Queen Cleopatra, a popular African political figure from ancient Egypt
Her life inspired many historians and storytellers. English playwright William Shakespeare wrote the famous play “Antony and Cleopatra” based on her life.
Cleopatra was born to a royal family around 69 B.C. After her father King Ptolemy XII died, she and her brother ascended to the throne. She was 18 years old during this time. Their relationship became strained after they assumed power. Cleopatra then assembled an army to overthrow her brother.
She defeated him in the Battle of the Nile, with help from Julius Caesar of Rome. She met the emperor when he sought refuge in Egypt during Rome’s civil war. Historians believe that they had a child together named Caesarion.
Following Caesar’s assassination, Cleopatra met Marc Antony. The two lovebirds had a tumultuous love affair that still inspires many storytellers. The queen died following a snake bite by an Egyptian cobra in 30 B.C.
Antony committed suicide after receiving false reports that Cleopatra died in the battle at Actium. They were buried together as they had wished, and Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire.