Did the successors of Cleopatra VII survive and contribute to the lineage of the renowned Queen Zenobia of Palmyra?

Cleopatra VII, the illustrious last pharaoh of independent Egypt, left an intriguing legacy through her descendants. This article delves into the possibility that Cleopatra’s bloodline persisted through the ages, culminating in the formidable Queen Zenobia of Palmyra.

How Cleopatra’s Daughter Survived…and Throve

Portrait of Juba. (Louvre Museum/CC BY 2.5)

As the wife of Juba, a client king of Emperor Augustus, Cleopatra Selene wielded influence over Mauretania. Her strategic marriage and regal heritage laid the foundation for her son Ptolemy to rule. Unfortunately, his fate met a tragic end at the hands of the eccentric Caligula, leaving no recorded descendants.

Ancient Husband-Swapping

Coin of the ancient kingdom of Mauretania

Juba and Selene’s family tree might extend to a daughter named Drusilla. Tacitus mentions a Drusilla, the granddaughter of Cleopatra and Antony, who married Roman official Antonius Felix. The intricate web of marriages, including Felix’s union with a different Drusilla, adds complexity to tracing Cleopatra’s lineage.

Claims of Cleopatra

Ptolemy of Mauretania Louvre

The narrative weaves through potential descendants, particularly Drusilla, who could have had children from her marriages to Felix or King Sohaemus of Emesa. The intermingling of royal families from Judea to Emesa raises questions about the continuity of Cleopatra’s bloodline.

Female Trailblazers: Cleopatra VII and Queen Zenobia’s Rise to Power

Paul before Felix, 1752. Drusilla of Judea is seated on Felix’s right.

Despite the uncertainty in lineage, striking parallels emerge between Cleopatra VII and Queen Zenobia. Both defied societal norms, exhibited strong female leadership, and challenged the expanding Roman Empire. Cleopatra aligned with Caesar and Antony, while Zenobia led a rebellion against Roman rule, conquering Egypt before succumbing to Emperor Aurelian.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *