“Once you had been with Cleopatra, the rest of your life was a sad anti-climax. I just thought -'you lucky sod Antony'.”
“She grabbed Rome by the balls..”
“...Cleopatra? Great name for a brand of cat food!”
Cleopatra of Egypt is the most famous woman who has ever lived unless you count Miley Cyrus. She was the smart Queen of Egypt who shrewdly manipulated a succession of Roman generals including Julius Caesar and Mark Antony to get her own way. If they thought of her as a bit of classy 'Egyptian rumpy pumpy', Cleopatra was also busy working out how to extract the maximum political benefit from her selective couplings.
As Cleopatra would say in private:
Rome be damned, what is that collection of shacks compared to Alexandria? I would straddle their women if it meant I was in charge of a new Romano-Hanky-Panky world. 
- 1 Birth of a Booty
- 2 A Nest of Vipers
- 3 Palace Revolution
- 4 The Carpet Queen
- 5 When Cleo Met Julie (Again)
- 6 End of a Dirty Papyrus Collection
- 7 Cleopatra and the Romans
- 8 Caesar Coitus Permanently Interruptus
- 9 Have Barge - Will Travel
- 10 He's Going to Marry Who??
- 11 I Need My Man
- 12 Reunited and Ambitious
- 13 Egyptian Cat Stuffing
- 14 Antony Is No Actium Man
- 15 Last of the Yummy Mummies
- 16 Famous Affairs
- 17 Cleopatra in Art, Fiction, Films, Cartoons etc etc
- 18 What Happened to the Asp ?
- 19 Notes
- 20 See also
Birth of a Booty
Cleopatra Neon 'Pitta-Patter' was born around 69 BC in Alexandria , Egypt to Pharaoh Ptolemy 'The Loosest Flute  in the Orchestra' and Cleopatra Jones, an African-American-Welsh political activist who was in the city on her gap year...
Sorry to say this is probably not true. Cleopatra's real mother was likely to have been Cleopatra V, sister or half sister to her father. The Ptolemies had for the last three centuries been marrying each other since their ancestor, the Macedonian general Ptolemy had grabbed Egypt in the big carve up of Alexander the Great's empire in 323 BC. Sometimes the family had married the Seleucids, a rival dynasty up the road in Syria who also claimed their authority to rule from another of Alexander's old drinking pals Seleucus. Otherwise the Ptolemies agreed that 'Inbred and Proud of It' was their family motto and that brothers and sisters (and sometimes and uncles and aunties) made the best partners. The family also believed in killing each other at every opportunity and that had remained a popular method to cut down on family expenses like retirement pensions and welfare cheques.
So it isn't surprising with this family background Cleopatra turned out to be a tough as old crocodile skin boots when it come to getting her way and aiming for the top slot in Egypt. She was a classic middle child: Cleopatra had two older sisters called Berenice and Cleopatra 'Tympanium' and a younger one known as 'Arsy' Arsinoe. Cleopatra also had two cheesy younger brothers called Ptolemy Philadelphia 'Full Fat' and Ptolemy Philadelphia 'Low-Fat-With-Chives'. To make matters extra bad for Cleopatra Junior, her intended husband was the elder 'Full Fat' Ptolemy brother when his balls dropped.
A Nest of Vipers
Cleopatra's father was a skilled player of the flute (literally and metaphorically). His nimble fingers had already got him a recommendation from Roman officers who would sail over from Rome for a bit of rancid fun with the old fool. Watching her father's regular humiliations to the 'All Conquering Rome', Cleopatra said she didn't want to end up like him and hoped to have the Romans running to her instead.
Cleopatra had very few friends as she was growing up and preferred to hang around in snake pits where she learnt the art of 'Cobra Charming' and to wiggle her hips like a serpent , wrapping its body around a victim. One day when Cleopatra's mother told her off for dressing like a peasant, the young Cleo had run to her snakes to 'avenge her'. They duly did and slithered in her mother's bedroom and strangled the poor woman. Cleopatra was shocked but secretly she knew it was her who had encouraged her serpent friends to commit the deed.
Cleopatra's life was changed in 58 BC when her father was deposed in a palace coup organised by her older sisters. They hated him for moaning about their choice of boyfriends and music , so Berenice and the elder Cleopatra 'Tympanium' organised a rebellion whilst their father was in Rome entertaining his Roman patrons. On this particular trip Ptolemy had taken along little Cleopatra as his 'cute dancing mascot. When he heard the news that his elder daughters had deposed him, Ptolemy went into a sulk and contemplated throwing himself in the Tiber but little Cleo told her father to 'Walk Like An Egyptian' and go down on all fours to beg for support from Rome.
