Phillip II, King of Macedon. [434] A chemical analysis performed in 1822 confirmed that the medium for the painting was composed of one-third wax and two-thirds resin. [366][368] However, Ptolemy was eventually executed by the Roman emperor Caligula in 40 AD, perhaps under the pretense that Ptolemy had unlawfully minted his own royal coinage and utilized regalia reserved for the Roman emperor. [438][335][311] The portrait painting of Cleopatra's death was perhaps among the great number of artworks and treasures taken from Rome by Emperor Hadrian to decorate his private villa, where it was found in an Egyptian temple. [450], In modern times Cleopatra has become an icon of popular culture,[374] a reputation shaped by theatrical representations dating back to the Renaissance as well as paintings and films. [394][395] Plutarch described Cleopatra as having had a stronger personality and charming wit than physical beauty. [490][491] Her mother Laodice III was a daughter born to King Mithridates II of Pontus, a Persian of the Mithridatic dynasty, and his wife Laodice who had a mixed Greek-Persian heritage. She became queen on the death of her father, Ptolemy XII, in 51 bce and ruled successively with her two brothers Ptolemy XIII (51–47) and Ptolemy XIV (47–44) and her son Ptolemy XV Caesar (44–30). [1] Contemporary images of Cleopatra were produced both in and outside of Ptolemaic Egypt. [43][44] Cleopatra's childhood tutor was Philostratos, from whom she learned the Greek arts of oration and philosophy. [323][324] Octavian promised that he would keep her alive but offered no explanation about his future plans for her kingdom. [320][321] Cleopatra was then allowed to embalm and bury Antony within her tomb before she was escorted to the palace. [475] In preparation for the film starring Taylor as Cleopatra, women's magazines of the early 1960s advertised how to use makeup, clothes, jewelry, and hairstyles to achieve the "Egyptian" look similar to the queens Cleopatra and Nefertiti. [21][19][22][note 12] Aside from Greek, Egyptian, and Latin, these languages reflected Cleopatra's desire to restore North African and West Asian territories that once belonged to the Ptolemaic Kingdom. [7] Cleopatra was the name of Alexander the Great's sister, as well as Cleopatra Alcyone, wife of Meleager in Greek mythology. They all lived lives full of intrigue, but the children were also protected by the strong guardian, Olympias. Antony and Cleopatra spent the winter of 32–31 bce in Greece. The Parthian campaign was a costly failure, as was the temporary conquest of Armenia. [438] A steel engraving published by John Sartain in 1885 depicting the painting as described in the archaeological report shows Cleopatra wearing authentic clothing and jewelry of Egypt in the late Hellenistic period,[439] as well as the radiant crown of the Ptolemaic rulers, as seen in their portraits on various coins minted during their respective reigns. Cleopatra was the only daughter of Phillip II of Macedonia and Olympias - and Alexander’s only full-blood sibling. [247] Octavian, fostering the narrative that Antony was neglecting his virtuous Roman wife Octavia, granted both her and Livia, his own wife, extraordinary privileges of sacrosanctity. Aided by Julius Caesar, her lover, she returned to power upon her brother’s death in 47. The boys’ sister, Cleopatra Selene, was to be ruler of Cyrene. The means of her death is uncertain, though Classical writers came to believe that she had killed herself by means of an asp, symbol of divine royalty. Caesar then attempted to reconcile the rival Ptolemaic siblings, but Ptolemy's chief adviser Potheinos viewed Caesar's terms as favoring Cleopatra, so his forces besieged her and Caesar at the palace. No. [337][338][339][note 2] Octavian was convinced by the advice of the philosopher Arius Didymus that there was room for only one Caesar in the world. In 40 bce Cleopatra gave birth to twins, whom she named Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene. [366][367], Cleopatra Selene II died around 5 BC, and when Juba II died in 23/24 AD he was succeeded by his son Ptolemy. [303] In Alexandria he built a reclusive cottage on the island of Pharos that he nicknamed the Timoneion, after the philosopher Timon of Athens, who was famous for his cynicism and misanthropy. [388][note 60] Horace also viewed Cleopatra's suicide as a positive choice,[389][387] an idea that found acceptance by the Late Middle Ages with Geoffrey Chaucer. [312] Octavian moved south and swiftly took