Born near the mouth of the Nile River in Alexandria, Cleopatra VII Philopator (69 B.C.-30 B.C.) was the daughter of Ptolemy XII, the ruler of Egypt and descendant of the Macedonian pharaohs who ruled from 304 B.C.
At age 18, Cleopatra became queen. Considered intelligent, resourceful, and courageous, she became the great love of Roman dictator Julius Caesar before his death, then captured the heart of Caesar's loyal general, Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius).
"In praising Antony I have dispraised Caesar," Cleopatra said, who with Mark Antony planned to unite the entire Mediterranean under Egyptian rule. Caesar's successor Octavian thwarted these plans, defeating Mark Antony in the naval battle of Actium.
Acording to legend, Cleopatra, grieved by Mark Antony's retreat and suicide, killed herself with a venomous snake bite, dying on a bed of gold. "My honor was not yielded, but conquered merely," she said.
Because she ruled the hearts of two of the most powerful men of her time, Cleopatra became an inspiration throughout history. Her legend as a seductress was immortalized through the writings of William Shakespeare (Antony and Cleopatra), John Dryden (All for Love), Geoffrey Chaucer (The Legend of Good Women), and George Bernard Shaw (Caesar and Cleopatra).
First thought, best thought.