This paper will research tidies on Cleopatra to determine whether the accounts Of her ruling through sexual liaisons are accurate or they are propaganda developed to tarnish her impeccable reputation. The argument among scholars is that most of the accounts that currently depict Cleopatra VII as a Queen who used sex and gender to rule are erroneous. Roller argues that those accounts are the consequence of a perverse male-dominated historiography out to depict her as an extension of men in her life (2).
According to Roller, modern and ancient male-dominated historiographers betray their chauvinistic attitudes awards Cleopatra in the manner in which they portray her primary accomplishments as the destruction of her male lovers (2). Such portrayals were necessary because of their effectiveness in discrediting Cleopatra achievements. Roller and Salisbury studies dismiss claims that Cleopatra ruled through sex and gender through his argument that Cleopatra was the first woman in classical era and the Hellenic era to rule independently. Unlike other female rulers, Cleopatra did not ascend to the throne by succeeding her husband or her father (Roller 4; Salisbury 52). Although her ether, Ptolemy XII, was the ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt, she did not succeed him at the time of his death (Salisbury 52). Societal rules against female leadership prevented her from ascending to the throne as Ptolemaic dynasty decided that she would share the throne with her brother (Salisbury 52). This decision drove a wedge between Cleopatra and her brother, with the two eventually leading a war for the control of the Ptolemaic dynasty (Salisbury 52).
This war ended in 47 B. C. When Julius Caesar, the then Roman King, intervened and decided the war in Cleopatra favor (Salisbury 52). Her ascendancy to the throne was, therefore, independent of succession and sexual favors and gender had no influence on her style of leadership. Additionally, all the political favors Cleopatra obtained during her reign were down to her role in stabilizing the Roman Empire rather than her gender and sexual favors. Immediately after Julius Career’s assassination, Cleopatra went to Greece to avenge the assassination as the commander of her own fleet (Jones 57; Roller 4).
After Brutes and Cassias’ defeat in Greece, King Antagonist began believing that Cleopatra was the strongest hope of the Roman Empire’s arrival and, as such, he gave her additional support as part of his efforts to gain her support (Roller 4). This support encompassed bestowing various possessions on Cleopatra (Klein 25) and extending her dynasty beyond the Asia Minor and Eleven regions towards the Aegean region (Roller 4). Antagonist underscored his support from 41 B. C to 40 B. C. When he went to the Ptolemaic Dynasty for a eye-year personal vocation with the Queen.
Such actions suggest that gender and sex did not play any role in Cleopatra successes (Roller 4). She got all the properties and territories because the Roman Empire felt beholden to her for her role in Romeos stabilization. Further, Cleopatra survival as a queen necessitated hard choices that had nothing to do with men, gender, or sex. During her reign, Cleopatra encountered a disproportionate volume of crises that necessitated difficult decisions. Her response to all those situations made her a ruler whose stature was higher than that of her peers.
Cleopatra response to the threat from Octavia in 31 B. C. Underscores the leadership credentials that led many to categorize her as one of the true leaders of the Hellenic and Classical Rasa (Roller 6). Antagonist’ decision to divorce Octavia and marry Cleopatra in 34 B. C. Led to tensions between Octavia and Cleopatra. Octavia blamed Cleopatra for Antagonist’ mistreatment of Octavia and declared war on Cleopatra and her Egyptian dynasty (Roller 6). Fearing the annihilation of her dynasty, Cleopatra sent her fleet to the Greek coastline to conduct a preemptive strike.
However, that move failed and Octavia ordered an attack on Cleopatra two years later. The overwhelming nature of Octave’s attack led Cleopatra into believing that her survival depended on Antagonist’ death and, s such, she tricked him into committing suicide (Hook 178). However, the suicide did not bring meaningful result and she decided to commit suicide in 30 B. C after she realized that Octavia wanted to exhibit her during his victory celebrations in Rome. Her suicide demonstrated a desire to maintain her social standing in the society as well as her desire to control her destiny (Bunyan 3).
Cleopatra response to this crisis not only highlights how her stature was greater than that of her peers, but it also highlights her willingness to make the difficult choices and live with the consequences. During the Ptolemaic dynasty militaristic run-ins with Rome in the early years of her reign, Cleopatra utilized her diplomacy to a great extent. At the time, the Ptolemaic dynasty was facing challenges related to drought and famine. The population was starving and there was a risk that the Roman Empire would overrun her dynasty if she made an inappropriate political choice.
Thus, Cleopatra calculated all her moves and only utilized diplomacy whenever there was an issue that threatened the Roman Empire. One instance of Cleopatra use Of diplomacy was in 53 B. C. When retired Roman Troops stationed within the Ptolemaic dynasty assassinated Culprits Bibulous’ two sons (Roller 56). As Syrians consul, Bibulous enjoyed protection from the Roman Empire and, as such, the assassination of his two sons threatened relations between the Ptolemaic dynasty and its Roman rulers. In order to forestall a possible conflict, Cleopatra ordered the arrest of the perpetrators and sent them to Rome.
This decision not only caught the Roman rulers off guard, but it also quelled the simmering tensions and underscored her uncanny ability to establish strong relations with Rome. Such an outcome was something her father had attempted on several occasions and failed. But Cleopatra underscored her ability to use non- military strategies such as diplomacy to develop a strong relationship with the Roman Empire. Several theories have been put forth about the role of sex and gender in her success as a ruler and there is some element of truth in those theories.
It is true that Cleopatra became pregnant and gave birth to Caesarian in 47 B. C. After Caesar visited the Ptolemaic and placed the Ptolemaic dynasty under her control (Klein 24). It is also true that Cleopatra became pregnant after Antagonist’ visited her Kingdom and extended the outwork of territories under her control. It is also accurate that the underlying cause of Cleopatra death and the demise of her dynasty was her romantic relationship with Antagonist, a married man (Klein 43).
However, there is no sufficient evidence to establish a link between these stories of sexual promiscuity and her successes. On the contrary, there is evidence to support the argument that Caesar and Antagonist were the only men Cleopatra had a relationship with and their decision to have a romantic relationship with Cleopatra was because they needed her more than the way she needed them Roberts 128; Anderson and Topple 54). Thus, the theories are inaccurate in as far as they fail to establish a clear link between sex, gender, and her success as a ruler.
Indeed, Roberts pours cold water on the claims that Cleopatra was a seductress when he argues that there is no evidence that there was a culture Of sexual promiscuity among royal women in Ptolemaic (128). Roberts argues that the culture that is evident among royal women in Ptolemaic before and during Cleopatra reign was a culture of ambition, ruthlessness, passion, survival, and Macedonian energy (128). Cleopatra xx bibbed similar characteristics during her reign and it is possible that most observers viewed her arm’s length interactions with Roman Kings as an indication that she was promiscuous.
What they did not know is that Cleopatra was ambitious and ruthless and dedicated most of her life to the success of her dynasty. She underscored this desire for her dynasty success in her decision to donate 200,000 books and patronize the arts (Roberts 128). In conclusion, none of the negative statements on Cleopatra promiscuity are accurate. The analyzed books demonstrate that Cleopatra achievements in ileitis and life had nothing to do with gender and sex. In fact, she deserved all the properties she received because Of her role in Romeos stabilization.