Many would agree that there is not a more famous woman in the history than Cleopatra. The world knew many great rulers, wise and cruel, fatal beauties, famous actresses, legendary sportswomen and representatives of the art world. But the queen of ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, overshadowed all. She was exceptional - the last of the rulers of a great country located on the banks of the Nile, a woman of amazing beauty and charm.
Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt (biography brief and appearance description) - the focus of this article.
The great ruler belonged to the Ptolemaic dynasty, founded by one of the commanders of Alexander the Great. About the birth and childhood of Cleopatra information is extremely small. It is known that she was one of the daughters of the Egyptian ruler Ptolemy XII Avlet. Sources of those years say that the king had only one legitimate daughter, Berenice. Most likely, Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt in the future, was born in 69 BC. er from Ptolemy's concubine. However, the king himself was also illegitimate.
The dynasty rule was never peaceful due to the constant struggle for power. Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, whose biography keeps many secrets, in her childhood witnessed the expulsion of her father from the country. The ruler of Egypt becomes her sister Berenice. When, with the help of the Roman Consul Gabinius, Ptolemy returned to his homeland, he began reprisals against those who contributed to his removal from power. The first victim of his anger was Berenice.
Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt, learned from her experience a lesson. In the future, she tried to eliminate all obstacles in her path in the face of possible rivals. Blood ties did not stop her either: the death of one of the co-rulers of the Tsarina, according to the researchers, is her own work.
Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, came to power legally in 51 BC. er She, along with her younger brother Ptolemy XIII, was proclaimed heirs of Ptolemy Avlet, according to the will of the latter. She was about 17-18 years old, and the boy was even less - about 9. The young queen had to single-handedly learn the basics of government and diplomacy. At first she managed to remove her younger brother from the government, but he managed to neutralize her older sister. Cleopatra was removed from the throne and expelled from the country. The power in the palace was concentrated in the hands of the eunuch Potin, the commander-in-chief of Achilles and the teacher of the young king Theodath.
The young queen did not humble herself and began to gather an army against her brother. Ptolemy, having learned about it, went out with the army to meet, to block Cleopatra from entering the country.
Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, and Caesar: A History of Relations
While brother and sister fought for power in Egypt, there was a bloody civil war in Rome, led by Julius Caesar and Gney Pompey. The latter fled to Egypt, where he intended to enlist the help of Ptolemy, whose father was obliged by the Roman senator to be the throne. The advisers of the young king decided that the help of Pompey would aggravate the position of Egypt. He was sent a friendly letter with a promise of support. In fact, it was decided after the landing of Pompey to kill him. In this act of terrible treachery, people from the inner circle of the young king took part, and he looked at the murder of a Roman standing on the shore. By committing this atrocity, Ptolemy with his temporary handlers wanted to show Caesar their loyalty. Theodat presented the head of the Roman senator and his ring to Guy Julius when he arrived in Alexandria a few days later. According to ancient historians, the great commander did not approve of what they did to his enemy.
Caesar ordered Cleopatra and Ptolemy to disband their armies and come to him for trial. For the queen to get into the palace without fear of being killed by enemies was not possible. Then she went to the trick. A man betrayed to her carried her to Caesar's chambers in a linen bag. Later, the meeting of Cleopatra and the great commander will embellish, and the non-romantic bag will be replaced with a carpet.
Caesar was fascinated by the young queen, and soon a relationship developed between them. Despite the resistance of Ptolemy, he declared him and Cleopatra co-rulers, reminding the Alexandrians of the will of their father. Eunuch Potin was not going to so easily lose power from his hands. From the moment Caesar arrived in Alexandria, he turned the people against the Romans. He managed to raise a rebellion. The Egyptian army, numbering 20 thousand soldiers, moved to the palace of Caesar. This war was called Alexandria. The Roman commander had to fight at the head of a small army on the narrow streets of the city. He could not return to the ships - it was not possible to break away from the Alexandrians who were attacking the Romans. Then Caesar ordered to burn the enemy’s fleet in order to open the way to the army on the sea. Hope he could only on his legions, rushing to the aid of Syria. When they finally arrived, in the battle held Ptolemy died. How exactly this happened is unknown. The battle participants saw that the boat on which the young king was trying to escape was overloaded and overturned.
So Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, whose biography is extremely fascinating, became the sole ruler. She married her second brother, Ptolemy XIV, because, according to the law of the Ptolemies, a woman could not rule. But virtually all power in the country was concentrated in her hands.
After Caesar left for Rome, she bore him a son, Ptolemy Caesar. The great commander did not forget the charming queen and after some time called her and his brother to the capital. Cleopatra settled on one of the villas of Caesar. Their relationship irritated the Romans. Rumors that he was going to marry an Egyptian woman and move the capital to Alexandria, havetened the preparation of a conspiracy against him.
A month after the murder of Caesar, Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, returned to her homeland. Soon after, her co-ruler, Ptolemy XIV, dies. Most likely, he was sent on her order, after the birth of his son did not want to share power with anyone. The Queen remembered well what had happened to her father.
Mark Antony. Ten Years Romance with the Roman Consul
With the death of Caesar in Rome, the struggle for power began again. Cleopatra, as the sole queen of Egypt, in this confrontation applied all her cunning and resourcefulness. Consul Mark Antony, who had launched a campaign against the Parthians in the East, was in dire need of money. He sends for the Egyptian queen, intending to accuse her of helping the murderers of Julius Caesar. Cleopatra, finding out from a Roman officer who had arrived about the habits and character of the consul, carefully prepared for the meeting. Knowing about his luxury and vanity, she went to Anthony on a richly decorated ship. The queen dressed in Aphrodite, and the maids portrayed the nymphs.
