2. What was Cleopatra’s actual title?
A) Cleopatra VII Philopator
B) Cleopatra the Great
C) Cleopatra III Euergetis
D) Cleopatra I
3. How many languages did Cleopatra speak?
A) Only Egyptian.
B) Latin and Egyptian.
C) Seven different languages.
D) Fifteen different languages.
4. Who was Cleopatra’s first husband?
A) Julius Caesar.
B) Mark Anthony.
C) Alexander the Great.
D) Her brother.
5. Which of these images represents Cleopatra?
When her great gamble fell through, however, and Caesar was murdered in the Roman Senate House on the Ides of March, Cleopatra took advantage of events yet again to ensure her safety and the safety of her country. Sailing across the Mediterranean in a luxury yacht, she met with one of the new rulers of the Roman Republic, Mark Anthony. Dressed up in the guise of the goddess of love, Cleopatra must have made quite an impression on the notoriously pleasure-loving Mark Anthony. But she obviously decided it wasn’t enough. So she invited him to a feast, determined to impress him with her wealth and glamour in a rather more unusual way. Calling for a glass of sour wine, she casually took off her earring – one of the largest pearls in the ancient world – and dropped it into the drink. The pearl dissolved, and Cleopatra drank it, showing Mark Anthony just how much wealth Egypt had to spare – they could even drink it! Mark Anthony was instantly smitten. The two fell in love, married, and had three children together: a pair of twins, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, and a son, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Only when Cleopatra’s second gamble fell through, and Octavian defeated Mark Anthony at the Battle of Actium, did the queen admit defeat. She committed suicide only moments after her husband: dramatic to the last, faithful to her husband and her country, a queen to the very end.
So does this sound like the Cleopatra you know? Most likely not. All the signs point to a Cleopatra who was, in fact, faithful to both the husbands she chose, a powerful and dedicated ruler who put the needs of her country before her own, and not even particularly beautiful – just very good company (to paraphrase Plutarch). So was Cleopatra a seductive siren or a good queen? Perhaps we’ll never know. But it seems, to me at least, that there’s rather more about Cleopatra than initially meets the eye.