Sunday, August 28, 2011

Which Egyptian Queen married two of her Brothers?

Cleopatra, the most famous queen of Egypt, married two of her brothers,Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV as per the custom but did not bear any child from them.

Cleopatra in Painting
Cleopatra was born in Alexandria in 69 B.C. during the reign of the Ptolemy family to Ptolemy XII.Cleopatra and her family were not Egyptian, but rather Macedonian, descended through a general of Alexander the Great  during the Hellenistic period. She was the only Ptolemy ruler who learnt to speak Egyptian and represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian goddess, Isis.

She inherited the throne at the death of her father, when she was only 18 years old, along with her brother who was 12 years of age. Like many other queens of Egypt, Cleopatra married her brother, however it is believed this marriage was only a salute to Egyptian tradition.

Taylor as Cleopatra
Great Julius Caesar fell in love with Cleopatra after  she was presented to him, wrapped in the rug during exile. For more than 3 years the couple enjoyed a scandalous affair and Cleopatra gave birth to a son. Following the birth of the child, she joined Julius Caesar in Rome, but quickly departed when he was killed, fearing for her own life.

Absolute chaos ensued in the Roman Empire following the assassination. One of the three men poised to take the throne of Rome, Mark Anthony ordered Cleopatra back to Rome for questioning. Once again displaying her political savvy and intelligence, Queen Cleopatra of Egypt made plans to seduce Mark Anthony.

She donned the garb of Venus, the Goddess of Love and was completely successful in her attempt to seduce her would be inquisitor. Of all the costumes Egyptian Cleopatra has been portrayed in, this is the most famous. The full costume of Cleopatra, dressed as Venus, is vividly remembered when Elizabeth Taylor wore a reproduction in her famous portrayal of the queen. The film was so successful in memorializing the queen and her seductive costume, that historical Cleopatra costumes have remained popular ever since.

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