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What was the racial and family background of Cleopatra?

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What was the racial and family background of Cleopatra?
posted Jan 18, 2016 by anonymous

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Cleopatra's racial and family background are really closely linked. She and most of the Ptolemaic dynasty she belonged to were a product of incest to the point that she had only two great-great-grandparents instead of the expected 16. Going even further back she had a couple of ancestors among the Seleucid dynasty and one or two other nobles. Except for a couple of princesses of other royal houses (Pontus and Persian) all of Cleopatra's ancestors belonged to the close circle of Diadochi, the noblemen generals of Alexander the Great who partitioned his empire among themselves. Therefore she was a Macedonian-Greek. Nothing exotic about it. In fact the Ptolemies were so isolated from their subjects that Cleopatra was the first of her family to learn Egyptian. Myths and Hollywood may have portrayed Cleopatra as an exotic beauty but history says she was neither exotic nor a beauty. She was however an exceedingly clever, charming, intelligent and well-educated woman who except for her native Greek spoke eight other languages.

answer Jan 19, 2016 by Shivaranjini
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