In Egypt Berenice quickly tired of job sharing with Cleopatra Tympanium and arranged her sister to get sucked into a local quicksand pit. Berenice was free to marry her old boyfriend Archelaus, a handsome oxen wagon driver from Memphis who would sing to her 'That's Alright Berenice' and 'I Aint Nothing But a Nile Dog' whilst performing a pelvic thrust in bed. But Berenice's advisers said Archelaus was unsuitable and recommend an available Syrian noble , Prince Seleucus of Antioch  . Berenice reluctantly agreed but on meeting her new husband for the first time said he 'stank of fish' and made herself a widow before the night was out. She then slipped out of Alexandria to take Archelaus on a snorkelling holiday in Sharm Al Sheik.
This was the wrong move by Berenice . Whilst she was away, her father arrived back in Egypt with a Roman army and retook the throne . Archelaus was killed whilst Berenice pleaded she had been a 'bit too hasty' about booting her dad out and asked for a second chance. Ptolemy may have had an ear for music but certainly not one for mercy and Berenice was promptly executed  . The young Cleopatra watched all the gory proceedings and then danced for her father as her sister's headless corpse was dragged out.
Ptolemy lived on a for a few more sordid years , playing a few more flute recitals to an audience of bored eunuchs before his own death in 51 BC. His final message to Cleopatra was 'Marry Your Brother, Be Careful with Rome and Keep Charming The Snakes'.
The Carpet Queen
The new pharaoh was Cleopatra's brother Ptolemy Philadelpha Full Fat. He was obliged to share power with Cleopatra but in truth wanted her dead. Egypt was broke so Cleopatra announced that Alexandria would now be the 'Las Vegas' of the Ancient World. She ordered the construction of casinos, pole dancing clubs (called Cleopatra's in her honour' ), nightclubs and sent invitations to rich Romans and others to come there for a 'A Real Dirty Weekend of Gambling, Fun, Sex and More Gambling'.
Naturally there were soon boatloads of cash arrogant Romans arriving in Alexandria's harbour and asking the way to the 'entertainments' . Many made their way to the ever popular 'Pharos All Night Club and Lighthouse' situated at the entrance of the main harbour. Within just two years Egypt's income had quadrupled and the country was back in the black economy.
However Cleopatra's business acumen was deeply resented by her sniveling brother Ptolemy and his main ball carrier - Chief Eunuch Pothinus Sanstesticulus. They were traditional conservatives or 'Tradcons' who wanted Egypt to return to the glory days of Ramases the Great. The Tradcons looked down their noses on the Romans and boasted about their 3,000 years of recorded history.
The bitter rivalry between the Cleopatra and Ptolemy came to a pimple head when a particular sweaty faced man who had turned up to take his chances on the Alexandrian roulette tables was revealed to be the Roman general and politician Pompey the Great . He was also on the run from Julius Caesar and his legions after losing the battle of Pharcical in Greece. Alone and desperate , Pompey tried to buy some more credit from the casino but was told to report to the manager's office where he was sent upon and murdered. Pompey's head was cut off and then filed in the 'defaulters cabinet' (actually a refrigerator full of the body parts of other luckless gamblers that week).
Fearing she could be next, Cleopatra packed her snake and flute and fled to friends outside Alexandria . She was lurking there when she received news that Julius Caesar and a party of 5,000 Roman soldiers had just arrived in Egypt looking for Pompey. Hoping perhaps that Caesar would remember her as that 'funny little girl' dancing in Rome, Cleopatra sent a message to Casear that she 'would appreciate their help in getting back her throne and would he take a carpet on part payment of her debts to mighty Rome'.
When Cleo Met Julie (Again)
Cleopatra soon managed to find the entrance to the casino where Julius Caesar and his soldiers were drinking and stuffing bronze coins down the bras of jaded pole dancers. Worried that that Caesar would get bored and torch the place, Ptolemy's minister Pothinus brought out Pompey's head in a ice bucket and sent it and a crate of champagne to Caesar's table. When he saw his old rival's frozen features, Caesar broke down in tears of laughter and remembered a joke that Pompey was always keen to 'get ahead' in the Roman republic.
