I hope you enjoyed last month’s episodes on some incredible women in American southwest history. This month, I am venturing into the history of some of the world’s most amazing female rulers, and this week, I am starting with a woman who everyone knows a little bit about from the ancient Egyptian civilization, Cleopatra.
Soon after Cleopatra and her father Ptolemy returned from Rome, her father died and wrote in his will that eighteen-year-old Cleopatra and her 10-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII, would share the crown. The two married, as was common in Egyptian royal culture, and ruled together. Not wanting to share the regency with a boy 8 years her junior, and desirous of complete control, Cleopatra took the reins. She had the young Ptolemy’s name eradicated from all official documents and had her face alone printed on Egyptian currency.
The Gabiniani, powerful roman troops and named guardians of the young Ptolemy, opposed Cleopatra’s willfulness and lust for power and ran her out of Egypt. She fled to Syria with her only remaining sister, Arsinoe.
While she was in exile, Cleopatra’s young brother, left to his own devices, made his own mistakes. The most grievous by far, was angering the most powerful man in Rome, Julius Caesar, by ordering the execution of Pompey, a military and political leader of the Roman Republic. While Pompey was Caesar’s political enemy, he was also his son-in-law, husband to Caesar’s only legitimate daughter who had died in childbirth. Furious, Caesar seized the Egyptian capital and made himself arbiter between the rival claims of Ptolemy and Cleopatra.
Using Ptolemy’s fatal mistake to her advantage, Cleopatra set out to gain favor with Caesar. She had herself smuggled into Caesar’s palace rolled up in a carpet, dressed in her royal finery. Enchanted with her brashness, beauty, and brains, Caesar fell in love with her that very night. An affair developed, and nine months after that fated meeting, Cleopatra had a son whom she named Caesarion Ptolemy.
Come back tomorrow to learn of the fate of Cleopatra’s younger brother.
Do you love a good historical mystery featuring a female amateur sleuth? Then you might enjoy the books in my Annie Oakley Mystery Series. Here’s what Kirkus reviews has to say about the first book in the series, Girl with a Gun.
Bovée’s debut novel brings readers solidly into the heyday of the Wild West shows, providing wonderful details about the elaborate costumes and the characters’ remarkable marksmanship . . . There are enough entertaining elements to keep readers guessing, including romance, rivalries, jealousy, and at least one evil character from Annie’s past. The prose has a charming simplicity, which keeps the attention focused on the action and the well-developed protagonist. A quick, fun read with engaging rodeo scenes.”
You can find the books on Amazon.