People often ask me what I found most surprising in researching Cleopatra for my upcoming book, CLEOPATRA RULES! They usually do so with a twinkle in their eye, hoping for some good juicy gossip on the supposed temptress queen.
Their eyes widen in surprise when I give them my answer: That Queen Cleopatra VII was the proud mother of four—yes, FOUR—children.
Most people don’t know that about our supposed sexpot queen. That’s because, thanks to Hollywood, people generally prefer to picture Cleo as a super-hot Elizabeth Taylor or Angelina Jolie.
Yet it could be argued that she relished her role as a mom of four. After all, she likened herself to Isis whose fertility resulted in Egypt’s first pharaoh, her son Horus. To the people of the Nile, a fertile queen boded well for fertile crops. She and her people likely saw her large family as specially blessed by the gods.
Now, keep in mind, we know only of the four children that survived childhood. She may have had others that didn’t make it. (Infant mortality, even in the glittering palaces of great queens, was sadly very high in the ancient world).
What happened to her kids after her death is another post. And, um, another upcoming book.
Art source: http://www.kamibloodart.com