Cleopatra VII was born in 69 BC in Alexandria, Egypt. Her full name, "Cleopatra Thea Philopator" means "the Goddess Cleopatra, the Beloved of Her Father". After her father's death in the Spring of 51 BC, according to Egyptian law, Cleopatra was forced to have a consort, who was either a brother or a son, no matter what age, throughout her reign. She was married to her younger brother Ptolemy XIII but she didn't get along with him at all. Cleopatra was known as a brilliant queen and dreamed of a greater world empire. She almost achieved it. Whether her way of getting it done was for her own desires or for the pursuit of power will never be known for certain. Many believe that she did what she felt was necessary to try to save Alexandria, whatever the price.
There were many conflicts over power between Cleopatra and Ptolemy. She was dropping his name from official documents, which flew in the face of Ptolemaic tradition that female rulers be subordinate to male co-rulers. Furthermore, she also had her own portrait and name on coins of that time, ignoring her brother's. Ptolemy was trying to achieve full control of Egypt and drive Cleopatra out. In 48 BC, encouraged by his minister, Pothinus, Ptolemy assumed control of the government and drove Cleopatra from the throne.In the meantime, Pompey had been defeated by Julius Caesar. Pompey headed for Alexandria hoping to find refuge with Ptolemy XIII. In a short period of time, Cleopatra would once again reclaim... [continues]
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