Friday, October 19, 2012

History:Queen Cleopatra of Egypt



Queen Cleopatra of Egypt

Cleopatra was born in 69 B.C. He belonged to the Ptolemaic dynasty of pharaohs, from Macedonia (northern Greece), who ruled Egypt at that time. The capital was Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BC that had prospered under the rule of this dynasty. He was one of the best commercial ports in the Mediterranean, and became a major cultural center, home to modern science: rhetoric, philosophy, medicine, geometry, hydrostatic, geography, astronomy, etc.., For he had the largest library in the world.
But now, the land of Egypt lived threatened by his great rival, Rome. And Cleopatra a time he lived surrounded by conflicts that made the Egyptian kingdom weakened, although this queen has always shown its strength by acting with cunning and bravery.
Neo Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII Ptolemy Dionysius Auletes- VII Philopator, was the father  of Cleopatra  but was not well liked by the Egyptians as large taxes collected would go to Roman coffers. Thus, the people of Egypt did not accept their alliance with Rome, and in the year 58 BC expelling the country revolted. Ptolemy fled to Rome and Berenice IV (his daughter, Cleopatra's older sister) was proclaimed queen. But in 55 BC, supported by the Roman general Pompey, Ptolemy returned to Egypt taking away the throne to his daughter.

Ptolemy had two sons, Ptolemy II and Ptolemy XIV Dionisio XV Philopator, and four daughters: Berenice IV, VI Trifene Cleopatra, Cleopatra VII (ours) and Arsinoe.

Cleopatra on the throne of Egypt

Ancient writings say that Cleopatra ruled with his father for a short period of time, until he died in the year 51 BC
Wanting to keep power, and following the family tradition, married her brother Ptolemy XIV (12 years). The Ptolemies could not marry someone of lower rank, and that is why so joined between brothers.
Whit only 18 years, old Cleopatra wanted to rein alone, considering that his brother was too young to rule Egypt. Although the problem was that many officials and nobles supported his brother. In addition, General Pompey powerful ally of his father, planned to annex Egypt to the Roman Empire. He would have to overcome many obstacles.

From childhood she studied a lot (literature, arithmetic and geometry, astronomy, medicine) and learned several languages, including Egyptian (family only spoke Greek), which served him well when it comes to rule Egypt. To do so, tried to curry favor with the powerful courtiers. Worshiped Egyptian gods proclaimed "daughter of the sun god," and gave generous gifts to major temples, winning the support of the priests. Also became interested in international politics, especially to avoid conflicts with Rome, and the economy by facilitating exports necessary for the welfare of his country.
The first two years of his reign were very difficult. First, the Nile is not flooded, crops were lost and many people died of starvation. On the other hand, still had powerful enemies as was Poteinos, the counselor of her brother Ptolemy.
At the year 48 BCE Cleopatra discovered that his brother and Poteinos conspired against her. They wanted to kidnap and kill her, so he had to flee Egypt with her sister Arsinoe. They sailed for the Mediterranean refuge near Syria, and eventually returned with his army to regain their land.

Julius Caesar and Cleopatra

Meanwhile, Julius Caesar and Pompey fought for power in Rome, causing a civil war, defeating Julio Cesar. Pompey went to Egypt for help, but what was the surprise that Ptolemy's followers assassinated him on landing at Alexandria.
Four days later, Caesar arrived in Egypt and saw what happened. He wanted to maintain peace and requested a meeting with Ptolemy and Cleopatra to reach an agreement. The Queen did not trust his brother and needed the protection of Caesar. With the help of his steward Apollodorus, in secret and in the evening, came to him, who was fascinated by his charm and intelligence. Cleopatra was so brave! He had already gained the trust of Julius Caesar.
But that did not like her brother Ptolemy. Even Julius Caesar arrived ears plans conspiracy against him by Poteinos, and ordered his execution. Ptolemy spared and left him out of the city, meeting with Arsinoe, his sister, who had escaped and led an Egyptian army against Caesar. Both eventually were defeated in a battle. Shortly after Ptolemy found dead in the harbor of Alexandria. Arsinoe was sent as a prisoner to Rome.

Cleopatra Now, at 22, ruled with his brother Ptolemy XV Philopator (only 11 years) and felt safer under the protection and love of Caesar, who in 46 BC returned to Rome in triumph for his victory. Behind him came Cleopatra pretending a peace treaty between Egypt and Rome, taking with him Caesarion Ptolemy XVI, son of Caesar, and his brother Ptolemy XV. However, the relationship between Julius Caesar and Cleopatra did not please in Rome, especially the possibility that in the future their son could rule.
Nevertheless, Caesar obtained increasing recognition, being named dictator for life. However, in 44 BC, after a meeting in the Senate, Julius Caesar was stabbed.

Antony and Cleopatra

Cleopatra returned to Egypt. His guard was killed and his kingdom was again in danger. This provoked a civil war in Rome which lasted three years, led by three important men who fought against the leaders of the conspiracy: Octavian, Antony and Lepidus. After defeating signed a peace treaty in which they agreed to rule Rome together for five years.

From that moment, Marco Antonio would control Egypt. But he needed the support of Cleopatra reigned now with his son Caesarion. Egypt needed gold to pay the armies that assembled for his part of the Empire, and wheat to feed his men. For its part, the Egyptian queen sought Roman protection.
Antony and Cleopatra met in Tarsus (Turkey). The queen appeared dazzling and after several meetings he got what he wanted. Antony joined her impressed by her charms.
Antonio spent time in Alexandria with Cleopatra, becoming pregnant with twins. But the Roman could not see them born since the early 40 BC had to return to Rome as Fulvia, his wife, was involved in a conspiracy against Octavian. Later this year, his wife died, and signed a peace agreement with Octavio, and in friendship, he married the sister, Octavia.

Cleopatra  in Egypt continued to reign. Four years later he returned Marco Antonio. His protection was helping to maintain the independence of Egypt. They had their third child, Ptolemy Philadelphus.
For a time, Antonio was not successful in his conquests losing many soldiers and many lands. Until finally, invaded Armenia and returned in triumph to Alexandria. Cleopatra was crowned  Queen "King of Kings" and all his children also received royal titles.

- Caesarion, 13, was proclaimed "King of Kings".
- Alexander Helios, age 6, was named king of Armenia.
- Selena Cleopatra, queen of Cyrenaica and Crete, also six years.
- And Ptolemy Philadelphus, with only two years, king of Asia Minor.

Antony and Cleopatra were strong allies and had big ambitions. Recovered some of the territories that the queen's family had controlled in the past. But Octavio learned both ambition and informed the Senate trying to Marco Antonio Roman traitor. In addition, the divorce of his Roman wife was taken as offense.

The end of Cleopatra, the last Egyptian queen.

At the end of 32 B.C. Octavian declared war on Cleopatra and Egypt. Marco Antonio acted as an ally in the war against Cleopatra in Rome. Greece reached fearing an attack that will take you to lose that territory. But in reality, they were not any good, because the Roman soldiers were beating Marco Antonio army, capturing forts and sinking their ships.
Gradually the situation worsened, and desperate Antony and Cleopatra decided to cross the Roman siege. Although I could not get any worse! They were defeated in the famous battle of Actium (Actium), although Cleopatra managed to escape with his fleet back to Alexandria, where he entered triumphantly as if he had won a great victory, to prevent their enemies in Egypt will not let in the knowledge that had been defeated by Octavian.

Antonio was sunk by the disgrace and decided to hide in the island of Pharos not wanting to see anyone. Meanwhile, Cleopatra was still thinking about how to continue governing. Octavio did not have enough gold to pay the armies, so the timing could not strike again. But I knew I would eventually need to find the wealth of Egypt.
Shortly thereafter, Antonio came out of retirement and back again to the palace parties.

A year later he received the news of the arrival of Octavian, and Cleopatra fearing his reaction, he sent a letter offering Egypt with the proviso that governs their children. But Octavio even replied it was clear he wanted to rule alone.
Meanwhile, Antony gathered his army to face Octavio. But his soldiers deserted fleeing ashamed and defeated, and blaming Cleopatra, who frightened by the wrath of the Roman locked himself in his mausoleum.
Rumors that the Egyptian queen had died. Marco Antonio crazed stuck his sword, just at the time when the secretary came announcing that Cleopatra was alive. He was taken with Cleopatra and died in his arms.

Shortly thereafter in 30 BC, at the age of 39, died Cleopatra, the last queen of Egypt. Upon his death there are many legends, but Cleopatra's body has not been found, so the experts have not been able to study the cause.
The truth is that Cleopatra was a proud queen preferred death before undergoing Octavio and humble themselves before the Romans. He committed suicide with her two faithful servants, but how did they die? Will drove a poisoned needle? Could it be the bite of a serpent's poison caused his death?

Octavio respected her wishes and her body was buried near his beloved Mark Antony. His tomb was never found.

What happened to Egypt?

The country was under the rule of Rome, which marked the end of Egyptian civilization. Octavio new Pharaoh proclaimed and ordered the destruction of many Egyptian monuments and official documents. Alexandria continued to be a major commercial and cultural center, but the prosperity of Egypt was waning.

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