People - Ancient Egypt: Cleopatra VII & Ptolemy XIII
GRECO-ROMAN PERIOD Ptolemaic Dynasty (51-47) This period is confusing due to all of the co-regencies. Scholars are not
always in agreement on the order of reigns and, in some case, the reigns themselves, from Ptolemy VI through Ptolemy XI.
In any event, Egypt's authority and wealth was intact until the death of Cleopatra, at which time, Egypt was overpowered
Cleopatra VII in Tour Egypt
In the springtime of 51 BC, Ptolemy Auletes died and left his kingdom in his will to his eighteen year old daughter, Cleopatra, and her younger brother
Ptolemy XIII who was twelve at the time. Cleopatra was born in 69 BC in Alexandria, Egypt. She had two older sisters, Cleopatra VI and Berenice IV as well as
a younger sister, Arsinoe IV. There were two younger brothers as well, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. It is thought that Cleopatra VI may have died as a child
and Auletes had Berenice beheaded. At Ptolemy Auletes' death, Pompey, a Roman leader, was left in charge of the children. During the two centuries that
Auletes death, the Ptolemies were allied with the Romans. The Ptolemies' strength was failing and the Roman Empire was rising. City after city was falling to
the Roman power and the Ptolemies could do nothing but create a pact with them. During the later rule of the Ptolemies, the Romans gained more and more
control over Egypt. Tributes had to be paid to the Romans to keep them away from Egypt. When Ptolemy Auletes died, the fall of the Dynasty appeared to be
According to Egyptian law, Cleopatra was forced to have a consort, who was either a brother or a son, no matter what age, throughout her reign. She was
married to her younger brother Ptolemy XIII when he was twelve, however she soon dropped his name from any official documents regardless of the Ptolemaic
insistence that the male presence be first among co-rulers. She also had her own portrait and name on coins of that time, ignoring her brother's. When
Cleopatra became co-regent, her world was crumbling down around her. Cyprus, Coele-Syria and Cyrenaica were gone. There was anarchy abroad and famine at
home. Cleopatra was a strong-willed Macedonian queen who was brilliant and dreamed of a greater world empire. She almost achieved it. Whether her way of
getting it done was for her own desires or for the pursuit of power will never be known for certain. However, like many Hellenistic queens, she was
passionate but not promiscuous. As far as we know, she had no other lovers other than Caesar and Antony. Many believe that she did what she felt was
necessary to try to save Alexandria, whatever the price.
By 48 BC, Cleopatra had alarmed the more powerful court officials of Alexandria by some of her actions. For instance, her mercenaries killed the Roman
governor of Syria's sons when they came to ask for her assistance for their father against the Parthians. A group of men led by Theodotus, the eunuch
Pothinus and a half-Greek general, Achillas, overthrew her in favor of her younger brother. They believed him to be much easier to influence and they became
his council of regency. Cleopatra is thought to have fled to Thebaid. Between 51 and 49 BC, Egypt was suffering from bad harvests and famine because of a
drought which stopped the much needed Nile flooding. Ptolemy XIII signed a decree on October 27, 50 BC which banned any shipments of grain to anywhere but
Alexandria. It is thought that this was to deprive Cleopatra and her supporters who were not in Alexandria. Regardless, she started an army from the Arab
tribes which were east of Pelusium. During this time, she and her sister Arsinoe moved to Syria. They returned by way of Ascalon which may have been
Cleopatra's temporary base.
In the meantime, Pompey had been defeated at Pharsalus in August of 48 BC. He headed for Alexandria hoping to find refuge with Ptolemy XIII, of whom Pompey
was a senate-appointed guardian. Pompey did not realize how much his reputation had been destroyed by Pharsalus until it was too late. He was murdered as he
stepped ashore on September 28, 48 BC. The young Ptolemy XIII stood on the dock and watched the whole scene. Four days later, Caesar arrived in Alexandria.
He brought with him thirty-two hundred legionaries and eight hundred cavalry. He also brought twelve other soldiers who bore the insignia of the Roman
government who carried a bundle of rods with an ax with a blade that projected out. This was considered a badge of authority that gave a clear hint of his
intentions. There were riots that followed in Alexandria. Ptolemy XIII was gone to Pelusium and Caesar placed himself in the royal palace and started giving
out orders. The eunuch, Pothinus, brought Ptolemy back to Alexandria. Cleopatra had no intentions of being left out of any deals that were going to be made.
