The Egyptian queen ascended to power at an early age to become one of
Africa’s greatest female rulers. The most famous of seven matriarchs to
bear this name, Cleopatra rose to the throne at 17. Her graceful nature
and stunning personality proved to be valuable diplomatic attributes.
Intelligent and witty, the young queen - often erroneously portrayed as
Caucasian - was multilingual, mastering the Greek, Syrian, Latin, Arabic,
Hebrew and Egyptian languages and several African dialects.
Cleopatra’s influence flowed beyond the borders of Egypt. She journeyed to
Rome accompanied by a staff of hundreds of scientists, financial experts,
artists, architects and other intellects. The Roman calendar, public
accounting system and culture in general were upgraded as a result of her
Striving to elevate Egypt to world supremacy, Cleopatra enlisted the
military services of two great Roman leaders. She persuaded first Julius
Caesar and later Mark Antony to renounce their Roman allegiances to fight
on behalf of Egypt. Each, however, met his death before Cleopatra’s dreams
of conquest were realized. Disheartened, Cleopatra pressed an asp to her
breast, ending the life of the world’s most celebrated African queen.