Cleopatra's Death

CAESAR'S death plunged Rome again into civil war, and Cleopatra hesitated which of the factions to support. That of Mark Anthony finally won the upper hand, and Anthony, visiting the East to consolidate his power there, summoned the Queen of Egypt to appear before him in Asia Minor for punishment. Cleopatra came, but not in the manner of a victim. She was then twenty-eight years old, at the height of her physical beauty and intellectual power. She sailed up the river to Anthony's court in the most gorgeous barge, and arrayed in the most splendid garb that the East could furnish. Anthony was fascinated as Caesar had been. He became her devoted lover.

For ten years he and she plunged into every form of revelry together. Gradually Anthony's Roman adherents fell away from him. Augustus Caesar ruled Rome, and declared war upon him. Cleopatra arrayed the forces of Egypt upon Anthony's side; but they were both defeated. With them fell Egypt's independence; it was made a Roman province.

Tradition says that Cleopatra, finding her position hopeless, resolved on suicide. She poisoned several of her slaves to see which death seemed swiftest and most painless. After watching them, she selected the bite of an asp as the easiest method, and destroyed herself. The spirit of later Egypt, its splendor and wit, its recklessness and cruelty, was summed up in her and perished with her.

Support this site and add value to yours by linking to this page. Just copy the text or HTML below and paste into your web site. Thank you!

Read about Cleopatra's Death in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

Help us improve and/or update this article. Please send suggested text to For submission Terms and Conditions, click here.