Inviting the consul to her dinner, she rejected all allegations of treason. Anthony easily believed it, fascinated by the beauty and charm of the queen. So began one of the most famous novels in history. The relationship of Anthony and Cleopatra lasted ten years. Now it is difficult to judge whether it was really great love. It is precisely known that the union was beneficial for both of them: the consul needed money, and Cleopatra a powerful patron. She gave birth to Anthony of three children, which says, at least, about the duration and stability of their relationship.
War with Octavian
Familiarity with Cleopatra cost Anthony the first of his political career and later life. Love for her was for the Roman Consul fatal. After meeting with the Queen he was so fascinated by it that he went with Cleopatra to Alexandria. Here Anthony spent the winter in entertainments and feasts. While he idly spent his time, Rome was deprived of Syria and part of Asia Minor as a result of the Parthians. Only then Anthony left the Queen.
During the following years he fought against the Parthians, and Cleopatra, thanks to his victories, practically restored the Ptolemaic empire. In Rome, matured discontent with the fact that Anthony is increasingly moving away from the Roman traditions. Many saw the threat to Rome in Cleopatra's strong influence on the consul. This took advantage of Octavian, adoptive son of Caesar. Anthony was his rival in the struggle for power. Learning from the defectors about the will of the consul, Octavian publicly announced it. In it, Anthony declares the Egyptian queen to be his lawful wife and recognizes her children as his own. This news finally discredited the consul in the eyes of compatriots. The war began between Rome and Egypt. In 31 BC er in the naval battle of Actium, Cleopatra, unable to withstand the strain, fled, leaving Antony’s fleet without support. He followed his beloved, and the land forces left without command, surrendered.
The death of the queen
All year thereafter, Cleopatra and Antony spent time in feasts, doing nothing against Octavian. He is in the spring of 30 BC. er was already under the walls of Alexandria. On August 1, Anthony was informed that the queen had committed suicide. The consul, in despair at this news, tried to stab his sword, but only inflicted a deep wound. A few hours later, he, bleeding and dying, was raised to Cleopatra's barricaded chambers. The same evening, he died in her arms.
The queen tried to charm the Octavian, as in her time of Caesar and Anthony. The future emperor of Rome came to her quarters, and she rushed to his feet in one coat, pleading for mercy. However, the words of Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, like her feminine charms, did not impress Octavian. He only encouraged her and went out. Later, the tsarina learned from a Roman officer that in a few days her fate would be brought to Rome during the triumph of Octavian. Cleopatra wrote a letter and told her to pass it on to the winner Anthony. In it, she bequeathed to bury her with her husband. The people of Octavian found dead the queen of Egypt and two servants on August 12, 30 BC. er Legend has it that for suicide, Cleopatra took advantage of a poisonous snake, which was carried to her chambers in a basket with figs. This version seems doubtful, since it is impossible for a snake to bite three people at once. According to the second, more believable legend, the queen poisoned herself and the maids with poison, which was stored in a hollow pin.
Octavian fulfilled the will of Cleopatra - their bodies with Antony were embalmed and rested in the same grave.
Legends about the appearance of the famous ruler: historical truth or fiction?
Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt, whose photo, of course, does not exist, for many centuries was considered an amazing beauty. How else could one explain the ease with which she conquered the hearts of the great generals, Caesar and Anthony? But if you study the information about her Plutarch, you can be surprised to find out that her contemporaries did not consider her a beauty at all. But at the same time noted her charm, a very beautiful voice and mind. Cleopatra, no doubt, possessed charm and attracted to her men, even without being a bright charmer.
The few images of the queen on coins and the marble bust of Sherchell that have survived to this day show a woman with wavy hair and a crook-nose. By modern standards, this appearance is not considered to be incredibly beautiful, rather - ordinary.
Scientists have attempted to reconstruct the image of the queen on the basis of existing images, but their accuracy raises great doubts.
Egyptian ruler in art
The story of Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, has inspired artists for thousands of years. In fiction, she devoted a lot of works, the most famous of which are the tragedy of Shakespeare and the play by Bernard Shaw. But most of all the image of the great ruler is represented in the visual arts.
A woman of amazing beauty and intelligence - such was Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt. The pictures dedicated to this amazing woman were painted by many famous painters. On each canvas the queen is represented in the image that artists painted in her imagination.
In Michelangelo, she is depicted not with European, but rather with Negroid features. Eugene Delacroix depicted her sitting in thought.
In the painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo “Cleopatra's Feast” the queen appears dressed in a European-cut dress (photo above). In a similar outfit, she can be seen on another canvas by the artist - “The Meeting of Anthony and Cleopatra”.
But the most favorite motif in the painting was the death of Cleopatra.
The actresses who played the role of the great ruler
Cinema contributed to the romanticizing of the image of Cleopatra to do their part. She devoted more than 20 paintings in which the famous Queen played the most beautiful Actresses in the world. Among them was Vivien Leigh, Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Monica Bellucci.
Cleopatra, the Queen of Egypt - a biography for children and younger students
The history of the last ruler of a great country on the banks of the Nile will also be interesting to little history buffs. For them, a small story about Cleopatra will suit - to which dynasty she belonged, who patronized the queen and where her burial is now located. The mystery of the tomb of the great ruler of the ancient world will be of interest to children who love all that is unknown and unusual. Scientists do not know where Cleopatra and Anthony were buried. If their burial is ever found, the significance of this discovery can only be compared with the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb.