 BC, stopping at Ptolemais in Phoenicia where his new ally Herod supplied his army, He headed south and soon took Pelusium, while Gaius Cornelius Gallus, marching east from Cyrene, defeated Antony”s forces near Paraitonion. Octavian then advanced toward Alexandria, but Antony returned and won a small victory over Octavian”s exhausted troops outside the city”s hippodrome. However, on August 1, 30 B.C. Antony”s naval fleet surrendered, followed by his cavalry. Cleopatra hid in her tomb with her trusted attendants, sending a message to Antony telling him that she had committed suicide. In desperation, Antony reacted to this situation by stabbing himself in the stomach and taking his own life, at the age of 53. According to Plutarch, he was still dying when he was brought to Cleopatra in her tomb, and told her that he had died honorably and that she could trust Octavian”s companion, Gaius Proculeius, rather than anyone else in his entourage. However, it was Proculeius who penetrated her tomb using a ladder and detained the queen, depriving her of the chance to burn herself with her treasures. Cleopatra was allowed to embalm and bury Antony inside her tomb before being escorted to the palace.

Octavian arrived in Alexandria, occupied the palace, and arrested Cleopatra”s three youngest sons.When he met with him, Cleopatra bluntly told him “I will not be exhibited in triumph”-in ancient Greek, οὑ θριαμβεύσομαι, romanized: ou thriambéusomai-which, according to Livy, is one of the few accurate word inscriptions of his. Octavian promised to keep her alive, but gave her no explanation of his future plans for her kingdom. When a confidant informed her that he planned to move her and her children to Rome three days later, she opted for suicide, as she had no intention of being exposed in triumph like her sister Arsennius IV. It is unclear whether Cleopatra”s suicide in August 30 B.C., It is said that she was accompanied by her servants Eira (Iras) and Carmion (Charmion), who also took their own lives. Octavian was enraged by this outcome, but buried her with royal ceremony next to Antony in her tomb. Cleopatra”s physician, Olympus, does not explain the cause of her death, although the popular belief is that she allowed an Egyptian asp or cobra to bite her and poison her. Plutarch narrates this story, but then suggests that an instrument (κνῆστις knêstis ”thorn, barb, grater”) was used to introduce the toxin by scratching, while Dion says that the poison was injected with a needle (βελόνη belónē) and Strabo advocates some kind of ointment. No poisonous snake was found with the corpse, but it had small puncture wounds on the arm that could have been caused by a needle.

Cleopatra decided in her last moments to send Caesarion to Upper Egypt, perhaps planning to flee to Nubia, Ethiopia or India. Caesarion became Ptolemy XV, although for only 18 days until he is executed by order of Octavian on August 29, 30 B.C., after returning to Alexandria under the false idea that he would be allowed to be king, Octavian was convinced by the advice of the philosopher Arius Didymus that there was only room in the world for one Caesar. With the fall of the Ptolemaic kingdom, the Roman province of Egypt was established, marking the end of the Hellenistic period. In January 27 B.C. Octavian was named Augustus (“the revered”) and accumulated constitutional powers that made him the first Roman emperor, ushering in the Principate era of the Roman Empire.

Following in the tradition of the Macedonian rulers, Cleopatra ruled Egypt and other territories such as Cyprus as an absolute monarch, serving as the sole legislator of her kingdom. She was also its chief religious authority, presiding over ceremonies dedicated to the deities of both the Egyptian and Greek polytheistic religions. She oversaw the construction of several temples for the Egyptian and Greek gods, a synagogue for the Jews of Egypt, and even built the Caesareum of Alexandria, dedicated to the celebration of the imperial cult of her patron and lover Julius Caesar.

She was directly involved in the administrative affairs of her domain, addressing crises such as a famine by ordering the royal granaries to distribute food to the starving population during a drought early in her reign. Although the centralized economy she administered was more an ideal than a reality, her government attempted to impose price controls, tariffs and state monopoly for certain goods, fixed exchange rates for foreign currencies, and rigid laws that forced peasants to remain in their villages during the planting and harvesting seasons.

