Cleopatra VII Philopator
The Berlin Cleopatra, a Roman sculpture of Cleopatra VII wearing a royal diadem, mid-1st century BC (i.e. around the time of her visits to Rome in 46–44 BC), discovered in a villa along the Via Appia; it is now located in the Altes Museum, Antikensammlung Berlin.[1][2][3][note 1]
Queen of Ptolemaic Kingdom
Reign51 – 10 or 12 August 30 BC (21 years)[4][note 2]
PredecessorPtolemy XII Auletes
SuccessorPtolemy XV Caesarion
Co-rulersPtolemy XII Auletes
Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator
Ptolemy XIV
Ptolemy XV Caesarion
Born69 BC
Alexandria, Ptolemaic Kingdom
Died10 or 12 August 30 BC
(aged 39)[note 2]
Alexandria, Egypt
BurialUnlocated tomb
(probably in Egypt)
SpousePtolemy XIII Theos Philopator
Ptolemy XIV
Mark Antony
IssueCaesarion, Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar
Alexander Helios
Cleopatra Selene, Queen of Mauretania
Ptolemy XVI Philadelphus
Full name
Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator
FatherPtolemy XII Auletes
MotherUnknown, presumably Cleopatra VI Tryphaena (also known as Cleopatra V Tryphaena)[note 3]
Cleopatra VII in hieroglyphs
Hiero Ca1.svg
Hiero Ca2.svg
Horus name (1): Wer(et)-neb(et)-neferu-achet-seh
The great Lady of perfection, excellent in counsel
wr t
X2 t
Horus name (2): Weret-tut-en-it-es
The great one, sacred image of her father
Hiero Ca1.svg
t H8
Hiero Ca2.svg
Cleopatra netjeret mer(et) ites
Qlwpdrt nṯrt mr(t) jts
The goddess Cleopatra who is beloved of her father

Cleopatra VII Philopator (Greek: Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ Cleopatra Philopator;[5] 69 – August 10 or 12, 30 BC)[note 2] was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, nominally survived as pharaoh by her son Caesarion.[note 4] She was also a diplomat, naval commander, linguist, and medical author.[6] As a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, she was a descendant of its founder Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general and companion of Alexander the Great. After the death of Cleopatra, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire, marking the end of the Hellenistic period that had lasted since the reign of Alexander (336–323 BC).[note 5] Her native language was Koine Greek and she was the first Ptolemaic ruler to learn the Egyptian language.[note 6]

In 58 BC Cleopatra presumably accompanied her father Ptolemy XII during his exile to Rome, after a revolt in Egypt allowed his eldest daughter Berenice IV to claim the throne. The latter was killed in 55 BC when Ptolemy XII returned to Egypt with Roman military assistance. When Ptolemy XII died in 51 BC, Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIII acceded to the throne as joint rulers, but a fallout between them led to open civil war. After losing the 48 BC Battle of Pharsalus in Greece against his rival Julius Caesar in Caesar's Civil War, the Roman statesman Pompey the Great fled to Egypt, a Roman client state. However, Ptolemy XIII had Pompey killed while Caesar occupied Alexandria in pursuit of Pompey. As consul of the Roman Republic, Caesar attempted to reconcile Ptolemy XIII with Cleopatra. However, Ptolemy XIII's chief adviser Potheinos viewed Caesar's terms as favoring Cleopatra, so his forces, which eventually fell under the control of Cleopatra's younger sister Arsinoe IV, besieged both Caesar and Cleopatra at the palace. The siege was lifted by reinforcements in early 47 BC and Ptolemy XIII died shortly thereafter in the Battle of the Nile. Arsinoe IV was eventually exiled to Ephesus and Caesar, now an elected dictator, declared Cleopatra and her younger brother Ptolemy XIV as joint rulers of Egypt. However, Caesar maintained a private affair with Cleopatra that produced a son, Caesarion (i.e. Ptolemy XV). Cleopatra traveled to Rome as a client queen in 46 and 44 BC, staying at Caesar's villa. When Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC Cleopatra attempted to have Caesarion named as his heir, but this fell instead to Caesar's grandnephew Octavian (known as Augustus by 27 BC, when he became the first Roman emperor). Cleopatra then had Ptolemy XIV killed and elevated her son Caesarion as co-ruler.

In the Liberators' civil war of 43–42 BC, Cleopatra sided with the Roman Second Triumvirate formed by Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. After their meeting at Tarsos in 41 BC, Cleopatra had an affair with Antony that would eventually produce three children: Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II, and Ptolemy Philadelphus. Antony used his authority as triumvir to carry out the execution of Arsinoe IV at Cleopatra's request. He became increasingly reliant on Cleopatra for both funding and military aid during his invasions of the Parthian Empire and the Kingdom of Armenia. In the Donations of Alexandria, Cleopatra's children with Antony were declared rulers over various erstwhile territories under Antony's authority. This event, along with Antony's marriage to Cleopatra and divorce of Octavia Minor, sister of Octavian, led to the Final War of the Roman Republic. After engaging in a war of propaganda, Octavian forced Antony's allies in the Roman Senate to flee Rome in 32 BC and declared war on Cleopatra. The naval fleet of Antony and Cleopatra was defeated at the 31 BC Battle of Actium by Octavian's general Agrippa. Octavian's forces invaded Egypt in 30 BC and defeated those of Antony, leading to his suicide. When Cleopatra learned that Octavian planned to bring her to Rome for his triumphal procession, she committed suicide by poisoning, the popular belief being that she was bitten by an asp.

