Cleopatra VII, iconic ruler and last queen of Egypt, is a fascinating historical figure of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Born in 69 BC. AD, she acceded to the throne in 51 BC. J.-C. at the age of 18, after the death of his father, Ptolemy XII Aulete. She ruled jointly with her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII, whom she was forced to marry due to the customs of the time.
Cleopatra was not only recognized for her beauty, but also for her intelligence and eloquence. Unlike many of her predecessors, she was fluent in ancient Egyptian, as well as a dozen other languages. She was also an enlightened leader, who cared about the welfare of her people and the prosperity of her kingdom.
His reign was marked by strategic alliances and love affairs with two of the greatest Roman rulers of the time: Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. These relationships allowed him to consolidate his power and protect Egypt from the growing Roman threat.
The alliance with Julius Caesar began in 48 BC. AD, when Cleopatra, in the midst of civil war against her brother Ptolemy XIII, managed to get herself presented to Caesar hidden in a carpet. Seduced by her charm and intelligence, Caesar helped her defeat the forces of Ptolemy XIII, who was killed in 47 BC. Following this victory, Cleopatra married her other brother, Ptolemy XIV, while maintaining a relationship with Caesar, who gave her a son, Ptolemy XV Caesarion.
After the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC. BC, Cleopatra became close to Marc Antoine, an influential member of the Roman Triumvirate. Together they had three children and formed a political and military alliance to confront Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus. Unfortunately, their defeat at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. J.-C. sounded the death knell of their ambition.
Cleopatra returned to Egypt, where she was joined by Mark Antony, who committed suicide after learning, wrongly, of the death of his beloved.
Cleopatra, learning of Marc Antony's death, was devastated. She found herself alone against the victorious Roman army. The Queen of Egypt understood that her capture was imminent, and that she would likely be humiliated by being forced to march in a triumphal procession in Rome, a fate she wished to avoid at all costs.
Cleopatra took refuge in her mausoleum in Alexandria with the help of some faithful servants. She first tried to negotiate with Octave, hoping to save his life and maybe even retain his throne. However, it quickly became apparent that Octave would show no leniency.
Determined to die with dignity, Cleopatra carefully prepared her suicide. According to legend, she managed to sneak a poisonous snake, an Egyptian asp, into her mausoleum, although the details of this story remain unclear. Other sources suggest she used poison concealed in a hairpin.
Anyway, Cleopatra killed herself in August 30 BC. Her final moments were marked by an act of determination and courage, refusing to submit to Octave's will and choosing to die as Queen of Egypt. His death marked the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty and the annexation of Egypt by Rome, which became a mere province of the Roman Empire.
Cleopatra and perfume
Perfumes were considered essential to everyday life in ancient Egypt. They were used in religious rituals, for body care and, of course, for their olfactory appeal. The Egyptians were past masters in the art of perfumery, exploiting local plants and resins to create bewitching fragrances.
Cleopatra, as Queen of Egypt, had access to the rarest and most precious perfumes. She was particularly fond of flower-based scents, such as lotus and rose, as well as spicy and resinous fragrances, such as myrrh and frankincense. It is said that she had even developed her own signature perfume, a unique blend of exotic ingredients that gave her a mysterious and irresistible aura.
Perfumes played a key role in Cleopatra's arsenal of seduction, which she used to win the hearts of two of the most powerful men of the time: Julius Caesar and Marc Antony. According to historical accounts, when she first met Marc Antoine, she ordered her servants to soak the sails of her ship with perfume so that the intoxicating fragrance heralded her arrival long before she was visible.
Cleopatra's perfumes were not only used for seduction. They were also a symbol of his power and wealth. The rare and expensive fragrances she wore reflected her status as queen and helped reinforce the image of divine ruler she sought to project. Perfumes were thus an instrument of power for Cleopatra, allowing her to make an impression and assert her authority over her people and her allies.
