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Cleopatra - What We Think the Famous 'Beauty' Looked Like

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Statue of Cleopatra
Statue of Cleopatra

British Museum Bust | Statue of Cleopatra | Pictures of the Ptolemies | Theda Bara Playing Cleo | Liz Taylor as Cleo | Carving | Caesar Stands Before Her | And Augustus | And the Asp | And Antony Coin | Bust | Cleopatra's Needle | Death Statue

Cleopatra VII StatueRosicrucian Egyptian Museum San Jose, California. CC Flickr User Jon Callas

The famous Cleopatra (Cleopatra VII) ruled Egypt during the final years, not only of Egypt's independence, but, in a sense, Rome's. A single ruler we call the emperor would soon rule both. The man who would become the first Roman emperor, Octavian, later Augustus, took control of Egypt when Cleopatra died.

Cleopatra descended from the line of Ptolemies. A Macedonian, Ptolemy, follower of Alexander the Great, started a Macedonian line of pharaohs of Egypt. The Ptolemies were responsible for creating the wonderful museum and library at Alexandria, which was the training grounds for many renowned ancient Greek scientists. [See Scholars at the Library of Alexandria.] It is the same library that features prominently in the story of the pagan woman philosopher Hypatia, who was destroyed viciously under the auspices of the Christian bishop Cyril of Alexandria about four centuries after our Egyptian queen.

We Don't Know What Cleopatra Really Looked Like

Not too many monuments of Cleopatra remain because, although she captured the heart or at least the fancy of Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, it was Octavian (Augustus) who became the first emperor of Rome following the assassination of Caesar and the suicide of Mark Antony. It was Augustus who sealed the fate of Cleopatra, destroyed her reputation, and took control of Ptolemaic Egypt. Cleopatra did get the last laugh, however, when she managed to commit suicide, instead of letting Augustus lead her as a prisoner through the streets of Rome in a victory parade.

British Museum Cleopatra Bust
Statue of Cleopatra
Pictures of the Ptolemies
Theda Bara Playing Cleo
Liz Taylor as Cleopatra
Cleopatra Carving
Caesar Stands Before Her
Augustus and Cleopatra
Cleopatra and the Asp
Antony and Cleopatra Coin
Cleopatra Bust
Cleopatra's Needle
Death of Cleopatra Statue

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