Egypt – Cleopatra: Queen of the East

Cleopatra was the last ruling Queen of Egypt, of Macedonian descent, and daughter of Ptolemy XII.

In 51 BC, Ptolemy XII died leaving Cleopatra and her brother Ptolemy XIII whom she loathed as co-rulers of the Kingdom of Egypt.

With his father dead, the ambitious Ptolemy XIII, now co-ruler with his 17-year old sister, had no intention of sharing rule.  A feud started almost immediately between brother and sister until Ptolemy’s mercenary advisers, aided in expelling Cleopatra from the throne.

In the October of 48 BC, Cleopatra had raised an army, to take on her brother’s forces, led by Achillas…  The battle never took place, as Julius Caesar arrived in Alexandria.

Ptolemy as ruler of the kingdom, believed he was honouring Caesar, with the head of his enemy; Pompey as a gift.  Caesar was offended, he would never want this for Pompey.

Caesar was charmed by Cleopatra, and duly installed her on the throne much to her delight.  She became the true power of Egypt, supported and wooed by Caesar, and bore him a son; Caesarion.

Cleopatra, Caesar’s mistress was installed in Rome and remained there until Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

Cleopatra found she was no longer welcomed in Rome, following the death of her lover; Julius Caesar and returned home to Egypt.

In 41 BC Cleopatra met Marc Antony in Cilicia, and they became lovers.

Cleopatra’s status as Queen of Egypt, Queen of the East, grew and grew with Marc Antony at her side.

In Rome, Octavian (Augustus) anticipated the worst… civil war, and at the centre of it, Cleopatra and Marc Antony.  In 31 BC, his fears were realised, as conflict erupted for control of the Roman World.  Antony was financed by Cleopatra, but that was not enough support to get him victory at the “Battle of Actium.”

The Queen’s early retreat from the battle changed future events.  Cleopatra sailed to Alexandria to be joined by Antony.

Cleopatra attempted negotiation with Octavian, to salvage her kingdom and the life of her lover Marc Antony, but they came to nothing.

Cleopatra and Marc Antony committed suicide.  It was Cleopatra’s desires and ambitions which resulted in Antony falling under the spell of Cleopatra, believing anything was possible.  Augustus gained his supremacy in Rome, by the bad actions of Marc Antony.

With the death of Cleopatra, the historical family line of Ptolemies came to an end.  Egypt was seized, and joined the ranks of another Roman Province.

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