Narmer / Hor-Aha / Atoti / Djer / Ouadji (or Djet) / Den / Adjib Sémerkhet / Qâ / Sneferka / Horus Bird
Hotepsekhemwy / Nebre / Ninetjer / Ouneg / Senedj / Nubnefer / Horus Ba / Horus Sa / Peribsen / Sekhemib / Khasekhemwy / Neferkare / Neferkasokar / Hudjefa I /
Djoser / Sanakht / Sekhemkhet / Khaba / Huni
Userkaf/Sahoure/Neferirkare Kakai/Neferefre/Shepseskare/Niouserre/Menkauhor/Djedkare Isesi/Ounas
Téti/Userkare/Pépi I/Mérenrê I/Pépi II/Mérenrê II/Netjerkare/Menkare
First Intermediate Period
Djedkare II Shemai/Neferkare Khendou/Merenhor/Neferkamin I/Nykare
/Neferkamin Anu/Qakare Ibi/Neferkaure/Neferkauhor/Wadjkare
Meribre Khety/Nebkaoure Khety
Mentuhotep I/Antef I/Antef II/Antef III
Mentuhotep II/Mentuhotep III/Mentuhotep IV
Amenemhat I/Sesostris I/Amenemhat II/Sesostris II/Sesostris III/Amenemhat III
Second Intermediate Period
Sékhemrê-Khoutaouy Amenemhat-/Sobekhotep I/Sékhemkare Amenemhat-Senbef/Nerkare/Sékhemkare Amenemhat V/Amény-Qémaou/Hotepibre Qémaou-Sa-Hornejhéritef/Ioufeni/Séânkhibrê Amény-Antef-Amenemhat (or Amenemhat VI)/Semenkare Nebhotetaou
Sekhaenre Yakbim/Nebuuserre Yaammou/Khauserre Qareh
Semqen/Aper-Anat/Sakir-Har/Khyan/Apophis I/Apophis II?/Khamoudy
/Sekhemre-Sementaouy Djehouty/Sekhemre-Sousertaouy Sobekhotep VIII
/Menkhâourê Senââib/Sekhemrê-Khoutaouy Paentjeny/Sekhemrê-Neferkhâou Oupouaoutemsaf/Useribrê Senebkay
Sekhemrê-Shedtaouy Sobekemsaf II/Sekhemrê-Oupmaât Antef-Aa V
Ahmes (or Iâhmès)/Amenhotep I/Thoutmôsis I/Thoutmôsis II/Hatchepsout ♀
Ramses I/Seti I/Ramses II/Merenptah/Seti II/Amenmes/Siptah
Sethnakht/Ramses III/Ramses IV/Ramses V/Ramses VI/Ramses VII/Ramses VIII/Ramses IX/Ramses X/Ramses XI
Third Intermediate Period
Nesbanebdjed I (Smendes)/Pinedjem I/Amenemnesut/Psusennes I/Amenemopet/Osorkon the Elder/Siamon/Psusennes II
Sheshonq I/Nimlot I/Osorkon I/Sheshonq II/Takelot I/Osorkon II/Takelot II/Sheshonq III/Pimay/Sheshonq IV/Osorkon III
Petubastis I/Yupout I/Sheshonq V/Osorkon IV/Takelot III/Rudamon/Yupout II/Osorkon IV/Gemenefkhonsoubak/Petubatis II
XXV Kushite dynasty
XNUMXth Saite Dynasty
Ammeris/Stephinates/Nécheps/Nékao I/Psammétique I/Nékao II/Psammétique II/Apriès/Amasis/Psammétique III
XXVII Persian Dynasty
Cambyses II/Bardiya/Darius I/Xerxes I/Artaxerxes I/Xerxes II/Sogdianos/Darius II/Artaxerxes II
Nepherites I/Psammouthis/Achôris/Nepherites II
Nectanebo I/Teos/Nectanebo II
Persian Dynasty XXXI
Artaxerxes III/ Arses/ Darius III
Alexander the Great / Philip III / Alexander IV
Ptolemy I / Ptolemy II / Ptolemy III/ Ptolemy IV / Ptolemy V / Ptolemy VI / Ptolemy VII/ Ptolemy VIII/ Ptolemy IX/ Ptolemy X /Ptolemy XI/ Ptolemy XII / Berenice IV/ Cleopatra VII/ Ptolemy XIII/Ptolemy XIV/ Ptolemy XV