Queen Cleopatra

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Social Studies
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Queen Cleopatra

Who was Queen Cleopatra?

Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent (first with her two younger brothers and then with her son) for almost three decades. She became the last in a dynasty of Macedonian rulers founded by Ptolemy, who served as general under Alexander the Great during his conquest of Egypt in 332 B.C. Well-educated and clever, Cleopatra could speak various languages and served as the dominant ruler in all three of her co-regencies. Her romantic liaisons and military alliances with the Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, as well as her supposed exotic beauty and powers of seduction, earned her an enduring place in history and popular myth (history.com).

Fun Facts: Cleopatra could speak at least seven languages including Greek and Egyptian.She claimed to be the reincarnation of the Egyptian god Isis.Marc Antony declared her son Caesarion as the legal heir of Julius Caesar.Octavian became the first Emperor of Rome and changed his name to Augustus.Cleopatra has been the subject of many movies and plays including the famous 1963 film starring Elizabeth Taylor (Ducksters.com).

Legacy: In the centuries following her death, Cleopatra and her life have captivated historians, storytellers, and the general public. Her affair with Marc Antony and its end became the inspiration for William Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra (1607). More recently, seductive versions of her have been played by actresses such as Theda Bara (1917), Claudette Colbert (1934) and Elizabeth Taylor (1963).Her story resonates, too, because of what she represented in such a male-dominated society. In an era when Egypt was roiled by internal and external battles, Cleopatra held the country together and proved to be as powerful a leader as any of her male counterparts (bio.com).


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