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Caesar and Cleopatra

Cleopatra was a member of the Greek Ptolemy Dynasty and she eventually became pharaoh of Egypt in 51 B.C. She appears on the Bible Timeline Chart with World History. Her father Ptolemy XII Auletes allowed her to rule with him when he was alive and after his death he had her marry her brothers Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy VIX. This was the customary practice among Ptolemy rulers to keep the royal lineage pure and free from outsiders. Cleopatra was 18 when her father died and she was forced to marry her brother Ptolemy XIII who was only 10 years old. Eventually, Cleopatra had gotten rid of both of her brothers so she could become the sole ruler of Egypt.

Julius Caesar was born in 100 B.C. and he ruled Rome from 49 B.C. to 44 B.C. Caesar lived a full life and he was a general, soldier, politician, judge, a wealthy man and he also experienced poverty. He lived in exile and he controlled all of Rome. During Caesar’s rule Rome was caught up in a civil war. Another powerful general named Pompey wanted to be master of Rome. Around 47 B.C., he met Cleopatra when she decided to become his mistress.

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‘Portrait of Russian dancer Lubowska, full-length portrait, standing, left profile, in Cleopatra costume, 1915 Note: “Mme Lubowska” or “Madam Désirée Lubovska” was not actually Russian; stage name of U.S.A. born Winniefred Foote (1893-1974).’

During the conflict between Pompey and Caesar, Pompey’s forces were defeated and he had fled to Alexandria, Egypt to seek sanctuary. While he was there he was executed by a Ptolemy ruler who took over the throne after Cleopatra had to flee Egypt. The reason she had to leave Egypt was because she betrayed a powerful military faction within the empire and she also tried to start a rebellion against her brother Ptolemy. Cleopatra had to go into hiding while she was in Egypt before she went to Rome.

Meanwhile, Ptolemy had Pompey executed by one of his soldiers. He then thought to use this situation as a means to gain favor with Caesar, but it didn’t work. Caesar was angry and decided to take Egypt for himself and he made himself the judge over who was going to rule Egypt.

Around 47 B.C. Cleopatra had managed to get past Caesar’s security while he was in Egypt. She seduced him and started an affair with him. She then bore him a son named Caesarion. Caesar naturally chose to side with her about who would be the sole ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra, Ptolemy VIX, and Caeser all went back to Rome in 46 B.C. Once they were there, Cleopatra continued her affair with Caesar despite the fact that he was married. This was a scandalous situation and the people didn’t like it. Caesar even had statues created in Cleopatra’s honor. Caesar was eventually assassinated in 44 B.C. and Cleopatra was considered to be a suspect in the assassination. She eventually went back to Egypt with her brother Ptolemy VIX who was also mysteriously murdered. After this incident, she became the sole ruler of Egypt with her infant son Caesarion. She lived until 30 B.C. where she died from an unknown cause. This female ruler has left a lasting legacy that survives in the modern world.

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