If you make a list of the most beautiful woman or the most phenomenal woman, or even the most iconic woman of the ancient world, Cleopatra will surely have a place in the list. The name Cleopatra is synonymous with feminine beauty and elegance. There are no paintings or statues that depict the beauty of this illustrious woman, but the world still raves about her charm. Cleopatra, the enigmatic Egyptian beauty and a powerful leader of the ancient world, led a mysterious life. Even after centuries, facts and fantasies about her life still intrigue us. Here are some interesting facts that you might not have heard about her.
1. Not just one Cleopatra
Cleopatra’s birth name is Cleopatra VII Philopator, yet she is known by her mononymous name Cleopatra. There were many other Cleopatra’s in the Egyptian nobility but the name was made famous by her.
2. Cleopatra was married to her brother
In Egypt; marriage among close family members was common. The Royal family encouraged nuptials between siblings to keep their bloodline pure. This sentence might seem like a dialogue from Game of Thrones, but this was a reality in ancient Egypt. Cleopatra married two of her younger brothers and they served as her ceremonial spouse at different points of time. According to historians, even Cleopatra’s parents were brother and sister.
3. Cleopatra is not Egyptian
Although Cleopatra was born in Egypt and is known as an Egyptian Queen, she does not have an Egyptian origin. Cleopatra’s family is Macedonian Greek descent and can be traced back to Ptolemy I Soter, Alexander the Great’s general.
4. She was the last Pharaoh
Cleopatra was the last Pharaoh of independent Egypt. She was also the last member of the Ptolemaic Dynasty that ruled Egypt after Alexander, The great. After her death, Roman leaders took over Egypt and annexed the country to Roman Empire and named it Egyptus.
5. Her eye makeup served more than one purpose.
Cleopatra’s elaborate eye makeup, ruby lips and fringes, that added to her beauty, was also meant to intimidate other women and inspire fear and respect from her subjects. But her eye makeup had another function to fulfill. Many diseases including eye infections were doing rounds in the kingdom of Egypt then and the thick line of kohl protected Cleopatra’s eyes from contracting eye diseases.
6. Cleopatra had a drinking club
Cleopatra and Roman General Mark Antony were believed to have been in a relationship around 40 B.C. The rumored lovebirds started a drinking club called ‘Inimitable Livers’. The members of the club joined every night and hosted feasts and parties.
7. Her beauty could be a myth
Some historians believe that the ethereal allure of Cleopatra could be just a myth as there is no paintings or proper statues to ascertain the legendary beauty of this Egyptian ruler. The existing statues and other depictions were made years after her death and they all differ from each other. Yet another popular argument is that the Romans depicted her as a beautiful woman to diminish her strategic skills, cleverness and power, hinting that she got into power just because of her beauty
8. She did more than just rule
Cleopatra’s talent was not limited to the ruling. She was a writer and author of a book. In her book titled ‘cosmetics’, Cleopatra had detailed about various health conditions and their remedies. She was also a polyglot and was well-versed in 8 languages. She was a fashion designer and also ran a perfume factory.
9. Relationship with Mark Antony
Mark Antony and Cleopatra’s love affair was quite scandalous. Many believe that Cleopatra wooed Mark Antony to serve her purpose of keeping the throne. But according to history experts, Mark Antony and Cleopatra’s relationship was more strategic than emotional. She needed Mark Antony’s support to protect her crown and he needed the resources of Egypt to defend his power from his rival-Augustus.
10. Mystery around her death
When Augustus finally arrived in Egypt with his huge army, defeat was inevitable for Cleopatra and Mark Antony. The popular theory is that Cleopatra committed suicide by letting a snake bite her. Another theory is that she killed herself using a poisonous needle that was kept in her hair. Historians have argued that she was captured by Augustus and killed by him. There is no conclusive evidence to prove any of these theories. But whether it was suicide or murder, she died at the age of 39.
Many details about Cleopatra’s life remain a mystery and it is still in public discussion. She is undoubtedly one of the most famous Egyptian rulers, even famous than the Pharaohs who raised a futuristic civilization and built magnificent cities. Whether she was beautiful or powerful or both, she was the real Phenomenal Woman!
Read More About : Egypt