“In a campaign directed against Egypt, he conquered the greater part of the country and spent some time in besieging Alexandria. When the rest sought refuge with the Romans, Popilius was sent to Antiochus and bade him keep his hands off Egypt; for the brothers, comprehending the designs of Antiochus, had become reconciled. When the latter was for putting off his reply, Popilius drew a circle about him with his staff and demanded that he deliberate and answer standing where he was. Antiochus then in fear raised the siege.” <ref> Cassius Dio. <i> Roman History.</i> Translated by Earnest Cary. (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1954), XX, 9, 25</ref>
[[File: Dendera_Cesarion.jpg|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, which was 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.