Essay by candylandcutieHigh School, 11th gradeA-, January 2007

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In the 304 BCE, Cleopatra's ancestor, Ptolemy I founded the dynasty of the Ptolemies. He was a Macedonian, one of the diadochoi, or successors of Alexander the Great, and had been a general in his army. Six princesses before her were called Cleopatra. The most famous is Cleopatra VII, the last Pharaoh of Egypt. She came to power at age 15, married to her brother, Ptolemy XIII, also pharaoh. Cleopatra's great grandmother was the daughter of one of the kings of Syria. She was Seleucid with Persian blood. Two potential rivals stood between Cleopatra and the succession, her two older sisters, at that time Cleopatra was known as Tryphaeana, which meant "the special pleasure seeker". The Ptolemy family had nothing cozy unlike the former kings on the throne; they were torn by intrigues, ambition and jealousy.

While Cleopatra was in her younger years she grew up in the luxury of the royal palace in Alexandra.

Cleopatra's father king Ptolemy XII, and his six children - Cleopatra, her two older sisters, and younger half sister, and two other half brothers also lived in the palace. Cleopatra's mother had died when Cleopatra was very young, and her father had remarried. Each child had a separate apartment; each had his or her servant to protect them and educate them (sort of like a nanny). There was not much love between the children; they all tried to outshine one another in a race to win the power of the throne. This fierce competition was encouraged by their servants/guardians for they hoped for a share of the royal power.

Cleopatra was the queen of Egypt, in fact the most famous queen of the ancient Greek and Roman world. She was considered beautiful and perfect. There have been other great queens in antiquity,