Cleopatra VII Philopator (69 BC – August 12, 30 BC) was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. She is the queen of Lust, where she watches over the lustful shades in her Tower with her lover, Marc Antony.
The last ruler of Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra was born in 69 B.C. Her ancestors had ruled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great, when his general Ptolemy was crowned Pharaoh. Cleopatra herself was the third child of Ptolemy's descendant, Pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes. A charming and intelligent child, with a gift for learning foreign languages (reported to have been able to speak seven, including Egyptian and Hebrew), Cleopatra was sometimes said to have been her father's favorite child. He may have relied on her help during diplomatic meetings with the Roman Empire.
While still young, Cleopatra's two elder sisters, Cleopatra VI Tryphaena and Berenice IV, had attempted to seize the throne from their father when he fled to Rome for support against his enemies. Both women were brutally killed for their efforts, leaving Cleopatra as the eldest of her father's offspring. It is possible that, while with her father in Rome to gather troops, the teenage Cleopatra had first met Marc Antony. Although she was 6 years older than he, Cleopatra was married to her younger brother, Pharaoh Ptolemy XIII, as per Egyptian royal tradition after their father's death. Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII began vying for power over Egypt, and this sibling rivalry quickly turned into a bloody civil war.
In 48 BC, Cleopatra heard of the arrival of the greatest hero of her time: Julius Caesar. Caesar had come to Egypt in search of his old rival and former son-in-law, Pompey Magnus, and was enraged to learn that Pompey had died before they could meet, having been murdered by Ptolemy XIII in an attempt to win Caesar's support against Cleopatra. Later, Cleopatra was secretly transported to Caesar's lodgings in Alexandria, where she sided with the Romans, becoming Caesar's lover. After Caesar's forces defeated Ptolemy XIII, Cleopatra became the new Pharaoh of Egypt, Cleopatra VII Philopator. A year later, she gave birth to Caesar's son, Ptolemy XV Caesarion. To eliminate any further threats to her power, Cleopatra and Caesar exiled her remaining sibling, Princess Arsinoë, to the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, when she attempted to overthrow Cleopatra. There, the Egyptian queen had her sister brutally assassinated on the temple steps. She continued to rule Egypt first as wife of her second brother, Ptolemy XIV, and then as regent for her son upon Ptolemy XIV's untimely death.
When Caesar returned to Rome as a hero in 46 BC, Cleopatra and Caesarion accompanied him. Caesar's return was celebrated by ordinary people, but the Roman Senate thought otherwise, fearing Caesar might try to make himself king. Rome's last king, Lucius Tarquinius Superbus, had been a corrupt tyrant, and since his overthrow, the Roman Republic resisting having any kings to avoid the repetition of Tarquinius's horrific rule, hence the tension of Caesar's growing power.
On March 15th, 44 BC, Caesar was assassinated, prompting Cleopatra to return to Egypt with Caesarion. A few years later, Caesar's official heir and nephew, Octavian, was elected Consul. He declared the masterminds of Caesar's death, Brutus and Cassius, Enemies of Rome for their part in his uncle's murder.
After the Battle of Philippi in 42 B.C., Marc Antony, one of Caesar's generals, arrived as governor of Syria. His intention was to protect Roman territory from the threat of the Persian Empire, but he soon became Cleopatra's next lover. Back in Rome, Octavian took Antony's actions as a betrayal, as Antony's liaison with the Egyptian queen caused him to repudiate his marriage to Octavian's sister. Octavian declared war on Egypt. Ultimately, the Romans defeated the Egyptians in the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C. In the confusion following the battle, the lovers were separated. Antony, fearing Cleopatra was dead due to a false report, committed suicide. In turn, Cleopatra - not wanting to be captured by the Romans - killed herself by letting an asp (a poisonous Egyptian snake) bite her. Caesarion was killed by Octavian, to prevent them from challenging his power as he declared himself Emperor of Rome. Her daughter by Marc Antony, Cleopatra Selene, was married off to one of Octavian's supporters.
In Dante's InfernoEdit
Following their deaths, Cleopatra and Antony were condemned to Hell's Circle of Lust for their actions in life. At some point, they met Lucifer and struck a deal with him, becoming rulers of the circle in exchange for serving him faithfully. Due to this, Cleopatra assisted Lucifer in his plans when he captured the soul of Beatrice.
When Dante arrived in the Circle of Lust in pursuit of Beatrice's soul, a giant Cleopatra raised the Carnal Tower from the ground, summoning the Lust Storm to protect it. When Dante managed to breach the storm and begin ascending the tower, Cleopatra climbed the outside, summoning demons and taunting Dante as he fought his way up. She also held back the elevator that Dante was using to get to the top. Following Dante's confrontation with Lucifer at the top of the tower, Cleopatra appeared and mocked his predicament, noting that Dante's lust in the deserts of Jerusalem had damned him and his beloved Beatrice. She promptly summoned Marc Antony to slay him, assisting her lover with magic.
After Antony is defeated by Dante, a downsized Cleopatra appears at his side, mourning his death. In a last gambit to survive, she tries to seduce Dante, but the former crusader stabbed her in the heart, ending her domain over Lust.
As the queen and personification of Lust, Cleopatra possesses powerful abilities involving wind and electricity, such as the Lust Storm. She can release electricity and mini-tornadoes from her hands, which she can use to surround anything she desires. She can freely shift between her normal state and a gigantic form. In her larger form, she can release Unbaptized Babies from her breasts to attack Dante. Being a giant, she also has superhuman strength, which she used to hold back the elevator in the Carnal Tower.
Cleopatra has total control over all the demons in the circle of Lust. She can also control others through a kiss. If one does kiss her, they will forever serve her and are forced to do as she commands.
Cleopatra does not appear as a ruler in the animated film, but as her regular self flying in the Lust Storm. Lucifer also mentions that he once considered her to be his queen but her soul was not as pure as that of Beatrice.
- Although she and Antony both committed suicide, Dante placed their souls in the second circle, not the seventh.
- It is plausible that both were originally damned to the seventh circle after their deaths, but were freed by Lucifer and given reign over the second circle as part of his bargain to serve him, as mentioned by Cleopatra.
|Death · King Minos · Cleopatra · Marc Antony · Cerberus · Alighiero · Phlegyas · Francesco · Lucifer|