Pelousion, while Cornelius Gallus, marching eastward from Cyrene, defeated Antony's forces near Paraitonion. Updates? [274] Pliny the Elder claims in his Natural History that Cleopatra once dissolved a pearl worth tens of millions of sesterces in vinegar just to win a dinner-party bet. The only member of her house to learn Egyptian, she was said to be a popular ruler. [300], In 1818 a now lost encaustic painting was discovered in the Temple of Serapis at Hadrian's Villa, near Tivoli, Lazio, Italy, that depicted Cleopatra committing suicide with an asp biting her bare chest. After losing the 48 BC Battle of Pharsalus in Greece against his rival Julius Caesar (a Roman dictator and consul) in Caesar's Civil War, the Roman statesman Pompey fled to Egypt. The rumour quickly spread that Antony also intended to transfer the capital from Rome to Alexandria. The Latinized form Cleopatra comes from the Ancient Greek Kleopátra (Κλεοπάτρα), meaning "glory of her father",[6] from κλέος (kléos, "glory") and πᾰτήρ (patḗr, "father"). [376][378] The Jewish Roman historian Josephus, writing in the 1st century AD, provides valuable information on the life of Cleopatra via her diplomatic relationship with Herod the Great. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. [466] Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra was considered canonical by the Victorian era. [35][498][note 86] Strabo was the only ancient historian who claimed that Ptolemy XII's children born after Berenice IV, including Cleopatra, were illegitimate. [384][note 61] Inscriptions on contemporary Ptolemaic coinage and some Egyptian papyrus documents demonstrate Cleopatra's point of view, but this material is very limited in comparison to Roman literary works. [257][217][252], Dellius was sent as Antony's envoy to Artavasdes II in 34 BC to negotiate a potential marriage alliance that would wed the Armenian king's daughter to Alexander Helios, the son of Antony and Cleopatra. [65][66][67], The Roman financiers of Ptolemy XII remained determined to restore him to power. [294], On 2 September 31 BC the naval forces of Octavian, led by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, met those of Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. [258], In an event held at the gymnasium soon after the triumph, Cleopatra dressed as Isis and declared that she was the Queen of Kings with her son Caesarion, King of Kings, while Alexander Helios was declared king of Armenia, Media, and Parthia, and two-year-old Ptolemy Philadelphos was declared king of Syria and Cilicia. Biography The last ruler of the Macedonian dynasty, the stories and myths surrounding Cleopatra's tragic life inspired a number of books, movies and plays. [483] Through her father, Ptolemy XII Auletes, she was a descendant of two prominent companions of Alexander the Great of Macedon: the general Ptolemy I Soter, founder of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, and Seleucus I Nicator, the Macedonian Greek founder of the Seleucid Empire of West Asia. [138][135][140][note 35] After Caesar managed to execute Potheinos, Arsinoe IV joined forces with Achillas and was declared queen, but soon afterward had her tutor Ganymedes kill Achillas and take his position as commander of her army. [434] The thickness of the painting over Cleopatra's bare flesh and her drapery were reportedly similar to the paintings of the Fayum mummy portraits. [464] Fictional novels such as H. Rider Haggard's Cleopatra (1889) and Théophile Gautier's One of Cleopatra's Nights (1838) depicted the queen as a sensual and mystic Easterner, while the Egyptologist Georg Ebers's Cleopatra (1894) was more grounded in historical accuracy. Evidence shows that the first decree in which Ptolemy’s name precedes Cleopatra’s was in October of 50 bce. [271][269][172][note 51] Antony claimed that his rival had illegally deposed Lepidus from their triumvirate and barred him from raising troops in Italy, while Octavian accused Antony of unlawfully detaining the king of Armenia, marrying Cleopatra despite still being married to his sister Octavia, and wrongfully claiming Caesarion as the heir of Caesar instead of Octavian. Answer: Cleopatra was the last queen of the Macedonian dynasty that ruled Egypt between 323 and 30 BC. This is the story of Cleopatra, the last of the Macedonian monarchs, not the Hollywood or Shakespearean version. [58][59][62][note 19] Ptolemy XII spent nearly a year there on the outskirts of Rome, ostensibly accompanied by his daughter Cleopatra, then