royal meme | facts [1/5]
An oft unknown fact is that Cleopatra VII ( she would have spelled it as ‘Kleopatra VII’, being a Greek name) was indeed a mostly Macedonian Greek woman with a pinch of Persian. Her dynasty, the Ptolemies, were descended from Ptolemy, right hand of Alexander the Great, and refused to intermingle with the Egyptian population, instead inter breeding and occasionally marrying Persian nobility; they set themselves up above the Egyptians and created Alexandria, a Greek center of learning. Indeed, none of the Ptolemies spoke Egyptian, until Cleopatra herself decided learn the language to further appeal to the people.
“Well she descends from one of the generals of Alexander the Great who are Greek Macedonians. So there is no question there that she comes from a line of Greeks. It gets a little bit more certain because they tend to…they intermarried. The 13 or 14 marriages in her dynasty, ten of them were brother-sister marriages. So there’s really no foreign blood whatsoever in this dynasty, they are truly Greek Macedonian to the hilt. There may have been a Persian princess who slipped in there somewhere, but otherwise you’re really talking about a woman who was as Greek in terms of ethnicity, in terms of culture, in terms of education, as you could be in that world.”
Historian Stacy Schiff
“Cleopatra VII was born to Ptolemy XII Auletes (80–57 BC, ruled 55–51 BC) and Cleopatra, both parents being Macedonian Greeks.”
The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt
“For ten generations her family had styled themselves pharaohs. The Ptolemies were in fact Macedonian Greek, which makes Cleopatra approximately as Egyptian as Elizabeth Taylor. The word “honey skinned” recurs in descriptions of her relatives and would presumably applied to hers as well, despite the inexactitudes surrounding her mother and paternal grandmother. There was certainly Persian blood in the family, but even an Egyptian mistress is a rarity among the Ptolemies. She was not dark skinned.”
Cleopatra, A Life - Stacy Schiff
“Cleopatra (69- 30 BC), the Greek queen of Egypt, belonged to the Ptolemaic family, the Macedonian Greeks who ruled Egypt during the Hellenistic Age.”
Western civilization: ideas, Politics, and society by Marvin Perry, Margaret C Jacob, Myrna Chase, James R Jacob
( pictured: fancast of the Greek actress Tonia Sotiropoulou as Cleopatra VII; coin of Cleopatra; portraiture bust of Cleopatra; & a famous painting).