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Segestan

"Cleopatra": Title or Name?

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Hello everyone. I heard in a biography that Cleopatra was not Egyptian. I also read or hear somewhere that she was massidonian. Does that mean she was Greek or what? Also, how did her family come to power?

 

Cleopatra is a 'title' that was taken up by eight different women. The line of 'Cleopatra' was Macedonian .

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Cleopatra is a 'title' that was taken up by eight different women. The line of 'Cleopatra' was Macedonian .

 

I do believe that "Cleopatra" is a name -- not a title -- meaning "father's glory." And, in fact, I know of at least 15 different Cleopatras.

 

Regarding Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator... the fact that there were several Cleopatras in her Ptolemaic line of descent no more makes "Cleopatra" a title than is "Antigonus" for those dynastic kings of Macedonia who bore that name in succession.

 

There was the 4th century BCE Cleopatra who was the niece of one of Philip II's Macedonian generals (Attalos).

 

There was the 1st century CE Cleopatra who was a friend and client of Poppaea Sabina (the same Poppaea who eventually became the emperor Nero's second wife).

 

There was even a freedwoman named Cleopatra, who was a favorite of the emperor Claudius.

 

But, if you have some source you can cite providing information confirming that "Cleopatra" is a title and not a name, then I would be very interested in reading it.

 

-- Nephele

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But, if you have some source you can cite providing information confirming that "Cleopatra" is a title and not a name, then I would be very interested in reading it.

 

-- Nephele

 

So would I, Neph! Of course, you are quite right. Kleopatra was a name - even Alexander the Great had a full sister called Kleopatra, the younger child of Philip and Olympias.

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Cleopatra is a 'title' that was taken up by eight different women. The line of 'Cleopatra' was Macedonian .

 

I do believe that "Cleopatra" is a name -- not a title -- meaning "father's glory." And, in fact, I know of at least 15 different Cleopatras.

 

Regarding Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator... the fact that there were several Cleopatras in her Ptolemaic line of descent no more makes "Cleopatra" a title than is "Antigonus" for those dynastic kings of Macedonia who bore that name in succession.

 

There was the 4th century BCE Cleopatra who was the niece of one of Philip II's Macedonian generals (Attalos).

 

There was the 1st century CE Cleopatra who was a friend and client of Poppaea Sabina (the same Poppaea who eventually became the emperor Nero's second wife).

 

There was even a freedwoman named Cleopatra, who was a favorite of the emperor Claudius.

 

But, if you have some source you can cite providing information confirming that "Cleopatra" is a title and not a name, then I would be very interested in reading it.

 

-- Nephele

 

 

The name means " born of a famous father" came into prominence during the hellenistic period mainly as a result of its close association with the Royal House of Macedon. The first Cleopatra was the wife of Perdiccas II of Macedonand Cleopatra was also the name of the daughter of Phillip II at whose wedding celebrations Phillip was assassinated in 336 BC.

You are correct it is a name but a name with a clear meaning of Royalty.

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So I guess maybe that Cleopatra is a name, and could be concidered as a title in some cases. Was the last person with the name Cleopatra then, Cleopatra Selene, the daughter of Cleopatra and Antony?

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Cleopatra is a 'title' that was taken up by eight different women. The line of 'Cleopatra' was Macedonian .

 

I do believe that "Cleopatra" is a name -- not a title -- meaning "father's glory." And, in fact, I know of at least 15 different Cleopatras.

 

Regarding Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator... the fact that there were several Cleopatras in her Ptolemaic line of descent no more makes "Cleopatra" a title than is "Antigonus" for those dynastic kings of Macedonia who bore that name in succession.

 

There was the 4th century BCE Cleopatra who was the niece of one of Philip II's Macedonian generals (Attalos).

 

There was the 1st century CE Cleopatra who was a friend and client of Poppaea Sabina (the same Poppaea who eventually became the emperor Nero's second wife).

 

There was even a freedwoman named Cleopatra, who was a favorite of the emperor Claudius.

