11 Little-Known Facts About Cleopatra

According to legend, Cleopatra took her own life by allowing a cobra to bite her. If this happens to be true, just how much pain do you think she was in before succumbing to the pain?

Cleopatra took her life on August 12, 30 B.C. inside of a mausoleum in Alexandria. Cleopatra had been engaging in a never-ending power struggle with her siblings. She herself lived a very interesting life and had even had passionate affairs with Mark Antony and Julius Ceasar. Below you will learn eleven surprising facts about the amazing Queen of the Nile.

  1. She was the product of incest.

You see as did a lot of other royal houses, members of the Ptolemaic dynasty tended to marry within the family to preserve the pureness of their bloodline. It is likely that her parents were brother and sister. Dozens of her ancestors were married to their cousins and siblings. She herself even married both of her brothers.

2. She was not Egyptian

Yes, Cleopatra was born in Egypt but she traced her family origins to Macedonian Greece as well as one of Alexander the Great’s generals Ptolemy I Soter. Despite not being ethnically Egyptian she embraced many of the customs in her home country and was the first of the Ptolemaic line to learn the Egyptian language.

3. Beauty was not her biggest asset.

While she was made out to be a temptress who used sex appeal as a political weapon she may have actually been more known for her intellect rather than her appearance. She spoke at least 12 different languages and was highly educated in mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, and oratory.

Ther is also evidence that shows she may not have actually been as physically attractive as she is portrayed. It was said by an ancient writer named Plutarch that she was desired because of her irresistible charm and voice.

4. She played a big part in the death of her siblings.

Murder plots were a tradition it seems in her family and her brothers and sisters were not off limits. Her first sibling husband ran out on her after she tried to take sole possession of the thrown and they ended up facing a civil war Cleopatra teamed up with Julius Caesar and somehow her sibling husband drowned in the Nile river after being defeated in battle. She remarried her other brother but it has been said that she had him murdered in order to make her son co-ruler. As well as having her sister killed to eliminate any rival to the throne.

5. She knew how to make a great entrance.

She believed that she was a living goddess and often used stagecraft in order to woo people who were potential allies and of course reinforce her divine status. She even had herself snuck into Caesar’s personal quarters in her royal garb and they quickly became lovers as well as allies.

6. She was living in Rome during the time Caesar was assassinated.

Being lovers she had joined Caesar in Rome back in 46 B.C., and of course being there caused quite the stir. Caesar never hid that they were lovers and she had even came into Rome with their love child on more than one occasion. Romans became very angry when he erected a statue of her in the temple of Venus Genetrix. She was of course forced to flee once he was stabbed to death in the roman senate.

7. She formed a drinking club with Mark Antony.

Cleopatra began her relationship with Mark Antony back in 41 B.C. this relationship was formed because Cleopatra needed Antony to protect her crown and help her to maintain Egypt’s independence and in return, he had access to Egypt’s riches. But as it turns out they were quite fond of one another. They formed their own drinking society known as the ”Inimitable Livers.” They engaged in nightly feasts and wine binges as well as sometimes taking part in elaborate games and contests.

8. She led a fleet during a naval battle.

Cleopatra married Mark Antony and had three children with him but of course, their relationship spawned a very large scandal in Rome. Antony’s rival used propaganda to convince the public he was a traitor under a seductress. This lead the Rome senate to eventually declare war on Cleopatra. Cleopatra personally led several dozen Egyptian warships during this war.

9. She may not have died from a snake bite.

This couple famously took their own lives after being pursued to Alexandria Antony was said to stabbed himself in the stomach causing a fatal wound Cleopatra’s method is uncertain. While according to legend she was bitten by a cobra what actually happened is still unknown for sure. She was known for carrying poison on a hair comb some suspect she may have used a poison dipped pin to infect herself causing death.

10. One of the most expensive movies of all time was a film about her.

A film made in 1963 is considered one of the most expensive movies of all time is about her. She was portrayed on the silver screen by Elizabeth Taylor. While this film had many script issues and production problems it’s budget eventually went from two million to forty-four million. This movie almost bankrupted the studio that made it despite making a fortune in the box office.

11. She was the last real pharaoh.

After her death Rome took over Egypt. While her son attempted to rule for a short period before being taken over Cleopatra was the last real pharaoh.


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