Did you know Queen Cleopatra controlled the entire eastern Mediterranean coast? What kind of a woman was Queen Cleopatra? Read the article to learn about the beauty who governed the Roman Empire and ruled Egypt!
Cleopatra’s reputation has been up for debate for a long time, especially when men found themselves hanging after her! Which ruler or king would like to accept that a woman has defeated or smarted them? Especially in the patriarchal society we live in!
What do you know about the first member of the Ptolemaic line of Egypt? Do we even consider the vast cultural impact that Queen Cleopatra had on African, Egyptian, and Roman practices? Let’s explore the history of the learned ruler who was ready to die for her country and people!
I want to talk about how administrators of the Roman empire would like us to believe that it was the sexuality of Cleopatra that led to their downfall! It was the political ambitions and their exotic and sexual fantasies that led to their destruction.
The Egyptian Queen That Ruined The Roman Empire Through Her Sexuality!
People across history have been manipulating the beautiful Egypt Queen Cleopatra and Pharoah’s image to suit their narrative! Let’s blow off some air to clear the dirt accumulated on these perceptions. It is quite easy to highlight someone as a sultry presence, filling the air with desire!
What is hard is accepting that she had both Julius Caeser and Mark Antony depend on her intellectual decision-making regarding important state and civil matters. It was Octavian, the heir of Julius Caesar, who grew pretty uneasy! An untrustworthy man, Octavian Augustus found her a strong competition!
He was right in considering her a competition as she tried to take sole possession of the throne by replacing her sibling husband, Ptolemy XIII. Further, she married Ptolemy XIV, a younger brother, to reclaim her throne. She was a powerful woman, and powerful women have always scared men!
She was known for her beauty and looks, as she traced a black kohl line from her eyes to her temple! It exaggerated her eyes, making her face a representation of beauty! According to claims, she had one of the best makeup artists who grew pretty close to her! She died in his arms!
Cleopatra: The Foundation
Born in 69 B.C., Cleopatra was the third child of Auletes, the Ptolemy XII. When she was born, there was unrest among the natives in Egypt, especially under the Macedonian masters. Her father turned to Rome for help to hold on to his throne.
It was common in the Ptolemaic family to imply murder plots and grab power by ascending to the throne. The eldest daughter, Tryphaena, seized the throne when Ptolemy XII was not present and was assassinated by the second daughter, Berenice. The father needed the Romans to remove his second daughter by beheading her.
It is where Cleopatra became serious about her position, incurring incredible education along with knowledge of her country. It helped her get acquainted with the problems of her nation. She was a fluent Egyptian, communicating with everyone, thus becoming instantly popular among the people.
Her lineage has been traced back to Alexander the Great, a long line of Macedonian Greek rulers. As a strategic ruler, she did everything possible to maintain her rule across her vast Mediterranean empire.
Men Can’t Keep Calm When It Comes To The Ambitious African Queen!
Cleopatra has been an example of how beauty can create madness! Across ages, men from different nations have been wild with imagination when reimagining and recreating Queen Cleopatra’s physical features and mental makeup!
As per the Western cultural representation, Cleopatra was a romantic beauty, and stories of her power, wealth, and sexuality have given birth to many rumors and controversies about her. Generations of artists have been influenced by Cleopatra, including George Bernard Shaw and Shakespeare!
The ancient Greeks made her immortal, with the legendary Queen being the subject of several jewelry, sculptures, mosaics, ceramics, and coins. Roman artists have made caricatures of the 2000-year-old Egyptian Queen to depict her times and life.
The Romans, under the guidance of Octavian Augustus, predominantly tried to create a view of the last rule of Egypt as a seductress! She was being demeaned with all those portraits and sculptures by the Romans as a vanquished siren. Ultimately, it has been men who had the last say in creating history.
While the Renaissance artists misinterpreted her story and life, making her a tragic heroine, she was one of the strongest women in history. Hollywood made it even worse as they identified Cleopatra as a dumb femme fatale!
Julius Caesar or Mark Antony: Who Did Cleopatra Love?
Everyone talks about how strategic and cunning Queen Cleopatra was to trap Julius Ceasar and Mark Antony for her benefit! Nobody highlights that the two powerful men of Rome were also thinking about strategy when they got involved with Cleo Darling!
They will have an army and a ruler in the East to defend themselves against enemies! It ensures their rule in the eastern region of the world, too!
It all started when Cleopatra rolled in a rug and went to meet Julius Ceasar!
He was enthralled with her voice; that’s how one of the most powerful men in the world, the great Roman emperor Julius Ceasar, fell in love with the Egyptian beauty. They soon became allies, and Caesar was ready to bring the world to her feet.
Caesar was already married, so in a way, Cleopatra became his mistress, giving birth to their son, Ptolemy Caesar! The extra-marital relationship enraged and intrigued Romans as the curiosity regarding the foreign woman who had so much power over Ceasar increased.
Creating an exotic show for Mark Antony, Cleopatra played Mark Antony on his own game! As a ruler, an amorous relationship was not very high on his list when he set off to meet the Egyptian Queen. And yet, here was a woman with a brain and an army of her own!
Coming down on a golden boat flaunting crimson sails, confidence dripped off her; Cleopatra ensured she showed him her riches and established her position as equal or maybe more! Often, historians mention or intentionally overlook that Cleopatra was an amazing strategist!
Her talent was not just limited to her looks! She was renowned for her intellect and diverse knowledge in oratory, mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. She knew more than a dozen languages and was considered a scholar!
