[[caption-width-right:335:The face of the historical ruler, complete with her famous nose.]]

A.k.a. [[KingBobTheNth the Cleopatra you're thinking of]].

''Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator''[[note]]'Cleopatra' meaning 'glory of her fatherland,' 'Thea Philopator' meaning 'Goddess Who Loves Her Father'[[/note]] (69-30 BC) was the last Pharaoh of AncientEgypt, at different points ruling jointly with her father, brother, other brother, and son, though with the latter three, she was clearly in charge and only using them to bolster her credibility as a female ruler. The Ptolemaic dynasty Cleopatra descended from was actually Greek; after the death of UsefulNotes/AlexanderTheGreat, his empire was divided up by three generals, and Ptolemy I Soter got Egypt. Cleopatra was actually the first of her dynasty to bother learning Egyptian, and presented herself to her kingdom as a reincarnation of the goddess [[Myth/EgyptianMythology Isis]].

The identity of Cleopatra's mother is uncertain. Born the third child of Pharaoh Ptolemy XII Auletes, Auletes lost his grip on his kingdom due to corruption and the loss of Cyprus and Cyrenaica. In a desperate bid to regain control, he fled and begged Rome for money and troops to help him regain his throne. Cleopatra's two older sisters, Cleopatra VI Tryphaena and Berenice IV, seized power at this time -- first Cleopatra VI, then Berenice upon her mysterious death. Whether or not Cleopatra VII accompanied her father to Rome or remained in Egypt is debatable; she isn't really a concern in the contemporary records of either place. The reason this is even a question is because some accounts describe her as meeting Marc Antony around this age, while others assert she met him as an adult. What is certain is that Auletes eventually was able to secure the troops and money, and that Berenice was imprisoned and executed for her disloyalty. Cleopatra was now fourteen, the eldest of her remaining siblings, and thus the one with the best chance of keeping a hold on the throne should their father die. He elevated her to joint ruler at this point, though it's unlikely she had much power.

In his will, four years later, he decreed that 18-year-old Cleopatra would rule jointly with her ten-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII. She married him according to Egyptian custom, which the Ptolemies adopted for whatever reason, but refused to share power with him. Eventually, she progressed to leaving his name off official documents and his face off the coinage. This was just another complication on top of widespread famine and the Nile not flooding enough to irrigate crops. Around this time, Cleopatra ran foul of the Gabiniani, troops left behind when her father was restored to power. They killed the sons of the Roman governor of Syria, she handed them over in chains, and they didn't forget that. She was exiled when they joined with a cabal of courtiers and had Ptolemy placed on the throne as sole ruler.

The teenage Ptolemy and his advisers made a grave mistake, however, when they executed the fleeing Roman consular Pompey, son-in-law and long-term rival of UsefulNotes/JuliusCaesar. Upon hearing of the death, Caesar promptly took control of Egypt and declared himself the mediator between Ptolemy and Cleopatra. Cleopatra saw her chance and, legend has it, had herself smuggled to Caesar inside a rolled-up carpet. They had an affair, with Cleopatra giving birth to his son, Caesarion, or "Little Caesar." End result was that Caesar decided not to annex Egypt, and settled that Cleopatra and her brother were to be reconciled. Cleopatra would have preferred for Caesar to name their son his heir (which was illegal under Roman law, as Caesarion was not a Roman citizen) and to rule jointly with him after Caesar left, but Caesar refused.

This led to a civil war in Alexandria, and, possibly, the burning of the famous Alexandria library. Caesar eventually got things under control, but Ptolemy drowned when his armor weighed him down too much. Cleopatra was promptly married to their younger brother, and ''he'' became her co-ruler. Her younger sister, Arsinoe, was taken to Rome by Caesar and executed. After the assassination of Caesar, Cleopatra insinuated herself into the newly formed government among Caesar's three heirs: ''de jure'' successor Octavius, and Caesar's top generals Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus. Antony was given reign over the Eastern provinces (such as Egypt) and Cleo ensured her place in the new government by becoming Antony's lover and mother of three of his children (which was a shock to Antony's wife, Octavia, who was also Octavius' sister).

