Essay by Jordan1A, April 2004

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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. The two began a civil war in 48 B.C. With the aid of the Roman leader Julius Caesar, Cleopatra defeated her brother and kept the throne, this time sharing it with another brother, Ptolemy XIV, to whom she was not married. She went with Caesar to Rome and had a child soon after, naming it Caesarion. After Caesar's murder in 44, Cleopatra returned to Egypt. She courted the support of Caesar's ally, Marc Antony, and won his favor as well. She threw all her military support behind Antony in his war against Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, but it wasn't enough. Octavian and his allies defeated Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31. Rather than be captured, they fled to Egypt and died separately.

They were buried together. Soon after, Rome conquered Egy

The carpet in which she had enveloped herself to hide was opened to let her onto the floor in front of Caesar.1 A young girl of 21, Cleopatra quickly captivated the attention of Gaius Julius Caesar when he, a military genius, had come to Alexandria. Though not known for sure then, even by Cleopatra, she was to be the last pharaoh Egypt was ever to see.

Cleopatra VII was born to Ptolemy XII in the early months of 69 B.C. At the time of her birth, Egypt had been unified under a pharaoh's rule for over 3,000 years. She descended from Macedonians who had ruled Egypt ever since the death of Alexander the Great, 254 years before. Cleopatra had two older sisters, one of whom became the Queen of Egypt for a short time, a younger...