Cleopatra: a Professional Queen or a Passionate Woman?

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Cleopatra was beautiful and irresistible. She was a cultured woman who could speak many different languages, knew about geography and follow along with the best in politics. It was quite rare for a woman to be both educated and attractive in that time period. Therefore, It has being criticized for a thousand years that whether Cleopatra was a professional queen that know how to use her beauty to do everything for her beloved country or just a gorgeous woman who was easily and passionately in love with anyone.

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 her throne. She relied on the help of Julius Caesar. Cleopatra was in desperate need of help with her kingdom and Caesar was in pursuit of Pompey. Ptolemy heard that Caesar wants Pompey to die, so when Pompey arrived Alexandria, Ptolemy had his army to kill Pompey. Ptolemy thought that this would make Caesar happy but he was wrong. Caesar was furious because he wanted to be the one to take Pompey's life. While Caesar was looking for the man who killed Pompey, he met Cleopatra and immediately fell in love with her. Cleopatra had no intentions of being left out of any deals that were going to be made. She had herself smuggled in through enemy lines rolled in a carpet. She was delivered to Caesar. Both Cleopatra and Ptolemy were invited to appear the next morning. By this time, Cleopatra and Caesar were already lovers and Ptolemy realized this right away. He stormed out screaming that he had been betrayed, trying to arouse the Alexandrian mob. He was soon captured by Caesar's guards and brought back to the palace. During this, Ptolemy somehow mysteriously died. Soon after this, Cleopatra is crowned the queen of Egypt. It is thought that Caesar had planned to make Cleopatra the sole ruler of Alexandria. He thought she would be a puppet for Rome. It is also mentioned that Cleopatra didn't truly love Caesar. She became his lover because she wanted him to help her regain the power. Because of Ptolemy's death, Cleopatra was now the sole ruler of Egypt. Caesar had restored her position, but she now had to marry her younger brother Ptolemy XIV, who was eleven years old. This was to please the Alexandrians and the Egyptian priests.

Caesar stayed with Cleopatra for a year after that. They had a child by the name of Caesarion, little Caesar. In 46 BC, Cleopatra visited Rome with her newborn son to visit Caesar. Caesar also openly claimed Caesarion as his son. Many were upset that he was planning to marry Cleopatra regardless of the laws against bigamy and marriages to...
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