When civil war broke out between Octavius and Antony some ten years later, Cleopatra was the principal military force backing Antony's cause (the official declaration of war was against Cleopatra, not Antony), but it was for naught. Cleo and Antony's combined forces were no match for Octavius, and after losing the Battle of Actium, the two of them escaped back to Egypt where they committed suicide, Cleo by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp, if legend is to be believed. Egypt was fully absorbed into Rome, Octavius officially changed his name to Augustus. [[LastOfHisKind The line of the Ptolemaics]] ended forever.

!!Tropes as portrayed in fiction:

* AdaptedOut: Most fictional narratives of her life make no mention of the fact that, in addition to her son by Julius Caesar, she also bore three children (two sons and a daughter) by Mark Antony.
* BeamMeUpScotty: Modern perception of Cleopatra has been distorted quite a lot by [[Film/{{Cleopatra}} her most famous film]] - the real life Cleopatra would not have worn the bizarre headdresses and hair accessories that Elizabeth Taylor wore (she preferred the simple diadem worn by Hellenistic monarchs), and did not have bobbed hair.
* GagNose: This is usually how her nose is depicted in comic strips and cartoons. In the ''Asterix'' franchise it is drawn as a pointy triangle.
* HistoricalBeautyUpdate: There's no doubting that she was a phenomenally sexy woman, but in all probability, she did not look a thing like Creator/ElizabethTaylor. Many contemporaries of Cleopatra noted that she was rather plain-looking, all things considered, but that it was her charm, charisma, sense of humor, and intelligence which attracted so many powerful men to her side. Or at least that's what Roman historians would hypothesize because it wouldn't do to admit that foreign women are more attractive than Roman girls and that the great men Cleopatra seduced weren't so shallow as to be drawn by looks. Of course given how varied our own ideas of beauty are from the recent past, it would diverge even greatly from the aesthetics of the Ancient World. For instance, Cleopatra herself presented herself differently in two of her portraits.
* LadyLooksLikeADude: There are two kinds of ancient portrait of Cleopatra - ones in which she looks like the epitome of Greek femininity, and the ones where she looks like a cross-dresser. The latter was to stress her links to her predecessors as king, imitate images of Roman consuls, and to show herself as having the heart and stomach of a king.
* MsFanservice: As part of her HistoricalBeautyUpdate. Most portrayals display her in skimpy outfits and as a seductive temptress.
* RaceLift: The real Cleo was a descendant of the Greek Ptolemaic family (who tended to be incestuous), but she is popularly imagined either with RavenHairIvorySkin, or as a black woman, depending on the artist.

!! Cleopatra in fiction:


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' album ''Asterix and Cleopatra'' introduced her as a recurring character in the ''Asterix'' franchise.

* One of the most famous lost films of all time is the 1917 silent ''Cleopatra'' with Theda Bara. The negative was burned up in a 1937 fire.
* ''[[Film/{{Cleopatra 1934}} Cleopatra]]'' (1934) starred Creator/ClaudetteColbert in a film directed by Creator/CecilBDeMille.
* The 1963 film ''Film/{{Cleopatra}}'' with Creator/ElizabethTaylor is proably how she lives on in the imagination of most people. Taylor's famous bobcut, headdress, and elaborate gowns (the film holds the world record for most costume changes by a single actress) are all so ingrained in popular culture that they are nearly impossible to escape in modern depictions of the Pharaoh.
* She was portrayed by Amanda Barrie in ''Film/CarryOnCleo''.
* In the 2002 film based on the album ''[[Film/AsterixAndCleopatra Asterix & Obelix: Mission Cleopatra]]'', she's portrayed by Creator/MonicaBellucci.

