The story of Queen Cleopatra's romance with Julius Caesar

Cleopatra did not have an easy life after her father’s death. It was trouble from day one.

The Most Wicked Women of The Old World...Season 1 ..Episode 2

By the will of her father, known by his subjects as Ptolemy the flute player because of his fondness for that instrument, Cleopatra, and his eldest son, also called Ptolemy, were to reign conjointly, and the Roman people were named as guardians to the young rulers.

This was where the problem began.

As with all kingdoms where the ruler dies, leaving behind a child as heir, Cleopatra’s father was barely cold in the grave when the desperate struggle for power began in the royal court; the eunuchs, generals, priests, ministers, were at each other’s throats. Within three years, Cleopatra was driven from her capital with the government firmly in the hands of the three corrupt men chosen as guardians of Ptolemy the minor.

Tame surrender wasn’t in Cleopatra’s nature and so in little time, she collected an army on the Syrian border in readiness to invade Egypt. A civil war was imminent between the armies of brother and sister when news of a much bigger civil war arrived.

The great Roman General, Julius Caesar and his legions had dealt Pompey the Great – another great Roman General, conqueror of the entire middle east, Asia and north Africa, the man who defeated the Roman rebel leader, Spartacus, subdued the Jews and captured Jerusalem – a shattering defeated in the battle of Pharsalus in Greece and Pompey was on the run to seek refuge in Alexandria.

Young Ptolemy’s advisors were now faced with the problem of what to do with their distinguished but unwelcome visitor. They decided that the best move was to murder Pompey, and thus, win the gratitude of the victorious Caesar.

In this, they miscalculated. Pompey was, after all, one of Julius Caesar’s closest friends and his son-in-law.

Pompey arrived Alexandria on September 28, 48 B.C, and was murdered the same day. Within a week, Julius Caesar showed up in Alexandria in hot pursuit and was given his enemy’s head on a platter of gold.

Caesar wept.

Now, Cleopatra, smart woman that she was, saw her golden opportunity as bright as day. All she needed was the ear of the mightiest general on earth. The problem was that Caesar was in the fortress that was the royal palace at Alexandria and there was no hope of her getting in there without her brother’s supporters seeing her and heading her off to be murdered.

How Cleopatra solved this problem is something that has captivated the imagination of every writer and historian that has dealt with this bewitching queen. She sailed from Pelusium, near modern day Port Sind, with just one attendant, then transferred to a small boat to enter the harbor of Alexandria.

Cleopatra and her male attendant made the trip to the palace under the cover of night where she had the attendant wrap her up in a carpet. Then, using the servant’s entrance and calling out loudly and repeatedly: “A gift for Caesar!”, the attendant was able to make it right through to the mighty dictator and laid the burden at his feet.

Caesar’s astonishment at seeing a ravishing beauty emerge from a rolled up carpet at his feet is best left to the imagination, but what is on record is that Cleopatra did not leave Caesar’s chambers that night.

She stayed, he saw and was conquered.

To Be Continued.....

READ: Part 4 Here

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