Cleopatra was an educated, smart intellectual lady. She is said to have been a very beautiful lady, this however, is not a worldwide consensus due to the fact that there’s no actual image of her.
Like many people, I believe that Cleopatra’s beauty was her wisdom, her brains.
In 51 BCE, Ptolemy XII, father to Cleopatra died. According to the Egyptian system of doing things, women couldn’t rule alone, therefore the throne of Egypt went to Ptolemy XIII and Cleopatra. Ptolemy XIII was Cleopatra’s ten-year old brother. Cleopatra was about 18 years old.
To ensure that the rulership doesn’t leave the royal family, Cleopatra and Ptolemy XIII had to marry.
Cleopatra’s hunger for power probably started the day she became conscious. However, I believe it was catalysed by her meeting with Julius Caesar.
It is not clear how Cleopatra managed to meet with Caesar. Some say she arranged a meeting with Caesar, others tell a story about her being delivered to him in a rolled-up carpet. Whichever way, she got in and managed to use her seductiveness to pursue Caesar into an intimate relation.
In 47 BCE, Cleopatra convinced Caesar to attack her rival, her brother-husband Ptolemy XIII. Cleopatra didn’t see eye to eye with Ptolemy XIII. Caesar attacked and killed Ptolemy XIII. He went along and inaugurated Cleopatra and her younger brother, Ptolemy XIV, as the rulers of Egypt.
Sometime later, Caesar is alleged to have joined Cleopatra for a cruise on the Nile.
Caesar was married to a prominent Roman woman, Calpurnia. He avoided being seen with Cleopatra, especially when she bore him their son, Caesarion. Julius Caesar denied having impregnated Cleopatra.
Caesar remained publicly silent about Caesarion. Cleopatra, on the other hand, made repeated official declarations about Caesar being the father of the child.
Cleopatra VII and Ptolemy XIV visited Rome sometime in late 46 BC and were residing in Caesar’s villa within the Horti Caesaris.
Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March (15 March 44 BC). Cleopatra stayed in Rome until about mid-April, in the hope of having Caesarion recognised as Caesar’s heir. It never happened. Caesar’s will named his grandnephew Octavian as the primary heir.
Cleopatra’s hunger for power forced her to sleep with Caesar, for two possible reasons; she wanted to use Caesar’s army to take over Egypt and rule alone. She wanted to use their child as leverage for possibly ruling the Roman Empire.
I believe that she either organised Caesar’s assassination or at least knew it was going to happen.