Apparently some financial problems led Cleopatra to devalue her currency, which consisted of silver and bronze coins, but not gold coins like those of some of her distant Ptolemaic predecessors.

Cleopatra belonged to the Greco-Macedonian dynasty of the Ptolemies, her European origins traced to northern Greece. Through her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, she was descended from two prominent somatophylakes of Alexander the Great of Macedonia: the general Ptolemy I Sóter, founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom of Egypt and Seleucus I Nicátor, the Greco-Macedonian founder of the Seleucid Empire of Western Asia. While Cleopatra”s paternal branch can be traced through her father, the identity of her mother is not known for certain. Presumably she was the daughter of Cleopatra VI Tryphaena (also known as Cleopatra V Tryphaena), or the sister-wife of Ptolemy XII.

Cleopatra I Sira was the only member of the Ptolemaic dynasty who most certainly introduced some non-Greek ancestry, as she was a descendant of Apama I, the Sogdian Persian wife of Seleucus I. It is generally believed that the Ptolemies did not interbreed with the native Egyptians. Michael Grant states that there is only one known Egyptian mistress of a Ptolemy and no known wife, arguing further that Cleopatra probably had no Egyptian ancestry and that she “described herself as Greek.” Stacy Schiff writes that Cleopatra was a Greco-Macedonian with some Persian ancestry, arguing that it was rare for Ptolemies to have an Egyptian mistress. American archaeologist Duane W. Roller believes that Cleopatra may have been the daughter of a half-Greco-Macedonian, half-Egyptian woman belonging to a family of priests consecrated to Ptah (a hypothesis not generally accepted by the Cleopatra scholarly community), but argues that whatever Cleopatra”s ancestry, she cherished her Greek Ptolemic lineage more. British historian Ernle Bradford wrote that Cleopatra did not challenge Rome as an Egyptian, “but as a cultured Greek.”

On the part of the Roman propaganda against her, an accusation that she was an illegitimate child was never launched. Strabo was the only ancient historian who claimed that the children of Ptolemy XII born after Berenice IV, including Cleopatra, were illegitimate. Cleopatra V (or VI) was expelled from the court of Ptolemy XII at the end of 69 BC, a few months after the birth of Cleopatra, while the three younger children of Ptolemy XII were born in the absence of his wife.

The high degree of inbreeding among the Ptolemies is also illustrated by Cleopatra”s immediate ancestry, a reconstruction of which is shown below. The family tree below also lists Cleopatra V, wife of Ptolemy XII, as the daughter of Ptolemy X Alexander I and Berenice III, which would make her a cousin of her husband, Ptolemy XII, but she could have been the daughter of Ptolemy IX Latirius, which would instead have made her the sister-wife of Ptolemy XII. Confusing accounts from ancient primary sources have also led scholars to identify Ptolemy XII”s wife as Cleopatra V or Cleopatra VI; the latter may actually have been the daughter of Ptolemy XII, and some use this as an indication that Cleopatra V had died in 69 BC rather than reappearing as co-ruler with Berenice IV in 58 BC. (during the exile of Ptolemy XII in Rome).


His three surviving children, Cleopatra Selene II, Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus, were sent to Rome with Octavian”s sister Octavia the Younger, their father”s ex-wife, as their guardian. Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios were present at Octavian”s triumph in 29 B.C. The fate of Alexander Helios and Ptolemy Philadelphus after this date is unknown. Octavia arranged the betrothal of Cleopatra Selene II to Juba II, son of Juba I, whose North African kingdom of Numidia had been made a Roman province by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C. because of Juba I”s support of Pompey. Emperor Augustus appointed Juba II and Cleopatra Selene II, after their marriage in 25 B.C., as the new rulers of Mauritania, as the new rulers of Mauritania, where they transformed the ancient Carthaginian city of Iol into their new capital, renamed Caesarea Mauretaniae (today Cherchell, Algeria). Cleopatra Selene II brought many important scholars, artists and advisors from her mother”s royal court in Alexandria to serve her in Caesarea, now imbued with Hellenistic Greek culture. She also named her son Ptolemy of Mauritania, in honor of his Ptolemaic dynastic heritage.

