Did Cleopatra Really Die by Snake Bite?

Cleopatra VII was the last pharaoh of Egypt and is famously known for her death by suicide. Her death is a significant event in history and has been the subject of numerous artistic depictions, including plays, novels, and movies. In this essay, I will discuss the circumstances surrounding her death and the possible reasons behind it.

Source - Pinterest

Cleopatra was born in 69 BC and became the queen of Egypt in 51 BC, at the age of 18, after her father's death. She ruled jointly with her younger brother, Ptolemy XIII, but soon became embroiled in a power struggle with him. Cleopatra fled to Syria and gathered an army to fight her brother, and with the help of Julius Caesar, she regained her throne in 47 BC.

Cleopatra had a romantic relationship with Julius Caesar and bore him a son, Caesarian. However, Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Cleopatra formed a new alliance with Mark Antony, one of Caesar's generals. Cleopatra and Mark Antony had a passionate love affair and had three children together.

However, their relationship became strained after Mark Antony's military campaign against Parthia was a failure, and he returned to Alexandria, Egypt. Mark Antony was forced to marry Octavia, the sister of his fellow triumvir, Octavian, who later became the emperor Augustus. Cleopatra, feeling betrayed, fled to her mausoleum and pretended to commit suicide.

Mark Antony, upon hearing the news of Cleopatra's death, was devastated and decided to follow suit. He fell on his sword and died shortly afterward. However, Cleopatra was not dead but was only in a deep sleep induced by a poisonous snake, most likely an asp. When Cleopatra woke up, she learned of Mark Antony's death and realized that she had no choice but to take her own life. She instructed her servants to bring her a basket of figs, which she had secretly poisoned with deadly toxins. She then took her own life by ingesting the poison.

Cleopatra died on August 30, 30 BC, at the age of 39. Her death marked the end of the Ptolemaic dynasty and the beginning of Roman rule in Egypt. Her life and death have been the subject of many myths and legends, and her image has been immortalized in countless works of art and literature.

There are many possible reasons why Cleopatra chose to end her life. Some historians suggest that she was afraid of being paraded through Rome as a captive, as many other defeated monarchs had been. Others argue that she was devastated by the loss of her lover and decided to follow him into death. Some believe that Cleopatra was trying to protect her children and prevent them from being used as political pawns by the new Roman rulers.

In conclusion, the death of Cleopatra remains a fascinating and mysterious event in history. Despite the numerous depictions of her death, we may never know the true circumstances that led to her tragic end. However, her legacy as a powerful and intelligent leader, a romantic figure, and a symbol of ancient Egypt will continue to inspire and captivate people for generations to come.

Post a Comment