Cleopatra is certainly one of the successful and respected queens in the history of ancient Egypt since she brought huge influence on the society, governance, politics, and even on women. Her romantic stories and death are always celebrated throughout Egypt and she governed Egypt and created it relatively influential during her regime. Cleopatra was a third born daughter, born in Alexandria in 69 B.C and her father was Ptolemy XII. Ptolemy XIII, her younger brother, got engaged in the kingdom governance with Cleopatra.
Her life history is among the greatest stories in history, not only due to her exceptional romance, but since she was greatly in love of Egypt (Grochowski, 2005). While in power, Cleopatra influenced most women through her education, love, governance, and invasions. Her role in the society is felt in the modern society of Egypt and her encouragements and achievements serve as an inspiration to all women.
Cleopatra is recognized by most historians as the last Pharaoh of Egypt and started her journey to the throne after her elder sisters and father died. Her father was much hated all over Egypt and he went to Rome for exile many years before his death. Throughout the two centuries after the death of Cleopatra’s father, Ptolemy XII, the Ptolemies were in cooperation with Romans, but the powers of Ptolemies were declining and the Roman Empire was growing since they were attempting to overpower Ptolemies.
There was a need to regain their strength and Cleopatra took power in 51 B.C when she was only 17 years old. She understood the religion which existed in Egypt and she was very bright. She was an insightful politician with an exceptional charisma, but was not good-looking and possessed mannish qualities (Bianchi, 2011).
Ptolemy XII, the father of Cleopatra, died in 51 B.C and he left the will that he allowed Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII, her younger brother, to rule the kingdom and Cleopatra was directed to wed her brother and deputy ruler because of the Egyptians’ traditions and customs.
These customs directed that all female leaders should have a partner who may be either son or brother and her younger brother was just 12 years of age during that transition. Cleopatra excluded the name of her brother from all managerial records and created her personal name and portrait included in all legal tender, discarding Ptolemy XIII’s existing powers.
Cleopatra governed alone for almost three years, but the guiders of Ptolemy XIII cheered by Pothinus started working against Cleopatra. In 48 B.C, they overpowered Cleopatra and took over power and she ran for refuge in Syria together with her other sister, Arsinone IV (Bianchi, 2011). However, she did not surrender her throne effortlessly and she started building an army on the border of Egypt to be equipped to attack and overrule her brother.
Cleopatra formulated a strategy to meet Julius Caesar on her personal conditions looking for a political coalition and a way of going back to the throne. She planned to be covered inside a carpet that was intended to be delivered to Julius Caesar. When the carpet was unwrapped, she came out and directly charmed him and during the same day, Caesar was seduced by Cleopatra, although he was married. They eventually became lovers and Cleopatra was connected with the Roman Empire.
The death of Cleopatra is among the most celebrated and well-known ever and after she prepared burial for Antony, she was captured as prisoners with her children, but they were taken care by the authority. She did not want to be embarrassed and this led her take her life. The Roman Emperors began to govern Egypt and Cleopatra is considered the last Pharaoh because after passing away, Egypt was changed and became Roman province (Harold, Anton, and Duca, 2010).
Inspiration to Women
Queen Cleopatra created huge impact on the Roman Empire and acted as an inspiration to all women in Egypt and other parts of the world. She also left huge impression of the Roman Empire since she portrayed an ineradicable representation of women as reliable, shrewd, and strong-minded.
Additionally, she further inspired different interests in the society and strong impact remained in art history. Cleopatra played a great part in the production of a new art culture and practices. Queen Cleopatra’s life and influence will remain permanently in the area of art history and women’s leadership in Roman Empire and her influence as spread to some parts of the world (Harrella, 2011).
Cleopatra possessed different royal and feminine influence all over the Ptolemaic era that embraced society, invasions, authority, women, leadership, and role modelling. She portrayed several excellent characteristics of a role model that embraced, but not limited to, her objective, aptitude, personality, and royalty.
