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Cleopatra

antony ptolemy caesar marriage

Cleopatra (69–30 B.C.), queen of Egypt, daughter of Ptolemy XI When her father died (51 B.C.) she was supposed to share the throne with her young brother-husband, Ptolemy ΧΠ, but his advisers drove her out of Egypt (49 B.C.). She won the support of Julius Caesar (48 B.C.), who had come to Alexandria in pursuit of Pompey. She became his mistress, bearing him a son, Caesarion (later Ptolemy XIV). With Caesar's help she recovered her throne. The accidental death of Ptolemy XII was followed by her marriage to a younger brother, Ptolemy XIII, whom she later had murdered (44 B.C.). After the battle of Philippi, Mark Antony summoned her to Tarsus, where she made him her lover. They were married in 37 B.C., but the marriage was not legal in Rome, where she was feared and hated. Antony helped restore Ptolemaic power in Syria, and war with Octavian (later Emperor Augustus) became inevitable. In the sea and land battle at Actium (31 B.C.) the forces of Antony and Cleopatra were routed. Antony killed himself, and Cleopatra, fearing humiliation in Octavian's triumph in Rome, also committed suicide.

See also: Antony, Marc; Caesar, (Gaius) Julius.

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