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 Museum Explorer

Leaders and rulers in
Ancient Egypt

Cleopatra VII

Weight: 19.140 g
Diameter: 27.000 mm

CM BMC Cleopatra VII 5

Cleopatra VII

From: Alexandria (Greek)
Date: 51-30 BC

Cleopatra VII (reigned 51-30 BC) was the last ruler of an independent ancient Egypt. She developed relations with two important Romans, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. After a lifetime's struggle to keep her throne, she (along with Mark Antony) eventually killed herself when she faced defeat from the Roman army.

For a queen of such fame, portraits of Cleopatra from her time are very rare, so it is hard to know what she really looked like. The only examples are on her coins, such as this 80 drachma piece. We do have plenty of recent pictures of her drawn from people's imaginations, such as the one below by William Kent.