Cleopatra is an iconic figure of ancient Egypt for a variety of reasons, according to BBC History. She was the last queen of ancient Egypt, formed alliances with Roman leaders and took her own life in a final act of defiance against the Roman Empire.
Just 17 years old when she assumed the throne of Egypt and married to her 10-year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII, Cleopatra took leadership of a country in serious turmoil under constant threat of invasion from the ever-expanding Roman Empire. Not only was she the last queen of Egypt, she was also the last ruler of the Ptolemaic dynasty. One reason for her fame is her notorious love affairs and alliances with two of Rome's most noted leaders: Mark Anthony and Julius Caesar. Her fame, according to National Geographic, is also in part due to her suicide that occurred shortly after Mark Anthony took his own life. The pair suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Octavian and the capture of Alexandria. According to HISTORY, Cleopatra is also famous because she was a Greek Macedonian who ruled Egypt and is famed for being one of the first members of the Ptolemaic dynasty to speak fluent Egyptian.