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IMGThe ultimate bad girl- Cleopatra. I thought about painting Elizabeth Taylor portraying Cleopatra- kill two birds with one stone, but alas… I stuck with the original (with some creative liberties.)

Cleopatra was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt- she ruled jointly with her father and later with her brothers- whom she married. Eventually, she ruled on her own after having a son with Julius Caesar- named Caesarion. She is well known for her affair with Mark Antony (she did marry him)- whom she had twins- Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios. She also had a third child with Antony- Ptolemy Philadelphus.

After Antony killed himself, Cleopatra did the same by having a cobra/asp bite her. (Surely there were better ways to go? no?) This was to avoid falling victim to the cruel Romans.

She goes down in history as a great beauty, that used her sexuality to seduce the most powerful men during that time. Her sweet, charming voice, charm, and charisma caused men to swoon and do whatever she asked. At least that’s what the books tell us, the truth his- she was quite powerful on her own and did not need to use seduction to get what she wanted.

Her rule was not altogether successful for her people. She taxed them heavily to pay her father’s debts, disregarded the country’s infrastructure, and only built one, self-serving temple dedicated to Julius Caesar. After her death at the age of 39, the Romans took control of Egypt.

A few misunderstandings regarding Cleopatra:

1. She was not Egyptian. She was actually Macedonian/Greek.

2. She was one of 7 women that possessed the name Cleopatra during her dynasty- she was actually Cleopatra VII. Her full name was Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator.

3. She may have not only been the mistress of Julius Caesar, but also his wife.

4. She was a writer. She wrote a medical book titled Costmetics. But it was not about make-up, more about remedies for hair loss and dandruff.

5. She murdered her younger sister, and brother. This was not uncommon for ruling families during this time.

6. Only one of her four children survived into adulthood- Cleopatra Selene eventually became the Queen of Maurentania.