The infamous Cleopatra was born to Ptolemy XII, who was also referred to as Auletes (or the Piper because he played the flute). Her father grew up in a time period where rulers had to deal with a great deal of corruption, greed, and disloyalty. When Ptolemy XII ruled, he didn’t have the best interest of the general public in mind. Because of this, he wasn’t the most popular amongst his people. In this article, you will learn more about Ptolemy and his daughter Cleopatra.
While he ruled harshly over the kingdom, Ptolemy made sure that his children did not suffer. Ptolemy XII fathered six children, and his immediate family took full advantage of all the finer things that Egypt had to offer. His children ate the best foods and dressed in the best clothes. When elaborate banquets and events were held, his children were in attendance. To say the least, the children were highly spoiled.
Ptolemy was a supporter of education and believed that it was important for his children to learn all they could. He equipped his kids with their own tutors. Servants also waited on their every need. Cleopatra greatly benefited from the education she received , studying philosophy, literature, art, music, and medicine. In the end, she could speak six different languages, including Aramaic, Egyptian, Greek, Hebrew, and Latin.
With education under her belt, Cleopatra started to take an interest in the politics and status regarding her father’s position. She acknowledged the power that came with being a pharaoh and along with her siblings, wanted a taste of this type of esteem. The ambitious trait ran through the blood of all Ptolemy’s children. With all the kids wanting a chance to come into power, issues of trust emerged. Cleopatra was well area that relatives had killed many of her family members. She made sure to pay attention to the people close by her.
No laws existed at that time that stated who the next pharaoh would be so Ptolemy had to select one of his children to become the ruler after he died. All of this created tension amongst the siblings and other relatives that already had their eye on the throne. Some were willing to do anything to ensure their place.
In Alexandria, the siblings were preoccupied with the Egyptian throne. However, the Romans were concentrating on something entirely different. They spent their time expanding their territory. At the time, three powerful generals were making strides , Julius Caesar, Cnaeus Pompeious Magnus (Pompey), and Marcus Licinius. Ptolemy recognized these men as being potential threats to the Ptolemaic Dynasty. He feared their armed forces could be devastating for Alexandria. He did not want the Romans to force their laws and taxes on the people of Egypt.
To learn about what Ptolemy did to safeguard Egypt from the Romans, continue reading the second part of this article , ” Cleopatra and the Shift of Egyptian Power “