Cleopatra Essay Sample


The Persians ruled Egypt until 332 BC. The Persian rule in Egypt culminated in the entry of the Ptolemaic rule. This dynasty ruled for 300 years and ended with the death of Cleopatra. During this period, Egypt was a great power. Inclusion of Romans into the Ptolemeis’ property caused Egypt to loosen its grip on some of its territories. By 51 BC, Egypt was experiencing difficulties due to the Roman pressures and land loss (Tarn et al 56). That was the time when Cleopatra took over the ruling of Egypt. To keep Egypt free from the Roman control, she used tricks, persuasion, her sexuality and beauty to entice Caesar and Antony. Apart from those challenges, Cleopatra was disadvantaged, because she came to be the first female pharaoh in Egypt. That was something that Egyptians had not experienced earlier and, therefore, they could not accord her much support in her rule.

Cleopatra was born in Alexandria to Ptolemy Auletes, Ptolemy XIII, in 69 BC. In 51 BC, the pharaoh of Egypt, Ptolemy Auletes, died. He left the kingdom to his daughter and son. The daughter was Cleopatra, and the son was Ptolemy XIII. By that time, Cleopatra was 18 years of age. Three years after the death of Ptolemy, in 48 BC, Cleopatra was removed from power by Achilles and Theodatas. In August 48 BC, Pompey was defeated in Thessaly (Shaw 23). Pompey was murdered in the shore of Egypt in September the same year. The death of Pompey culminated in the restoration of Cleopatra to the throne of Egypt by Caesar. Her restoration of power with the help of Caesar resulted in deep friendship between them.

In 47 BC, Caesarion was born. He was the son of Caesar and Cleopatra. Caesar and Cleopatra moved to Rome where they lived together with Caesar from 46 to 44 BC. In 44 BC, on the15th of March, Caesar was assassinated (Tarn et al 62). As a result, Cleopatra fled back home to Alexandria (Egypt). The assassination of Caesar was a result of his relationship with Cleopatra. In 43 BC, the Second Roman Triumvirate was formed; it consisted of Lepidus, Antony, and Octavian (Augustus) in Rome. Between 43 and 42 BC, the Triumvirate emerged victorious in Philippi, and Rome started controlling Macedonia (Shaw 56).

In 41 BC, Antony met Cleopatra in Tarsus and later followed her to Egypt. Antony returned to Rome from Egypt in 40 BC. The following year, the Mediterranean area was partitioned by the Second Triumvirate. The western provinces and the Roman kingdom, came under the command of Octavian. These provinces included Sicily, Narbonne, Spain, Transalpine, and Sardinia. Antony was allowed to control the eastern provinces, which included Macedonia, Cecilia, Bithynia, and Syria.Lepidus; he also was set to command Africa (Tarn et al 83). The African provinces which Lepidus ruled over included Algeria and Tunisia. Four years later, in 36 BC, Lepidus was killed. Octavian became the ruler of Rome and also controlled Africa.

In 35 BC, Antony returned to Alexandria, Egypt, with Cleopatra. Three years later, in 32 BC, he divorced Octavian’s sister. It led the western provinces to pledge their allegiance with Octavian and declare war against Cleopatra (Hoobler et al 73). On the 2nd of September 31 BC, the Actium Battle was fought; Octavian together with the western provinces emerged victoriously. It drove both Cleopatra and Antony to Alexandria where they sought refuge. A year later, Octavian invaded Alexandria in a fight where he emerged as a victor,and then defeated Egypt. The same year, 30 BC, Antony committed suicide. His death followed that of Cleopatra who also committed suicide (Hoobler et al 103). Cleopatra committed suicide at the time when Augustus was about to start ruling Egypt.

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