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In my opinion, I believe Cleopatra made a big impact in Egyptian society that we still know and study today. She revolutionized many things, contributed the most to society and was the most powerful and significant figure/female in Ancient Egypt.
Cleopatra was a well-known historic figure for her reign in Ancient Egypt. She was a cultured woman who spoke many languages, knew about geography, politics, revolutionized many things and so much more. In the time period, it was rare to find a woman who was attractive and educated, which made her just that much more special.
Cleopatra VII Philopator was born in 69 BC and died 30 BC in Alexandria, Egypt. She was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt and as a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, she was a descendant of its founder Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general and companion of Alexander the Great. Her name means “the Goddess Cleopatra, the Beloved of her Father”. Cleopatra was the third daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes, who ruled Egypt until 51 BC, she was also the product of incest. She was well educated, she spoke 9 languages, taught herself politics by watching her father and was the first Ptolemy Pharaoh to speak Egyptian, because of all that she was able to rule Ancient Egypt. After her father’s death, Cleopatra had to consort, who was either a brother or a son, no matter what age, throughout her reign. Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent for almost three decades and she became the last in a dynasty of Macedonian rulers founded by Ptolemy, who served as general under Alexander the Great during his conquest of Egypt in 332 BC. Cleopatra came into power at 15 and married Ptolemy XIII, she didn’t get along with him but her only goal was to make a greater world empire. Whether her way of getting it done was for own desires or for the pursuit of power will never be known for certain. Many people that she did what she felt like was necessary to try to save Alexandria. Cleopatra was dropping his name from official documents, which flew in the face of Ptolemaic tradition that female rulers be subordinate to male rulers. Ptolemy was trying to achieve full control of Ancient Egypt and drive Cleopatra out of the throne. The two began a civil war in 48 BC and she exiled to Syria with the aid of Julius Caesar, she defeated her brother. She then moved to Rome and had a baby with Caesar named Caesarion and survived as a Pharaoh by Caesarion. Cleopatra returned to Egypt after Caesar’s death in 44 BC. Caesar never acknowledged the boy was his offspring, and historical debate continues over whether he was indeed his father or not. Later, she had three children with Marc Antony: twins Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene and another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. She married Caesar’s ally, Anthony and after having twins, Cleopatra supported him by throwing in all her military support behind Anthony in his war against Octavian, Caesars adopted son. Octavian and his allies defeated Anthony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, then Anthony died in 30 BC. Cleopatra wanted Egypt to remain independent of Rome, A & E Networks Television. She built up the Egyptian economy, establishing trade with many Arab nations. She was a popular ruler among the people of Egypt both because she embraced the Egyptian culture and because the country was prosperous during her rule. Her story is quiet significant and for the most part powerful. Cleopatra was clearly witted which proves my earlier point.
In Ancient Egypt, women had little to no rights and there wasn’t a lot of female dominance until powerful rulers like Cleopatra. I believe she was the best female leader for a various of reasons. Cleopatra changed the world in more ways than just being beautiful. She taught herself Egyptian to better communicate and relate to the people she was ruling, which was something no male ruler at the time did. As any teenage girl will tell you, ruling a country with your younger sibling is difficult. Cleopatra went to work to rule her kingdom by distancing herself from her brother. The siblings were married but Cleopatra made it very clear that she wasn’t going to play nice and share with Ptolemy XIII. Now talk about a boss lady and taking responsibility and charge of everything at such a young age. Cleopatra revolutionized fashion and make-up trends and popularized it. Despite the fact that the legislators and government officials of Rome abhorred Cleopatra with an energy, she began some wild fashion trends in the city. Women everywhere began doing their hair and makeup like the fashionable in vogue sovereign Cleopatra, and the trend went on for quite a long while. The Cleo look was mainstream to such an extent that statuettes of women found in the remnants of the old city were frequently mistaken by present day archeologists with the celebrated Queen herself. The real importance of Cleopatra is that she is an outstanding example of a woman who achieved great importance in ancient times without merely being a power behind the throne. The ancient world being what it is, her destiny was wrapped up closely with her dealings with men… therefore, she cannot be called a perfect proto-feminist in every respect. She was also one of the richest people in the world. She was known for her striking personality, her sharp intelligence and her alliances with the two most powerful men of her time. Cleopatra actually teaches us about gender equality in politics. Female politicians are criticized for their beauty routines and wardrobe. Men do receive media attention when they are part of a scandal, a conspicuously bright light is shown on their female counterparts’ marital history and sexual past but that Cleopatra did it all and still managed to be a great ruler in Ancient Egypt. Cleopatra showed determination for Ancient Egypt throughout her reign by using all of her assets for the empire. She was well educated, the intellectual equal of the men in her circle and their superior wealth Elizabeth.
Lastly, now that we know about how she is so powerful and how her dominance made quiet an impact let’s talk about, how Cleopatra continues to influence others today and why do we still continue to study about her. Similar to stars of today, Cleopatra carefully controlled her public image. When she traveled to Tarsus by barge to meet Mark Antony for the first time, she created quite a spectacle, dressed as the Egyptian goddess Isis with handsome boys fanning her as she reclined on her perch. She had a taste for pageantry, something a star like Lady Gaga would no doubt appreciate. Cleopatra is not found in a museum or painting, but in Hollywood. “In the contemporary imagination, the [1963 Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton] movie powerfully brought images of Cleopatra which are still very present and seductive,” says Dr. Hazel Clark, Research Chair of Fashion and Professor in the MA Fashion Studies program at Parsons The New School for Design. “That image” of Taylor, says Dr. Clark, “was very much linked to the early 1960s. I think there’s been a revived interest in the early 1960s, with the popularity of Mad Men and stores like Banana Republic picking up the look. In Egypt, they still keep the same traditions today. This also another way Cleopatra influences fashion today. She also influenced Shakespeare’s playwright, Anthony and Cleopatra. Cleopatra still matters in this and age, many of the things we do historically relates back to her.
In conclusion, Cleopatra was clearly one of a kind and will always be remembered because of that. Hopefully, that proves how Cleopatra made a big impact in Egyptian society and why we still know and study today. How she revolutionized many things, contributed the most to society and was the most powerful and significant figure/female in Ancient Egypt.
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