Cleopatra Selene II died around 5 B.C., and when Juba II died in 2324 A.D. he was succeeded by his son Ptolemy. However, Ptolemy was finally executed by the Roman emperor Caligula in 40 A.D., perhaps on the pretext that Ptolemy had illegally minted his own royal coinage and had used iura regalia reserved for the Roman emperor, perhaps on the pretext that Ptolemy had illegally minted his own royal coinage and had used iura regalia reserved for the Roman emperor. Ptolemy of Mauritania was the last known monarch of the Ptolemaic dynasty, although Queen Zenobia, of the short-lived Palmyra Empire during the 3rd century crisis, would claim descent from Cleopatra.

Roman historiography and literature

Although nearly 50 ancient works of Roman historiography make reference to Cleopatra, they generally include only brief accounts of the battle of Actius, her suicide, and Augustan propaganda about her personal shortcomings. Although not a biography of Cleopatra, the Life of Antony written by Plutarch in the 1st century A.D. as part of his Parallel Lives provides the most complete surviving account of Cleopatra”s life. Plutarch lived a century after the Egyptian queen, but he relied on primary sources, such as Philotas of Amphissa, who had access to the royal palace of Ptolemy, Olympus, Cleopatra”s personal physician, or Quintus Delius, a close confidant of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Plutarch”s work includes both the Augustan view of Cleopatra – which became canon in his time – and sources outside this tradition, such as eyewitness accounts.

The first century A.D. Judeo-Roman historian Flavius Josephus provides valuable information about Cleopatra”s life through her diplomatic relationship with Herod I the Great, provides valuable information about Cleopatra”s life through her diplomatic relationship with Herod I the Great. However, this work relies heavily on Herod”s memoirs and the biased account of Nicholas of Damascus, the tutor of Cleopatra”s children in Alexandria before he moved to Judea to serve as advisor and chronicler at Herod”s court. The Roman History published by the high official and historian Dion Cassius in the early third century A.D., while not fully comprehending the complexities of the late Hellenistic world, nevertheless provides a history of the era of Cleopatra”s reign.

She is barely mentioned in De bello Alexandrino, the memoirs of an unknown officer who served under Caesar. The writings of Cicero, who knew her personally, offer an unflattering portrait of Cleopatra. Augustan period authors Virgil, Horace, Propertius, and Ovid perpetuated the negative view of Cleopatra established by the ruling Roman regime, although Virgil instituted the idea of Cleopatra as a figure of romance and epic melodrama. Horace also considered Cleopatra”s suicide as a positive alternative, an idea that was accepted in the late Middle Ages with Geoffrey Chaucer. The historians Strabo, Veleius, Valerius Maximus, Pliny the Elder, and Apian, while not giving as complete accounts as Plutarch, Josephus, or Dion, provided some details of her life that had not survived in other historical records. Inscriptions on contemporary Ptolemaic coins and some Egyptian papyrus documents reflect Cleopatra”s point of view, but this material is very limited compared to Roman literary works. The fragmentary Libyka commissioned by Cleopatra”s son-in-law, Juba II, provides a glimpse of a possible body of historiographical material that supports Cleopatra”s perspective.

The fact that she was a woman has perhaps led her to be a minor, if not insignificant, figure in ancient, medieval, and even modern historiography on ancient Egypt and the Greco-Roman world. For example, historian Ronald Syme claimed that she was of little importance to Caesar and that Octavian”s propaganda increased her importance to an excessive degree. Although the general opinion of Cleopatra was that of a promiscuous seductress, she had only two known sexual partners, Caesar and Antony, the two most prominent Romans of the time, who were more likely to ensure the continuity of her dynasty. Plutarch described her more as possessing a strong personality and a charming wit than for her physical beauty.

Cultural representations

Cleopatra was depicted in various ancient works of art, both in the Egyptian, Hellenistic and Roman styles. Among the surviving works are statues, busts, reliefs and minted coins, as well as ancient carved cameos, such as one depicting Cleopatra and Antony in the Hellenistic style, now in the Altes Museum in Berlin. Contemporary images of Cleopatra were made both inside and outside of Ptolemaic Egypt. For example, there was a large bronze statue with gold leaf of Cleopatra inside the temple of Venus Genetrix in Rome, the first time a living person had her statue placed next to that of a deity in a Roman temple; it was erected there by Caesar and remained in the temple until at least the 3rd century AD, perhaps preserved through Caesar”s patronage, although Augustus did not remove or destroy Cleopatra”s artwork in Alexandria.

Among the surviving Roman statues, a life-size Roman-style statue of her was found near the Tomba di Nerone, Rome, on the Via Cassia and is now in the Museo Pio-Clementino, part of the Vatican Museums. Plutarch, in his Life of Antony, stated that the public statues of Antony were pulled down by Augustus, but those of Cleopatra were preserved after his death thanks to his friend Archibius paying the emperor 2000 talents to dissuade him from destroying them.

Since the 1950s scholars have debated whether or not the Venus Aesquiline (discovered in 1874 on the Aesquiline Hill in Rome and displayed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Capitoline Museums) is a representation of Cleopatra, based on the statue”s hairstyle and facial features, the apparent royal diadem she wears on her head, and the Egyptian cobra ureus coiled at the base. Detractors of this theory argue that the face of this statue is thinner than that of the Berlin portrait and claim that it was unlikely that she was depicted nude as the goddess Venus (or the Greek Aphrodite). However, she was depicted on an Egyptian statue as the goddess Isis, and some of her coins depict her as Venus-Aphrodite. Cleopatra was dressed as Aphrodite when she met Antony in Tarsus. The Venus Aesquiline is generally considered to be a mid-first century AD Roman copy of a first century BC Greek original by the school of Pasiteles.

Among the surviving coins from Cleopatra”s reign we find pieces from all the years of her reign, from 51 to 30 B.C. Cleopatra, the only woman of the Ptolemaic dynasty to issue coins with her own name and effigy (which only she appears), almost certainly inspired her partner Caesar to become the first living Roman to display her portrait on a coin. Cleopatra was also the first foreign queen whose image appeared on a Roman coin. Coins dating from the period of her marriage to Antony, which also show her image, portray the queen with an aquiline nose and prominent chin very similar to her husband”s. This similarity of facial features followed an artistic tradition that represented the harmony of a royal couple. Her strong, almost masculine facial features on these particular coins are strikingly different from the softer, more delicate and perhaps idealized images of her in the Egyptian or Hellenistic styles. Her male facial features on minted coinage are similar to those of her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, perhaps also to those of her Ptolemaic ancestress Arsinoe II (316-260 BC. It is likely, for political expediency, that Antony”s face was not only molded to his own, but also to those of his Greco-Macedonian ancestors who founded the Ptolemaic dynasty, in order to familiarize himself to his subjects as a legitimate member of the royal house.

The inscriptions on the coins are written in Greek, although using the nominative case of the Roman coins instead of the genitive of the Greek coins, as well as having the letters placed in circular form along the edges of the coin instead of across it horizontally or vertically as was customary on the Greek coins. These features of his coinage represent the synthesis of Roman and Hellenistic culture and perhaps also an affirmation to his subjects, however ambiguous it may be to modern scholars, of the superiority of Antony or Cleopatra over others. Professor Diana Kleiner argues that Cleopatra, on one of her coins minted alongside the image of her husband Antony, depicted herself more masculine than in other portraits and more like an acceptable Roman client queen than a Hellenistic ruler. Cleopatra had already adopted this masculine appearance on coins before her relationship with Antony, such as those struck at the mint of Ascalon during her brief period of exile in Syria and the Mediterranean Levant, something Egyptologist Joann Fletcher explains as an attempt to resemble her father and as a legitimate successor to a male Ptolemaic ruler.

Several coins, such as a silver tetradrachm minted sometime after her marriage to Antony in 37 B.C., depict her wearing a royal diadem and a ”melon-style” hairstyle, The combination of this hairstyle with a diadem also appears on two surviving sculpted marble heads. This hairstyle, with hair braided back in a bun, is the same as that worn by her Ptolemaic ascendants Arsennius II and Berenice II on their coins. After his visit to Rome in 46-44 BC it became fashionable for Roman women to adopt it as one of their hairstyles, but it was abandoned for a more modest and austere style during the conservative rule of Augustus.

Of the surviving Greco-Roman style busts and heads of Cleopatra, the sculpture known as “Berlin Cleopatra”, on display in the Antikensammlung Berlin collection of the Altes Museum, retains the complete nose, while the head known as “Vatican Cleopatra”, on display in the Vatican Museums, is missing its nose. Both have royal diadems, similar facial features and perhaps once resembled the face of her bronze statue in the Temple of Venus Genetrix. Both date from the mid-first century B.C. and were found in Roman villas on the Appian Way in Italy, the Vatican in the Villa dei Quintili. Spanish professor Francisco Pina Polo is of the opinion that the coins of Cleopatra present her image with certainty and states that the sculpted portrait of the Berlin head has a similar profile with hair in a bun, diadem and aquiline nose. A third sculpted portrait of Cleopatra, generally accepted by scholars as authentic, is preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Cherchell, Algeria. This portrait sports the royal diadem and similar facial features to the Berlin and Vatican heads, but has a different hairstyle and may represent Cleopatra Selene II, daughter of Cleopatra. On display in the Capitoline Museums is a possible Egyptian-style sculpture of Cleopatra in Parian marble with a vulture headdress; found near a shrine of Isis in Rome and dated to the 1st century BC, is of Roman or Helleno-Egyptian origin.

Among other possible sculpted depictions of Cleopatra is one on display in the British Museum in London, made of limestone, which may only represent a woman in her entourage during her journey to Rome. The woman in this portrait has similar facial features to the others (including the pronounced aquiline nose), but lacks a royal tiara and sports a different hairstyle. However, it is possible that the British Museum head, which once belonged to a complete statue, represents Cleopatra at a different stage of her life and also represents an attempt on her part to dispense with the use of the royal insignia (i.e., the diadem) to make her more attractive to the citizens of republican Rome. Archaeologist Duane W. Roller believes that the British Museum head, along with those in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, the Capitoline Museums, and the private collection of Maurice Nahmen, though with facial features and hairstyles similar to those of the Berlin portrait but without a royal diadem, probably represent members of the royal court or even Roman women imitating Cleopatra”s popular hairstyle.

In the house of Marcus Fabius Rufus in Pompeii, Italy, a mid 1st century BC second Pompeian style wall painting of the goddess Venus holding a cupid near the large temple doors is most likely a depiction of Cleopatra as Venus Genetrix with her son Caesarion. The making of the painting probably coincides with the construction of the temple of Venus Genetrix in Caesar”s forum in September 46 BC, where Caesar had a bronze and gold leaf statue erected depicting Cleopatra, where Caesar had a bronze and gold leaf statue erected depicting Cleopatra. This statue was probably the basis for his depictions in both sculpted art and in this Pompeii painting. The woman in the painting wears a royal diadem on her head and is strikingly similar in appearance to the Vatican Cleopatra, which shows possible marks on the marble of her left cheek where a cupid”s arm may have become detached. The room with the painting was walled off by its owner, perhaps in reaction to the execution of Caesarion in 30 BC by order of Octavian, when public representations of Cleopatra”s son would have proved inauspicious in the new Roman regime. Behind her golden diadem, crowned with a red jewel, is a translucent veil with wrinkles that seem to suggest the queen”s favorite ”melon” style hairstyle. Her ivory-colored skin, round face, long aquiline nose and large round eyes were common features of deities in both Roman and Ptolemaic depictions. Roller states that “there seems little doubt that this is a depiction of Cleopatra and Caesarion before the gates of the Temple of Venus in the Forum Julium and, as such, it becomes the only surviving contemporary painting of the queen.”

Another painting from Pompeii, dating from the early 1st century AD and found in the house of Giuseppe II, contains a possible depiction of Cleopatra with her son Caesarion, both wearing royal diadems as she lies down and drinks poison in an act of suicide. The painting was originally believed to depict the Carthaginian noblewoman Sophonisba, who towards 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. Among the arguments in favor of her being Cleopatra is the close relationship of her house with that of the royal family of Numidia, as Masinissa and Ptolemy VIII Phocascon were associated and Cleopatra”s own daughter married the Numidian prince Juba II. In addition, Sophonisba was a little known figure when the painting was painted, while Cleopatra”s suicide was much more famous. No asp appears in the painting, but many Romans were of the opinion that she had taken poison rather than a venomous snakebite. A set of double doors at the back, set well above the people in the painting, suggests the depiction of the layout of Cleopatra”s tomb in Alexandria. A servant holds the mouth of an Egyptian crocodile (possibly an elaborate tray handle), while another standing man is dressed as a Roman.

In 1818 an encaustic painting, now disappeared, was discovered in the Temple of Serapis in Hadrian”s villa near Tivoli, Italy, depicting Cleopatra committing suicide with an asp biting her naked breast. A chemical analysis in 1822 confirmed that the material for the painting was composed of one-third wax and two-thirds resin. The thickness of the paint on Cleopatra”s naked flesh and drapery was similar to the mummy portrait paintings from El Fayum. An 1885 steel engraving by John Sartain, depicting the painting described in the archaeological report, shows Cleopatra wearing Egyptian clothing and jewelry of the late Hellenistic period, as well as the radiant crown of the Ptolemaic rulers, as seen in their portraits on various coins minted during their respective reigns. After Cleopatra”s suicide, Octavian commissioned a painting depicting her bitten by a snake, displaying it in her place during her triumphal parade in Rome. The portrait of Cleopatra”s death may have been part of the large number of works of art and treasures found in an Egyptian temple and transferred to Rome by Emperor Adrianople to decorate his private villa.

A Roman panel painting found in Herculaneum, Italy, from the 1st century A.D. possibly depicts Cleopatra. She wears a royal diadem, red or auburn hair pulled back in a bun with pendant ball pendants, the white skin of her face and neck against an austere black background. Her hair and facial features are similar to those of the sculpted portraits from Berlin and the Vatican, as well as those on her coins. A very similar painted bust of a woman with a blue diadem in the so-called Orchard House at Pompeii shows Egyptian-style imagery, like a Greek-style sphinx, may have been the work of the same artist.

The Portland Vase, a Roman glass vase with cameos dated to the Augustan period on display in the British Museum, shows a possible depiction of Cleopatra with Antony. According to this interpretation, we would see Cleopatra grasping Antony drawing him to her as a serpent (i.e., the asp) rises between her legs, Eros hovering and Anton, the presumed ancestor of the family, looks on in despair as his descendant Antony is led to his doom. The other side of the vase perhaps shows a scene of Octavia, abandoned by her husband Antony but watched over by her brother, the emperor Augustus. The vase would have been made no earlier than 35 B.C., when Antony sent his wife Octavia back to Italy and stayed with Cleopatra in Alexandria.

