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Thirty years before the Birth of Christ, Cleopatra VII of Egypt, the last Ptolemaic ruler BTW, committed suicide.

The Death of Cleopatra by Guido Cagnacci

It wasn’t over a man, as many would have us believe. She gave UP on life because she had lost her empire.

The Battle of Actium did her in.

Battle of Actium

The Greek woman who was the Egyptian queen was a notorious vixen, lover, and ruler.

She had an affair with Caesar and bore him a child;  it was purely a political love affair, one that kept her on her throne, and assured her life as long as he lived. When Caesar died, she took UP with Marc Antony, sided with him against Octavian, and lost it all at sea.

Back home, defeated, beaten, and giving UP hope, she let an Asp, or Egyptian Cobra bite her.  Some historians say on the breast – that would be more impactful*, but it  most likely was on the arm.

At any rate, she died, the dynasty ended, and Egypt fell under the Roman Army.  Mighty Egypt was gone, Rome ruled the world, and the legend of Cleopatra was born.

Was she a great queen?

Probably.  She was brilliant in politics, well-read, and most likely the most educated woman of her time.  She was savvy, smart, and played men like the lyres of old.

She’s not only a part of real history, she’s a part of world culture as well.  Movies, plays, books, stories abound about the woman.

From Shakespeare to Shaw to Zanuck, men have idolized, lionized, and deified her.

The most beautiful women in the world have played her…Vivian Leigh, Sophia Loren, and Elizabeth Taylor to name a few.

Vivan LeighSophia LorenElizabeth Taylor

And there are others, too many to list.

But, the real Cleopatra wasn’t all that lovely by today’s standards.

Bust of Cleo

No matter what she looked like, she changed the world.  She was already a legend, and she didn’t have to die to become one!  But, die she did, and it happened on August 12, 30 BC.

*Yes, Emily, I know impactful isn’t a real word, and was only created by marketing men because they are smart enough to sell to us, but not smart enough to come UP with the correct word!

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