about 11. [354][355][356] Apparent financial troubles led Cleopatra to debase her coinage, which included silver and bronze currencies but no gold coins like those of some of her distant Ptolemaic predecessors. Antony soon returned to the battlefield, where he was falsely informed that Cleopatra had died. [325][329][330] Cleopatra's physician Olympos did not explain her cause of death, although the popular belief is that she allowed an asp or Egyptian cobra to bite and poison her. [206][209] Antony was well received by the populace of Alexandria, both for his heroic actions in restoring Ptolemy XII to power and coming to Egypt without an occupation force like Caesar had done. [216], By the spring of 40 BC, Antony left Egypt due to troubles in Syria, where his governor Lucius Decidius Saxa was killed and his army taken by Quintus Labienus, a former officer under Cassius who now served the Parthian Empire. Cleopatra was in Rome when Caesar was murdered in 44 bce. [186][187] Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March (15 March 44 BC), but Cleopatra stayed in Rome until about mid-April, in the vain hope of having Caesarion recognized as Caesar's heir. [102][93][103] Others involved in the cabal against Cleopatra included Achillas, a prominent military commander, and Theodotus of Chios, another tutor of Ptolemy XIII. [307][304] Octavian sent his diplomat Thyrsos to Cleopatra after she threatened to burn herself and vast amounts of her treasure within a tomb already under construction. [384][385][386][note 59] The writings of Cicero, who knew her personally, provide an unflattering portrait of Cleopatra. After the Roman armies of Octavian (the future emperor Augustus) defeated their combined forces, Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide, and Egypt fell under Roman domination. [461] He was followed by William Shakespeare, whose Antony and Cleopatra, largely based on Plutarch, was first performed in 1608 and provided a somewhat salacious view of Cleopatra in stark contrast to England's own Virgin Queen. # Cleopatra? [218] By the end of 40 BC, Cleopatra had given birth to twins, a boy named Alexander Helios and a girl named Cleopatra Selene II, both of whom Antony acknowledged as his children. She was to prove to be the last of the Macedonian rulers of Greece. [320][322] When she met with Octavian, Cleopatra told him bluntly, "I will not be led in a triumph" (Ancient Greek: οὑ θριαμβεύσομαι, romanized: ou thriambéusomai), according to Livy, a rare recording of her exact words. [449][note 75] Adrian Goldsworthy writes that, despite these representations in the traditional Egyptian style, Cleopatra would have dressed as a native only "perhaps for certain rites" and instead would usually dress as a Greek monarch, which would include the Greek headband seen in her Greco-Roman busts. In the visual arts, her ancient depictions include Roman busts, paintings, and sculptures, cameo carvings and glass, Ptolemaic and Roman coinage, and reliefs. [303] Antony nearly committed suicide after hearing news of this but was stopped by his staff officers. [127][130][131] Plutarch provides an entirely different and perhaps mythical account that alleges she was bound inside a bed sack to be smuggled into the palace to meet Caesar. "[11][12][note 9], Ptolemaic pharaohs were crowned by the Egyptian high priest of Ptah at Memphis, but resided in the multicultural and largely Greek city of Alexandria, established by Alexander the Great of Macedon. [87][88][89][note 25] Rabirius was unable to collect the entirety of Ptolemy XII's debt by the time of the latter's death, and so it was passed on to his successors Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII. [75][76] Crassus replaced him as governor of Syria and extended his provincial command to Egypt, but he was killed by the Parthians at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC. [95] However, the Gabiniani tortured and murdered these two, perhaps with secret encouragement by rogue senior administrators in Cleopatra's court. [441][443] In this interpretation, Cleopatra can be seen grasping Antony and drawing him toward her while a serpent (i.e. 2 All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name "Ptolemy", while princesses and queens preferred the names Cleopatra, Arsinoe and Berenice. [288], Antony and Cleopatra had a larger fleet than Octavian, but the crews of Antony and Cleopatra's navy were not all well-trained, some of them perhaps from merchant vessels, whereas Octavian had a fully