Cleopatra VII Is an Egyptian Queen, Whose Biography Is Being Discussed to This Day




Queen Cleopatra





Cleopatra VII, simply known as Cleopatra was a divine queen whose family ruled Ancient Egypt for over 300 years (Schiff, 2010). She is popularly known for her exceptional looks and persuasive leadership qualities. She also took leadership roles in Ancient Egypt at a very young age. Married to popular internationally recognized figures like Mark Antony and Julius Caesar, she made numerous contributions in relation to the economic, political and cultural development of Ancient Egypt. During her early moments as ruler, she was married to her younger brother at the age of 18 years. This was basically to maintain wealth and power within the family. This young couple ruled over ancient Egypt, Libya, Cyprus and a variety of Middle Eastern nations (Schiff, 2010). However, Cleopatra was not satisfied with this sharing of power. Therefore, she devised methods that made her the sole ruler of ancient Egypt. She ruled over ancient Egypt for about 21 years. The following paper shall critically assess the political, economic, religious and cultural life of Cleopatra, her accomplishments as Ancient Egyptian ruler and failures.
Political life

Ancient Egyptian accounts mention that Cleopatra was quite an intelligent and influential leader. Her stunning ability to persuade and charm other leaders was not just because of her beauty, but because of her divine leadership qualities and persuasive nature (Schiff, 2010). She rose to absolute power and became the sole ruler of Egypt after the death of her brother and husband. During 48 BC, ancient Egypt was involved in a dispute with the Romans between Pompey and Julius Caesar. Pompey was forced to flee away from the area and found himself at the Egyptian city of Alexandria which was then the capital.

He was assassinated under commands from the current Egyptian ruler Ptolemy (Schiff, 2010). Ptolemy was the father of Cleopatra. When Caesar followed Pompey’s trail, he arrived at Egypt where he became Cleopatra’s lover. Cleopatra’s power and influence originated from a number of causes. However, to start with, her power came from the birthright and heritage. She possessed legitimacy in leadership because she came from the Ptolemaic birth line (Schiff, 2010). In addition, her goddess-like standing provided her with a strong influence amid her philosophical subjects. She was capable of speaking several distinct languages, a quality that allowed her to cooperate efficiently with numerous foreign international powers such as the Roman Empire. She entered into deals with the Romans, in conjunction with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony making Egypt more prosperous than it had ever been before.

Cleopatra significantly influenced the destiny of the powerful Egyptian kingdom through her manipulation tactics and numerous sources of power. By going against a number of influence tactics, she had the ability to use these sources of influence (Morgan, 2003). Also her referent influence was enacted by her personal appeals to the roman leader, Caesar. She asked for numerous favors based on her many relationships with influential leaders. Through her appeal to the powerful Roman leader, she was successful in keeping her influential position and power in Egyptian leadership. This had abundant positive impacts on the Egyptian empire.

Gaining personal supremacy was evidently one of the major motivation factors for her choices and actions. This is why she executed unethical activities such as murdering her siblings. She did not want to share power; instead she wanted to be the sole ruler of Egypt. She also seduced two influential personalities of her time just to maintain power and authority. Cleopatra’s association with Mark Antony and Julius Caesar was a strategic play for her own part (Linley, 2015). By partnering with these parties, Cleopatra successfully united Rome with Egypt, thus enhancing and preserving her own supremacy on top of the Egypt’s supremacy (Morgan, 2003). At a time when her family’s governance was influential, Egypt possessed great power and prosperity though it had started to experience some challenges in the economical, martial and political standing.
Contributions to Egypt and Africa

During Cleopatra’s reign as the Egyptian ruler, she effectively dealt with the challenges facing her kingdom, together with setbacks such as sporadic food shortage, and the invasions of foreign powers. She helped in the construction of canals to support agriculture. She also provided a lot of support to researchers and scholars at the grand library in Alexandria. She also made a lot of attempts to support and promote renowned mathematicians and scientists. Her close relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony were beneficial to Egypt (Linley, 2015). She manipulated Julius Caesar and managed to persuade him to change the awkward unreasonable calendar used by the Romans to one that was used in Ancient Egypt. She fed her people during times of great famine.

Cleopatra paid a lot of attention to the native population as compared to her predecessor. She was a ruling bloodline, the Ptolemy family, who were not of Egyptian origin. Ptolemy was the only head of state to gain knowledge of the Egyptian language, as well as the first one ever to pass through all of the religious rites of becoming a true Egyptian pharaoh. Nevertheless, Cleopatra showed high esteem in her nation and did the unthinkable to protect it even if it meant allying with foreign powers.

As a result, her recognition with the people of Greece made them rule over the capital city of Alexandria, Northern Egypt and the entire territory (Morgan, 2003). This made Alexandria very prosperous in both trade and agriculture. Due to this, she was worshipped as a goddess. Cleopatra was skillful in martial knowledge and had a heightened understanding of how to maintain her territory off foreign assailants. She led powerful military tactics which she inherited from her predecessors. She was a martial strategist and a good one at that. She made great efforts to safeguard the freedoms that the Egyptians enjoyed during her reign. She also loved her children unconditionally.
Religious, cultural and historical influence

Cleopatra promoted art and culture in her reign as Egyptian ruler (Morgan, 2003). She cautiously controlled her civic image. Her image took account of more than merely physical appearance and divine beauty. Her royal portraits remain one of the rare artistic discoveries of ancient Egypt. She supported the development of the Hellenistic syncretism, which is a renowned unification of diverse cultural ideologies by the multi-ethnic Hellenistic individuals such as the Greeks. In addition, she employed the use of a religious approach in her attempt to achieve a superior following among the Egyptians (Linley, 2015).

After she and her brother assumed power after their father’s death, Cleopatra led Egypt to greater heights with her collaborations with powerful kingdoms. Since she gained the support of stronger kingdoms like the Roman Empire and the Greeks which had defeated many empires, Egypt was made stronger than it could have ever been. Not to mention, she was a female ruler. Throughout Egypt’s history, most rulers were basically male Pharaohs (Morgan, 2003). The fact that she was a female ruler makes her one of the most popular leaders in Egypt. Also, she was an intelligent and extremely strong ruler.

Apart from her great leadership qualities and charisma, she as well-educated, having studied numerous disciplines such as literature, medicine, philosophy, music, and art. She spoke more than 6 distinct languages which enabled her to gain high support for foreign nations. She was a fluent speaker in Egyptian and Aramaic languages. She also communicated in Greek, Latin and Hebrew. This also made her an incredibly wise and potent ruler. She had a goddess-like charm that made her gain support from powerful leaders. Cleopatra was married by 3 known husbands in her time as Egyptian ruler (Morgan, 2003). These were Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Ptolemy XIII who were all recognized figures in ancient history.

Another accomplishment is that she was able to secure a place in ancient Egypt’s leadership history despite being a foreigner. It is known that her ethnic background was not of Egypt for she was of Greek-Macedonian origin. Very few Egyptian rulers got into power having been of foreign ethnicity. In fact, some of the Romans hated her essentially because she was not a Roman but still managed to enter into a mutual relationship with Julius Caesar and Rome. Nevertheless, Cleopatra overcame this obstacle and ruled over Egypt for over 2 decades (Morgan, 2003).
Challenges faced during leadership and how she was able to overcome these challenges

In her early life as ruler, she had to share leadership with her brother which was married to her brother. She was forced into exile by her own brother, Ptolemy III after she made an attempt to overthrow him and win over the sole leadership of ancient Egypt. She escaped to Syria and later became Caesar’s lover. During this time, she maintained high levels of patience as she made alliances with the Roman Empire for her return to Egypt (Morgan, 2003). Her brother drowned as he tried to flee from the war against the Alexandrians and the Romans.
Queen Cleopatra made a number of mistakes with the ties she made with the people of Rome. This action brought about the Roman invasion of Egypt and the defeat of the empire. As mentioned earlier, she was sexually involved with Julius Caesar. She got married to Mark Anthony after Caesar’s death after seducing him. However, Mark Anthony lost the war (Linley, 2015). He was slain in western Greece at Actium. When Cleopatra saw this, she decided to commit suicide. Octavian then dominated Ancient Egypt. Cleopatra was typically the last ruler of ancient Egypt from the Ptolemy family.

Despite her failures as an ethical leader, Cleopatra was a regarded as a role model, heroine and goddess by her people. Her death was also considered culturally noble according to ancient Egyptian customs and beliefs. Even after she died, Cleopatra was still a respected ruler in her era, showing her accomplishments as a pharaoh, albeit the fact that she made several immoral mistakes like killing her siblings to gain power and influence and seducing greater leaders to get her way. All things said and done, there are very few women in both ancient times as celebrated as Egypt’s Cleopatra. Her political craftiness and sexual appeal was able to transform her into an enduring personality in both reality and fiction for many years.
Schiff, S. (2010). Cleopatra: A Life. Imprint: BOT History, Biography, Release Date: November 2, 2010.
Morgan, J. (2003). Cleopatra: Ruling in shadow or Rome. New York N.Y: Rosen Pub. Group.
Linley, K. (2015). Antony and Cleopatra in context: The politics of passion.

Did it help you?

Cite this Page

Cleopatra VII Is an Egyptian Queen, Whose Biography Is Being Discussed to This Day. (2022, Feb 16). Retrieved from

Need customer essay sample written special for your assignment?

Choose skilled expert on your subject and get original paper with free plagiarism report

Order custom paper

Without paying upfront