Her role model features particularly included shining academically, politically, romantically, and understood different languages. It is obvious that Cleopatra was a relatively role model for all women during the Ptolemaic era and even in this generation.
Cleopatra also portrayed special characteristics that were respected and inspired traits of the position of women in the community of which included promoting schooling, independence, and hierarchy position of women during the Ptolemaic dynasty and in the current world. Egyptian traditions greatly treasured education of which the Ptolemy era highly valued and reinforced this custom. Women were inspired by Cleopatra to create courage and importance of schooling (Harrella, 2011).
Cleopatra possessed different effects on society of which included her personal change, the manner in which she was represented in the society, and a religious ceremony. The Queen was recognized as a woman with objective, dynamic, influential, and a mother of positive strength of power. She had also exceptional ability and knowledge that helped her as a woman to be portrayed by society as an outstanding person.
Colourful traits of Cleopatra had a major influence on the women’s role in the traditional society and the current women’s position. She obtained high standard as a respected, motivated, and dedicated women of her monarchies to be strong-minded and determined as they go after their objectives in life through their schooling, professions, affection, and talent.
Cleopatra obtained the same educational status like male Pharaoh that emphasizes comprehensive ‘enkukleios paideia’ that signifies encyclopaedia and this Cleopatra’s status allowed women to realize their importance in their society.
She also inspired women in field of mathematics, geometry, and science which took her in significance and interest in the group of well-known learned individuals consisting of Sosigenes (astronome), a physician, and Dioscorides that motivated most women to take part in these fields (Gascoigne, 2011).
She showed the abilities of women after inflicting an effect on the government when she brought strategies along with Antony to offer greatly reliable, optimistic, and constructive policy, along with his intelligence in several administrative positions and decisions.
She also had an impact on the government through her straightforward approaches of ruling because she had certain inborn abilities of a Ptolemy, reliable governing, resolution, and adequate resistance, and these helped to motivate the powerful queens of that time and upcoming leaders.
Cleopatra possessed different royal influence on women and society, for instance creating her personal coin, engaging herself in a religious ceremony, and the manner in which she was represented in the society. Cleopatra had a distinct portrait coin that represented her personality and individualism.
She also got involved in a religious ceremony which allowed her to receive respect and honour from her kingdom. Bearing in mind all Cleopatra’s accomplishments and encouragements, most societies took her as an outstanding person since she influenced women to realize and participate in the society.
Queen Cleopatra had a significance royal and womanly influence on women in the past and in Ptolemaic era. She possessed encouragements and achievements as a role model on the role of women and even women’s romance of which motivated the scripts of her romantic stories. Cleopatra as well had a royal influence on the fields of governance, war, and invasions, together with the manner in which the society portrayed her.
Cleopatra remains as a major female historical representation that significantly had an impact on the Ptolemaic dynasty through acting as a representation of women, role model, romantic figure, governance, education, and her role in the society, and was an intelligent Queen which adequate skills and knowledge in challenging role in politics, a woman’s leadership with the sensuality to draw the outstanding traits of heroes, and the ability to understand and apply it.
Bianchi, R. (2011). Interpreting the Uninterpretable: Cleopatra and Biography. Journal of Historical Biography, 9: 77-89.
Gascoigne, B. (2011). History of Cleopatra. Retrieved May 11, 2012, from http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?historyid=aa25#247
Grochowski, J. (2005). Cleopatra VII. Retrieved May 11, 2012, from http://departments.kings.edu/womens_history/cleop7.html
Harold, L., Anton, K., & Duca, K. (2010). The Influence of Context on the Leadership of Cleopatra. The Journal of Ancient History, 2(1): 27-34.
Harrella, T. (2011). Cleopatra Vii’s Influences Throughout The Ptolemaic Dynasty. Retrieved May 11, 2012, from http://bookstove.com/book-talk/cleopatra-viis-influences-throughout-the-ptolemaic-dynasty/