Life has abounded over the face of Egypt for thousands of years. The oldest standing monuments ever built by human hands are in Egypt. The ancient culture was one worshipping many gods and goddesses. It was believed that the pharaohs were gods, and the few female rulers, goddesses. Consider how sophisticated the Egyptians were to accept women rulers at all. Cleopatra was the last ruler, male or female, of the ancient world of pharaohs. Alexandria, her ruling city, was the center of learning and culture at that time. The city was home to people from all lands and all religious sects.
The largest library in the world was housed there. Philosophers, astronomers, mathematicians, doctors, and people of all backgrounds of learning resided there in peace and enlightenment.Cleopatra lived her life to preserve this Egypt. Cleopatra VII was born in 69 BC in Alexandria, which was then the capital of Egypt. Cleopatra was born of the Ptolemy family.
The Ptolemies were not of the same lineage as the ancient Egyptian pharaohs. The Ptolemies were Greek and came into power as Alexander the Great, a Macedonian, conquering the Egyptian land. One of his commanders, Ptolemy, ascended the throne and the Ptolemies ruled for 300 years adopting the customs of the ancient pharaohs. Cleopatra VII was the last pharaoh of the Ptolemy era, and the last pharaoh of the entire ancient civilization. Cleopatra grew knowing the threat of Roman power. Her father, Ptolemy XII, spent a great deal of his life appeasing the Romans with money so that he could remain sole ruler of Egypt and keep them out (Weigall 1924). Cleopatra would continue that combative legacy, after her father's death, at the age of eighteen in 51 BC, by assuming the throne and courting the very threat itself by getting involved with Julius Caesar.
It was customary in Egyptian tradition for Cleopatra to marry her brother, Ptolemy III, who was only twelve years old. This was a marriage of con…