Cleopatra was a famous queen of ancient Egypt. She was beautiful, intelligent and self-confident. She was not Egyptian but belonged to a Greek dynasty, that started with Ptolemy I. Cleopatra became a well-known because of her love affairs with two Roman rulers, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Cleopatra was born in 69 B. C. in Alexandria, Egypt. When her father Ptolemy XII died she became ruler together with her elder brother. Some of her brother’s friends, however, drove her out of Egypt. When Julius Caesar came to the country he helped her regain the throne. She ruled again, this time with her younger brother. Caesar and Cleopatra fell in love and they had a son together, Caesarion. Cleopatra went with Caesar to Rome and lived in his villa for some time.
When Caesar was murdered in 44 B. C. Cleopatra returned to Egypt. Historians believe that she killed her younger brother in order to be the only ruler of Egypt.
After Caesar’s death two men struggled for power in Rome: Mark Antony and Octavian. Mark Antony felt very much attracted to Cleopatra and the Egyptian queen helped him in his battle against Octavian. Their relationship deepened and she bore him three children.
Octavian went to war against Antony, who united his navy with Cleopatra’s. After they had been defeated at the Battle of Actium in 31 B. C. the couple fled to Alexandria.
Antony committed suicide by stabbing himself with a sword. A short time later Cleopatra let a snake bite her and she also died. With Cleopatra’s death Greek rule came to an end and the country became a Roman province.
Cleopatra’s life and her love affairs have been shown in many works of literature. The most famous is Shakespeare’s drama “Antony and Cleopatra”.