She had herself smuggled in through enemy lines rolled in a carpet. She was delivered to Caesar. Both Cleopatra and Ptolemy were invited to appear before
Caesar the next morning. By this time, she and Caesar were already lovers and Ptolemy realized this right away. He stormed out screaming that he had been
betrayed, trying to arouse the Alexandrian mob. He was soon captured by Caesar's guards and brought back to the palace. It is thought that Caesar had planned
to make Cleopatra the sole ruler of Alexandria. He thought she would be a puppet for Rome.
The Alexandrian War was started when Pothinus called for Ptolemy XIII's soldiers in November and surrounded Caesar in Alexandria with twenty thousand men.
During the war, parts of the Alexandrian Library and some of the warehouses were burned. However, Caesar did manage to capture the Pharos lighthouse, which
kept his control of the harbor. Cleopatra's sister, Arsinoe, escaped from the palace and ran to Achillas. She was proclaimed the queen by the Macedonian mob
and the army. Cleopatra never forgave her sister for this. During the fighting, Caesar executed Pothinus and Achillas was murdered by Ganymede. Ptolemy XIII
drowned in the Nile while he was trying to flee.
Because of his death, Cleopatra was now the sole ruler of Egypt. Caesar had restored her position, but she now had to marry her younger brother Ptolemy XIV,
who was eleven years old. This was to please the Alexandrians and the Egyptian priests. Surely Caesar went through all of this trouble for more than his
infatuation with the queen of Egypt. It must have been out of arrogance and his desire to get his hands on Egypt's vast resources. However, Cleopatra's
intelligence and inheritance did have some influence as well. In what must have been very calculated on his part, she became pregnant rather quickly. For him
to have a son to carry the throne was very appealing to him. Caesar and Cleopatra took an extended trip up the Nile for about two months. They stopped in
Dendara where Cleopatra was worshipped as a Pharaoh. Caesar would never have this honor. Caesar only left the boat to attend important business in Syria just
a few weeks before the birth of their son, Caesarion (Ptolemy Caesar) who was born on June 23, 47 BC.
During July of the year 46 BC, Caesar returned to Rome. He was given many honors and a ten-year dictatorship. These celebrations lasted from September to
October and he brought Cleopatra over, along with her entourage. The conservative Republicans were very offended when he established Cleopatra in his home.
Her social manners did not make the situation any better. She upset many. Cleopatra had started calling herself the New Isis and was the subject of much
gossip. She lived in luxury and had a statue made of gold placed by Caesar, in the temple of Venus Genetrix . Caesar also openly claimed Caesarion as his
son. Many were upset that he was planning to marry Cleopatra regardless of the laws against bigamy and marriages to foreigners.
However, on the Ides of March of 44 BC, all of that came to an end. Caesar was assassinated outside the Senate Building in Rome. He was killed in a
conspiracy by his Senators. Many of the Senators thought he was a threat to the republic's well-being. It was thought that Caesar was making plans to have
himself declared king. After Caesar's murder, Cleopatra fled Rome and returned home to Alexandria. Caesar had not mentioned Cleopatra or Caesarion in his
will. She felt her life, as well as that of her child, was in great danger.
Upon returning to Alexandria, she had her consort, Ptolemy XIV, assassinated and established Caesarion as her co-regent at the age of four. She found Egypt
suffering from plagues and famine. The Nile canals had been neglected during her absence which caused the harvests to be bad and the inundations low. The bad
harvests continued from 43 until 41 BC. Trying to help secure recognition for Caesarion with Caesar's former lieutenant Dolabella, Cleopatra sent Dolabella
the four legions that Caesar had left in Egypt. Cassius captured the legions which caused Dolabella to commit suicide at Laodicea during the summer of 43 BC.
She was planning to join Mark Antony and Octavian (who became Augustus) with a large fleet of ships after Dolabella's death, but was stopped by a violent
Cleopatra watched in the time that followed, who would be the next power in Rome. After Brutus and Cassius had been killed and Antony, Octavian and Lepidus
were triumphant, Cleopatra knew which one she would have to deal with. Octavian went back to Italy very ill, so Antony was the one to watch. Her son gained
his right to become king when Caesar was officially divinized in Rome on January 1, 42 BC. The main object was the promotion of Octavian, but the triumvirs
knew of Cleopatra's aid to Dolabella.
Cleopatra was invited by Mark Antony to Tarsus in 41 BC. She already knew enough about him to know how to get to him. She knew about his limited strategic
and tactical abilities, his blue blood, the drinking, his womanizing, his vulgarity and his ambition. Even though Egypt was on the verge of economic
collapse, Cleopatra put on a show for Mark Antony that even Ptolemy Philadelphos couldn't have done better. She sailed with silver oars, purple sails with
her Erotes fanning her and the Nereid handmaids steering and she was dressed as Aphrodite, the goddess of love. This was a very calculated entrance;
considered vulgar by many. It was a vulgar display to attract the attention of a vulgar man. Mark Antony loved the idea of having a blue-blooded Ptolemy
woman. His former mistress as well as his current wife, Fulvia, were merely middle class.
Cleopatra and Antony spent the winter of 41 to 40 in Alexandria. According to some sources, Cleopatra could get out of him whatever she wanted, including the
assassination of her sister, Arsinoe. Cleopatra may not have had so much influence over him later on. He took control of Cyprus from her. Actually it may
have been Cleopatra who was the exploited one. Antony needed money and Cleopatra could be generous when it benefited her as well.
In the spring of 40 BC, Mark Antony left Cleopatra and returned home. He did not see her for four years. Antony's wife, Fulvia had gotten into a serious
movement against Octavian over veterans' allotments of land. She fled to Greece and had a bitter confrontation with Antony. She became ill and died there.
Antony patched things up with Octavian that same autumn by marrying Octavian's sister, Octavia. She was a beautiful and intelligent woman who had been
recently widowed. She had three children from her first marriage. In the meantime, Cleopatra had given birth to twins, one boy and one girl, in Alexandria.
Antony's first child by Octavia was a girl. Had Octavia given him a son, things might have turned out different. Antony kept the idea of the treasures of the
Ptolemies and how much he wanted it. When he finally did get the treasures, the standard interest rate in Rome fell from 12 percent to 4.
Mark Antony left Italy and went to deal with the Parthians. Octavia had just had another daughter and went with him just as far as Corcyra. He gave her the
excuse that he did not want to expose her to the dangers of the battles and sent her home. He told her that she would be more use to him at home in Rome
keeping peace with her brother, Octavian. However, the first thing that he did when he reached Antioch, was to send for Cleopatra. Their twin children were
officially recognized by Antony and were given the names of Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene. Mark Antony gave her much land which was very essential to
Egypt. He gave her Cyprus, the Cilician coast, Phoenicia, Coele-Syria, Judea and Arabia. This allowed Egypt to be able to build ships from the lumber from
Cilician coast. Egypt then built a large fleet. Antony had planned a campaign against the Parthians. He obviously needed Cleopatra's support for this and in
36 BC, he was defeated. He became more indebted to her than ever. They had just had a third child.
On their return to Syria, she met him and what was left of his army, with food, clothing and money. Early in 35 BC, he returned to Egypt with her. Antony's
wife, Octavia was in Athens with supplies and reinforcements waiting for her husband. He sent her a letter telling her to not come any further. Her brother,
Octavian, tried to provoke Antony into a fight. Octavian would release troops as well as ships to try to force Antony into a war, which, by this time was
almost inevitable. Antony might have been able to patch things up with Octavia and her brother had he returned to Rome in 35 BC. Cleopatra probably did her
best to keep him in Alexandria. Octavia remained completely loyal to Antony through all of this.
In 34 BC, Antony had a campaign into Armenia, which was successful and financially rewarding. He celebrated his triumph with a parade through Alexandria with
Cleopatra presiding over as the New Isis. Antony presented himself as the New Dionysus as part of his dream of the Graeco-Roman rule. Within a few days, a
more political ceremony took place in which the children were given their royal titles with Antony sitting on the throne as well. Ptolemy XV (Caesarion) was
made the co-ruler with his mother and was called the King of Kings. Cleopatra was called the Queen of Kings, which was a higher position than that of
Caesarion's. Alexander Helios, which meant the sun, was named Great King of the Seleucid empire when it was at its highest. Cleopatra Selene, which meant the
moon, was called Queen of Cyrenaica and Crete. Cleopatra and Antony's son, Ptolemy Philadelphos was named King of Syria and Asia Minor at the age of two.
Cleopatra had dreams of becoming the Empress of the world. She was very close to achieving these dreams and her favorite oath was, "As surely as I shall yet
dispense justice on the Roman Capital."
In 32 to 31 BC, Antony finally divorced Octavia. This forced the Western part of the world to recognize his relationship with Cleopatra. He had already put
her name and face on a Roman coin, the silver denarii. The denarii was widely circulated throughout the Mediterranean. By doing this, Antony's relationship
with the Roman allegiance was ended and Octavian decided to publish Antony's will. Octavian then formally declared war against Cleopatra. Antony's name was
nowhere mentioned in the official declaration. Many false accusations were made against Cleopatra saying that she was a harlot and a drunken Oriental. These
accusations were most likely made out of fear of Cleopatra and Antony. Many probably thought that the New Isis would prevail and that Antony would start up a
new wave of world conquest and rule in a co-partnership from Alexandria. However, Octavian's navy severely defeated Antony in Actium, which is in Greece, on
September 2, 31 BC. Octavian's admiral, Agrippa, planned and carried out the defeat. In less than a year, Antony half-heartedly defended Alexandria against
the advancing army of Octavian. After the defeat, Antony committed suicide by falling on his own sword in 30 BC.
After Antony's death, Cleopatra was taken to Octavian where her role in Octavian's triumph was carefully explained to her. He had no interest in any
relationship, negotiation or reconciliation with the Queen of Egypt. She would be displayed as a slave in the cities she had ruled over. She must have had
memories of her sister, Arsinoe, being humiliated in this way. She would not live this way, so she had an asp, which was an Egyptian cobra, brought to her
hidden in a basket of figs. She died on August 12, 30 BC at the age of 39. The Egyptian religion declared that death by snakebite would secure immortality.
With this, she achieved her dying wish, to not be forgotten. The only other ruler to cast a shadow on the fascination with Cleopatra was Alexander who was
another Macedonian. After Cleopatra's death, Caesarion was strangled and the other children of Cleopatra were raised by Antony's wife, Octavia.
Her death was the mark of the end of the Egyptian Monarchs. The Roman Emperors came into to rule in Egypt. The Ptolemies were Macedonian in decent, but ruled
as Egyptians, as Pharaohs. Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh of Egypt.
What is often not associated with Cleopatra was her brilliance and her devotion to her country. She was a quick-witted woman who was fluent in nine
languages, however, Latin was not one of them. She was a mathematician and a very good businesswoman. She had a genuine respect for Caesar, whose
intelligence and wit matched her own. Antony on the other hand almost drove her insane with his lack of intelligence and his excesses. She dealt with him and
made the most of what she had to do. She fought for her country. She had a charismatic personality, was a born leader and an ambitious monarch who deserved
better than suicide.
Cleopatra VII in Wikipedia
Cleopatra VII Philopator (in Greek, Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ; (Late 69 BC – August 12, 30 BC) was the last person to rule Egypt
as an Egyptian pharaoh – after her death Egypt became a Roman province.
She was a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Ancient Egypt, and therefore was a descendant of one of Alexander the Great's
generals who had seized control over Egypt after Alexander's death. Most Ptolemeis spoke Greek and refused to learn Egyptian,
which is the reason that Greek as well as Egyptian languages were used on official court documents like the Rosetta Stone.
By contrast, Cleopatra learned Egyptian and represented herself as the reincarnation of an Egyptian Goddess.
Cleopatra originally ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy
XIV, whom she married as per Egyptian custom, but eventually she became sole ruler. As pharaoh, she consummated a liaison with
Gaius Julius Caesar that solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in
After Caesar's assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar's legal heir, Gaius Iulius Caesar
Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and another
son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Her unions with her brothers produced no children. After losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian's
forces, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra followed suit, according to tradition killing herself by means of an asp bite on
August 12, 30 BC. She was briefly outlived by Caesarion, who was declared pharaoh, but he was soon killed on Octavian's
orders. Egypt became the Roman province of Aegyptus.
Though Cleopatra bore the ancient Egyptian title of pharaoh, the Ptolemaic dynasty was Hellenistic, having been founded 300
years before by Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general of Alexander the Great. As such, Cleopatra's language
was the Greek spoken by the Hellenic aristocracy, though she was reputed to be the first ruler of the dynasty to learn
Egyptian. She also adopted common Egyptian beliefs and deities. Her patron deity was Isis, and thus, during her reign, it was
believed that she was the re-incarnation and embodiment of the goddess. Her death marked the end of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and
Hellenistic period and the beginning of the Roman era in the eastern Mediterranean.
To this day, Cleopatra remains a popular figure in Western culture. Her legacy survives in numerous works of art and the many
dramatizations of her story in literature and other media, including William Shakespeare's tragedy Antony and Cleopatra, Jules
Massenet's opera Cléopâtre and the 1963 film Cleopatra. In most depictions, Cleopatra is put forward as a great beauty and her
successive conquests of the world's most powerful men are taken to be proof of her aesthetic and sexual appeal. In his
Pensées, philosopher Blaise Pascal contends that Cleopatra's classically beautiful profile changed world history: "Cleopatra's
nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed."
Accession to the throne
The identity of Cleopatra's mother is unknown, but she is generally believed to be Cleopatra V Tryphaena of Egypt, the sister
or cousin and wife of Ptolemy XII, or possibly another Ptolemaic family member who was the daughter of Ptolemy X and Cleopatra
Berenice III Philopator if Cleopatra V was not the daughter of Ptolemy X and Berenice III. Cleopatra's father Auletes was a
direct descendant of Alexander the Great's general, Ptolemy I Soter, son of Arsinoe and Lacus, both of Macedon.
Centralization of power and corruption led to uprisings in and the losses of Cyprus and Cyrenaica, making Ptolemy's reign one
of the most calamitous of the dynasty. When Ptolemy went to Rome with Cleopatra, Cleopatra VI Tryphaena seized the crown but
died shortly afterwards in suspicious circumstances. It is believed, though not proven by historical sources, that Berenice IV
poisoned her so she could assume sole rulership. Regardless of the cause, she did until Ptolemy Auletes returned in 55 BC,
with Roman support, capturing Alexandria aided by Roman general Aulus Gabinius. Berenice was imprisoned and executed shortly
afterwards, her head allegedly being sent to the royal court on the decree of her father, the king. Cleopatra was now, at age
14, put as joint regent and deputy of her father, although her power was likely to have been severely limited.
Ptolemy XII died in March 51 BC, thus by his will making the 18-year-old Cleopatra and her brother, the 10-year-old Ptolemy
XIII joint monarchs. The first three years of their reign were difficult, due to economic difficulties, famine, deficient
floods of the Nile, and political conflicts. Although Cleopatra was married to her young brother, she quickly made it clear
that she had no intention of sharing power with him.
In August 51 BC, relations between Cleopatra and Ptolemy completely broke down. Cleopatra dropped Ptolemy's name from official
documents and her face appeared alone on coins, which went against Ptolemaic tradition of female rulers being subordinate to
male co-rulers. In 50 BC Cleopatra came into a serious conflict with the Gabiniani, powerful Roman troops of Aulus Gabinius
who had left them in Egypt to protect Ptolemy XII after his restoration to the throne in 55 BC. This conflict was one of the
main causes for Cleopatra's soon following loss of power.
The sole reign of Cleopatra was finally ended by a cabal of courtiers, led by the eunuch Pothinus, removing Cleopatra from
power and making Ptolemy sole ruler in circa 48 BC (or possibly earlier, as a decree exists from 51 BC with Ptolemy's name
alone). She tried to raise a rebellion around Pelusium, but she was soon forced to flee with her only remaining sister,
Relation with Julius Caesar
Assassination of Pompey
While Cleopatra was in exile, Pompey became embroiled in the Roman civil war. In the autumn of 48 BC, Pompey fled from the
forces of Caesar to Alexandria, seeking sanctuary. Ptolemy, only fifteen years old at that time, had set up a throne for
himself on the harbour, from where he watched as on September 28, 48 BC, Pompey was murdered by one of his former officers,
now in Ptolemaic service. He was beheaded in front of his wife and children, who were on the ship from which he had just
disembarked. Ptolemy is thought to have ordered the death to ingratiate himself with Caesar, thus becoming an ally of Rome, to
which Egypt was in debt at the time, though this act proved a miscalculation on Ptolemy's part. When Caesar arrived in Egypt
two days later, Ptolemy presented him with Pompey's severed head; Caesar was enraged. Although he was Caesar's political
enemy, Pompey was a Consul of Rome and the widower of Caesar's only legitimate daughter, Julia (who died in childbirth with
Pompey's son). Caesar seized the Egyptian capital and imposed himself as arbiter between the rival claims of Ptolemy and
Relationship with Julius Caesar
Eager to take advantage of Julius Caesar's anger toward Ptolemy, Cleopatra had herself smuggled secretly into the palace to
meet with Caesar. One legend claims she entered past Ptolemy’s guards rolled up in a carpet. She became Caesar’s mistress,
and nine months after their first meeting, in 47 BC, Cleopatra gave birth to their son, Ptolemy Caesar, nicknamed Caesarion,
which means "little Caesar".
