Skip to content

31 History Facts!

15. Was Cleopatra really Egyptian?

Cleopatra and caesar (Cleopatra, 1963)


Well, the short and surprising answer is no! Though Cleopatra was the queen of Egypt, she was actually of Hellenic (greek) origin. She was the last ruler of the Greek Ptolemaic dynasty that was founded by Ptolemy Soter, a general and companion of Alexander the Great who conquered the area.

Her name means ‘glory of the father’ in Greek.  Kleos, meaning ‘glory’, combined with pater, meaning ‘father’. 

Bonus fact: In his will, Cleopatra’s father nominated her (18 years old) and her brother Ptolemy (10 years old) as co-rulers.

From the beginning of her reign, Cleopatra has prevented her Ptolemyfrom any signs of government, making sure that her name only appears on the official documents and the coins of the kingdom.

Egyptians aristocracy didn’t like her independence and preferred her younger brother who was easier to influence. In the spring of 48 BC, three years into their common reign, she was forced to flee the royal court, and Ptolemy the thirteenth was left to be the only ruler.

When Caesar concluded that preventing war between Cleopatra and her brother was in Rome’s interest he invited them for arbitration. Cleopatra’s condition was difficult and her army weak army. She knew all too well that her only chance to turn the tide is to influence Caesar.

She secretly sailed to Alexandria and penetrated the palace accompanied only by the courtier. Cleopatra sneaked into a sack containing Caesar’s bedding and later when that sack was brought to Caesar’s room, she discovered herself in full exclusion before Caesar.

At the time of their encounter, Cleopatra was 21 and the Emperor was 52. According to ancient sources, she was a beautiful and confident woman. Caesar fell for her.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *