1) Cleopatra’s full name was
Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator.
2) Cleopatra was born in 69 BC,
to Ptolemy XII and his wife,
Cleopatra V of Egypt.
3) She became the Pharaoh of the Ptolemaic Dynasty
after succeeded Ptolemy XII Neos Dionysos (Auletes).
She reigned for 21 years, from 51 BC to 30 BC.
4) Cleopatra died in 30 BC,
when she was only 39 years old.
She committed suicide and used
an asp (an Egyptian cobra snake) for the purpose.
5) Cleopatra VII was the last Queen
and the last Pharaoh of Egypt.
Following her death,
Egypt became a Roman province.
6) Cleopatra had four children,
namely Caesarion aka Ptolemy Caesar
(son of Julius Caesar)
and Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II
and Ptolemy Philadelphus
(children of Mark Antony).
7) Whether she was physically beautiful
is subject to debate.
Coins of the time depict a woman
with a hooked nose and masculine features.
8) Cleopatra was a very intelligent woman,
with oodles of charisma
and amazing powers of persuasion.
9) Cleopatra was not an Egyptian. Rather,
she was a Macedonian Greek
descended from Ptolemy I,
a Greek general of Alexander the Great.
Ptolemy I became the king of Egypt
following the death of Alexander.
10) In the entire 300-year old Ptolemaic dynasty,
Cleopatra was the only Pharaoh
who could speak Egyptian. Infact,
she was the master of nine languages in toto.
11) Cleopatra was one of the seven women named
Cleopatra in the dynasty.
This is why she was officially known
as Cleopatra VII.
12) Cleopatra was the mistress,
and probably the wife, of Julius Caesar.
She was married to Mark Antony,
apart from a few of her own brothers.
13) After the death of Caesar,
she and Mark Antony fell in love and got married.
14) She had a eunuch friend named Mardian
whom she befriended when she was a little girl.
Mardian learnt to read and write at her palace
and they both remained friends for a lifetime.
15) Mark Antony committed suicide on the battlefield
after being misinformed about the death of Cleopatra
16) Shattered after hearing
the news of the death of Mark Antony,
she committed suicide by making an asp,
an Egyptian cobra, bite her in the breast.
One of the most famous love stories
(Antony and Cleopatra), thus ended tragically.
She was then only 39
17) She believed she was the daughter
of Egyptian goddess Isis
and the bite of an asp would take her to the gods
18) She had three sisters; two older and one younger.
The eldest was named
after her mother Cleopatra V Tryphaena,
means pleasure seeker.
Hence, there were two Cleopatras in the family.
They were distinguished by their middle names
19) She married her 12 year old brother Ptolemy XIII,
when she was 18.
They ruled together for 4 years
before he was drowned.