professional force. Cleopatra paid at least one state visit to Rome, accompanied by her husband-brother and son. [83][76], Ptolemy XII died sometime before 22 March 51 BC, when Cleopatra, in her first act as queen, began her voyage to Hermonthis, near Thebes, to install a new sacred Buchis bull, worshiped as an intermediary for the god Montu in the Ancient Egyptian religion. [149][126][150][note 39] Ganymedes may have been killed in the battle. [14][15][16][note 10] They spoke Greek and governed Egypt as Hellenistic Greek monarchs, refusing to learn the native Egyptian language. [note 87] The family tree given below also lists Cleopatra V, Ptolemy XII's wife, as a daughter of Ptolemy X Alexander I and Berenice III, which would make her a cousin of her husband, Ptolemy XII, but she could have been a daughter of Ptolemy IX Lathyros, which would have made her a sister-wife of Ptolemy XII instead. Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester. [146][126][147][note 37], Sometime between January and March of 47 BC, Caesar's reinforcements arrived, including those led by Mithridates of Pergamon and Antipater the Idumaean. In a last excess of devotion, he had himself carried to Cleopatra’s retreat and there died, after bidding her to make her peace with Octavian. [283][281][269] Although a violation of sacred and legal rights, Octavian forcefully acquired the document from the Temple of Vesta, and it became a useful tool in the propaganda war against Antony and Cleopatra. These included famine caused by drought and a low level of the annual flooding of the Nile, and lawless behavior instigated by the Gabiniani, the now unemployed and assimilated Roman soldiers left by Gabinius to garrison Egypt. [421][422][423][note 67] Both the Berlin Cleopatra and Vatican Cleopatra have royal diadems, similar facial features, and perhaps once resembled the face of her bronze statue housed in the Temple of Venus Genetrix. [note 6] After the death of Cleopatra, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, marking the end of the second to last Hellenistic state and the age that had lasted since the reign of Alexander (336–323 BC). [157][126][148][note 40] The exact date at which Cyprus was returned to her control is not known, although she had a governor there by 42 BC. [97], By 29 August 51 BC, official documents started listing Cleopatra as the sole ruler, evidence that she had rejected her brother Ptolemy XIII as a co-ruler. [72][73] Cleopatra, then 14 years of age, would have traveled with the Roman expedition into Egypt; years later, Antony would profess that he had fallen in love with her at this time. [240][217][236] She also received Ptolemais Akko (modern Acre, Israel), a city that was established by Ptolemy II. A propaganda war erupted. Overview of the fall of Egypt, with a detailed discussion of Cleopatra's relationship with Mark Antony. [27][28] However, with opposition building at the royal court against the idea of a sole reigning female monarch, Berenice III accepted joint rule and marriage with her cousin and stepson Ptolemy XI Alexander II, an arrangement made by the Roman dictator Sulla. [335][336][314] Caesarion, now Ptolemy XV, would reign for a mere 18 days until executed on the orders of Octavian on 29 August 30 BC, after returning to Alexandria under the false pretense that Octavian would allow him to be king. The Ptolemaic dynasty , sometimes also known as the Lagids (/ˈlædʒɪdz/) or Lagidae (/ˈlædʒɪdi/; Λαγίδαι, Lagidai, after Lagus, Ptolemy I's father), was a Macedonian Greek royal family, which ruled the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt during the Hellenistic period. [250], As Antony prepared for another Parthian expedition in 35 BC, this time aimed at their ally Armenia, Octavia traveled to Athens with 2,000 troops in alleged support of Antony, but most likely in a scheme devised by Octavian to embarrass him for his military losses. As Ptolemy I Soter ("Saviour"), he founded the Ptolemaic Greek dynasty that was to rule Egypt for nearly 300 years. [123][124][125][note 31] Caesar expressed grief and outrage over the killing of Pompey and called on both Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra to disband their forces and reconcile with each other. [227] Herod had been installed as a tetrarch there by Antony, but he was soon at odds with Antigonus II Mattathias of the long-established Hasmonean dynasty. The 18-year-old Cleopatra, older than her brother by about eight years, became the dominant ruler. [380], Cleopatra is barely mentioned in De Bello Alexandrino, the memoirs of an unknown staff officer who served under Caesar. [468] In his unfinished 1825 short story The Egyptian Nights, Alexander Pushkin popularized the claims of the 4th-century Roman historian Aurelius Victor, previously largely ignored, that Cleopatra had prostituted herself to men who paid for sex with their lives. After burying him, the 39-year-old Cleopatra took her own life, though how is uncertain. [283][281], During the spring of 32 BC Antony and Cleopatra traveled to Athens, where she persuaded Antony to send Octavia an official declaration of divorce. With the arrival of the conquering Octavian (the future Roman emperor Augustus), Cleopatra’s husband, Mark Antony, committed suicide under the false impression that she was dead. [380][381] However, this work relies largely on Herod's memoirs and the biased account of Nicolaus of Damascus, the tutor of Cleopatra's children in Alexandria before he moved to Judea to serve as an adviser and chronicler at Herod's court. the diadem) to make herself more appealing to the citizens of Republican Rome. [258][260] Antony then held a military parade in Alexandria as an imitation of a Roman triumph, dressed as Dionysus and riding into the city on a chariot to present the royal prisoners to Cleopatra, who was seated on a golden throne above a silver dais. [279] In 32 BC the Antonian loyalists Gaius Sosius and Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus became consuls. Octavian engaged in a war of propaganda, forced Antony's allies in the Roman Senate to flee Rome in 32 BC, and declared war on Cleopatra. [170][note 42] Cleopatra, on the other hand, made repeated official declarations about Caesarion's parentage, naming Caesar as the father. [3][421][423][note 69] Francisco Pina Polo writes that Cleopatra's coinage present her image with certainty and asserts that the sculpted portrait of the Berlin head is confirmed as having a similar profile with her hair pulled back into a bun, a diadem, and a hooked nose. [306] Although most likely later pro-Octavian propaganda, it was reported that at this time Cleopatra started testing the strengths of various poisons on prisoners and even her own servants. The line had been founded by Alexander’s general Ptolemy, who became King Ptolemy I Soter of Egypt. Whether Caesar was the father of Caesarion, as his name implies, cannot now be known. [270][269], In late 34 BC, Antony and Octavian engaged in a heated war of propaganda that would last for years. The Roman Senate deprived Antony of his prospective consulate for the following year, and it then declared war against Cleopatra. [298][296][299], While Octavian occupied Athens, Antony and Cleopatra landed at Paraitonion in Egypt. Pompey had been a political ally of Ptolemy XII, but Ptolemy XIII, at the urging of his court eunuchs, had Pompey ambushed and killed before Caesar arrived and occupied Alexandria. [119][120][121] In a scheme devised by Theodotus, Pompey arrived by ship near Pelousion after being invited by a written message, only to be ambushed and stabbed to death on 28 September 48 BC. [279] Before Antony and Octavian's joint imperium expired on 31 December 33 BC, Antony declared Caesarion as the true heir of Caesar in an attempt to undermine Octavian. Greeks are European. [469][470] Cleopatra also became appreciated outside the Western world and Middle East, as the Qing-dynasty Chinese scholar Yan Fu wrote an extensive biography of her. [405][433] Behind her golden diadem, crowned with a red jewel, is a translucent veil with crinkles that suggest the "melon" hairstyle favored by the queen. [257][217] Octavian's confidence grew as he eliminated his rivals in the west, including Sextus Pompeius and even Lepidus, the third member of the triumvirate, who was placed under house arrest after revolting against Octavian in Sicily. [404][373][329], Since the 1950s scholars have debated whether or not the Esquiline Venus—discovered in 1874 on the Esquiline Hill in Rome and housed in the Palazzo dei Conservatori of the Capitoline Museums—is a depiction of Cleopatra, based on the statue's hairstyle and facial features, apparent royal diadem worn over the head, and the uraeus Egyptian cobra wrapped around the base. Were established as rulers over Egypt when Alexander the Great Macedonians had formed themselves into a ruling caste sudden! [ 5 ] the fates of Alexander Helios and Cleopatra retired to her throne scholars being. 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