It was her special connection with the people and how she understood the dynamic of people that Mark Antony became dependent on her. With a commanding presence, she efficiently articulated her needs and conducted herself as one of the best rulers.
The Queen of Egypt had four children, out of which one was with Julius Caesar! Rumors are that when she was running away from Rome when Caesar was stabbed to death, she was pregnant with his second child; however, she had a miscarriage!
She had three children with Mark Antony! The children mostly lived a lavish lifestyle till 31 BC as the offspring of the last Ptolemaic Queen in the Golden Palace. The palace was known as one of the most luxurious ones worldwide!
After the battle with Octavian, where Mark Antony and Cleopatra lost, leaving Cleopatra to claim her own life, Octavian paraded all her children in Rome as spoils of war. He later gave all these children to his sister, Antony’s previous wife.
Of the three sons and one daughter, her daughter kept her name in history as one of the greatest rulers by becoming Queen to King Juba!
Did She Use Her Beauty And Sexuality As A Weapon To Rule?
You will not be surprised to know that the Roman Empire and their propaganda tried to paint Cleopatra as a debauched temptress! With her intelligence and beauty, she captured the hearts of two of the greatest rulers of the Roman Empire, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
Her power over these powerful men would look downright insulting to Roman history, highlighting her as manipulative. An incomparable power, Queen Cleopatra ruled Egypt for 21 years, during which she came close to losing her kingdom twice.
Being one of the most recognizable names in history, it is equally mysterious how her face is something people are not sure of! Some say her beauty was incomparable, while others say her features were mostly masculine.
History remembers her for the wrong reasons, but we should not forget how she was misrepresented, especially based on her sexuality! She is often made to be an arm candy of Julius Ceasar and Mark Antony! While a trusted general of Mark Antony vouched for her political intelligence and acumen.
Did Cleopatra Create History As A Woman Ruler?
Cleopatra was a woman ruler at a time when women were respected and worshipped! Yet, men morphed history to create their narrative about the Egyptian pharaoh. She was a clear-eyed sovereign capable of handling a country with a shaky future.
The Ptolemaic empire that was once well-known worldwide was quite dimmed when Cleopatra came to the helm as the Queen. She built a fleet along with creating coin currency of her time. She could control a rebellion, standing out as the richest ruler east of the Mediterranean.
Belonging to a long line of murderers, Egypt’s last Macedonian Greek ruler stood apart with a deep political understanding and vast knowledge of language and calculations. She was known as a bookworm, as Alberto Angela states that the Queen adored Homer, thus reciting large sections of his work.
One of the reasons her people loved her is that she conversed with them in their language! Hardly needing a translator, Cleopatra fluently talked with the people of her nation, which was a rare instance among the Ptolemaic rulers.
A heady combination: Brains With Beauty!
Having an in-depth knowledge of cosmetics, toxicology, pharmaceuticals, and medicine, it has been claimed that Queen Cleopatra wrote books. However, no evidence of such a claim has been found. Sometimes, you might wonder? What does it take to rule the most fertile land on the Mediterranean?
She was not just a woman! She played many roles, that of a mother, a daughter, a ruler, a mistress, a Greek elite, a native Egyptian, commander of the navy and the army, a pharaoh, an educated general, and a divinity!
Also, she has been successful in presiding over temples and being worshipped as a deity, even with the risk of being murdered with poison or stabbed to death by her own family! She ruled with all the chances of cruelly being rid of the position of power.
She regulated the economy in Egypt and dispensed justice among the people; however, there were some concerns from the patriarchal section of the society about a ruler being a woman, yet there was a considerable absence of revolts for almost a century and a half!
Octavian Diminishing Cleopatra!
It was Augustus Octavian who was scared of her, especially after watching Julius Ceasar and Mark Antony being impressed by her. He saw the power she commanded over men, not just with her beauty and sexuality but with her brain.
After Caesar’s death, Octavian and Mark Antony divided Rome and its people, leading to economic, political, and civil unrest! Octavian declared war when Cleopatra aligned herself with Antony, considering they had three children.
It was clear that Octavian would lose Rome if Antony and Cleopatra won! It is when he turned Cleopatra into a foreign menace in the eyes of the Romans. She lost not from Octavian but the Roman people who did not accept her as Mark Antony’s partner.
Controversial Representation Of Queen Elizabeth On Netflix
Based on the proof and evidence historians provide, Cleopatra has been rightly identified as of Macedonian-Greek Descent! And here comes a trailer of the docu-series on Netflix, the trailer of which was first released on 12 April 2023.
The documentary claims that Cleopatra was a Black woman! The actress portraying the role is of African descent, Adele James! It has led to serious controversy among the population of the world. The Egyptians are enraged, especially as they claim that propaganda is behind it!
Inaccurate historical representation has become a practice for actresses portraying the role of Queen Elizabeth. Therefore, people are not exactly looking forward to Queen Cleopatra Netflix!
Queen Cleopatra was enigmatic in the truest of senses! It was not her sexuality that pulled down the Roman Empire but the ambitions of men who were scared of a woman’s intellect and beauty! Many Romans have often misinterpreted her lofty spirit and arrogance.
Octavian was nothing less! He highlighted the ruler as a mere siren or a vixen who seduced two Roman generals for her benefit! What he forgot was that the Roman generals might have been in the position of taking advantage of her to control the Eastern region of the Mediterranean.
So, tell me, did she ever make you curious about women’s power and how it can influence the world? Comment Down below about what you think about Queen Cleopatra and her ambition!