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Cleopatra's family ruled Egypt for more than 100 years before she was born around 69 B.C. She is one of the most well-known ancients from Egypt. Cleopatra's father was King Ptolemy XII, with hardly any information about her mother, it is thought that Cleopatra was the product of incest. Many tales have also sprung that Cleopatra was of Greek descent, but further studies prove that she was of black African roots.
When her father died, Cleopatra was 18 years old and her brother was 10. Customarily, they wed (brother and sister) and ruled over Egypt. Over the years Egypt fell prey to struggles of famine and floods, and struggles within her marriage, forcing Cleopatra to flee to Syria and regroup. Upon her return with an army, she overthrew her brother. Her political and military clout esteemed her to be the sole ruler of Egypt, the most powerful country in the Mediterranean.
Political turmoil also shaped this period, in 48 BC.
Julius Cesar was in pursuit of his rival Pompey that led him to Egypt. When there, he fell in love with Cleopatra. She was 21 and he was 52. She bore Cesar a son, Cesarion and followed him to Rome to create that family life. But Cesar was already married, so she was forced to marry another of her brothers, whom she had killed, so that Cesarion's rule was not argued. However, when Cesar was assassinated, Cleopatra returned to Egypt.
Over the years following Cesar's death, Cleopatra met Marc Anthony, who also fell in love with her. Their romance has created juicy tales for historians and story tellers alike. But, let's not miss the true mainstay here. This woman was a dominant, successful ruler in a male-dominated era. In an era when Egypt was plagued with both internal and external struggles, she held the country together, successfully.
Her self esteem was quite intact. She saw herself as a goddess and was highly image conscious. Cleopatra thought of herself as being in the same bracket as Isis and Aphrodite. She loved role playing, being mysterious and dressing up in costumes. She often reinvented herself to suit the occasion ~ the mark of a true monarch.
Although Cleopatra was not a pretty specimen of a woman, what most would categorize as "beautiful", she was beautiful in another sense. Her charisma, her sexiness, her intellectual faculties - this was described as "the charm of her conversation." Her proof that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it is not based upon what you "look like", your external features, that determines your beauty. It is how you feel about yourself that evokes that beauty. Remember, she thought of herself as a goddess, as mysterious. Because of these thoughts and perceptions of esteem, she had no problem magnetizing that notion onto others, such as Cesar and Marc Anthony.
Sexuality and Sensuality of Cleopatra
Cleopatra was known to exercise her freedom in sexuality that left the world in awe. She was and is still one of the most iconic women in history to have used her wit, sensibility and sexuality to conquer and rule in ways that any man would not have dared to.