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Cleopatra VII of Egypt

Cleopatra VII (69 BC - 30 BC) was pharaoh of ancient Egypt. The name derives from two Greek language words meaning "glory" of her "nation."

Last member of the Ptolemaic dynasty to rule ancient Egypt, Cleopatra VII took the throne alone at the death of her father, Ptolemy XII of Egypt Auletes, in 51 BC. She was subsequently co-ruler with two of her brothers, Ptolemy XIII of Egypt, who opposed the Roman domination, and Ptolemy XIV of Egypt[?] (47-45).

Cleopatra is reputed to have been the first member of her family in their 300-year reign in Egypt to have learned the Egyptian language.

When Julius Caesar captured Egypt in 47 BC, she preserved her own political advantage by becoming his wife and named their son "Caesarion," a Greek form of Caesar's name. Caesar refused to make Caesarion (47 - 30 BC) his heir, naming his grand-nephew Octavian instead. Cleopatra and Caesarion visited Rome between 46 and 44 and were there when Caesar was assassinated.

Having formed a political alliance with him in 41 BC, in 37/6 BC Cleopatra married Mark Antony, who was ruling the eastern Mediterranean possessions of the Romans. They had three children: Alexander Helios (40 - 30 BC), Cleopatra Selene (40 BC - 6 AD), and Ptolemy Philadelphus (36 - 12 BC). At the "Donation of Alexandria" in late 34 or early 33 BC: Cleopatra and Caesarion were crowned co-rulers of Egypt and Cyprus; Alexander Helios was crowned ruler of Armenia, Media, and Parthia; Cleopatra Selene was crowned ruler of Cyrenaica and Libya; and Ptolemy Philadelphus was crowned ruler of Phoenicia, Syria, and Cilicia.

Cleopatra committed suicide as Octavian (the future Augustus) captured Alexandria in August of 30 BC. Mark Antony also killed himself then, and Caesarion and Alexander Helios were killed by the Romans. Cleopatra Selene and Ptolemy Philadelphus were taken back to Rome and reared by Antony's wife Octavia (Octavian's sister).

Notable films about Cleopatra include:

Other films titled Cleopatra were released in 1912, 1917, and 1920. Other films of Antony and Cleopatra were released in 1908, 1910, and 1951, and a silent "Anthony and Cleopatra in 1924.

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