Cleopatra: A Powerful and Wise Woman

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Introduction: Cleopatra VII Philopator was one of the most influential queens of Egypt. She was born around 69 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt and died 39 years later, around 30 B.C. Cleo was the third daughter of Ptolemy XII, also known as Auletes, "the Piper" (Nardo 12). In order to become a successful queen, she persevered and grew from her father's mistakes. Cleopatra "learned her political lessons by watching the humiliating efforts of her father to maintain himself on the throne of Egypt by buying the support of powerful romans" ("Cleopatra"). When her father died in 51 B.C., the ministers of her brother, Ptolemy XIII, were afraid that Cleopatra wanted to rule alone and hence, drove her from Egypt in 48 B.C. Cleopatra was determined to be the queen of Egypt and did everything in her power to get the throne. Young Queen Inherits Throne: Cleopatra's initial rise to power in Egypt followed the several mistakes made by her father. Auletes mismanaged government money, debased coinage, and in an effort to fix his mistakes, imposed heavy new taxes on his people. His people were on the "brink of rebellion" and Cleo was barely 10 years old (Nardo 14). In attempt to strengthen his position, Auletes asked rich and influential Romans, including Julius Caesar, to call him a "friend and ally of Rome" with bribery of money (Nando 14). However, Auletes became more unpopular with his people; desperate in 57 BC, he traveled to Rome to make acquaintances. In his absence, Cleopatra Tryphaina (sister of Cleo) seized the throne. Then, Auletes' supporters murdered her to regain power. Later, Berenice, another daughter of his, took control of the throne. Auletes paid a hefty price to get his throne back. In 51 B.C., Auletes passed aw... ... middle of paper ... ...n't thought to be capable of. She was an accomplished scholar, naval commander, leader, linguist, and author that skillfully led her kingdom through political devastations and increasing Roman involvement. “She was woman of single-minded determination” (Grant 237). Additionally, Cleopatra was often stereotyped into "typical chauvinistic female roles" such as a seductress or temptress (Roller 1). Despite her titles, Cleopatra was well-respected for being a female leader in a predominantly all male society in ancient history. BIBLIOGRAPHY • "Cleopatra." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Biography In Context. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. • Grant, Michael. Cleopatra. Edison: Castle Books. 2004. Print. • Nardo, Don. Cleopatra. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, Inc. 2001. Print. • Roller, Duane. Cleopatra. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2010. Print.

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