Ancient History

14 Things We Bet You Didn’t Know About Cleopatra

2. Cleopatra Used Julius Caesar to Help Her Get the Throne

Cleo didn’t flirt with Caesar because he was hot; she used him to get what she wanted. Rome started to threaten Egypt during her father’s reign, with some politicians talking about annexing Egypt and granting its lands to the Roman citizenry. Cleopatra’s father fled to the Eternal City once he was deposed, and the Senate – and Caesar – helped him get his throne back, but at a cost. The Romans gave him a “finance minister” to help him out, but the guy stole a lot of money from Egypt.

Cleopatra needed money and military help to stay in power, so she matched wits with the man at the top – Julius Caesar. Cleo used him to cultivate military support for herself over her little brothers. They met in 48 BC, when Caesar’s arch-rival Pompey landed on Egyptian shores and was promptly killed by Cleo’s little brother. Caesar followed Pompey and came to Egypt, where he met a brilliant young queen who appealed to him intellectually and sexually. And history was made.