History Essay: The Reign of Cleopatra


This sample history essay is all about Cleopatra, why was she important, her achievements as the last queen of Egypt, her biography, power, family and above all death. As student who want to excel in writing history essays, this example provides a well research facts  about the reign of Cleopatra that you ought to know.

History Of The Ancient Egyptian

Ptolemaic dynasty ruled Egypt after removing Persian rule in 332 B.C for at least 300 years before it was annexed by Rome. At one point in time Ptolemaic Egypt was among the greatest power in the world. It expanded its territorial rule without much difficulty. But the Roman power eclipsed the kingdom for a long time. Including Rome into dynasties resulted in loss in some territories it held. Nonetheless, losing some of its territories did not stop Ptolemaic dynasty from safeguarding Egypt’s wealth and status, at least for a while. By the time Cleopatra rose into succession, the state was crumbling because of internal and external affairs. First, Cleopatra faced opposition as being the sole female ruler. Second, Egypt faced floods, unhealthy economy, and loss of lands, famine and political turmoil’s. So Cleopatra VII utilized her persuasive power, beauty and sexuality to enforce military and romantic alliances with the most powerful men in the world to safeguard her empire.

Cleopatra Family Background

In essence, Cleopatra was a Macedonian, daughter to King Ptolemy XII Auletes, of the Macedonian dynasty that ruled Egypt at that time. However, Cleopatra’s ethnicity has been contentiously debated over time, with inconclusive basis. Not much is known of her mother. Altogether, Cleopatra was the last in Macedonian dynasty. While the Ptolemies refused to speak Egyptian, in contrast Cleopatra spoke both Greek and Egyptian and for politically reasons distinguished herself as an incarnation of the Egyptian goddess Isis. In 51 BC, Cleopatra’s father died leaving the throne to Cleopatra and his younger brother Ptolemy XIII. Historical accounts have not established whether the two married, but it is believed that Ptolemy XIII and his officials denounced Ptolemy XII will of power sharing. Soon after, the throne was shaped by political turmoil’s between Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra that ensued to force Cleopatra to flee from the Royal palace.

How Did Cleopatra Come to Power in Egypt?

Meanwhile, around the same time, the civil war in Rome between Pompey and Julius Caesar led to Julius Caesar following Pompey in Egypt. It is in Egypt that Julius Caesar met and fell in love with Cleopatra. With Caesars help, Cleopatra had adequate military strength to dethrone his brother and solely solidify her grip on Egypt. Soon after, Ptolemy XIII forces were defeated and Caesar restored Cleopatra to the royal throne together with her younger brother Ptolemy XIV who was Cleopatra’s co-ruler.

What Did Cleopatra Do During Her Reign?

In this period Cleopatra was able to intensify peace and prosperity in a country that was bankrupt by the help of Caesars three legion army that had been stationed in Egypt. She was also able to improve Egypt’s economy by virtue of her political prowess, intelligence and powerful alliance. After Caesar assassination, Cleopatra who was at that time in Rome fled back to Egypt together with her entourage.  Shortly after, Ptolemy XIV mysteriously died. Cleopatra once again became a co regent to the throne with his son Caesarion.

The Alliance Between Cleopatra and Mark Antony

In a series of events, around 41 BC, Mark Anthony who was in dispute with Octavian, Caesar’s adopted son over Rome’s leadership succession began a romantic and political alliance with Cleopatra. Subsequently they had three children. The alliance between Cleopatra and Mark Antony ensured that Cleopatra recovered lost Egyptian territories including Crete, Cyprus and Cyrenaica (Libya). Altogether Cleopatra established herself as the goddess isis and named herself Nea isis, a title that was revered in Egypt.

Cleopatra Death

The events leading Cleopatra death are varied; though historical accounts establish that she choose her own discourse in ending her life, committing suicide together with her lover Mark Anthony, Ultimately, ending her rule as the last pharaoh of Egypt. By 30 BC Egypt came to be a province of the Roman Empire.