Cleopatra, a name attached to beauty, seduction, love and intimate parties.
We may not be very well versed with exact details of her life but this is the name heard by all of us. A number of movies on her have further added to her charm and continue to lead our imaginations.
There is much more to this queen of Egypt who ruled for 21 years against all odds and has been painted by Romans as a debauched temptress who used her sex appeal for political gains.
Whether she was moral, immoral, wrong or right, is a question of debate but her life was charming, adventurous and interesting for sure. A goddess as a child, a queen at 18, she lost her kingdom once; regained it; nearly lost it again; amassed an empire; lost it all. Charm has not faded even after passing of so many centuries.
She must have been beautiful and much more charming. An expert in theatrics, appearances and dramatic entries. Even her death was like a well-rehearsed show of theatre with a lot of drama and awe.
Seduction for political gains or true love?
Knowing that Ptolemy’s forces (her brother fighting with her for the throne) would thwart her attempts to meet Julius Caesar, Cleopatra had herself wrapped in a carpet and smuggled into his personal quarters. Caesar was dazzled by the sight of the young queen in her royal garb, and the two soon became allies and lovers.
The mellifluous queen sailed in an elaborate ship, dressed in the robes of Isis to meet Antony, who associated himself with the Greek deity Dionysus. Immediately seduced by her charms, he agreed to protect Egypt and Cleopatra’s crown. Later both of them went ahead to form a drinking society called “The Inimitable Livers.”
On September 2, 31 B.C., Octavian’s forces defeated those of Antony and Cleopatra in the Battle of Actium. Antony heard a rumor that Cleopatra had committed suicide. He was so saddened by the news that fell on his sword and died just as news arrived that the rumor was false.
After burying Antony, Cleopatra closed herself in her chamber with two of her female servants. she used a poisonous snake known as the asp, a symbol of divine royalty to kill herself. Death was equally royal, theatrical and charming as her whole life.