Cleopatra (Alessandria d’Egitto 69-30 a.C.), ultima regina della dinastia tolemaica; regnò sull’Egitto come Cleopatra VII dal 51 al 30 a.C.

Figlia del faraone Tolomeo XII Aulete, alla morte del padre nel 51 a.C. fu associata al trono con il fratello Tolomeo XIII, dodicenne, a condizione che si sposassero.

Nel terzo anno di regno, Tolomeo XIII, incoraggiato dai suoi consiglieri, assunse da solo il governo e mandò la sorella in esilio.

Cleopatra si rifugiò in Siria, dove rivendicò abilmente i suoi diritti fino all’arrivo di Giulio Cesare, il quale, sconfitti gli egizi sul Nilo nel corso della guerra alessandrina (48-47 a.C.) uccise Tolomeo e si insediò sul trono.

Frammento di bassorilievo

Secondo le consuetudini del popolo del Nilo, Cleopatra dovette regnare insieme al fratello minore, Tolomeo XIV, allora undicenne, che fu costretta a sposare.

Una volta assicurata la stabilità del governo egizio, Cleopatra si trasferì a Roma, dove visse come amante di Cesare e dal quale ebbe un figlio, Cesarione.

Dopo l’assassinio di Cesare nel 44 a.C., tornò in Egitto dove, secondo alcune fonti, avvelenò Tolomeo XIV e regnò con il figlio Cesarione.


Allorché la battaglia di Filippi (42 a.C.) pose fine alla guerra civile seguita alla morte di Cesare, Cleopatra si legò ad Antonio, divenendo la sua amante.

Ebbe su di lui una profonda influenza, al punto da accreditare la voce che i due ambissero a dar vita a un regno orientale in opposizione a Roma.

Nel 40 a.C. Cleopatra ebbe da Antonio due gemelli.

Nel 34 a.C., dopo la vittoriosa campagna contro i parti, Antonio celebrò il proprio trionfo ad Alessandria e annunciò pubblicamente la divisione dell’impero, già di Alessandro Magno, tra Cleopatra e i figli.

Quando la notizia giunse a Roma, Cesare Ottaviano Augusto dichiarò guerra ad Antonio.

Nella battaglia navale di Azio (31 a.C.) i romani distrussero la flotta di Cleopatra, e nell’agosto del 30 a.C., quando venne espugnata la città di Alessandria, Antonio e Cleopatra si suicidarono.

Cesarione fu giustiziato da Ottaviano e l’Egitto passò nelle mani di Roma, come proprietà personale dell’imperatore.

Regine dell’antico Egitto
Le corone delle regine

Donne e dee

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