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====Why did Cleopatra rule Egypt?====
300px|left|thumbnail|Relief from the Temple of Dendera in Egypt Depicting Cleopatra VII and Caesarion/Ptolemy XV Offering to the Egyptian Goddess Hathor]]
The Cleopatra in question here was actually the seventh member of the Ptolemaic Dynasty to take the name. Cleopatra came to power when her long-ruling but mostly ineffective father Ptolemy XII (ruled 80-51 BC) declared before he died that he desired his oldest daughter, Cleopatra VII, and oldest son, Ptolemy XIII, to co-rule as king and queen. The rule would require that the offspring marry, a practice initiated by the second Ptolemaic king, Ptolemy II (reigned 284-246 BC), and continued until the end of the dynasty. <ref> Bowman, p. 24</ref> When Ptolemy XII died, Cleopatra VII was sixteen, and Ptolemy XIII was only twelve, which meant that there was bound to be plenty of court intrigue.