Cleopatra's legacy survives in numerous works of art, both ancient and modern, and many dramatizations of incidents from her life in literature and other media. She was described in various works of Roman historiography and Latin poetry. The latter produced a generally polemic and negative view of the queen that pervaded later Medieval and Renaissance literature. In the visual arts, ancient depictions of Cleopatra include Roman and Ptolemaic coinage, statues, busts, reliefs, cameo glass, cameo carvings, and paintings. She was the subject of many works in Renaissance and Baroque art, which included sculptures, paintings, poetry, theatrical dramas such as William Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (1608) and operas such as George Frideric Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto (1724). In modern times Cleopatra has appeared in both the applied and fine arts, burlesque satire, Hollywood films such as Cleopatra (1963), and brand images for commercial products, becoming a pop culture icon of Egyptomania since the Victorian era.


The name Cleopatra originates from the Greek name Kleopatra (Greek: Κλεοπάτρα), meaning "glory of her father" in the feminine form.[7] It is derived from kleos (Greek: κλέος), "glory", combined with pater (Greek: πατήρ), "ancestors", using the genitive form patros (Greek: πατρός).[8] The masculine form would have been written either as Kleopatros (Greek: Κλεόπατρος) or Patroklos (Greek: Πάτροκλος).[8] Cleopatra was the name of Alexander the Great's sister, as well as Cleopatra Alcyone, wife of Meleager in Greek mythology.[9] Through the marriage of Ptolemy V Epiphanes and Cleopatra I Syra (a Seleucid princess), the name entered the Ptolemaic dynasty.[10][11] Cleopatra's adopted title Thea Philopatora (Greek: Θεά Φιλοπάτωρα) means "goddess who loves her father."[12][13][note 7]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Cleopatra VII
አማርኛ: ክሌዮፓትራ
aragonés: Cleopatra VII
asturianu: Cleopatra VII
azərbaycanca: VII Kleopatra
تۆرکجه: کلئوپاترا
Bân-lâm-gú: Kleopatra 7-sè
Basa Banyumasan: Cleopatra
башҡортса: Клеопатра VII
беларуская: Клеапатра
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Клеапатра
български: Клеопатра VII
bosanski: Kleopatra VII
brezhoneg: Kleopatra VII
Чӑвашла: Клеопатра
Cebuano: Cleopatra
čeština: Kleopatra VII.
Cymraeg: Cleopatra
eesti: Kleopatra
español: Cleopatra
Esperanto: Kleopatro
euskara: Kleopatra
فارسی: کلئوپاترا
føroyskt: Kleopatra
français: Cléopâtre VII
Gaeilge: Cléópatra
Gàidhlig: Cleopatra
गोंयची कोंकणी / Gõychi Konknni: Cleopatra
Հայերեն: Կլեոպատրա
hrvatski: Kleopatra
Bahasa Indonesia: Kleopatra
íslenska: Kleópatra 7.
italiano: Cleopatra
עברית: קלאופטרה
Basa Jawa: Cleopatra
ქართული: კლეოპატრა VII
қазақша: Клеопатра VII
Kiswahili: Kleopatra
latviešu: Kleopatra
lietuvių: Kleopatra VII
Limburgs: Cleopatra VII
македонски: Клеопатра
Malagasy: Cléopâtre VII
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Kleopatra 7-sié
Mirandés: Cleópatra
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကလီယို ပတ်ထရာ
Nederlands: Cleopatra VII
Napulitano: Cleopatra
norsk: Kleopatra
norsk nynorsk: Kleopatra
occitan: Cleopatra VII
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Kleopatra
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕਲੀਓਪੈਟਰਾ
پنجابی: قلوپطرہ
Plattdüütsch: Kleopatra VII.
português: Cleópatra
română: Cleopatra
Runa Simi: Kleopatra VII
русский: Клеопатра
संस्कृतम्: क्लियोपैत्रा
Scots: Cleopatra
Seeltersk: Kleopatra VII.
sicilianu: Cliupatra
Simple English: Cleopatra VII
slovenčina: Kleopatra VII.
slovenščina: Kleopatra VII.
српски / srpski: Клеопатра VII
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kleopatra
татарча/tatarça: Клеопатра
тоҷикӣ: Клеопатра
Türkçe: VII. Kleopatra
українська: Клеопатра VII
اردو: قلوپطرہ
Tiếng Việt: Cleopatra VII
Winaray: Cleopatra VII
Yorùbá: Cleopatra 7k
粵語: 埃及妖后
žemaitėška: Kleuopatra VII
Kabɩyɛ: Cléopatre