* One of ''Literature/TheRoyalDiaries'' features her, centering around her following her father to Rome and her first meeting with Marc Antony.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Plays an important role in ''Series/{{Rome}}'', where she has sex with legionary Titus Pullo (a completely fictional character who shares a name with a soldier mentioned by Caesar in his memoirs) before meeting Gaius Julius Caesar, the former being Caesarion's real father. She's played by Lyndsey Marshal. It also noticeably changes the circumstances of her death somewhat--rather than performing a SuicidePact with Antony, she allows Antony to kill himself before meeting with Octavian to bargain for peace, but decides to take her own life as well after it becomes apparent that Octavian will never let "Caesar's" son live to remove any rivals (he is rescued by Pullo, who disguises him and takes him back to Rome).
* She was portrayed by Leonor Varela in the 1999 ''Series/{{Cleopatra}}'' miniseries with Creator/TimothyDalton as Julius Caesar and Creator/BillyZane as Marc Antony.
* ''Series/TheCleopatras'' is a [[Creator/TheBBC BBC]] mini-series about the last century or so of the Ptolemaic dynasty; the first half is an extended series of flashbacks as told to then-Princess Cleopatra by her teacher, Theodotus, while the second half concentrates on her ascent to the throne of Egypt and her romances with Caesar and Antony.

* The song "Cleopatra" from Music/AdamAndTheAnts' album ''Music/DirkWearsWhiteSox'' references the Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton film version.
* Inspired a catchy jazz song in 1938, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHGI56VKBWI "Le nez de Cléopâtre"]] ("Cleopatra's nose"), by Ray Ventura.

* She's one of the protagonists in Creator/WilliamShakespeare's play ''Theatre/AntonyAndCleopatra''.
* Creator/GeorgeBernardShaw's play, ''Caesar and Cleopatra'' depicts Caesar's time in Egypt and his relationship with Cleopatra. In the 1945 film adaptation, she's played by Creator/VivienLeigh. This adaptation depicts their history very loosely, with much timeline muddling and mischaracterization. For example, the play and film depict Cleo meeting Caesar when she is a young and timid girl, incapable of standing up to even her handmaiden. However by this point in history, Cleo would have already been ruling Egypt all by herself for some time, having bullied her younger brother into almost complete obscurity some years before.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedOrigins'' is set during her reign.
* In ''VideoGame/FateGrandOrder'', she is summoned as an Assassin class Servant. In this version, she was a wise and just ruler who was able to turn Egypt into a military power, but she was recorded as merely a beauty who drowned in love and turned the kingdom into her personal playground. She wears modern clothing, saying people should keep up with the times, but deeply regrets the fall of Ancient Egypt. When she meets the Servant version of Julius Caesar, they still love each other, though she is confused that he's become so fat, and Caesar wants to use the Holy Grail to wish that they and their son Caesarion can live together as a family in peace. Her Noble Phantasm, Uraeus Astrape, summons a huge snake of fire.
* ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIVApocalypse'': Cleopatra appears as a demon in a DLC mission, in which she is collecting--and killing--young women from all over Tokyo to take parts of their bodies to resurrect herself. After defeating her, [[DefeatMeansFriendship you have the honor of fusing her and having her join your ranks]].
* ''VideoGame/DantesInferno'': Cleopatra is encountered not as a tormented soul like in the Divine Comedy, but as a [[HornyDevils lust demon]] fought as the boss for the Circle of Lust. Unlike most popular depictions where she is depicted as a MsFanservice, she is both [[FanDisservice highly sexualized and incredibly disturbing]] at the same time, displaying a nude figure that is twisted and mutilated almost like a Cenobite from ''Franchise/{{Hellraiser}}''.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Also battled against Creator/MarilynMonroe in ''WebVideo/EpicRapBattlesOfHistory''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Shows up in ''WesternAnimation/TimeSquad'' where she demolishes the pyramids so she can build a mall (for herself only).
* Was usually portrayed in ''Series/{{Histeria}}'' by The World's Oldest Woman, although once, when a younger depiction was needed, by Pepper Mills, and one on occasion, quite oddly, by [[NoCelebritiesWereHarmed a Harvey Fierstein sound-alike]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/CloneHigh'', her clone is an AlphaBitch who serves as the love interest to UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln and UsefulNotes/JohnFKennedy