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Cleopatra VII
Cleopatra VII
Cleopatra VII Philopator
Bust of Cleopatra VII, Altes Museum, Berlin
Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt
51 BC - 13 January 47 BC
(3-4 years)
(alongside Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator)
Predecessor Ptolemy XII Auletes
(alongside Ptolemy XIV of Egypt)
Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt
13 January 47 BC - 44 BC
(3 years)
(alongside Ptolemy XIV)
Predecessor Herself
(alongside Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator)
(alongside Caesarion)
Ptolemaic Queen of Egypt
2 September 44 BC - 12 August 30 BC
(14 years, 21 days)
(alongside Caesarion)
Predecessor Herself (alongside Ptolemy XIV)
None (Egypt annexed by Rome)
Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator
Ptolemy XIV
Julius Caesar
Mark Antony
Caesarion, Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar
Alexander Helios
Cleopatra Selene, Queen of Mauretania
Ptolemy XVI Philadelphus
Full name
Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator
Cleopatra VII
Ptolemy XII Auletes
Unknown, but believed to be Cleopatra V of Egypt
69 BC
Alexandria, Egypt
12 August 30 BC (aged 38-39)
Alexandria, Egypt
Cleopatra VII in hieroglyphs
Horus name (1):
The great Lady of perfection,
excellent in counsel
Horus name (2):
The great one, sacred image
of her father
Cleopatra netjeret mer(et) ites
Qlwpdrt nṯrt mr(t) jts
The goddess Cleopatra who is
beloved of her father
Cleopatra VII Philopator (Greek, Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ; Late 69 BC[1] – August 12, 30 BC) was the last
pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.
She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, a family of Greek[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] origin that ruled Egypt after
Alexander the Great's death during the Hellenistic period. The Ptolemies, throughout their dynasty, spoke Greek[8]
and refused to speak Egyptian, which is the reason that Greek as well as Egyptian languages were used on official
court documents such as the Rosetta Stone.[9] By contrast, Cleopatra did learn to speak Egyptian and represented
herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess, Isis.
Cleopatra VII
Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and
Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler. As pharaoh, she
consummated a liaison with Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated her son with
Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in name.
After Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar's legal heir, Gaius
Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and
Alexander Helios, and another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Her unions with her brothers produced no children. After
losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian's forces, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra followed suit, according to
tradition killing herself by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC.[10] She was briefly outlived by Caesarion, who
was declared pharaoh by his supporters, but he was soon killed on Octavian's orders. Egypt became the Roman
province of Aegyptus.
To this day, Cleopatra remains a popular figure in Western culture. Her legacy survives in numerous works of art
and the many dramatizations of her story in literature and other media, including William Shakespeare's tragedy
Antony and Cleopatra, Jules Massenet's opera Cléopâtre and the 1963 film Cleopatra. In most depictions, Cleopatra
is put forward as a great beauty, and her successive conquests of the world's most powerful men are taken as proof of
her aesthetic and sexual appeal. In his Pensées, philosopher Blaise Pascal contends, evidently speaking ironically
because a large nose has symbolized dominance in different periods of history, that Cleopatra's classically beautiful
profile changed world history: "Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been
Accession to the throne
The identity of Cleopatra's mother is unknown, but she is generally believed to be Cleopatra V Tryphaena of Egypt,
the sister or cousin and wife of Ptolemy XII, or possibly another Ptolemaic family member who was the daughter of
Ptolemy X and Cleopatra Berenice III Philopator if Cleopatra V was not the daughter of Ptolemy X and Berenice
III.[12] Cleopatra's father Auletes was a direct descendant of Alexander the Great's general, Ptolemy I Soter, son of
Arsinoe and Lagus, both of Macedon.
