Not Just a Pretty Face: Cleopatra was a genius female Pharaoh who spoke 8 Languages
Hatshepsut, Ancient Egyptian brave Queen Warrior who ruled as a Pharaoh in 1478 BC. Cleopatra VII (69–30 BC) was the last active monarch of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt.
Cleopatra was a powerful and effective queen, but historical accounts slandered her, downplayed her achievements, and inflated her misdeeds. Cleopatra is commonly depicted in ancient Roman texts and popularized in modern culture as a seductress who exploited her sexual abilities for political benefit.
What these ancient narratives overlook is the reality that she was one of the best thinkers of her day. She was educated by the greatest Hellenistic intellectuals and studied at Alexandria’s Mouseion, which housed the famous Library of Alexandria. She specialized in geography, history, astronomy, philosophy, international diplomacy, mathematics, alchemy, medicine, zoology, and economics.
Cleopatra was the only member of her dynasty who could read and speak ancient Egyptian. She also spoke ancient Greek, as well as the languages of the Parthians, Jews, Medes, Trogodyatae, Syrians, Ethiopians, and Arabs.
Cleopatra VII is said to have spent a lot of time in an antique laboratory. She published various books on plants and cosmetology. Unfortunately, when the magnificent Library of Alexandria was burned in 391 AD, all of her books were lost. Galen, a famous physician, read her works and was able to rewrite a couple of her recipes. A unique lotion that helped men regain their hair was one of the treatments he recommended to his patients.
Even during the first decades of Christianity, her influence on science and medicine was well acknowledged. Cleopatra was able to outsmart everyone in a world full of strong individuals who wanted her dead.
Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire after Cleopatra’s death, marking the end of the second to last Hellenistic kingdom and the epoch that had existed since Alexander’s reign.