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 the love affair between Julius Caesar and Cleopatra started, Cleopatra’s brother, Ptolemy XIII, mysteriously drowned in the Nile. Some say he died at Caesar’s hand with the encouragement of his beautiful mistress. Caesar then named Cleopatra’s youngest brother, Ptolemy XIV, Pharaoh of Egypt, and Cleopatra as his co-ruler, and again, the siblings married. Caesar then set sail for Rome.

 

Four years later, Cleopatra took her young son with her to Rome where she and Caesar rekindled their relationship, much to the grievance of the Roman people. Their loyalty lay with Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, and they were outraged at Caesar’s blatant flaunting of his relationship with the Egyptian temptress. He even went so far as to house Cleopatra in one of his country villas just outside of Rome, and also had a golden statue of her, portrayed as Isis, erected in the temple of Venus Genetrix.

 

After the assassination of Caesar in 44 B.C.E., Cleopatra returned to Egypt to claim her title as Pharaoh. After her return, young Ptolemy XIV died, many say poisoned by his older sister. Cleopatra was known to concoct poisons and perfumes as a hobby. After her brother/husband’s funeral, she named her son as co-regent.

 

At the height of her power and beauty, Cleopatra’s popularity with the Egyptians was paramount for several reasons. Like all fashion icons she wore exotic hairstyles, jewelry, and clothing; she was the first of her family to speak her countryman’s language, Egyptian; and she believed herself to be the embodiment of the reincarnated Egyptian goddess, Isis. Because of her engaging personality and style, Egyptian women made themselves up and dressed like her. According to the historian Joann Fletcher, “so many women adopted the ‘Cleopatra look’ that their statuary has often been mistaken for Cleopatra herself.”

 

Come back tomorrow to hear about the next love in Cleopatra’s life, and one of the most famous triumvirs of Rome, Marc Antony.

 

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.

 

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Kari Bovee

I love to write about empowered women in history, horses, unconventional characters, and real-life historical events. I want readers to experience the joy of an escape from their everyday lives into a mystery from the past.