One of the most famous ancient Egyptian rulers was Queen Cleopatra VII Philopator. She was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. But her influence was felt not only in Egypt but also in Rome. But why was this ancient queen so influential? In this blog post, we find out.
Who Was Queen Cleopatra VII?
There were many pharaohs named Cleopatra, but only one who truly made an impact like Queen Cleopatra VII Philopator. Born in early 69 BC to the ruling Ptolemaic pharaoh Ptolemy XII. Her mother was absent throughout her life. She grew up with her sister and brothers under the watchful eye of their father and tutors like Philostratus. After her father died in 51 BC, she became queen, and her influence truly began.
The Influence of Queen Cleopatra VII
Queen Cleopatra VII influence could be seen in many during her reign, specifically in the following:
The Women of Egypt
As queen, Cleopatra VII inspired her people, especially the women of Egypt. She valued her independence and did not take for granted her power as a woman and the leader of her kingdom. She showed her leadership skills when first becoming a co-ruler of Egypt with her brother. During this time, it was evident that Cleopatra VII was the dominant ruler to the disapproval of many.
Powerful Roman Men
Cleopatra VII was known for her many love affairs, specifically with two of the most powerful ancient Rome men. The first was Roman statesman, Julius Caesar. Cleopatra VII met him when she was 21, and he was 52 years old. Today, it is clear that their relationship started as a political alliance. She required the might of Caesar's armies to become ruler of Egypt. On the other hand, Caesar needed Cleopatra's wealth to return to power in Rome. Their relationship happened between 48 BC and 47 BC and gave them a son named Caesarion.
The second of these powerful men was Roman politician, Mark Antony. Captivated by her beauty, intelligence, and power at only 28 years old, Anthony fell wildly in love with the queen. The couple lived lavishly, hosting dinner parties, drinking wine, and playing dice together. The couple had three children together, including twins. After being stripped of his powers and war looming for Cleopatra, together in August 30 BC, the couple committed suicide.
Egypt & Rome
The queen had a significant influence on both the Egyptian and Roman people. Through her relationship with Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, she made Egypt more wealthy and powerful than ever before. In turn, her ties with the Roman men lead to Rome gaining wealth too. Queen Cleopatra VII lived a lavish, unapologetic life that many envied. But the way she ruled as a woman with the power, strategy, and strength of a man was indeed something remarkable for the time.