The Female Pharaoh Cleopatra – History Essay
Cleopatra became pharaoh in the springtime of 51 B.C. when her father, Ptolemy Auletes, died. He left the throne to his eighteen-year-old daughter, Cleopatra, and to her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII, who was only
twelve at the time. Cleopatra took greater power over her brother. She was forced to have a consort throughout her reign. Her consort could either be a brother or a son, no matter what their ages were. Cleopatra married her brother, Ptolemy XIII. She dropped his name from all official documents despite the insistence the Ptolemaic had that the male presence be first among co-rulers. Cleopatra put her name and face on the coins of that time period, ignoring her brother.
A group of men led by Theodotus, the eunuch Pothinus, and a half-Greek general, named Achillas, overthrew Cleopatra in favor of her brother. They believed he could be influenced easier, so they became his council of regency.
In the early days of the Ptolemy the control region of the Egyptians expanded greatly. This included the island of Cyprus, Cyrenioca, which had already controlled modern day Libya, Syria, and Phoenicia. They also controlled some major cities in Asia Minor and Greece.
After Ptolemy XIII, her brother and husband, died by drowning in the Nile, Caesar restored her power so Cleopatra became the sole ruler of Egypt. Caesar must have been driven by more than simple infatuation for Cleopatra, to have gone through the troubles of restoring her power. To please Alexandrians and she had to marry her younger brother Ptolemy XIV, who was only eleven years old at this time. She became pregnant quickly after the marriage. This was very appealing to Ptolemy XIV to have a son to carry on his rule after his death. After this Caesar and Cleopatra took a two-month trip up the Nile.
In July 46 B.C., Caesar returned to Rome. Upon returning he was given many awards for his ten-year ruling, and then he brought over Cleopatra. Cleopatra coming to Rome, especially the conservative republican when Cleopatra was established in Caesars home offended many. Cleopatra considered herself to be the new Isis, the goddess of motherhood and fertility. The life she lived was very luxurious and she had a golden statue of herself put by Caesar in the temple of Venus Genetrix. Openly, Caesar recognized Caesarion, Cleopatra’s son, as his own. Besides the laws against marrying foreigners and laws of bigamy Cleopatra and Caesar planned to get married. Then in March of 44 B.C., his senators assassinated Caesar outside the Roman Senate Building. Cleopatra fled Rome with her child and returned to home in Alexandria, because she feared for the life of her child and herself.
When she returned to Alexandria she had husband and consort, Ptolemy XIV, assassinated so that Caesarion could become her co-regent at the age o four. During her absence she found that the Nile Canals had been neglected and that caused harvests to be low, plagues, and famine to occur. This continued for about two years.