Guess who this is. You'll never guess. No way will you ever get this one without cheating.

So, Let me provide the answer.

It's Cleopatra. Yup, that Cleopatra. The one who ruled Egypt.

You may look at that bust and think that she doesn't look very Egyptian.

Well, she wasn't.

In the 330's B.C.E., Alexander the Great conquered Egypt. (along with most of the known world). He deposed the existing pharaoh and installed one of his favorite lieutenants as the new pharaoh. His name was Ptolemy. And Ptolemic pharaohs ruled for three centuries before Egypt fell to the Romans, and the pharaohs were gone forever.

Also, Cleopatra wasn't her full name. It was Cleopatra VII Philopator. If you think that last name sounds Greek, well, it sort of is. It's actually Macedonian. Which is what Cleopatra was. And, if you think VII is a strange middle name, it's because she was the seventh Cleopatra to rule Egypt.

You may ask yourself how a non-Egyptian could be pharaoh. I have two words for you: military support. When Alexander defeated the Egyptians, he made them a deal. If they accepted Ptolemy as pharaoh, he would let them live. And, as it turned out, Ptolemy didn't change much in Egypt, so after a time, loyalty was just passed on to his decedents.


By the time Cleopatra came to rule, the world was in turmoil. She had domestic problems, for one thing. To ensure her rule, she ended up marrying both of her brothers. (not at the same time, though.). She also killed her sister. Life was rough back in BCE days.

Not only did she have internal issues, there was this upstart city-state in Italy that was going around and conquering everything they could. And as it turns out, they could conquer a lot. They were the Romans. And in 47 BCE, one of Rome's greatest generals, Julius Caesar, decided he wanted to add Egypt to the fold.


Instead of warring with Egypt, however, he took the expedient route and supported Cleopatra. There are many stories about how Cleopatra seduced Caesar, but in reality, she didn't have to. She was a very powerful woman in her own right, and it seems Caesar was genuinely fond of her. Fons enough to father a child with her, at least.

When Caesar was assassinated in 44 BCE, Cleopatra was in Rome, and it's thought that her being there was the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak, and was the driving factor to the killing. (Romans disliked Caesar by then, but the relationship he had with Cleopatra was a scandal)


Long story short, Caesars killing split Rome into two factions: One loyal to Octavian, Caesars named heir, and one loyal to Mark Antony, who looked to put Cleopatra and Caesars son, Caesarian, into power. Octavian beat Antony, who fell on his sword to avoid capture, and changed his name to Augustus, and became the first emperor of Rome. Cleopatra is said to have committed suicide by having an asp bite her. Or maybe it was a cobra. Or maybe Augustus had her poisoned. Or maybe she injected poison with a needle. No one knows for sure how she died, only that she did.

So Cleopatra was the last queen of Egypt, the last pharaoh, wasn't even Egyptian, was kind of a slut, was an author, (she wrote a book entitled Cosmetics, that was a medical journal and had nothing to do with makeup), and was the first of the Ptolemic pharaohs who spoke Egyptian.


Wait, what?

Yes, she was the first pharaoh of Egypt in 300 years that could actually speak the language of the people she ruled. In fact, she was fluent in nine languages.


Oh, she probably wasn't even a citizen of Egypt. Most likely she was a citizen of Rome. (it's the way things worked back in BCE times)

Now, compare what I've told you with what you learned from Elizabeth Taylor's rendition of Cleopatra. It seems Cecil B. DeMille wasn't a reliable historian.


Oh, and if you like to use the word 'dude', be advised that one of the earliest definitions of the word was, "ingrown hair surrounding the anus". (When I first heard this, I looked it up in the Oxford English Dictionary, and it was there. Along with "ranch hand" and slang for "male".)

So, don't call me dude. Call me ingrown butt hair.