Cleopatra is one of history's most famous rulers. She was an intelligent, ambitious, strong-willed leader who governed Egypt during a tumultuous period of history, when most power was held by men. Descended from a long line of kings, Cleopatra became queen in 51 B.C., when she was eighteen years old. She was determined to keep Egypt independent at a time when the military leaders of Rome were rapidly conquering foreign lands. She is the queen who continues to fascinate us more than two thousand years after her death.