The Queens of Egypt
The queens of Egypt, for the most part, have been relegated to less fame behind their regal husbands, however, many have quite interesting histories in their own right.
The queens of Egypt include a woman who dressed as a man, another who is still famed today for her beauty and many who stand out in the history of Egypt for their unique contributions.
Cleopatre, the most famous queen of Egypt, has become a legend. Queen Cleopatra of Egypt is well regarded as holding the title of the last pharaoh of Egypt, before the land fell into the hands of the aggressive Roman Empire. Like some of the other queens of Egypt, she inherited the throne at the death of her father, when she was only 18 years old, along with her brother, younger than the new queen by six years. Like many other queens of Egypt, Cleopatra married her brother, however it is believed this marriage was only a salute to Egyptian tradition. Cleopatra immediately took hold of the throne and proceeded to lead the nation on her own. One of the more interesting facts about Cleopatra is that she was the first ruler of her dynasty, consisting of the Ptolemy family, to actually be able to speak the Egyptian language, along with eight others. She was known to be extremely intelligent and cunning. The end for Cleopatra came when supporters of her younger brother and husband decided she was far too independent and exiled her to Syria. It was through her attempts to regain control of the throne that she met both Julius Ceasar and Mark Anthony, both of whom became her lovers.
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Nefertiti, the wife of Akhenaten, is also one of the most famous of the queens of Egypt. Renowned for her beauty, numerous busts and status have been found bearing Nefertiti's likeness. It is believed that Nefertititi was the chief queen of Egypt during her husband's reign, at least up until the twelfth year. She became Akhenaten's co-regent, for reasons unknown, during his reign. Some scholars believe she may have ruled under the name Smenkhkara for a brief time after Akhenaten’s death.The mummy of Nefertiti remains missing. To date, only jewelry bearing her insignia has been found.
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Unlike the two previously mentioned Egypt queens, who were renowned for their qualities of seduction and beauty, Hatsheput preferred to dress in men's clothing in order to prove her status as pharaoh. Upon the death of her father, she married her half brother as was customary, when he acceded to the throne. Within a very short time period, he died as well and Hatshepsut was left to rule with her very young nephew, the son of her brother and husband by another wife. Her rule continued successfully for some fifteen years, when she mysteriously vanished. It is thought that her nephew and his advisor might have plotted her death as he came of age. The mystery of her deaths seems destined to remain just that, as no tomb or mummy related to Hatsheput has been found.
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Nefertari was Ramesses II’s queen and owner of one of the largest tombs in the Valley of the Queens. Ramesses II built a temple to her at Abu Simbel and she died around the twenty-fourth year of his reign.