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Cleopatra VII – The last queen of Egypt
Cleopatra’s life is linked to the city of Alexandria – Egypt, capital city of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Since its creation in the year 331 to.c. by Alexander the Great;of which the city was called;This city was one of the most important points of the entire Mediterranean. The city had beautiful and luxurious white marble buildings that traveled the great avenue, had a well -known lighthouse, the famous library and the museum, the mausoleum of Alexander the Great, was conformed of sumptuous temples and beautiful gardens. Alejandra’s city contained a cultured community where several were coexisted and combined as cultures such as Greeks, Egyptians and Romans.
Here mainly the early stages of his life as Cleopatra VII were developed, without the need to move to the rest of the kingdom to know their surroundings. Thus, these years dedicated them to prepare as a designer descendant of the dynasty of the Ptolomeos, studying and familiarly with government matters, becoming several languages, which allowed him to dispense with an interpreter in front of encounters with foreign characters.
It is unknown who was Cleopatra VII’s mother, but her father;Ptolemy XII Auletes or the flutist;which was commonly identified as Dionysus. His father had five other children, three women (Cleopatra VI, Berenice IV and Arsinoe) and two men (both with the name of Ptolemy). Cleopatra VII, third in the succession to the kingdom, maintained good relations with his parent, which decided to appoint her queen with her brother.
Cleopatra VII could not match the women of the Faraonic Egypt rulers, since this kingdom changed culturally after the invasion of Alexander the Great. Said conqueror had controlled Egypt and after his death he was taken by one of his generals, Ptolomeo Lagida;called that because being the son of Macedonio Lagos, and founder of the dynasty of his name. This family dominated an African kingdom for three centuries, thus leading to the fact of not worrying about learning native language. The first character of the Ptolomeos dynasty that Egyptian spoke was Cleopatra VII, according to Plutarch (historian and Greek biographer), which, together with other knowledge, generates a remarkable popularity among the native population among the population.
The king used to marry his sisters and that way the queen assumed the same dignity as the husband. This form of family union made the women of the Ptolomeos dynasty very active characters in politics and, specifically, in the appointment of the successor. The conspiracies, violence, murders of brothers, children, parents, etc. They were a common note in the history of the dynasty, in which female relatives participated very actively in decision making.
The decline of the Ptolemaic rulers joined Roman expansion through the Mediterranean. Many cities were entering the domain of Rome and it seemed that the city of Alexandria was also going to be, in order to continue the Ptolemaic dynasty, the rulers practiced the policy of friendship and adulation, including the father of Cleopatra VII bribery toPompey to stay as king. In parallel, the Roman leaders delayed the conquest of that city, because they feared that the future governor became a powerful and dangerous character for Rome;From there, the consideration of having the city of Alexandria as ally and friend, additionally would also allow them to take advantage of their military wealth and strength.
The difficult relationships between the brothers;current kings of Alexandria;encouraged by enmity among the advisors of the new king and Cleopatra, led to armed clashes. The actions of Aquilas, the military, potino, the eunuch and in charge of finance, and theodot, the tutor, were decisive in the trratricidal trigger. The Queen left the capital of the kingdom and moved to Syria, where she prepared her own armed force;When she was in Pelusio, already in Egypt, she was informed of César’s presence in Alexandria. The arrival of the remarkable Republican general responded to the traditional policy of Rome in the East;Ultimately, it was about controlling the internal affairs of his vassal states, protecting the ruler who best defended his interests.
Cleopatra was a good strategist and very good creative negotiator, a ruling capable of directing a fleet, of canceling a popular revolt, controlling the variations of the currency and of fighting the famine of his people.
I manage to be the only woman in the ancient world capable of governing alone and playing a role in the West politics.
The twenty -first years that the reign of Cleopatra VII lasted (from 69 to 30 to. C.) They were trembling and irritated. The pharaonic Egypt lived its last periods wanting to recover the glory of the kingdom of years ago. Cleopatra tried to return stability to a country exhausted by the bloody revolts, corruption and social discontent.
