In this last installment of the profile on Cleopatra, you will learn a few trivia tidbits that involve the men in Cleopatra’s life, as well as the children that came out of such unions. Other features include taking a look at one of the many outrageous tales that have become linked to the legend of the Queen. Words of wisdom are also presented as well.
Cleopatra and Caesar had nearly a 30-year age difference between the two. When they met , she was 21 and he was 50. When she gave birth to their son Caesarion, she desired their son named heir, but Caesar did not cave in, as he instead chose his grand-nephew Octavian.
Between 47 BC and 44 BC, Cleopatra and Caesarion paid a visit to Rome where it is said they were present to witness the assassination of Caesar on March 15th, 44BC. It is unknown if she returned before or after the assassination took place. Soon after, she decided to have her sister Arsinoe killed , a common practice during these times , as she wished to completely protect the interests of herself and her son.
Mark Antony made Cleopatra his wife accorded to the Egyptian rite. However, he was also married to Octavia Minor at the same time, who was the sister of his fellow triumvir Octavian. Afterwards, Cleopatra would give birth to Ptolemy Philadelphus.
A lot of outrageous tales have centered on the existence of Cleopatra. One of the best known involves a playful bet she had with Antony. Taking place at one of her many elaborate meals, she bet him that she could spend ten million “sesterces” on a dinner. He accepted the bet and the next night, she served a regular meal. Antony started laughing at her, but when she had the second course brought in , a lone cup of strong vinegar was placed in front of her. She then took off one of her very expensive earrings of pearl and dropped it into the vinegar, where she then drank the concoction upon its dissolve. The earliest account of this tale was taken from the text of Pliny the Elder. In vinegar, calcium carbonate in pearls does dissolve, but rather slowly unless it is crushed beforehand.
While Cleopatra’s son (with Caesar) was announced as the new pharaoh of Egypt by the people, Octavian had already won this position. Instead, Caesarion was captured and later executed. There are famous words uttered by Octavian, who stated that “Two Caesars are one too many.” The Hellenistic line of Egyptian pharaohs were lost forever and no other Egyptian pharaohs would rule again.
The live of the three children that Cleopatra and Mark Antony had were spared and brought back to Rome, where Antony’s wife, Octavia Minor became their caretaker.
Words of Cleopatra
“In praising Antony I have dispraised Caesar.”
“All strange and terrible events are welcome, but comforts we despise.”
“Fool! Don’t you see now that I could have poisoned you a hundred times had I been able to live without you.”
“Celerity is never more admired than by the negligent.”
“I will not be triumphed over.”
“My honour was not yielded, but conquered merely.”