Cleopatra's greatest accomplishment during her time as Egypt's ruler between 48 and 30 B.C. was to unite an otherwise torn kingdom, as well as to improve its economy. She was able to do this by virtue of her intelligence and political prowess, forging powerful alliances with both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, although the latter proved to be her eventual undoing.
Nevertheless, her alliance with Mark Antony allowed her to recover lost Egyptian territories, including Cyprus, Crete and Cyrenaica (or Libya). During her rule, Cleopatra was equated with the goddess Isis, as something of a mother to her nation.
Although she eventually lost Egypt to an increasingly ambitious Octavian (who became Emperor Augustus), she kept her fate very much in her own hands by taking her own life in private.