Recently, a controversy made the news when the Netflix film Cleopatra features the Black British actress Adele James playing the role of Cleopatra. Following the new movie trailer, a few Egyptians took the story to social media to express anger about the skin color of Queen Cleopatra portrayed in the movie. In their defense, Queen Cleopatra was a woman of Egyptian and Greek descent; therefore, an actress of similar heritage should play the role.
Different ethnicities have played Cleopatra in a movie, including Elizabeth Taylor, a white British actress. Historians believe Cleopatra may have had mixed lineage. Regardless of the controversy surrounding the casting of Adele James, it’s meaningful to recognize that Cleopatra’s legacy transcends race or ethnicity. She accomplished great things, and her story deserves accuracy and respect.
In the end, the controversy added gas to the film’s publicity. However, the casting of Adele James has brought room for a constructive discussion about representation and cultural sensitivity in the entertainment industry.
Here are ten historical facts about Cleopatra:
Table of Contents
Queen Cleopatra Was Not Egyptian but Of Greek and Macedonian Descent.
Cleopatra was not Egyptian. She was with Greek and Macedonian roots from the Ptolemaic dynasty; sometime before she was born, a great king named Alexander the Great invaded Egypt and ruled it for a while before passing the torch to his general. When he died, his general Ptolomy ceased power and ruled Egypt under a Ptolomy dynasty. At this time, Cleopatra came into the picture as a successor of Ptolomny. Soon she ruled Egypt. Thus, Cleopatra was not Egyptian but of Greek and Macedonian descent and ruled Egypt for 21 years.
She Was a Member of The Ptolemaic Dynasty, Who Ruled Egypt After Alexander the Great’s Death.
Cleopatra was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. Alexander the Great first conquered and ruled over Egypt in 332 BCE. His general succeeded him after his death and built the thriving Ptolemaic Dynasty, which ruled for three centuries.
Cleopatra took power when Egypt had many enemies and was at war with Rome. The time was difficult and needed a continuous military campaign, strategy, and vigilance. He used her training and experience in the family and maneuvered every situation for her success. She proved herself intelligent diplomatically and had a keen eye for art.
things you should know about Cleopatra: last leader of the Ptolemaic Dynasty
Cleopatra Was Not The First Queen Of Egypt.
Despite the legends, Cleopatra was not the only woman who ruled Egypt. Many queens, such as Hatshepsut and Nefertiti, ruled the dynasty long before such Before her. Queen Hatshepsut had various building projects and worked on expanding Egyptian trade networks. Many know Nefertiti for her striking bust sculpture. She is also known for her strong support for religious reforms. The three kings reigned at different times. But all these contributed to the history of Egypt and today’s world for their strength and roles in bringing change.
things you should know about Cleopatra: not the first woman leader of Egypt
Cleopatra Was A Polyglot Who Spoke At Least Seven Languages, Including Egyptian, Greek, And Latin.
Cleopatra was fluent in more than seven languages. Her proficiency was one of the tools in her political moves. She used her skills to create trust and impression by communicating effectively with foreign dignitaries, scholars, and other important figures in their respective languages. This skill helped her maintain her power in a rapidly changing political landscape.
things you should know about Cleopatra: Polyglot
She Was Known For Her Beauty, Intelligence, Political Savvy, And Manipulation Skills.
Many stories tell her fascinating life. Not only did she have an alluring physical appearance, but she was also well-acquainted and politically astute. She had the mastery to influence and was known for her strategic and cunning plans, and she appeared persuasive and manipulative, a symbol of her impressive abilities.
things you should know about Cleopatra: the whole package
Cleopatra Was Not Just A Queen But Also A Military Leader. She Led Troops In Battle Against Her Enemies.
Cleopatra was more than a queen. She was a skilled military leader who personally led her troops in battle against the enemies of Egypt.
She was a strategic thinker and courageous in a war. She inspired loyalty and devotion among her soldiers. She had various successful military campaigns that helped her expand her empire and solidify her control over the lands of the Nile. Cleopatra was a visionary. She understood the importance of diplomacy and military might in achieving her conquests and progress.
things you should know about Cleopatra: She was a fighter
Cleopatra Had relationship With The Powerful Men Of Rome Of The Time: Julius Caesar And Mark Antony.
Many considered Cleopatra desirable during her reign since she formed various relationships, including with the Roman leaders Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. This relationship brought both delight and chaos in front of the public. , which drew both admiration and criticism from the crowd. However, these associations also brought her benefits, such as political power and resource access. As a result, she was able to influence Rome’s history significantly. Her support helped Caesar during his campaign in Egypt, leading to a critical victory. Her association with Mark Antony also came in handy after her husband’s death by helping her maintain power. Despite the myth, Cleopatra effectively used her associations to advance her interests.
things you should know about Cleopatra: She was seductive
Cleopatra Was Not The Cause Of The Downfall Of Julius Caesar, As Some People Believe. Political Rivals Assassinated Him.
Some believe Cleopatra is responsible for Julius Caesar’s tragic demise due to a political conspiracy. Caesar’s involvement in Cleopatra may have influenced Ceasar. However, the fall of Cesar is much more than her involvement.
Caesar was a target for those seeking power and eliminating his position. His assassination resulted from a complex web of political maneuvering, with multiple individuals and factions contending for control.
things you should know about Cleopatra: She may have something with Julies Cesars death
She Died By Suicide By Snake Bites Rather Than being Captured by The Romans.
Legend has it that Cleopatra committed suicide by a venomous snake bite. Rather than being taken captive by the Romans, who had conquered Egypt, she was determined to lose her life for her views. Some historians argue that her death was a political statement and inspired many. She became a woman of courage.
things you should know about Cleopatra: She committed suicide
Cleopatra’s Life And Reign Have Been A Subject Of Discussion, But Much Of What We Know About Her Comes From Biased Roman Sources.
Cleopatra’s life and reign have been the subject of many books and motion pictures. Surprisingly much of what we know about Cleopatra came from subjective Roman sources. Myths and legends have surpassed her deeds, leaving her true story shrouded in mystery and conspiracy. For example, Roman written sources described her as a seductress and a threat to their empire, partly due to her relationships with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony.
things you should know about Cleopatra: Most of her stories are myths
Finally, Things You Should Know About Queen Cleopatra
Despite myths surrounding Cleopatra’s story, she was a skilled politician, a patron of the arts and sciences, a mother, a polyglot, and much more.
Amid the debate about Cleopatra’s ethnic background, understanding the myths and real stories behind her story is essential. Knowing these facts about Cleopatra will help you better understand the context of the movie Queen Cleopatra and appreciate the historical significance of this remarkable woman.