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Cleopatra is one of Egypt's most famous queens. She was proclaimed by Caesar as Queen of Egypt around 51 BC. Cleopatra was 17 or 18 when she became the queen of Egypt. She was far from beautiful, despite her glamorous image today. She is depicted on ancient coins with a long hooked nose and masculine features. In compliance with Egyptian tradition Cleopatra married her brother and co-ruler, Ptolemy XIII, who was about 12 at the time. But it was a marriage of convenience only, and Ptolemy was pharaoh in name only. For three years he remained in the background while Cleopatra ruled alone. Ptolemy's advisors - led by a eunuch named Pothinus - resented Cleopatra's independence and conspired against her. In 48 BC they stripped Cleopatra of her power and she was forced into exile in Syria. Her sister Arsinoe went with her. Cleopatra was an intellectual, an astute politician, and a powerful Queen of Egypt, but most people remember her primarily as a seductress. Cleopatra's prurient reputation was likely manufactured by the conquering Romans to discredit her name after her death. Cleopatra's whole life was devoted to Egypt. Even though she was probably Greek, not Egyptian, by birth, she was the first of her dynasty to learn the language of the country over which she ruled. Only seventeen years old when she came to the throne in 51 B.C., she watched the savage struggle then raging between Caesar and Pompey and hoped that Rome would destroy itself in the process.




Cleopatra's Palace: In Search of a Legend, Laura Foreman, Discovery Books

The city of Alexandria-the cultural center of Cleopatra’s empire-was buried in the sea. It is now being resurrected from the bottom of the Mediterranean after ending up in the sea following a fourth century earthquake and tidal wave. Block by block, statue by statue, the Royal Quater of Alexandria, home of Cleopatra and her lover, Mark Anthony, is emerging from its tomb at the bottom of the Mediterranean. the man behind its resurrection, underwater explorer Frank Goddio, believes hand and his team have exposed only a glimpse of the temples and palaces that slipped into the sea during a fourth century earthquake and tidal wave.

Project Alexandria: The Submerged Royal Quarters