- (69–30 BC)Last queen of Egypt. The daughter of Ptolemy XI, she came to the throne when she was seventeen and reigned with her brother Ptolemy XII, whom she had married according to the Egyptian royal custom. A short while later she quarrelled with her brother and was forced to flee to Syria, where she met and fascinated JULIUS CAESAR, who was there with POMPEY. Caesar sent troops to Egypt on her behalf, her brother Ptolemy was killed and Cleopatra became sole ruler. She lived openly as the mistress of Julius Caesar until he was assassinated, and she then became the mistress of Mark Antony.When HEROD THE GREAT fled to Egypt in 40 BC after the invasion of Judea by the Parthians, Cleopatra received him kindly. But she turned hostile when Herod became king of Judea under Roman patronage, as she coveted the country for herself. She intrigued against Herod with the help of his mother-in- law, who was incensed at Herod’s murder of her son. Antony was loath to sacrifice his Judean henchman, but was forced to appease Cleopatra with grants of coastal towns in Judea - the prized bitumen of the Dead Sea, and the famous date palms and balsam groves of Jericho, which Herod was obliged to hire from her. Herod was too shrewd to challenge her openly. When she visited Jerusalem he entertained her sumptuously and escorted her to Egypt.Antony and Cleopatra were defeated by Octavian at Actium in 31 BC. They fled to Alexandria where they both committed suicide, Cleopatra by putting an asp in her bosom. With her death Egypt became a Roman province. Cleopatra had three children by Mark Antony and possibly a son by Julius Caesar.
Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. Joan Comay . 2012.
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