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Cleopatra (69BC – 30BC) – The last person to rule Egypt as a Pharaoh. Upon her death Egypt became a Roman province. There have been several movies made about her. Perhaps the most famous the 1963 movie with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Several books have been written. Perhaps the most famous was William Shakespeare’s ‘Anthony and Cleopatra’. There have been several opera’s written about her.
In general most agree that Cleopatra took her own life. With very little fact other then the fact that she was dead, stories abound about how she met her end. Roman stories tell one thing and other sources tell of yet another. In general the consensus is that she was bitten by and Egyptian Cobra or Asp. Even these stories vary. Some say she was bitten on the hand, another the arm and yet another on her breast. Some say that one of her hand maidens induced the snake to bite her.
Some stories say that her death was accidental. That an Asp had somehow gotten into a platter of dates. Others say that the Asp was delivered to her in a jar. What ever the means, her death was reported to be slow and pain free which discounts a death by snake bite. Other stories abound that she was not bitten by a snake at all – That in fact she drank a lethal poison. A mixture of hemlock, wolfsbane and opium. Yet still others report that she applied a toxic ointment to her skin.
Yet other stories tell that Augustus Caesar ordered Octavian to have her killed. No matter what the method or means. The manner of her death still remains a mystery.
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