 

But, if you have some source you can cite providing information confirming that "Cleopatra" is a title and not a name, then I would be very interested in reading it.

 

-- Nephele

 

 

The name means " born of a famous father" came into prominence during the hellenistic period mainly as a result of its close association with the Royal House of Macedon. The first Cleopatra was the wife of Perdiccas II of Macedonand Cleopatra was also the name of the daughter of Phillip II at whose wedding celebrations Phillip was assassinated in 336 BC.

You are correct it is a name but a name with a clear meaning of Royalty.

 

Yes, but you said that "Cleopatra" was a title, which is misleading, just as is your statement that "Cleopatra" is "a name with a clear meaning of Royalty." Sorry if I appear to be overparticular here, but such "meaning" is derived through association -- not etymology.

 

The name of "Cleopatra" comes from the Greek words kleos ("glory" or "fame") and patros ("father"), taken together to mean literally: "glory of the father."

 

As for your statement that "the first Cleopatra was the wife of Perdiccas II of Macedonand..." No, actually, that's incorrect.

 

Perhaps the earliest recorded instance of the name can be found in The Iliad, a work of literature which predates the reign of Perdiccas II by about three hundred years.

 

In Book IX of The Iliad we find a woman by the name of Cleopatra, briefly mentioned as the wife of Meleagros (or, Meleager):

 

"So [Meleagros] was angry with his mother Althaia and stayed at home with his wedded wife. She was the beautiful Cleopatra, the daughter of Marpessa Euenin

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That's very interesting. I tried to read some of either the illiod or the oddisy and couldn't really get in to them, but the fact that there was a cleopatra mentioned in the book is very interesting.

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That's very interesting. I tried to read some of either the illiod or the oddisy and couldn't really get in to them, but the fact that there was a cleopatra mentioned in the book is very interesting.

 

"Cleopatra" is a very ancient name that appears several times in Greek myth and legend. Not only is there a Cleopatra, wife of Meleager, mentioned in The Iliad, she is also mentioned by Apollodorus (Pseudo-Apollodorus) and Hyginus. Apollodorus also named a Cleopatra who was the daughter of Tros, a descendant of the god Zeus who gave his name to the city of Troy.

 

There were at least three Cleopatras who were members of the Danaides, the 50 daughters of Danaus and various mothers. One of these Cleopatras was said to have been born of Danaus and a Naiad (a member of a troupe of nymphs).

 

And there was a Cleopatra who was the daughter of Boreas, the North Wind. Her brothers (also sons of the god Boreas) had winged feet, and sailed with Jason and the Argonauts.

 

Of course, mention of various Cleopatras in ancient myth is not proof of the actual existence of such women, but it is proof that the name of "Cleopatra" was known and in use for a very, very long time -- and it was not necessarily exclusive to reigning families. Many names in use by the ancients were derived from myth and legend. We know mostly of the royal Cleopatras from history, because the common Cleopatras were less likely to have been recorded by the historians.

 

-- Nephele

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Cleopatra is a 'title' that was taken up by eight different women. The line of 'Cleopatra' was Macedonian .

 

I do believe that "Cleopatra" is a name -- not a title -- meaning "father's glory." And, in fact, I know of at least 15 different Cleopatras.

 

Regarding Cleopatra VII Thea Philopator... the fact that there were several Cleopatras in her Ptolemaic line of descent no more makes "Cleopatra" a title than is "Antigonus" for those dynastic kings of Macedonia who bore that name in succession.

 

There was the 4th century BCE Cleopatra who was the niece of one of Philip II's Macedonian generals (Attalos).

 

There was the 1st century CE Cleopatra who was a friend and client of Poppaea Sabina (the same Poppaea who eventually became the emperor Nero's second wife).

 

There was even a freedwoman named Cleopatra, who was a favorite of the emperor Claudius.

 

But, if you have some source you can cite providing information confirming that "Cleopatra" is a title and not a name, then I would be very interested in reading it.

 

-- Nephele

 

 

The name means " born of a famous father" came into prominence during the hellenistic period mainly as a result of its close association with the Royal House of Macedon. The first Cleopatra was the wife of Perdiccas II of Macedonand Cleopatra was also the name of the daughter of Phillip II at whose wedding celebrations Phillip was assassinated in 336 BC.

You are correct it is a name but a name with a clear meaning of Royalty.

 

Yes, but you said that "Cleopatra" was a title, which is misleading, just as is your statement that "Cleopatra" is "a name with a clear meaning of Royalty." Sorry if I appear to be overparticular here, but such "meaning" is derived through association -- not etymology.

 

The name of "Cleopatra" comes from the Greek words kleos ("glory" or "fame") and patros ("father"), taken together to mean literally: "glory of the father."

 

As for your statement that "the first Cleopatra was the wife of Perdiccas II of Macedonand..." No, actually, that's incorrect.

 

Perhaps the earliest recorded instance of the name can be found in The Iliad, a work of literature which predates the reign of Perdiccas II by about three hundred years.

 

In Book IX of The Iliad we find a woman by the name of Cleopatra, briefly mentioned as the wife of Meleagros (or, Meleager):

 

"So [Meleagros] was angry with his mother Althaia and stayed at home with his wedded wife. She was the beautiful Cleopatra, the daughter of Marpessa Euenin

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So the name Cleopatra never became a title (even by assocoation) in the same way that the name Caesar became a title?

 

I had made the same assumption as Segesten due to reading references to the female royals of Egypt as 'the Cleopatra's'.

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The Illiad was to the Hellenic world.. the bible,soi to speak... Homer was God. Maybe the faithful Macedonian Kings and Queens simply borrowed a famous name?

 

Perhaps. But to me that would be along the lines of people now naming their sons 'Reginald', 'Raymund' (and the various derivatives), or naming their daughters 'Regina'...or their dog 'Rex'. More than likely, it was a name which was given to any Hellenic-blooded daughter of a so-called 'famous' father--be it locally-famous or regionally-famous.

Edited by docoflove1974

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Arsinoe and Berenice were also common names for women in the Ptolemy dynasty. Though I agree that "Cleopatra" was technically not a title, in it's support and to my recollection (which I readily admit may be faulty), no one other than a Cleopatra ever functioned in the role of an independent queen.

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Arsinoe and Berenice were also common names for women in the Ptolemy dynasty. Though I agree that "Cleopatra" was technically not a title, in it's support and to my recollection (which I readily admit may be faulty), no one other than a Cleopatra ever functioned in the role of an independent queen.

 

How about Queen Hatshepsut? While she preceded Cleopatra VII by some 1400 years, she was a woman pharoah of Egypt.

 

About two years ago we had an amazing exhibit at NYC's Metropolitan Museum of Art, pertaining to Queen Hatshepsut. They didn't allow photographs, but I sneaked a couple. I'll have to see if I can dig them out.

 

EDIT: Found the picture of Hatshepsut's statue. It's a bit blurry, but then I had to take it on the sly. :D

 

100_0509.jpg

 

-- Nephele

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Arsinoe and Berenice were also common names for women in the Ptolemy dynasty. Though I agree that "Cleopatra" was technically not a title, in it's support and to my recollection (which I readily admit may be faulty), no one other than a Cleopatra ever functioned in the role of an independent queen.

 

How about Queen Hatshepsut? While she preceded Cleopatra VII by some 1400 years, she was a woman pharoah of Egypt.

 

My apologies, I meant only within the Ptolemy dynasty.

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My apologies, I meant only within the Ptolemy dynasty.

 

Ah, apologies are mine -- I should have realized you were talking strictly about the Ptolemy dynasty. I guess I was so enamoured of Hatshepsut that I had to get in a plug for her. :D

 

But here's my question: Does history tell us whether the ruling, Ptolemaic Cleopatras were named "Cleopatra" from birth, or did they acquire the name of "Cleopatra" upon succession to the throne?

 

-- Nephele

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