Cleopatra (fl. 1st c. BCE)
Cleopatra (fl. 1st c. bce)
Egyptian physician and author. Flourished in the 1st century bce.
Cleopatra was a physician and author who is known from references in the work of Galen (fl. 2nd century ce), the ancient world's greatest medical authority. Since Galen confused her with Cleopatra VII of Egypt (in fact, crediting the latter as the author of the texts he cites), it is probable that she lived and worked as a medical authority in Alexandria in the 1st century bce, and that she was associated with the Ptolemaic court. Virtually nothing is known of the medical Cleopatra, other than that she is one of few ancient women who broke the gender barrier to practice medicine and be taken seriously as an authority in the field.