Centralization of power and corruption led to uprisings in and the losses of Cyprus and Cyrenaica, making Ptolemy
XII's reign one of the most calamitous of the dynasty. When Ptolemy went to Rome with Cleopatra, Cleopatra VI
Tryphaena seized the crown but died shortly afterwards in suspicious circumstances. It is believed, though not
proven by historical sources, that Berenice IV poisoned her so she could assume sole rulership. Regardless of the
cause, she did until Ptolemy Auletes returned in 55 BC, with Roman support, capturing Alexandria aided by Roman
general Aulus Gabinius. Berenice was imprisoned and executed shortly afterwards, her head allegedly being sent to
the royal court on the decree of her father, the king. Cleopatra was now, at age 14, put as joint regent and deputy of
her father, although her power was likely to have been severely limited.
Ptolemy XII died in March 51 BC, thus by his will making the 18-year-old Cleopatra and her brother, the
10-year-old Ptolemy XIII joint monarchs. The first three years of their reign were difficult, due to economic
difficulties, famine, deficient floods of the Nile, and political conflicts. Although Cleopatra was married to her young
brother, she quickly made it clear that she had no intention of sharing power with him.
In August 51 BC, relations between Cleopatra and Ptolemy completely broke down. Cleopatra dropped Ptolemy's
name from official documents and her face appeared alone on coins, which went against Ptolemaic tradition of
female rulers being subordinate to male co-rulers. In 50 BC Cleopatra came into a serious conflict with the
Gabiniani, powerful Roman troops of Aulus Gabinius who had left them in Egypt to protect Ptolemy XII after his
restoration to the throne in 55 BC. This conflict was one of the main causes of Cleopatra's fall from power shortly
Cleopatra VII
The sole reign of Cleopatra was finally ended by a cabal of courtiers, led by the eunuch Pothinus, removing
Cleopatra from power and making Ptolemy sole ruler in circa 48 BC (or possibly earlier, as a decree exists from
51 BC with Ptolemy's name alone). She tried to raise a rebellion around Pelusium, but she was soon forced to flee
with her only remaining sister, Arsinoë.[13]
Relations with Rome
Assassination of Pompey
While Cleopatra was in exile, Pompey became embroiled in the Roman civil war. In the autumn of 48 BC, Pompey
fled from the forces of Caesar to Alexandria, seeking sanctuary. Ptolemy, only thirteen years old at that time, had set
up a throne for himself on the harbour, from where he watched as on September 28, 48 BC, Pompey was murdered
by one of his former officers, now in Ptolemaic service. He was beheaded in front of his wife and children, who were
on the ship from which he had just disembarked. Ptolemy is thought to have ordered the death to ingratiate himself
with Caesar, thus becoming an ally of Rome, to which Egypt was in debt at the time, though this act proved a
miscalculation on Ptolemy's part. When Caesar arrived in Egypt two days later, Ptolemy presented him with
Pompey's severed head; Caesar was enraged. Although he was Caesar's political enemy, Pompey was a Roman
consul and the widower of Caesar's only legitimate daughter, Julia (who died in childbirth with Pompey's son).
Caesar seized the Egyptian capital and imposed himself as arbiter between the rival claims of Ptolemy and
Relationship with Julius Caesar
Eager to take advantage of Julius Caesar's anger toward Ptolemy,
Cleopatra had herself smuggled secretly into the palace to meet
with Caesar. Plutarch in his Julius Caesar[14] gives a vivid
description on how she entered past Ptolemy’s guards rolled up in
a carpet.[15] She became Caesar’s mistress, and nine months after
their first meeting, in 47 BC, Cleopatra gave birth to their son,
Ptolemy Caesar, nicknamed Caesarion, which means "little
At this point Caesar abandoned his plans to annex Egypt, instead
backing Cleopatra's claim to the throne. After a war lasting six
months between the party of Ptolemy XIII and the Roman army of
Caesar, Ptolemy XIII was drowned in the Nile[16] [17] and Caesar
restored Cleopatra to her throne, with another younger brother
Ptolemy XIV as her new co-ruler.[18] [19] [20]
Cleopatra and Julius Caesar. Painting by Jean-Léon
Cleopatra VII
Although Cleopatra was 21 years old when they met and Caesar was 52, they
became lovers during Caesar’s stay in Egypt between 48 BC and 47 BC.
Cleopatra claimed Caesar was the father of her son and wished him to name the
boy his heir, but Caesar refused, choosing his grandnephew Octavian instead.
During this relationship, it was also rumored that Cleopatra introduced Caesar to
her astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria, who first proposed the idea of leap days
and leap years.
Cleopatra, Ptolemy XIV and Caesarion visited Rome in summer 46 BC, where
the Egyptian queen resided in one of Caesar's country houses.[21] [22] The
relationship between Cleopatra and Caesar was obvious to the Roman people and
it was a scandal, because the Roman dictator was already married to Calpurnia
Cleopatra VII and her son Caesarion
Pisonis. But Caesar even erected a golden statue of Cleopatra represented as Isis
at the Temple of Dendera
in the temple of Venus Genetrix (the mythical ancestress of Caesar's family),
which was situated at the Forum Julium.[23] [24] The Roman orator Cicero said in his preserved letters that he hated
the foreign queen.[22] Cleopatra and her entourage were in Rome when Caesar was assassinated on 15 March, 44
BC.[25] She returned with her relatives to Egypt. When Ptolemy XIV died – allegedly poisoned by his older sister –
Cleopatra made Caesarion her co-regent and successor and gave him the epithets Theos Philopator Philometor (=
Father- and motherloving God).[26] [27] [28]
Cleopatra in the Roman Civil War
In the Roman civil war between the Caesarian party, led by Mark Antony and Octavian, and the party of the
assassins of Caesar, led by Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, Cleopatra sided with the Caesarian
party because of her past. Brutus and Cassius left Italy and sailed to the East of the Roman Empire, where they
conquered large areas and established military bases. At the beginning of 43 BC, Cleopatra formed an alliance with
the leader of the Caesarian party in the East, Publius Cornelius Dolabella, who recognized Caesarion as her
co-ruler.[29] [30] But soon, Dolabella was encircled in Laodicea and committed suicide (July 43 BC).
Cassius then wanted to invade Egypt to seize the treasures of that country and to punish the queen for her refusal to
send him supplies and her support for Dolabella. Egypt seemed an easy target because the land did not have strong
land forces and there was famine and an epidemic. Cassius also wanted to prevent Cleopatra from bringing
reinforcements for Antony and Octavian. But he could not execute an invasion of Egypt, because at the end of 43 BC
Brutus summoned him back to Smyrna. Cassius tried to blockade Cleopatra’s route to the Caesarians. For this
purpose Lucius Staius Murcus moved with 60 ships and a legion of elite troops into position at Cape Matapan in the
south of the Peloponnese. Nevertheless, Cleopatra sailed with her fleet from Alexandria to the west along the Libyan
coast to join the Caesarian leaders, but she was forced to return to Egypt because her ships were damaged by a
violent storm and she became ill. Staius Murcus learned of the queen's misfortune and saw wreckage from her ships
on the coast of Greece. He then sailed with his ships into the Adriatic Sea.[31]
Cleopatra VII
Cleopatra and Mark Antony
In 41 BC, Mark Antony, one of the triumvirs who ruled Rome in
the power vacuum following Caesar's death, sent his intimate
friend Quintus Dellius to Egypt. Dellius had to summon Cleopatra
to Tarsus to meet Antony and answer questions about her loyalty.
During the Roman civil war she allegedly had paid much money to
Cassius. It seems that in reality Antony wanted Cleopatra’s
promise to support his intended war against the Parthians.
Cleopatra arrived in great state, and so charmed Antony that he
chose to spend the winter of 41 BC–40 BC with her in
Antony and Cleopatra, by Lawrence Alma-Tadema
To safeguard herself and Caesarion, she had Antony order the
death of her sister Arsinoe, who was living at the temple of
Artemis in Ephesus, which was under Roman control. The
execution was carried out in 41 BC on the steps of the temple, and
this violation of temple sanctuary scandalised Rome.[33] Cleopatra
had also executed her strategos of Cyprus, Serapion, who had
supported Cassius against her wishes.[34]
On 25 December 40 BC, Cleopatra gave birth to twins fathered by
Antony, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II. Four years
later, Antony visited Alexandria again en route to make war with
the Parthians. He renewed his relationship with Cleopatra, and
from this point on, Alexandria was his home. He married
Cleopatra according to the Egyptian rite (a letter quoted in
Suetonius suggests this), although he was at the time married to
Octavia Minor, sister of his fellow triumvir Octavian. He and
Cleopatra had another child, Ptolemy Philadelphus.
A tetradrachm of Cleopatra VII, Syria mint
At the Donations of Alexandria in late 34 BC, following Antony's
conquest of Armenia, Cleopatra and Caesarion were crowned
co-rulers of Egypt and Cyprus; Alexander Helios was crowned
ruler of Armenia, Media, and Parthia; Cleopatra Selene II was
crowned ruler of Cyrenaica and Libya; and Ptolemy Philadelphus
was crowned ruler of Phoenicia, Syria, and Cilicia. Cleopatra was
also given the title of "Queen of Kings" by Antonius.[35] Her
enemies in Rome feared that Cleopatra, "...was planning a war of
revenge that was to array all the East against Rome, establish
herself as empress of the world at Rome, cast justice from
Capitolium, and inaugurate a new universal kingdom."[36]
The Death of Cleopatra by Guido Cagnacci, 1658
Caesarion was not only elevated having coregency with Cleopatra,
but also proclaimed with many titles, including god, son of god
and king of kings, and was depicted as Horus.[37] Egyptians thought Cleopatra was a reincarnation of the goddess
Isis, as she called herself Nea Isis.[38]
Cleopatra VII
Relations between Antony and Octavian, disintegrating for several
years, finally broke down in 33 BC, and Octavian convinced the
Senate to levy war against Egypt. In 31 BC Antony's forces faced
the Romans in a naval action off the coast of Actium. Cleopatra
was present with a fleet of her own. Popular legend states that
when she saw that Antony's poorly equipped and manned ships
were losing to the Romans' superior vessels, she took flight and
that Antony abandoned the battle to follow her, but no
contemporary evidence states this was the case. Following the
Battle of Actium, Octavian invaded Egypt. As he approached
Alexandria, Antony's armies deserted to Octavian on August 1,
30 BC.
The Death of Cleopatra by Reginald Arthur, 1892
There are a number of unverifiable stories about Cleopatra, of which one of the best known is that, at one of the
lavish dinners she shared with Antony, she playfully bet him that she could spend ten million sesterces on a dinner.
He accepted the bet. The next night, she had a conventional, unspectacular meal served; he was ridiculing this, when
she ordered the second course — only a cup of strong vinegar. She then removed one of her priceless pearl earrings,
dropped it into the vinegar, allowed it to dissolve, and drank the mixture. The earliest report of this story comes from
Pliny the Elder and dates to about 100 years after the banquet described would have happened. The calcium
carbonate in pearls does dissolve in vinegar, but slowly unless the pearl is first crushed.[39]
The ancient sources, particularly the Roman ones, are in general agreement that Cleopatra killed herself by inducing
an Egyptian cobra to bite her. The oldest source is Strabo, who was alive at the time of the event, and might even
have been in Alexandria. He says that there are two stories: that she applied a toxic ointment, or that she was bitten
by an asp on her breast.[40] Several Roman poets, writing within ten years of the event, all mention bites by two
asps,[41] [42] [43] as does Florus, a historian, some 150 years later.[44] Velleius, sixty years after the event, also refers
to an asp.[45] [46] Other authors have questioned these historical accounts, stating that it is possible that Augustus had
her killed.[47]
In 2010, the German historian Christoph Schaefer challenged all other theories, declaring that the queen had actually
been poisoned and died from drinking a mixture of poisons. After studying historical texts and consulting with
toxicologists, the historian concluded that the asp could not have caused a slow and pain-free death, since the asp
(Egyptian cobra) venom paralyses parts of the body, starting with the eyes, before causing death. Schaefer and his
toxicologist Dietrich Mebs decided Cleopatra used a mixture of hemlock, wolfsbane and opium.[48]
Plutarch, writing about 130 years after the event, reports that Octavian succeeded in capturing Cleopatra in her
mausoleum after the death of Antony. He ordered his freedman Epaphroditus to guard her to prevent her from
committing suicide, because he allegedly wanted to present her in his triumph. But Cleopatra was able to deceive
Epaphroditus and kill herself nevertheless.[49] Plutarch states that she was found dead, her handmaiden Iras dying at
her feet, and another handmaiden, Charmion, adjusting her crown before she herself fell.[50] He then goes on to state
that an asp was concealed in a basket of figs that was brought to her by a rustic, and, finding it after eating a few figs,
she held out her arm for it to bite. Other stories state that it was hidden in a vase, and that she poked it with a spindle
until it got angry enough to bite her on the arm. Finally, he indicates that in Octavian's triumphal march back in
Rome, an effigy of Cleopatra that had an asp clinging to it was part of the parade.[51]
Suetonius, writing about the same time as Plutarch, also says Cleopatra died from an asp bite.[52]
Shakespeare gave us the final part of the image that has come down to us, Cleopatra clutching the snake to her
breast.[53] Before him, it was generally agreed that she was bitten on the arm.[54] [55] [56]
Cleopatra VII
Plutarch tells us of the death of Antony. When his armies deserted him and joined with Octavian, he cried out that
Cleopatra had betrayed him. She, fearing his wrath, locked herself in her monument with only her two handmaidens
and sent messengers to tell Antony that she was dead. Believing them, Antony stabbed himself in the stomach with
his sword, and lay on his couch to die. Instead, the blood flow stopped, and he begged any and all to finish him off.
Another messenger came from Cleopatra with instructions to bring him to her, and he, rejoicing that Cleopatra was
still alive, consented. She wouldn't open the door, but tossed ropes out of a window. After Antony was securely
trussed up, she and her handmaidens hauled him up into the monument. This nearly finished him off. After dragging
him in through the window, they laid him on a couch. Cleopatra tore off her clothes and covered him with them. She
raved and cried, beat her breasts and engaged in self-mutilation. Antony told her to calm down, asked for a glass of
wine, and died upon finishing it.[57]
The site of their mausoleum is uncertain, though the Egyptian Antiquities Service believes it is in or near the temple
of Taposiris Magna, southwest of Alexandria.[58]
Cleopatra's son by Caesar, Caesarion, was proclaimed pharaoh by the Egyptians, after Alexandria fell to Octavian.
Caesarion was captured and killed, his fate reportedly sealed when one of Octavian's advisers paraphrased Homer:
"It is bad to have too many Caesars."[59] This ended not just the Hellenistic line of Egyptian pharaohs, but the line of
all Egyptian pharaohs. The three children of Cleopatra and Antony were spared and taken back to Rome where they
were taken care of by Antony's wife, Octavia Minor. The daughter, Cleopatra Selene, was married through
arrangements of Octavian to Juba II of Mauretania.[60]
Cleopatra VII
Character and cultural depictions
Cleopatra was regarded as a great beauty, even in the ancient world. In his Life of
Antony, Plutarch remarks that "judging by the proofs which she had had before this
of the effect of her beauty upon Caius Caesar and Gnaeus the son of Pompey, she
had hopes that she would more easily bring Antony to her feet. For Caesar and
Pompey had known her when she was still a girl and inexperienced in affairs, but
she was going to visit Antony at the very time when women have the most brilliant
beauty."[11] Later in the work, however, Plutarch indicates that "her beauty, as we
are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who
saw her."[11] Rather, what ultimately made Cleopatra attractive were her wit,
charm and "sweetness in the tones of her voice."[11]
Cassius Dio also spoke of Cleopatra's allure: "For she was a woman of surpassing
beauty, and at that time, when she was in the prime of her youth, she was most
striking; she also possessed a most charming voice and knowledge of how to make
herself agreeable to every one. Being brilliant to look upon and to listen to, with
the power to subjugate every one, even a love-sated man already past his prime,
she thought that it would be in keeping with her role to meet Caesar, and she
reposed in her beauty all her claims to the throne."[11]
These accounts influenced later cultural depictions of Cleopatra, which typically
present her using her charms to influence the most powerful men in the Western
Statue of Cleopatra as Egyptian
goddess; Basalt, second half of the
first century BC. Hermitage, Saint
The high degree of inbreeding amongst the Ptolemies is also evident when one
considers Cleopatra's immediate family. Her parents were likely brother and sister
and hence she had only one set of grandparents. Those grandparents were uncle
and niece again limiting the number of ancestors.[61] The relatively small number of ancestors can be seen from the
possible ancestry of Cleopatra VII as shown below.[62]
Ptolemy V
Cleopatra I
of Egypt
Ptolemy VI
Cleopatra II
of Egypt
III of Egypt
Ptolemy X
Alexander I
Selene I
Ptolemy IX
IV of Egypt
Cleopatra VII
III of Egypt
Cleopatra V
of Egypt
[1] Walker, p. 129.
[2] Western civilisation:ideas,Politics, and society by Marvin Perry, Margaret C Jacob,Myrna Chase, James R Jacob page 132 :” Cleopatra (6930 BC), the Greek queen of Egypt, belonged to the Ptolemaic family, the Macedonian Greeks who ruled Egypt during the Hellenistic Age”.
[3] The Civilization of Rome by Donald R. Dudley, Page 57:”In Egypt the Greek dynasty of the Ptolemies was the successor to the native
Pharaohs, exploiting through a highly organized bureaucracy the great natural resources of the Nile Valley”
[4] The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. “,Cleopatra VII was born to Ptolemy XII Auletes (80–57 BCE, ruled 55–51 BCE) and Cleopatra,
both parents being Macedonian Greeks."
[5] Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt by Kathryn Bard, page 488 “ Ptolemaic kings were still crowned at Memphis and the city
was popularly regarded as the Egyptian rival to Alexandria, founded by the Macedonian Greeks”; Page 687: "During the Ptolemaic period,
when Egypt was governed by rulers of Greek descent…”
[6] Cleopatra: A Sourcebook (Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture) by Prudence J. Jones (Author) page14“They were members of the Ptolemaic
dynasty of Macedonian Greeks, who ruled Egypt after the death of its conqueror, Alexander the Great.”
[7] Women in Hellenistic Egypt by Sarah B. Pomeroy, page 16 “while Ptolemaic Egypt was a monarchy with a Greek ruling class."
[8] Cleopatra: the life of an Egyptian queen By Gary Jeffrey, Anita Ganeri page 6 :” Throughout their dynasty, the Ptolemies held onto their
Greek culture and continued to speak Greek as their main language.”.
[9] "Radio 4 Programmes - A History of the World in 100 Objects, Empire Builders (300 BC - 1 AD), Rosetta Stone" (http:/ / www. bbc. co. uk/
programmes/ b00sbrz3). BBC. . Retrieved 2010-06-07.
[10] "Who Was Cleopatra? (page 2)" (http:/ / www. smithsonianmag. com/ history-archaeology/ biography/ cleopatra. html). Smithsonian
Magazine. . Retrieved 2008-01-22.
[11] "The Beauty of Cleopatra" (http:/ / penelope. uchicago. edu/ ~grout/ encyclopaedia_romana/ miscellanea/ cleopatra/ bust. html). University
of Chicago. . Retrieved 2008-05-28.
[12] The German historian Werner Huß (Die Herkunft der Kleopatra Philopator (The descent of Cleopatra Philopator), Aegyptus 70, 1990, pp.
191–203) assumes instead that Cleopatra's mother was a high born Egyptian woman, who possibly had become the second wife of Ptolemy
XII after he had repudiated Cleopatra V.
