Don’t you like a good love story? It is usually fictional, based on someone’s life story but what I am about to write is a true, well-documented, historical but, unfortunately, tragic love story between two plus one aristocrats. The tale of Cleopatra, Cesar, and Marc Antony.
She was a Ptolemaic dynasty heiress, of Greek-Macedonian lineage, born around 69 BC in Alexandria, Egypt. We all know her as Cleopatra, a beautiful, mischief seductress and self-proclaimed reincarnation of goddess Isis, however, her full name was Cleopatra VII Philopator, and she was the last real female pharaoh of Egypt.He was born on 13th July 100 BC as Gaius Julius Caesar, descendant of Iulus who was believed to be the son of the legendary Trojan prince Aeneas who was the son of the goddess Venus.Both with blood of gods and royals, they lived in a time when death lurked from all corners and places.Cleopatra was highly educated. Ancient records show she knew 7 languages, including Egyptian which was strange in this royal family. She was interested in science, literature, math, philosophy, music, medicine, and even martial arts.No wonder that she authored a cosmetic book. It is well known that she made up a royal spa treatment- a fresh ass or goat milk as nourishing bath solution. Some say she used rose oil with violets perfume on her hands and treated her feet with oil made from cinnamon, honey, iris, hyacinth, and orange blossoms. Surely, she had unimaginable wealth on her disposal since all the ingredients she used were awfully expensive.THE MEETINGand Cesar met in a remarkably interesting way. Cesar came to Ptolemy’s’ palace, Cleopatra’s home from which she was exiled by her evil brother and sister, as a part of a military campaign, alongside his Master of the Horse Mark Antony. From the desert where she fled, Cleopatra saw the opportunity to get her throne back and arrived in Cesar’s chamber rolled up in a carpet. Cesar, who was married at the time, was a well-known womanizer and he fell under Cleopatra’s charm. She was that persuasive that she convinced him to restore her on the throne of Egypt. Initially Cesar decided to make her co-rule with her brother and once publically declared such decision, her brother’s supporters were very much displeased and attacked Alexandria. Cesar defeated the rebels and Cleopatra’s brother was found drowned in Nile while trying to escape. Cesar restored Cleopatra to the throne.THEIR DESTINYAfter many lavish parties, barge banquets and much bedroom action, Cesar and Cleopatra welcomed their son, Ptolemy Caesarian. The affair was upsetting to a lot of people including Cesar’s official wife. They both went back to Rome. Whispers and rumours started like fire. Some loved Cleopatra. Her famous hair does, the melon bun, became popular among women. Others hated her and spoke very badly of her.Regardless, Cesar really Loved Cleopatra, in fact he has raised a golden statue of her. Many said he lost a touch with Roman virtues by being in extramarital affair with a concubine and increased dissatisfaction of people became rebellion.Cesar made plans to marry Cleopatra and recognize their son as his heir.On March 15th 44 BC, Gaius Cassius Longinus, Decimus Junius Brutus, and Marcus Junius Brutus executed a plan made by them and some other Roman senators, who believed that Cesar was bewitched by Cleopatra and unfit for the highest position because he asked for a title of a king, so they stabbed him to death.The famous last words of Cesar “And you too, Brutus” actually don’t exist as factual evidence but can be found in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” Some say it derived from the Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus who recorded that some said his last words were in Greek “Kai su, teknon?” or in English “You too, child?.” Either way, their Love affair ended with this brutal act, leaving Cleopatra vulnerable to the Roman conspirators.AFTERMATH AND BIRTH OF ANOTHER AFFAIRAfter the murder of Cesar, Octavian, Marc Antony, and Lepidus fought with Cassius and Brutus to regain the control of Rome.Devastated Cleopatra rushed back to her home, Egypt who was in an awfully bad state. She has come back to find famine, flooding, and imposter, presented himself as her dead brother Ptolemy XIII. Cleopatra didn’t think twice on this at all and executed him, to sit once again as a sole ruler of Egypt. She declared Egypt to be neutral in Roman civil war.Cleopatra ruled from her palace which was close to famous Pharos Lighthouse and visited the Library of Alexandria.When Marc Antony and Lepidus won the civil war, they divided the Roman Empire into West and East which made Marc Antony start a tour of his new Empire.Tarsus in Asia Minor. 42 BC. After some tension building between them, Cleopatra decided to meet with Marc Antony. She sent him following message: “For the good and happiness of Asia I am coming for a Festive reception…Venus has come to revel with Bacchus.”She arrived with style. Purple sails, beautiful girls as sailors and servants, golden bedroom filed with foot and half of rose petals and hanged nets, scented with various fragrances. Antony gave Cleopatra Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, the western part of Asia Minor, and parts of Syria, Phoenicia, Jordan, and Cyprus as a gift. They returned together to Egypt although as Cesar Marc Antony was married to Octavian sister. Some say they partied hard, gambled, and even disguised as slaves just for a fun of it.This power couple was 11 years together and they had 3 children. He was often in military campaigns. He was generous to Cleopatra. It’s reported that he plundered the library at Pergamum and given it to library of Alexandria.Everything that is good has an end, some say, so our self-proclaimed Dionysus and Osiris met a tragic end.Octavian, later known as the first Roman Emperor Augustus, found his brother in laws affair insulting and wanted vengeance, in his and his sister’s name.Octavian made it clear that he considers Marc Antony as a public enemy, so he went to battle Marc AntonyOn 1 August 30 BC, Octavian gained victory and reached into AlexandriaMarc Antony got false news that his beloved Cleopatra was dead, so he stabbed himself in the stomach with his sword unsuccessfully. While he begged for someone to finish him off, he got a word from Cleopatra to come to her. He was brought to Cleopatra by his fellow men, only to die in her arms after having his last glass of wine.With Octavian on the doorstep, her Love dead, Cleopatra decided to end her life as well. She was in her tomb chambers, with two maids who executed her demands. Cleopatra committed suicide by placing an Egyptian cobra to her breast and died of a lethal bite.Unfortunately, Octavian received some advice “It is bad to have too many Caesars.” and ordered Cesar’s and Cleopatra’s son Caesarean to be executed.These lovers story lives on and is passed through all generations. It is captured in many movies, series, books, and online pages making homage and reminds us that True Love exists and can be found, but also it warns us, that it can destroy us.If you like this tale perhaps you may enjoy another