When Cleopatra learned Caesar was in Egypt, she saw an opportunity to return to power. Cleopatra arranged to smuggle herself into Caesar’s suite wrapped in an ornamental carpet. When Caesar unraveled his gift, he found the former queen.
Cleopatra convinced Caesar to remove Ptolemy and return her to power. Caesar’s army defeated Ptolemy XIII’s forces in battle; the Roman army was in pursuit of the young Egyptian king when he drowned in the Nile River. Cleopatra returned to power and following the custom of Egypt at that time, she married an even younger brother, Ptolemy XIV. The couple ruled as both husband and wife and as brother and sister.
The 54-year-old Caesar began a love affair with the much younger Cleopatra. The pair traveled the Nile together where Caesar witnessed Cleopatra’s luxurious lifestyle. Caesar was the most powerful general in the world, but the Egyptians worshipped Cleopatra as a goddess. Soon after their voyage, Cleopatra gave birth to Caesar’s only son, Caesarion.
Shortly after Caesar returned to Rome, Cleopatra and Caesarion came to visit, staying in one of Caesar’s country homes. Caesar was popular with the Roman people, but the presence of a foreign woman in Rome was a scandal. Further, both Caesar and Cleopatra were married to other people.