• Menu
  • Menu
Cleopatra, Bild: Mia Stendal / shutterstock

On the trail of Cleopatra in ancient Egypt – all about the controversial pharaoh

She was the last of no more than four women on the Egyptian throne. Cleopatra inspires and fascinates historians and history buffs to this day. After all, it played a major role in numerous historical developments. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Roman Empire.

Her life became known to a wide audience centuries ago through the Shakespeare drama “Antony and Cleopatra”. In recent decades, the historical figure has become the leading actress in numerous films and books. Her preference for linking politics and love affairs made Cleopatra popular for posterity.

Cleopatra’s Slots, Movies and Games

Today, the Egyptian queen is known not only from the famous film “Cleopatra” starring Liz Taylor, but also from numerous examples in pop culture. She celebrates them as an icon just as much as the art world. Her eventful life inspires and fascinates. This is also evident in the controversies that the life of the pharaoh repeatedly evokes. The eternal diva is not only represented in painting, photography or video art, but even adorns slot machines.

It is not for nothing that historical Egypt has become a popular motif in the gaming industry. The Egyptian queen serves as a leitmotif for many Cleopatra slots, which have been examined and evaluated in detail here . Her life and her spectacular suicide offer enough material for all genres of the art and entertainment industry, from which many stories can be formed.

At the age of 18 she became regent

Cleopatra was born in Alexandria in 69 BC. She was the third of five children of Pharaoh Ptolemy XII. He ruled the country as a result of the conquest of Alexander the Great. His wife, Cleopatra VI, was almost certainly not the mother of the future queen, but an unknown woman from a noble family. Even before his death, the pharaoh appointed his daughter Cleopatra as co-regent. After the death of her father, Cleopatra VII ascended the throne in 51 BC together with her brother, who was only 10 years old. She was 18 years old at the time. At that time, Egypt was merely a satellite state of the Roman Empire. As was customary at the time, she married her brother, who also ruled as co-pharaoh. But just two years later, the power struggles within the court escalated. Her brother’s guardians pushed Cleopatra from the throne. As a result, she was even forced to leave the country.

See also  Hurghada – the beach pearl of Egypt on the Red Sea

Power struggle with the brother

But the ruler did not give up. From Palestine, she fought her brother and his advisor with mercenaries. At that time, Egypt was drawn into the Roman fratricidal war, Julius Caesar, who won this war, also landed in Alexandria and made himself ruler of the country. Cleopatra sneaked into the royal palace hidden in a sack and thus convinced the Roman emperor of herself. She began an affair with Julius Caesar, who subsequently reinstated her as co-regent.

But her brother’s advisors did not give up. They assembled an army that was five times superior to the Roman troops. But Caesar and Cleopatra secured the support of Jewish troops and defeated their enemies. In the course of the fighting, the famous library of Alexandria also went up in flames, Cleopatra’s brother died in this war.

Mistress of Julius Caesar

After the end of the fighting, Cleopatra, together with another brother, rose to become ruler of Egypt before Rome’s grace. Caesar left three legions for their protection, but also as a guarantee of a policy that corresponded to his ideas. The two had a son together in 47 BC with the name Caesarion.

In the following years of her reign, Cleopatra traveled frequently for fame, trying to consolidate her influence on the Roman dictator Julius Caesar. Although he was still married to his Roman wife Calpurnia, he elevated Cleopatra to the divine rank by donating a golden temple statue. Their influence may have contributed significantly to Caesar’s increasingly absolutist style of power. This was increasingly criticized by the Roman elites and could have served as a motive for the conspiracy against Julius Caesar. In 44 BC, the Roman emperor fell victim to an assassination attempt. With this, Cleopatra lost her most important support in Rome for the time being.

See also  Cairo - bewilderingly beautiful and a touch of the Orient

Mark Antony goes to war against Octavian

Image: Wirestock Creators / shutterstock

Caesar had not appointed their son Caesarion as heir, but his nephew Octavian. However, the later Emperor Augustus was not able to assert himself for the time being. Marcus Antonius claimed power and triggered a ten-year conflict. In it, Cleopatra took his side and became his lover. The two had twins. After the death of her brother, Cleopatra had meanwhile risen to become the sole ruler of Egypt.

Mark Antony came into the line of fire of his opponents, who accused him of squandering Roman provinces. Cleopatra, on the other hand, cultivated a cult that culminated in her embodiment of the goddess Isis. She wanted to stand in a row with Roman gods, such as the sun god Ra. In Rome, Octavian and Mark Antony had shared power, but Octavian won in the final power struggle. The naval battle of Actium ended in favor of the future emperor. In 30 BC, the battle was finally lost. Mark Antony threw himself on his sword and died in the arms of Cleopatra.

The victorious Octavian took Cleopatra into custody. In order not to be dragged along as a trophy in Octavian’s planned triumphal procession, the then 39-year-old Cleopatra took her own life. Whether it was actually the bite of a snake, however, is still historically disputed today. Cleopatra was buried at the side of Mark Antony in her mausoleum in Alexandria, according to her wishes. After her death, Egypt became a Roman province with special status, and the rule of the Ptolemies was over.

The story of this fascinating woman still captures the imagination of many fans. Cleopatra has proven to be a cunning ruler who was able to successfully assert herself in a male-dominated world.