Ancient Egypt
Cleopatra, Part 1

Cleopatra, Part 1
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.36

     challenging words:    encroach, short-lived, engulf, agriculture, advisors, alliance, luxurious, reign, arrival, sole, civil, romance, maintain, lasted, religion, verge
     content words:    Persian Empire, Byzantine Empire, Ptolemaic Dynasty, Many Greek, Cleopatra VII, Ptolemy XIII, Julius Caesar, Finding Egypt, Expecting Cleopatra, Nile River

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Cleopatra, Part 1
By Phyllis Naegeli

1     In 332 B.C., a great change came to Egypt - Alexander the Great freed Egypt from the Persian Empire. Then he crowned himself as pharaoh of this great land. Following his death, Alexander's Byzantine Empire was divided among his generals. Ptolemy received Egypt as his share. Upon his arrival in his new domain, he restored the culture and religion of Egypt and adopted the Egyptian life. Thus, the Ptolemaic Dynasty began its 300-year rule.
2     During the rule of the early Ptolemies, Egypt came into a golden age. Alexandria became the center for culture and learning. Many Greek traditions were adopted and advancements were made in agriculture, literature, and art. Egypt became very wealthy. However, this period only lasted about one hundred years. The later Ptolemies struggled to maintain power. Their personal ambitions got in the way of what was best for Egypt. Wars and revolts began to drain the treasury, as a new empire began to encroach on its borders. Eventually, following the reign of Cleopatra VII, Rome would engulf Egypt.
3     The last of the Ptolemaic rulers was Cleopatra VII. At eighteen years of age, she became queen of Egypt. An ambitious ruler, she wanted to be the sole leader of her country. Her desire was to regain the golden years that had faded away. Her brother, Ptolemy XIII, was the official pharaoh of Egypt. However, at ten years old, his advisors were the ones in power. This frustrated Cleopatra. Soon, a conflict arose between the advisors and Cleopatra, and she was driven out of Egypt.

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