We all have our own version of Cleopatra deep within us. What does yours look like?
I found this gorgeous picture of the Queen at the web site Mail Online: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1095043/Sorry-Liz-THIS-real-face-Cleopatra.html It’s the result of taking ancient artifacts, extensive research and adding the magic of 3D imaging. She truly was a beautiful and powerful looking woman! I would love to have a few hours alone with her. Soak in her knowledge. Imagine learning from such an intelligent, fearless leader and seductress. She wasn’t promiscuous. She only loved two men in her life and they never owned her. They worshipped her.
According to records, she did whatever she felt was necessary for Alexandria. Because of this strong, confident approach, she was dethroned in favor of her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII, by a group of powerful court officials. They felt he would be easier to handle than our Goddess Cleopatra. Think that would stop her?
She paid attention. She watched, analyzed and waited for her opportunity to take back her control. When Caesar arrived in Alexandria, he and his Roman army swept in and took the power away from her brother. Cleopatra saw the opportunity and took it. This is when she decided to wrap herself up in a carpet and present herself to Caesar. No shrinking violet, she demanded to be reinstated Queen, appealed to his ego and became his lover. He gave her Egypt and she gave him a son. From all accounts I’ve seen, they had a mutual respect and admiration for each other.
After Caesars’ assassination, she waited to see who would emerge as potential ruler of Rome. Mark Antony, Octavian and Lepidus emerged triumphant politically. The one she targeted was Mark Antony. She studied his weaknesses and strengths and used them to her and Egypts’ advantage. Like any good ruler would. Unlike in the movies, it seems as though the love affair between Cleopatra and Antony wasn’t as epic as depicted. He adored her for awhile and then it seemed as though later he exploited Cleopatra for her money. Cleopatra only agreed if it benefited her.
Another part of her life that has been inaccurately portrayed in movies involves her suicide. It wasn’t over her finding out that Antony had been killed. When Octavian defeated Cleopatra and Mark Antony’s armies, Octavian’s triumph was carefully explained to her. He had no interest in any relationship, negotiation or reconciliation with the Queen of Egypt. She would be displayed as a slave in the cities she had ruled over. She would not live this way, so she had an asp, an Egyptian cobra, brought to her hidden in a basket of figs. She was royalty and would choose her fate.
From the web site Tour Egypt: http://www.touregypt.net/cleopatr.htm
“What is often not associated with Cleopatra was her devotion to her country. She was a quick-witted woman who was fluent in nine languages, however, Latin was not one of them. She was a mathematician and a very good businesswoman. She had a genuine respect for Caesar, whose intelligence and wit matched her own. Antony on the other hand almost drove her insane with his lack of intelligence and his excesses. She dealt with him and made the most of what she had to do. She fought for her country. She had a charismatic personality, was a born leader and an ambitious monarch who deserved better than suicide.”
Homework: In this post I’ve described some of the liberties taken with Cleopatra’s portrayal in movies. I still recommend seeing the movie “Cleopatra” starring Elizabeth Taylor. I loved how Cleopatra called Mark Antony on all his crap. Brilliance we can all learn from. I really enjoyed watching her with Caesar. They were my preferred couple. So rent this movie, adorn yourself like a Queen, eat and drink only that which you adore and watch a strong woman in action. How’s that for a fun assignment?
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