The Bust of Cleopatra on display at the Royal Ontario Museum represents an Egyptian-style bust of the queen. Dating from the mid-first century B.C., it is perhaps the earliest depiction of Cleopatra as a goddess and ruling pharaoh of Egypt, it is perhaps the earliest depiction of Cleopatra as a goddess and ruling pharaoh of Egypt. The sculpture has pronounced eyes that share similarities with Roman copies of Ptolemaic sculpted works of art. The Dendera temple complex near Dendera, Egypt, contains Egyptian-style relief carved images along the outer walls of the temple of Hathor depicting Cleopatra and her infant son Caesarion as an adult pharaoh and ruler making offerings to the gods. Augustus had his name inscribed there after Cleopatra”s death.

A large meter-high black Ptolemaic basalt statue on display in the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, is believed to represent Arsinoe II, wife of Ptolemy II, but recent analysis indicates that it may represent her descendant Cleopatra because of the three uraeus adorning her headdress, as opposed to the two used by Arsinoe II to symbolize her rule over Lower and Upper Egypt. The woman in the statue also holds a divided double cornucopia (dikeras), which can be seen on coins of Arsínoe II and Cleopatra. In his Kleopatra und die Caesaren (2006), Austrian archaeologist Bernard Andreae argues that this basalt statue, like other idealized Egyptian portraits of the queen, contains no realistic facial features and thus adds little to knowledge about her appearance. British historian Adrian Goldsworthy opines that, despite these depictions in the traditional Egyptian style, Cleopatra would only have dressed as a native “perhaps for certain rites” and instead would normally dress as a Greek monarch, which would include the Greek diadem seen on her Greco-Roman busts.

In the modern era Cleopatra has become an icon of popular culture, a reputation shaped by theatrical depictions dating back to the Renaissance, as well as by paintings and films. This material far exceeds the scope and size of the existing historiographical literature on her from classical antiquity and has had a greater impact on public opinion about Cleopatra than that. The 14th century English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, in The Legend of Good Women, contextualized Cleopatra for the Christian world of the Middle Ages. His depiction of Cleopatra and Antony, her dazzling knight engaged in courtly love, has been interpreted in modern times as facetious or misogynistic satire. However, Chaucer highlighted Cleopatra”s relationships with only two men as a barely seductive life and wrote his works partly in reaction to the negative portrayal of Cleopatra in De mulieribus claris and De casibus virorum illustrium, Latin works by the 14th-century Italian poet Giovanni Boccaccio. The Renaissance humanist Bernardino Cacciante, in his Libretto apologetico delle donne of 1504, was the first Italian to defend Cleopatra”s reputation and criticize the moral and misogynistic perception of Boccaccio”s works. Works of Islamic historiography written in Arabic covered Cleopatra”s reign, such as the 10th-century Muruj adh-dhahab wa ma”adin al-jawhar (The Meadows of Gold and the Mines of Gems) by Al-Masudi, although it erroneously stated that Octavian died shortly after Cleopatra”s suicide.

Cleopatra appears in illuminated manuscript miniatures, such as her depiction lying next to Antony in a Gothic-style tomb by the anonymous French miniaturist Maréchal de Boucicaut in 1409. In the visual arts, the sculptural representation of Cleopatra as an independent nude figure committing suicide begins with the 16th century sculptors Baccio Bandinelli and Alessandro Vittoria. Early engravings of Cleopatra include designs by Renaissance artists Raphael and Michelangelo, as well as 15th century woodcuts in illustrated editions of Boccaccio”s works. The historian Ana Valtierra in her article Mythography and iconographic manipulation of Cleopatra”s death in Western painting considers that, as one of the historical figures with the greatest repercussion and fame, she gained great prominence in painting from the 16th to the 19th centuries, but the representation of her image was greatly distorted by the fraudulent vision created by the political campaign carried out by Octavian.

