There are several women that come to mind when you think about beauty: Helen of Troy, Marilyn Monroe, and Angelina Jolie. There is one other, Cleopatra, whose looks in addition to intelligence proved her to be a powerful leader. She was known for her political savvy as well as a strong military presence.

It is widely known that Cleopatra (her full name was Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator) was very intelligent when it came to political affairs. She was the daughter of King Ptolemy III and ascended to the throne at the age of eighteen. She quickly aligned herself with Roman Emperor Julius Caesar. She had seduced her way into the Roman’s heart and by doing so gained access to the Roman military and other resources. She also bore Caesar’s child, Caesarion, who was not acknowledged as his son until later. After Caesar’s assassination, Cleopatra moved onto Mark Antony who not only declared Caesarion Caesar’s child but also was in negotiations with Cleopatra for the Egypt’s Eastern Empire. In exchange for the land, Cleopatra provided Mark Antony information on her political standings now that Caesar was gone. In addition to this, Cleopatra used this intelligence to further her military know how as well.

Cleopatra managed to defeat enemies by utilizing military channels. Her first battle was with her brother and husband Ptolemy XIII. Like all couples, this couple had squabbles. Cleopatra fled to Syria at one time to start assembling her own army. At the same time, Caesar was busy fighting a civil war with some of the refugees fleeing into Egypt. Even though it was Ptolemy XIII who had ordered the deaths of these refugees, Caesar chose to align with Cleopatra, because he fell in love with her. As mentioned previously, she managed to get access to the Roman military. With this additional resource, she was able to dethrone her brother and become the sole ruler of Egypt. Just like Cleopatra, Mark Antony utilized Egypt’s wealth and power to drive out his cousin Gaius Octavius (who later became known as Emperor Caesar Augustus). On top of this, by declaring Caesarion Julius Caesar’s son as the rightful heir to Rome, it became more heated between the two cousins.

Cleopatra was not only a beauty to behold, but also a military mastermind and political force to be reckoned with. She is one historical woman that young girls should look up to today.

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