How was Cleopatra connected with the Roman Empire?

Cleopatra is one of the most well-known figures in history, but her connection to the Roman Empire is still a bit hazy to some. She was seen as a cunning, charming and captivating individual.

Cleopatra’s Reign

By the age of 14, Cleopatra became the joint regent and deputy of her father, the king. Following her father’s passing, Cleopatra then was next to take the throne at the tender age of 18 in 51 B.C. Due to traditional customs, Cleopatra was to marry her brother, Ptolemy XIII, who was then only ten years old and the joint ruler with Cleopatra. However, Cleopatra did not like sharing the throne with her husband/brother, and soon began to rule out his name in official documents. After attempting to take sole possession of the throne, Ptolemy XIII ran her out of Egypt, which ended in the famous civil war between them. Ptolemy XIII was not the only sibling she would marry, as after the war Cleopatra returned to rule and wed with her other brother, also named Ptolemy. She was known as an extremely cunning ruler, using her divine status to enchant potential allies and to murder any budding enemies, including three of her siblings. She is famous for her beauty, but historians believe it was her intellect and charm that enhanced her power.

Cleopatra’s influence on Rome

Cleopatra’s family had been in connection with the Roman Empire many years before her birth. After they forced Cleopatra to flee Egypt, she realised she needed Roman support to overthrow her brother, in particular, Roman’s military leader Julius Caesar. Cleopatra and Caesar became allies and lovers soon after their meeting, causing Caesar to drop his plans to take over Egypt and instead assist Cleopatra to claim the throne. After Cleopatra’s victory, she became the co-ruler and wife to her other brother Ptolemy XIV. She soon gave birth to a son, Ptolemy Caesar, also known as Caesarion, named after his supposed father.

After Caesar’s murder, Ptolemy XIV soon followed after, leaving Cleopatra and her son Caesarion to be co-rulers of Egypt. The aftermath of Caesar’s assassination was a complicated one, as there were numerous people trying to claim the throne. Mark Antony was one of the main leaders in their aftermath, who would eventually become the third member of the Second Triumvirate. It is said that Cleopatra seduced Antony, who instantly pledged to protect Egypt and Cleopatra’s crown. They continued their relationship as lovers until their deaths, having three children as they fought together against Octavian. After losing the battle Antony heard rumours of Cleopatra has committed suicide, resulting in him to fall on his sword and die just as news arrived that the rumour was not true. After burying Antony, Cleopatra locked herself in her chambers and used a poisonous snake known as the asp to kill herself.

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