Video:Profile of Cleopatrawith Jade Broadus
Cleopatra's life seems like a theatrical drama. Learn more about the last queen and Pharoh of Egypt, including Cleopatra's relationship with Caesar and her path to power in this About.com video.See Transcript
Transcript:Profile of Cleopatra
Hi, I’m Jade and today with about.com I’m going to discuss Cleopatra’s life and legacy using tips from About.com’s guide site.
Cleaopatra: Queen of Egypt
Cleopatra was born in 69 BC in Alexandria, Egypt. She lived 39 years and died as the last queen and Pharoh of Egypt.
Cleopatra was a descendent of a Greek dynasty that ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s death. In 51 BC, Cleopatra’s father died and left the kingdom to Cleopatra and her brother. They were quickly married for the sake of the crown.
Cleopatra and Julius Caesar
In 48 BC, Cleopatra met Julius Caesar in Egypt and began a heated love affair. Julius Caesar helped Cleopatra gain back control of Egypt and restored power to her later that year. Their affair continued on, ultimately leading to her son, Casearion.
Caesar was assassinated in 44BC causing Cleopatra to flee Rome and head back to Alexandria for safety.
Cleopatra's Return to Egypt
To gain proper control over Egypt, she had her younger brother killed and appointed her then 4 year old son, Casearion, as co-ruler. Three years later she met Mark Antony and started an affair.
Antony was briefy married to Octavia, the sister of Rome’s leader, before getting a divorce to be with Cleopatra completely.
The divorce caused friction in Rome and the western provinces. Overwhelming support for Octavia and Rome’s leader, Octavian, caused the provinces to declare war on Cleopatra and Antony at Alexandria. Octavian won the Battle of Actium forcing Antony and Cleopatra into hiding. In fear of being murdered by Octavian, Antony soon took his own life.
It was believed that after Antony committed suicide, Cleopatra purposely took a poisonous snake to her breast and committed suicide herself. William Shakespeare’s Cleopatra dies this way in his famous play Antony and Cleopatra. However, after much study of the event, German historian Christoph Schaefer believed that she actually used a toxic mix of opium, hemlock and wolfsbane to die.
Egypt soon became another Roman province under Octavian’s rule.
Cleopatra’s legacy lives on in Shakespeare’s play, Massenet's opera Cléopâtre, and the famous Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton film, Cleopatra in 1963. She is known world wide for her beauty and power over men to advance politically.
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