[13] Peter Green (1990), Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age, Berkeley: University of California Press,
pp. 661–664, ISBN 0-520-05611-6
[14] Parallel Lives - The Life of Julius Caesar, 49
[15] So dramatic is the report of Plutarch (Caesar 49.1–3), that is doubted by some scholars. Cleopatra had to be smuggled secretly into the
palace, where Caesar was residing, because Ptolemy XIII blocked all ways to Alexandria to make it impossible for his half-sister to come in
the city.
[16] De Bello Alexandrino28–32
[17] Cassius Dio, Roman History 42.43
[18] De Bello Alexandrino 33
[19] Cassius Dio, Roman History 42.44
[20] Suetonius, Caesar 35.1
[21] Cassius Dio, Roman History 43.27.3
[22] Cicero, Letters to Atticus 15.15.2
[23] Appian, Civil Wars 2.102.424
[24] Cassius Dio, Roman History 51.22.3
[25] Cicero, Letters to Atticus 14.8.1 (written on 16 April 44 BC) says that he was very glad that the Queen had fled.
[26] Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews 15.89
[27] Porphyry, Fragmente der griechischen Historiker (FGrH) 260 F 2, 16-17
[28] stele BM 377 (15 February 42 BC) and others
[29] Appian, Civil Wars 4.61.262–263
[30] Cassius Dio, Roman History 47.30.4 and 47.31.5
Cleopatra VII
[31] Appian, Civil Wars 4.63; 4.74; 4.82; 5.8
[32] Plutarch, Life of Antony 25-29; Appian, Civil Wars 5.8-11; Cassius Dio, Roman History 48.24
[33] BBC documentary, Cleopatra portrait of a killer
[34] Appian, Civil Wars 5.9.35
[35] Syme, p. 270.
[36] Syme, p. 274.
[37] Stanley Mayer Burstein (30 December 2007), The Reign of Cleopatra (http:/ / books. google. com/ books?id=KSonyiReFY8C& pg=PA20),
University of Oklahoma Press, p. 20, ISBN 9780806138718, , retrieved 31 March 2011
[38] Plutarch, Life of Antony 54.9
[39] Ullman, Berthold L. (1957), "Cleopatra's Pearls", The Classical Journal 52 (5): 193–201.
[40] but he said in his writings that he wasn't sure if Cleopatra poisoned herself or was murdered. Strabo, Geography, XVII 10
[41] Virgil, Aeneid, VIII 696–697
[42] Horace, Odes, I 37
[43] Sextus Propertius, Elegies, III 11
[44] Florus, Epitome of Roman History, II 21
[45] Velleius Paterculus, Compendium of Roman History, II 87
[46] For a possible poetic allusion to the asp, see Wallace Stevens's In the Carolinas
[47] Everitt, Anthony (2007), Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor, New York: Random House Trade Paperbacks, pp. 194–195,
ISBN 0-8129-7058-6
[48] Melissa Gray (2010-06-30). "Poison, not snake, killed Cleopatra, scholar says - Cleopatra died a quiet and pain free death, historian alleges."
(http:/ / azer. com/ aiweb/ categories/ magazine/ 24_folder/ 24_articles/ 24_statuscaspian. html). CNN. . Retrieved 2010-06-30.
[49] Plutarch, Life of Antony 79.6 and 85.4–6; Cassius Dio, Roman History 51.11.4–5 and 51.13.3–5
[50] Plutarch, Parallel Lives, LXXXV 2–3 (Life of Antony)
[51] Plutarch, ibid., LXXXVI 3. See also Cassius Dio, Roman History, LI 21
[52] Suetonius, On the Life of the Caesars, Augustus, XVII 4
[53] Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, V ii
[54] Plutarch, loc. cit.
[55] Cassius Dio, op. cit., LI 14
[56] Galen, De Theriaca ad Pisonem, CCXXXVII, who says she bit herself, rather than an asp biting her.
[57] Plutarch, ibid.
[58] "Dig 'may reveal' Cleopatra's tomb" (http:/ / news. bbc. co. uk/ 1/ hi/ world/ middle_east/ 8000978. stm). BBC News. 2009-04-15. .
Retrieved 2009-04-24.
