(strictly Cleop'atra, Κλεοπάτρα, of a renowned father), a Greek female name occurring as early as Homer (II. 9, 556), and borne especially by the Egyptian princesses after the times of Alexander (see Smith's Dict. of Class. Biog. s.v.). The following, being members of the line of the Ptolomies, who frequently intermarried with the Seleucidae of Syria, are mentioned in the Apocrypha and Josephus, or alluded to in the Scriptures.
1. A daughter of Antiochus III (the Great), who was married to Ptolemy V (Epiphanes), B.C. 193 (see Da 11:13,16), Coele-Syria being given as her dower (Josephus, Ant.12, 4, 1; Appian, Syr. 5; Livy, 37:3), though Antiochus afterwards repudiated this arrangement (Polyb. 28:17). SEE ANTIOCHUS, 2.
2. A daughter by the preceding match, who became "the wife of Ptolemy" (Esther 11:1) VI (Philometor), her own brother, on whose death (B.C. 146) she was violently persecuted by his successor (her own brother likewise, and for a time husband) Physcon, or Ptolemy VII, or Euergetes II (Justin. 38:8, 9; 39:1, 2; Livy, Ep. 59; Died. Sic. 2:602, ed. Wess.) She is mentioned by Josephus as having joined her first husband in the letter addressed to Onias (q.v.) in favor of reconstructing the Jewish temple at Leontopolis (Ant. 13, 3, 2), and as befriended in her distress by Onias (Apion, 2, 5). SEE PTOLEMY PHILOMETOR.
3. A daughter of the preceding by her first husband; married first (B.C. 150) to Alexander (q.v.) Balas, the Syrian usurper (1 Maccabees 10:58; Josephus, Ant. 13, 4, 1 and 5), and on his death (B.C. 146) to Demetrius (q.v.) Nicator (1 Maccabees 11:12; Josephus, Ant. 13, 4, 7). During the captivity of the latter in Parthia, B.C. 141 (1 Maccabees 14:1 sq.), she married his brother Antiochus (Josephus, Ant. 13, 7,1) VII (Sidetes), out of jealousy on account of Demetrius's connection with the Parthian princess Rhodogune, and also murdered Demetrius on his return (Appian, Syr. 68; Livy, Ep. 60), although Josephus (Ant. 13, 9, 3) and Justin (139, 1) represent her as only refusing to receive him. She also murdered Seleucus, her son by Nicator, who on his father's death assumed the government without her consent (Appian, Syr. 69). Her other son by Nicator, Antiochus VIII (Grypus), succeeded to the throne (B.C. 125) through her influence; but afterwards, finding him not disposed to yield her all the power she desired, she attempted to poison him, but was anticipated by him, and compelled to drink the poison herself (Justin, 39:2), B.C. 120. SEE ANTIOCHUS, 6 and 7.
4. A sister of the preceding, and the rival of her own mother (No. 2) in the affections of Ptolemy Physcon, by whose will she was left in supreme power, in connection with whichever of her own sons she might choose. She was compelled by her people to set up the eldest, Ptolemy VIII (Lathyrus); but she soon prevailed upon them to expel him, and make room for her younger and favorite son Alexander (Pausan. 8:7), and she even sent an army against Lathyrus to Cyprus, an effort in which the Jews became involved (Josephus, Ant. 13, 12, 2 sq.; 13, 1) through the intervention of Alexander Jannaeus (q.v.). Her son Alexander retired through fear of her cruelty, but was recalled by his mother, who attempted to assassinate him, but was herself put to death (B.C. 89) before she could effect her object (Justin, 39:4). SEE PTOLEMY LATHYRUS.
5. The second daughter of the name by the preceding marriage, and married to her own brother Lathyrus after her sister's divorce, from whom she is usually distinguished by the surname of Selene (Σελήνη, the moon). After his exile she married Antiochus XI (Epiphanes), and on his death Antiochus X (Eusebes). She was besieged by Tigranes in Syria or Mesopotamia, and either taken and killed by him (Strabo, 21, p. 749), or, according to Josephus (Ait. 13, 16 4; comp. War, 1, 5, 3), relieved by Lucullus's invasion of Armenia. SEE ANTIOCHUS, 9 and 10.
6. The last queen of Egypt, was the daughter of Ptolemy Auletes, born B.C. 69, and celebrated for her beauty and accomplishments, as also for her voluptuousness and ambition. She had various amorous and political intrigues, first with Julius Caesar (Dion Cass. 43:27; Sueton. Cass. 35), whom she even accompanied to Rome; and finally with Marc Antony (q.v.), who became so completely enamored of her as to commit suicide when falsely informed of her death, which she presently actually accomplished, it is said by causing herself to be bitten by an asp, on the capture of Alexandria by Octavianus, afterwards called Augustus, B.C. 30 (see Liddell's Hist. of Rome, chap. 70). Josephus often refers to her profligate conduct (see Ant. 14, 13, 1) as well as her artful cruelty (Ant. 15, 3, 5 and 8; War, 1, 19, 1), and narrates her unsuccessful attempt to draw even Herod into an amour (Ant. 15, 4).
7. One of Herod's wives, a native of Jerusalem, and mother of his sons Herod and Philip (Josephus, Ant. 17, 1, 3; War, 1, 28, 4).
8. The wife of Gessius Florus, procurator of Judea; she was a favorite with Nero's wife (Josephus, Ant. 20, 11, 1).