Cleopatra sought to lift an empire that, controlled from Alexandria, had come to incorporate numerous territories of the Eastern Mediterranean. In doing so, he brought together for Rome for the supremacy in this area, causing one of the most remembered clashes of antiquity, diplomatic games and political burnings wove a complex framework in which, without a doubt, the human factor, dominated by exceptional charisms, determinedThe development of events.
The Queen managed to conserve power. Achieving the support of the capital, which was ultimately the one that decided the fate of its rulers, and that of the clergy. Cleopatra became allied by Julio César, who helped her settle on the throne.
In Rome this caused a scandal. First, because Egypt and their hedonistic culture were despised as decadent, so Egypt thus became a Roman protectorate.
Of the episodes that occurred later, which include war with his brother and his encounter with César, very little is known, anecdotes apart. But the truth is that the queen managed to preserve power. He got the support of the capital.
Cleopatra, would assume the dominant role, of the fact that his name appears written in the texts before that of his consort. So, his reign was marked by the search for legitimacy.
He claimed his inheritance rights by calling himself "the one who loves his father", while the name of Cesarión clearly alluded to his Roman parent, already turned into God, his son had helped restore the monarchy. Without a doubt, he was crucial to understand Cleopatra’s dynastic policy and his conquest plans.
The presence of a woman on the throne occurred in few occasions. Since its origins, female royalty played a very prominent political and religious role as a wife or mother of the king. Names, like Nitocris, Ahmes Nefertari, Nefertiti or Tiyi, are very well known. They assumed roles of regent and were even assigned from pharaoh, as Hatshepsut did. But the model on which Cleopatra was based, who surely had no news of his famous predecessors, should not be sought so far, but on his Ptolemaic counterparts.
Cleopatra was the heiress of many vigorous queens who had an unusual power in front of a majority of men who had the fame of weak and malleable. It is not uncommon to find them represented in the temples, and many of them starred in blows dotted with intrigues and murders of husbands and children.
Pionera was Berenice II, who reigned along with his cousin and husband Ptolemy III and ended up killed by her own son. Cleopatra II, for example, daughter of Ptolemy V, had a very agitated political life;After her marriage with two of her brothers, she came to govern alone, to end up forming a triad with her husband and her daughter Cleopatra III. Berenice III, daughter of Ptolemy IX, took advantage of her father’s death to reign for several months.
Cleopatra VII’s own older sister, Berenice IV, usurped the throne taking advantage of her father’s forced exile, something she would pay with her life.
The Macedonic Factor
What differentiates these queens from their old predecessors is their Macedonian origin. When the Ptolomeos settled in Egypt they adopted the pharaonic royal model without problems, but also included elements of the Hellenistic, which granted an important position to their women. This Greek ancestry preserved it for generations through consanguineous marriages.
They still wonder how much there were Egyptian and how much Greek in the faraona Cleopatra. In front of that clearly indigenous side, there are indications that the queen wanted to associate with the roots of her dynasty. He adopted the title of "The one who loves his homeland", which, contrary to what is being interpreted, would not refer to his love for Egypt, but rather for the land of Alexander the Great. He also wanted to compare with his great -grandmother Cleopatra Thea (daughter of Ptolemy VI and Cleopatra II), which reigned in Syria, ancient fief of the empire of the first Ptolomeos, where she precisely took refuge during the war against Ptolemy XIII.
Before the defeat in the Actium battle, played in Greece, Cleopatra VII and Marco Antonio fled to Egypt. After them it was Octavio with their troops to capture them which ended up invading Egypt and defeating their forces. Therefore, Marco Antonio committed suicide.
In the 30th century to.C, in ancient Egypt Queen Cleopatra VII at 39 years old puts an end to her life because of suicide to encourage the rough snake that was well known at the time the deadly capacity of these snakes.
As practiced all of the ancient sources, Cleopatra’s suicide was a real and historical fact that, at the same time, constituted the moment focused on the mythical narrative around this queen. Keeping with the harsh is only the act that closes a life in which events of another sign also had a place, such as those related to the decades in which Cleopatra effectively held power in Egypt.
In this drawing, Miguel Ángel imagined that the Áspid mortally bit Cleopatra in a chest, although the ancient authors venture that it was in one arm.
Cleopatra did not commit suicide for love, or at the insistence of a man, it was rather because he learned that Octavio wanted to humiliate her exhibiting her as a prisoner of a Roman triumph to celebrate the military victories of Octavio. I wanted to avoid being a war trophy for the Romans. Since it was an unbearable perspective for the proud sovereign, who preferred to kill herself.
After assuming that he could not keep his life, Cleopatra managed to make fun of the Guardians of Octavio, went to his mausoleum and there after dressing with the outfit worthy of an Egyptian queen, combining pharaonical and macedonian symbols, he killed. He chose the rough poison, since death for his bite causes a rapid end and with hardly any suffering.
According to Plutarch, who wrote about it approximately 130 years after the event, provides the main source about the death of Cleopatra. He declares that Cleopatra was found dead, with his maid you will die at his feet, and another maid, carmion, adjusting his crown before he also died. Plutarch tells that a snake was hidden in a basket of figs that took a peasant to Cleopatra, and finding her after eating some figs, she put her arm to bite it.
“Hence Cleopatra is represented, almost without exception, alone without men or at most, with its two faithful servants who accompany it in the transit distinguishing itself from the representation of other women."
After the death of Cleopatra, Octavio commands to kill Cesarion who is a legitimate son of Cesar and Cleopatra;He also commands to look for the three children that Cleopatra and Marco Antonio had, who were called Cleopatra Selene, Alejandro Helios and Ptolomeo Filadelfo to deliver them to Octavia to protect them since, in addition to being the legal widow of the father of the little ones, it wasEmperor’s sister.
Being that nothing is known about the destiny of the sons born from the relationship of Cleopatra and Marco Antonio, after the death of both parents.
Thus Cleopatra died, like a great oriental queen and powerful woman, who had been able to face the Roman Empire. Without a doubt, it had been a typical Ptolemaic ruler with the vices, virtues and defects of his family. As a sign of benevolence, Octavio consented to respect the will that she and her husband remain together in death, sharing the same tomb.
Octavio respect the decision of a letter left by Marco Antonio expressing that they put his body already dead next to that of his beloved Cleopatra, given the curiosity that this will caused a described and misfortune among the Romans, and consequently the civil war of theRoman Republic.
Alejandría housed the mausoleums of extraordinary characters, Alexander the Great and one of those who said to be his successor, Cleopatra, along with her husband. The monuments have not been located, but the memory of these characters caused such an impact, that twenty centuries later still are still passionate historical and literary versions.
Her dramatic death made her one of the most popular historical figures in the world and was the cause of the disappearance of the fara are the reigns of the pharaohs. Since his death marked the end of the Hellenistic period and Ptolemaic domain of Egypt, giving rise to the beginning of Egypt Roman government, which became the Province of Empire of Rome.
In fact, if Cleopatra is a heroic, strong and illustrious woman, it is largely because of her suicide, for the tragic way in which she decides to end her life. (…) His death is an act of individual heroism, a stoic death, buyable to the suicide of great men of antiquity.
It should be said that Cleopatra intended to preserve the independence of her Egypt kingdom, but was wrong because she thought that, through two relationships she had at the time with the powerful of Rome, Cesar and Marco Antonio;crosses from marriage and children, she could get command over Rome, which did not result. Since with Marco Antonio his destiny had been sealed after the defeat of the battle of Actium.
Definitely, its popularity between the populations of Egypt and not only of Alexandria, reveal that it had effectively been an extraordinary Ptolemaic, loved and admired by its people. His memory was honored for centuries by the Egyptians, because they did understand the attitudes and behaviors of a woman who first wanted to reign, but doing it in a state free of the Roman presence.