[59] Plutarch, Life of Antony 81.4 – 82.1; Cassius Dio, Roman History 51.15.5; Suetonius, Augustus 17.5
[60] Plutarch, Life of Antony 87.1–2; Cassius Dio, Roman History 51.15.6; Suetonius, Augustus 17.5 and Caligula 26.1
[61] Stacy Schiff, Cleopatra: A Life, Hachette Digital, Inc., 2010, ISBN 978-0316001922 Google Books (http:/ / books. google. com/
[62] Dodson, Aidan and Hilton, Dyan. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. 2004. ISBN 0-500-05128-3 The
family tree and short discussions of the individuals can be found on pages 268-281. The authors refer to Cleopatra V as Cleopatra VI and
Cleopatra Selene I is called Cleopatra V Selene.
Further reading
Primary sources
Hegesippus, Historiae i.29–32.
Lucan, Bellum civile ix.909–911, x.
Macrobius, Saturnalia iii.17.14–18.
Orosius, Historiae adversus paganos vi.16.1–2, 19.4–18.
Pliny, Naturalis historia vii.2.14, ix.58.119–121, xxi.9.12.
Plutarch (1958), "Caesar", in Warner, Rex, Fall of the Roman Republic, London: Penguin Books,
ISBN 0140440844
• Plutarch (1965), "Mark Antony", in Scott-Kilvert, Ian, Makers of Rome, Baltimore: Penguin Books,
ISBN 0140441581
• Suetonius, De vita Caesarum Iul i.35.52, ii.17.
Cleopatra VII
Modern sources
• Bradford, Ernle Dusgate Selby (2000), Cleopatra, Penguin Group, ISBN 9780141390147
• Burstein, Stanley M. (2004), The reign of Cleopatra, Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, ISBN 0313325278
• Flamarion, Edith; Bonfante-Warren, Alexandra (1997), Cleopatra: The Life and Death of a Pharoah, Harry
Abrams, ISBN 9780810928053
• Foss, Michael (1999), The Search for Cleopatra, Arcade Publishing, ISBN 9781559705035
• Fraser, P.M. (1972), Ptolemaic Alexandria, Oxford: Clarendon Press, ISBN 0198142781
• Lindsay, Jack (1972), Cleopatra, New York: Coward-McCann
• Nardo, Don (1994), Cleopatra, Lucent Books, ISBN 9781560060239
• Pomeroy, Sarah B. (1984), Women in Hellenistic Egypt : from Alexander to Cleopatra, New York: Schocken
Books, ISBN 0805239111
• Roller, Duane W. (2010), Cleopatra : a biography, Oxford: Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780195365535
• Southern, Pat (2000), Cleopatra, Tempus, ISBN 9780752414942
• Syme, Ronald (1962), The Roman Revolution, Oxford University Press
• Volkmann, H. (1958), Cleopatra: A Study in Politics and Propaganda, T.J. Cadoux, trans, New York: Sagamore
• Walker, Susan; Higgs, Peter (2001), Cleopatra of Egypt, From History to Myth, British Museum Press,
ISBN 978-0714119434
• Weigall, Arthur (1923), The Life and Times of Cleopatra Queen of Egypt (
AJL1424.0001.001), London: Putnam
External links
• Cleopatra ( on In Our Time at the BBC. ( listen now (http://
• Cleopatra VII (VI) (
BEVHOP/13*.html) at LacusCurtius – Chapter XIII of E. R. Bevan's House of Ptolemy, 1923
• Cleopatra (, a Victorian children's book by Jacob Abbott, 1852,
Project Gutenberg edition.
• James Grout: Cleopatra (
cleopatra.html) part of the Encyclopædia Romana
• "Mysterious Death of Cleopatra" (
index.shtml) at the Discovery Channel (
• Cleopatra VII ( at BBC History (http://
• Sir Thomas Browne: Of the Picture describing the death of Cleopatra (
pseudodoxia/pseudo512.html) (1672)
• John Sartain: On the Antique Portrait of Cleopatra (
cleopatraencaustic.html) (1818)
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