At this point Caesar abandoned his plans to annex Egypt, instead backing Cleopatra's claim to the throne. After a war lasting
six months between the party of Ptolemy XIII and the Roman army of Caesar, Ptolemy XIII was drowned in the Nile and Caesar
restored Cleopatra to her throne, with another younger brother Ptolemy XIV as her new co-ruler.
Although Cleopatra was 21 years old when they met and Caesar was 52, they became lovers during Caesar’s stay in Egypt between
48 BC and 47 BC. Cleopatra claimed Caesar was the father of her son and wished him to name the boy his heir, but Caesar
refused, choosing his grandnephew Octavian instead. During this relationship, it is also rumored that Cleopatra introduced
Caesar to her astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria, who first proposed the idea of leap day and leap years.
Cleopatra, Ptolemy XIV and Caesarion visited Rome in summer 46 BC, where the Egyptian queen resided in one of Caesar's country
houses. The relationship between Cleopatra and Caesar was obvious to the Roman people and it was a scandal, because the
Roman dictator was already married to Calpurnia Pisonis. But Caesar even erected a golden statue of Cleopatra represented as
Isis in the temple of Venus Genetrix (the mythical ancestress of Caesar's family), which was situated at the Forum Julium.
The Roman orator Cicero said in his preserved letters that he hated the foreign queen. Cleopatra and her entourage were in
Rome when Caesar was assassinated on 15 March, 44 BC. She returned with her relatives to Egypt. When Ptolemy XIV died –
allegedly poisoned by his older sister - Cleopatra made Caesarion her co-regent and successor and gave him the epithets Theos
Philopator Philometor (= Father- and motherloving God)...
Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator in Wikipedia
Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator (Greek: Πτολεμαῖος Θεός Φιλοπάτωρ, Ptolemaĩos Theós Philopátōr, lived 62 BC/61 BC–January 13, 47 BC?,
reigned from 51 BC) was one of the last members of the Ptolemaic dynasty (305–30 BC) of Egypt.
Co-ruler of Egypt, inner turmoil -
Son of Pharaoh Ptolemy XII of Egypt (80–58 BC and 55–51 BC), he succeeded his father in the spring of 51 BC as co-ruler of Egypt by
his marriage to his older sister Cleopatra VII of Egypt (69–30 BC). In October of 50 BC, Ptolemy XIII was promoted to senior ruler
along with her, although the eunuch Pothinus acted as regent for him.
In the spring of 48 BC, Ptolemy XIII and Pothinus attempted to depose Cleopatra VII due to her increasing status as Queen. Her face
appeared on minted coins, for example, while Ptolemy XIII's name was omitted on official documents. Ptolemy intended to become sole
ruler, with Pothinus acting as the power behind the throne.
Civil war -
They managed to force her to flee to Syria, but she soon organized her own army and a civil war began in Egypt. Soon their other
sister started to claim the throne as Arsinoe IV (48–47 BC), further complicating the situation.
At this point defeated Roman general Pompey the Great came to Egypt seeking refuge from his pursuing rival Julius Caesar. Initially,
Ptolemy XIII and Pothinus pretended to have accepted his request, but on September 29, 48 BC, Pothinus had the general murdered, in
hopes of winning favor with Caesar when the victorious general arrived. When Caesar did arrive he was presented with the head of his
deceased rival and former ally, but reportedly, instead of being pleased, reacted with disgust and ordered that Pompey's body be
located and given a proper Roman funeral. Cleopatra VII proved more successful in winning Caesar's favor and became his lover. Caesar
arranged the execution of Pothinus and the official return to the throne of Cleopatra VII, though she had never officially abdicated
her marriage to Ptolemy XIII.
Still determined to depose Cleopatra VII, Ptolemy XIII allied himself with Arsinoe IV. Jointly, they organized the factions of the
army loyal to them against those loyal to Cleopatra VII and the relatively small part of his army that had accompanied Caesar to
Egypt. The battle between the warring factions occurred in mid-December of 48 BC inside Alexandria itself, which suffered serious
damage, including (according to some sources) the burning of some of the buildings which comprised the Library of
The arrival of Roman reinforcements from Pergamum gave the victory to Caesar and Cleopatra VII, forcing Ptolemy XIII and Arsinoe IV to
flee the city. Ptolemy XIII reportedly drowned on January 13, 47 BC while attempting to cross the Nile. Whether he was attempting to
flee or was seeking negotiations remains uncertain from sources of the time. Cleopatra VII remained the unchallenged ruler of Egypt,
although she named their younger brother Ptolemy XIV of Egypt (47–44 BC) her new co-ruler.
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