The dazzling beauty of the Egyptian queen is not in anyone’s doubt. However, modern sources do not say anything about it, and the later author writes that she looked “not incomparable” . The face of a fatal woman can be imagined from her official images.
Not irresistible sexuality in some way shocked ancient Rome . She was the mistress of the great commander and dictator Julius Caesar, after the assassination of which he tidied his companion, Mark Antony. Together they tried to resist Octavian, the future Emperor Augustus, but were defeated and committed suicide. The life story and suicide of Cleopatra inspired many writers, artists, filmmakers. In her role, the most brilliant Hollywood stars – Claudet Colbert, Vivien Leigh, Elizabeth Taylor – were shot. However, the ancient portraits of Cleopatra suggest that the loques about her unearthly beauty are somewhat exaggerated.
Cleopatra VII was born in 69 BC. Her dynasty of the Ptolemies, nominally ruling ancient Egypt , long ago depended on the Roman Republic. The monarchs compensated for the lack of strength by an external brilliance. Cleopatra herself received an excellent education and, according to all testimonies, already at a very early age behaved like a king.
Without diplomacy, it was difficult to survive. At 17, she inherited the throne – along with 12-year-old brother Ptolemy XIII, traditionally declared her husband, and immediately encountered discontent among the subjects, intrigues of the court parties and the threat of direct Roman annexation (occupation) of Egypt.
In 48 BC. In the battle of Pharsale (Greece), Caesar defeated Pompey (Gnaeus Pompey the Great). He fled to Egypt, where he was killed by the Ptolemaic courtiers, who feared the revenge of the victor. Soon Gaius Julius Caesar himself appeared here. Cleopatra before this expelled from Alexandria supporters of her brother. The great commander after a difficult and dangerous war with them in 47 BC. restored the injured on the throne. Returning to Alexandria, for the effect or simply fearing for her life, Cleopatra ordered to deliver herself secretly to Caesar’s camp in a linen sack.
Describing this episode, Plutarch (an ancient Greek philosopher, biographer, moralist) does not say that Caesar was struck by the beauty of the queen, but “he was immediately captivated by her coquetry . ”
Three years later, Cleopatra met another influential Roman – Mark Antony, commander and co-ruler of Octavian. It is generally accepted that she seduced him for purely political purposes.
In 32 BC. Octavian declared war , and it was Cleopatra, since Antony, who was with her in the union, remained a Roman citizen and kept the rests of popularity. It was important to blame the “sorceress and debauchery” from Egypt.
In 31 BC. the combined fleet of Antonia (170 heavy ships) and Cleopatra (60 ships) was defeated by the Octavian fleet (260 light ships) off Cape Akcius in Epirus (Greece), in 30 BC. the remnants of their troops went over to the side of the enemy, and the spouses committed suicide. Octavian in 27 BC, took the title of Augustus and ruled – already as an emperor – until his death at age 14. With him, and formed the myth of Cleopatra – a debauched, but seductive intriguer, confused and bewitched entraining Antony