Ancient History

How did Cleopatra influence the fate of Rome?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. Though much of our knowledge of their relationship is based on speculation, a Greek historian named Plutarch did provide us with some facts about the ill-fated romance of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. In his writings, Plutarch revealed that Cleopatra solicited Julius Caesar's help in winning the Egyptian throne from her brother. Cleopatra later claimed that Caesar was the father of her son, Caesarion, which would make the boy Caesar's rightful heir, but Caesar himself never acknowledged his paternity. After Caesar's murder in 44 B.C., Cleopatra sought a political alliance with Antony, who was part of the ruling Roman elite. Antony fell in love with Cleopatra, and a passionate romance ensued. Rome's ruling class was upset by the affair, but Antony and Cleopatra believed that they could leverage their power to establish an empire. This eventually led to a war between the Roman Octavius and the forces of Antony and Cleopatra. Octavius' victory helped him consolidate his power over Rome.

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