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Monday, April 23, 2012

Cleopatra's Children

It’s good to be the Queen. It’s not so great to be her children.
For the last 300 years of the “Pharaohs” NONE of them were Egyptian. They were all Greek. The Ptolemaic Dynasty ruled Egypt from 323 B.C. to 30 B.C.. The first “Greek” Pharaoh was Ptolemy I, a commander serving under Alexander the Great. After Alexander’s death in 323 B.C., Ptolemy became the Pharaoh of Egypt. For the next 300 years in Egypt, every ruling male was named Ptolemy and every ruling female was named Cleopatra. To distinguish them from one another, each was given a number after their name. Virtually all of the Ptolemaic Pharaohs were produced by inbreeding. This was the way power was kept consolidated in the family.
Fast forward to the famous Cleopatra we all know. She is Cleopatra VII. Initially she married her brother, Ptolemy XIII, as was the family’s custom, but they had no children. Next she was involved with Julius Caesar (as his mistress) and bore him one son named Caesarion. This child was represented in the 1963 film “Cleopatra.” After Julius Caesar’s death, Cleopatra married Mark Anthony. The story up to this point is fairly well known.
But we were wondering . . . what happened to Caesarion, and did Cleopatra and Mark Anthony have any children? Well, we have the answers.
Caesarion was born in 47 B.C.. Julius Caesar, who was already married, never acknowledged that Caesarion was his son, but allowed him to be his namesake. The little boy’s full name was “Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar”, no wonder it was shortened to Caesarion. He spent most of his first 2+ years in Rome. After Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 B.C., Cleopatra and her son returned to Egypt. Caesarion was proclaimed Pharaoh of Egypt and Cyprus; but in name only as his mother was co-ruler. 
With Julius Caesar dead, his nephew Octavian and friends Mark Anthony and Lepidus jointly ruled the empire. Cleopatra and Mark Anthony met, fell in love and married (Anthony was already married). They had three children together. Twins were born in 40 B.C., a boy, Alexander Helios and a girl, Cleopatra Selene II. Four years later, they had another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus.
Even though they were children, these three were all named as rulers of the countries controlled by Cleopatra and Anthony. Alexander Helios (below right) was the ruler of Armenia, Media (northwestern Iran), and Parthia (northeastern Iran). Cleopatra Selene II was the ruler of Cyrenaica and Libya (both now part of modern Libya). Ptolemy Philadelphus was named ruler of Phoenicia (Israel and Lebanon), Syria, and Cilicia (southeastern Turkey).
Eventually war broke out between Octavian (now known as Augustus) and the Mark Anthony/Cleopatra forces. Caesarion was hidden by his mother in a small port town but was discovered by Augustus’ men. He was captured and executed. Caesarion was not only the last of the Greek line of pharaohs, but the last Pharaoh of Egypt. He was 17 when he died. Mark Anthony and Cleopatra both also died that same year. Anthony committed suicide by stabbing himself, thinking that Cleopatra was already dead; and she committed suicide when she witnessed Anthony’s final moments. It was kind of like an ancient Romeo and Juliet. Mark Anthony was 53, Cleopatra was 39.
All three children of the couple were spared their lives. The twins were 10 years old, little Ptolemy Philadelphus was six. They were taken to Rome to live under the care of Mark Anthony’s Roman wife, Octavia Minor, who was now also a widow.

On Augustus’ orders, the daughter, Cleopatra Selene II, was later given in an arranged marriage to Juba, the Berber King of Mauretania (Algeria and Tunisia). She lived to the age of 34. Her brothers never reached adulthood; Alexander Helios died at 15 and Ptolemy Philadelphus lived only to the age of seven.
So now we have some closure to the question of what happened to Cleopatra’s children.


  1. That's not true because when Cleoptra Selene married with Juba, Alexander Helios was there too. I have read it on Wikipedia :P

    1. False .the other two did not survive childhoods happened is not known.

  2. You can't believe everything you see on Wiki and if I've done a lot of research and discovered that it had not be determined.

  3. What do you think of America Unearthed saying that helios could have lived in the grand canyon in a cave that could fit 50,000 people and that artifacts where found by a Smithsonian institution expidition back in 1908 I believe backed by flight restrictions by the government so these cave cannot be discovered again as wellas pueblos indians saying some of this is on there folklore history? They say many peoples have traveled to the americas before the so thought Spaniards and that the vikings, knights templar, and various people came before Christopher Columbus. I believe why did our fore fathers put pyramids on our currency.why do we have a Egyptian

  4. We don't have any account on how Ptolemy and Helios lived after arriving in Rome...and even if they had died we don't know when, where, or how.