In the performing arts, the death of Elizabeth I of England in 1603 and the German publication in 1606 of alleged letters of Cleopatra inspired Samuel Daniel to reformulate and republish his 1594 play Cleopatra in 1607. He was followed by William Shakespeare, whose tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, based largely on Plutarch, premiered in 1608 and offered a somewhat procacious view of Cleopatra in stark contrast to his own “Virgin Queen” of England. Cleopatra also appeared in operas, such as Georg Friedrich Händel”s Julius Caesar in Egypt (1724), which depicted the romance of Caesar and Cleopatra.

In Victorian Britain, Cleopatra was associated with many aspects of ancient Egyptian culture and her image was used to market various household products such as oil lamps, lithographs, postcards, and cigarettes. Fictional literature of the period such as Cleopatra (1889), by H. Rider Haggard, and Une nuit de Cléopâtre (A Night of Cleopatra, 1838), by Frenchman Théophile Gautier, depicted the queen as a sensual and mystical oriental, while Cleopatra (1894), by German Egyptologist Georg Ebers, relied more on historical accuracy. French playwright Victorien Sardou and Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw staged plays about Cleopatra, while burlesque shows such as F. C. Burnand”s Antony and Cleopatra offered a satirical image relating the queen and the environment in which she lived to the modern age. Shakespeare”s Antony and Cleopatra was considered a literary canon in the Victorian era. Its popularity led to the assumption that the 1885 painting by Dutchman Lawrence Alma-Tadema depicted the meeting of Antony and Cleopatra on their pleasure barge in Tarsus, although Alma-Tadema himself revealed in a private letter that it portrayed a later meeting of the two in Alexandria. In his unfinished 1825 short story Yegipetskiye nochi (Egyptian Nights), Aleksandr Pushkin popularized the claims of the hitherto virtually ignored fourth-century Roman historian Aurelius Victor that Cleopatra had prostituted herself among men who paid for sex with their lives. Cleopatra was also appreciated outside the Western and Middle Eastern worlds, as Yan Fu, a Chinese scholar of the Qing dynasty, wrote an extensive biography of her.

Georges Méliès” Cléopâtre, a silent horror film released in 1899, was the first film to depict the character of Cleopatra. Twentieth-century Hollywood films were influenced by earlier Victorian stories, which helped shape the character of the Egyptian queen played by Theda Bara in Cleopatra (1917), by Claudette Colbert in Cleopatra (1934) and especially by Elizabeth Taylor in the eventful, controversial and Oscar-winning Cleopatra starring opposite Richard Burton as Mark Antony in 1963. In addition to her “vamp” queen image, Bara”s Cleopatra also incorporated familiar tropes from 19th century Orientalist painting, such as the despotic character, mixed with an overt and dangerous female sexuality. The role portrayed by Colbert served as a glamour model for selling Egyptian-themed products in department stores in the 1930s, targeting female film buffs. As part of the film production starring Elizabeth Taylor, women”s magazines in the early 1960s advertised how to use makeup, clothing, jewelry and hairstyles to achieve an “Egyptian” look similar to the queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti. By the end of the twentieth century there were no less than forty-three Cleopatra-related films, plus some two hundred plays and novels, forty-five operas and five ballets.

Written texts

While myths about Cleopatra persist in the 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. Only fragments of medical and cosmetic writings attributed to Cleopatra, such as those preserved by Galen, such as remedies for hair diseases, baldness, and dandruff, along with a list of weights and measures for pharmacological purposes, are preserved. Aetius of Amida attributes to Cleopatra a recipe for perfumed soap, while Paul of Aegina preserved supposed instructions from her for dyeing and curling hair. However, the attribution of certain texts to Cleopatra is questioned by Ingrid D. Rowland, who points out that the “Berenice called Cleopatra” cited by Metrodora, a Roman doctor of the 3rd or 4th century, was probably mistaken by medieval scholars as referring to Cleopatra.


  1. Cleopatra
  2. Cleopatra
Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We have detected that you are using extensions to block ads. Please support us by disabling these ads blocker.