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In 41 B. Cleopatra believed herself to be a living goddess, and she often used clever stagecraft to woo potential allies and reinforce her divine status.
She was the product of incest. Like many royal houses, members of the Ptolemaic dynasty often married within the family to preserve the purity of their bloodline.
Live TV. This Day In History. The battle soon devolved into a rout, and Cleopatra and Antony were forced to break through the Roman line and flee to Egypt.
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A famous example of her flair for the dramatic came in 48 B. Caesar was dazzled by the sight of the young queen in her royal garb, and the two soon became allies and lovers. Cleopatra and Antony famously took their own lives in 30 B. It was the most expensive movie ever made at the time of its release, and nearly bankrupted its studio despite raking in a fortune at the box office.
Coins with her portrait show her with manly features and a large, hooked nose, though some historians contend that she intentionally portrayed herself as masculine as a display of strength. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you.
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The conflict reached its climax the following year in a famous naval battle at Actium. Recommended for you. Her first sibling-husband, Ptolemy XIII, ran her out of Egypt after she tried to take sole possession of the throne, and the pair later faced off in a civil war. History Vault.
Cleopatra was not Egyptian. Roman propaganda painted Cleopatra as a debauched temptress who used her sex appeal as a political weapon, but she may have been more renowned for her intellect than her appearance.
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Cleopatra had been made up to look like the goddess Aphrodite, and she sat beneath a gilded canopy while attendants dressed as cupids fanned her and burned sweet-smelling incense. In keeping with this custom, Cleopatra eventually married both of her adolescent brothers, each of whom served as her ceremonial spouse and co-regent at different times during her reign. Cleopatra regained the upper hand by teaming with Julius Caesarand Ptolemy drowned in the Nile River after being defeated in battle. Antony—who considered himself the embodiment of the Greek god Dionysus—was instantly enchanted.
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Cleopatra later employed a similar bit of theater in her 41 B. When summoned to meet the Roman Triumvir in Tarsus, she is said to have arrived on a golden barge adorned with purple sails and rowed by oars made of silver. Following the war, Cleopatra remarried to her younger brother Ptolemy XIV, but she is believed to have had him murdered in a bid to make her son her co-ruler. Cleopatra ed Julius Caesar in Rome beginning in 46 B. Cleopatra was forced to flee Rome after Caesar was stabbed to death in the Roman senate in 44 B. Cleopatra first began her legendary love affair with the Roman general Mark Antony in 41 B.
According to ancient sources, they spent the winter of B. Cleopatra eventually married Mark Antony and had three children with him, but their relationship also spawned a massive scandal in Rome.
Power grabs and murder plots were as much a Ptolemaic tradition as family marriage, and Cleopatra and her brothers and sisters were no different.