Whilst this was going on, from out of the shadows a carpet rolled towards the Romans and out popped Cleopatra. Taking them by surprise, Cleopatra turned on her beat box and started to play Walk Like an Egyptian on her father's old flute. The Romans burst in laughter and clapped along with the song. It was said this was when Caesar was 'smitten with lust' for the Nympho of the Nile and promised Cleopatra he would restore her to power - alone. In exchange Caesar offered to show Cleopatra all his 'old war wounds' and the couple promptly became lovers.
On hearing this news, Ptolemy fled the royal palace and ordered his army to take on the Romans. He also sent a painting of himself dressed as ' Naughty Nicky' because he had heard that Caesar like to butter his bread on both sides when it came to lovers. However Ptolemy wasn't Caesar's type and the painting was burnt by Cleopatra.
End of a Dirty Papyrus Collection
Caesar had just allowed most of his army go on an extended leave to the 'fleshpots of Syria' when the rebellion broke out. He and Cleopatra only had a small force but they managed to barricade the doors to the Pharos Nightclub and waited for reinforcements. Joining Ptolemy and his Tradcons was Cleopatra's younger sister Arsinoe who had resented her sister ever since they had rowed over a pair of shoes. Now she too swore to murder Cleopatra and take over her fancy wardrobe.
However neither sister was to wear these clothes again. A warehouse where the royal clothes were stored was set alight by a mob but then spread to Alexandria's Famed Lending Library with its extensive collection of Greek Classics. In the flames perished the only known copies of Aristotle's Book of Jokes about Spartans but also Plato's 'I Had A Funny Turn on My Way to the Parthenon' and virtually all of Sophocles's early plays about his bowel movements. The Romans claimed that most of the stuff destroyed was really a pile of pornographic papyri collected for centuries by the Ptolemies in the past and therefore no great loss to anyone except for future issues of Hustler magazine.
Luckily for the besieged Romans, it turned out the Egyptian soldiers were not very well organised. The Tradcons were quickly crushed by the ruthless returning legionaries whilst Ptolemy Philadelphia Full Fat ended up on the bottom of the Nile when he tried to swim to safety in his golden armour. Only Arsinoe was left and she was captured alive and booked to to take part in Caesar's planned Triumph in Rome.
Cleopatra was reluctant to see her lover leave but she told her friends that Caesar was considering her application to extend her gaming/casino entertainment business to Rome. Though obliged by Egyptian custom to place her other brother - Ptolemy Philadelphia Low Fat on the throne as a co-ruler, Cleopatra was now really in full control of her country. She could now also celebrate the birth of her son 'Little Caesar' or Ptolemy Caesarion Caesar as he was officially called. He is said to have looked just like his famous dad, though others said Caesarion was really 'a rug maker's son' (and not a very good one at that).
Cleopatra and the Romans
Whilst she was busy reorganising Egypt and showing everyone there that she meant business, Cleopatra kept up with the news from Rome. She waited for Caesar to have his Triumph and turned up with a spectacle to wow all of Rome. Crowds chanted 'Cleo! Cleo!!' as her army of slaves squirted the smellier Romans with fragrances to help the nostril sensitive Queen navigate her way through Rome's rather squalid little back streets.
Caesar (who still had an official Roman wife in the matronly shape of Calpurnia) split his time between his young lover and 'the old trout'. Cleopatra also had her own list of demands - starting with a swift death of her sister Arsinoe and the granting of a super casino license in Rome. However Caesar was still always a politician first and lover second and instead allowed Arsinoe to live in exile in Ephesus to run the Temple of Artemis there. He also discretely discredited Cleopatra's dream to turn the Rome Forum into the' Cleopatra Pole Dancing Centre'. The local authorities turned down her plans and also suggested the Eqyptian Queen was 'morally repellent' and made it plain that a future submission would equally be dismissed. Angry and feeling that perhaps Caesar was playing her double, Cleopatra stormed out of Rome and threatened to return to Alexandria to 'consider her options'. Mark Antony who she had already twigged (and twittered) had the secret hots for her persuaded the moody queen to stay and indicated that if Caesar was obliged to go to his wife now and again, he Antony would willingly entertain her instead. Cleopatra thought that wasn't a bad offer but didn't want to offend Caesar.
Caesar Coitus Permanently Interruptus
Cleopatra was still in Rome still trying to persuade the authorities to grant her super casino license when she received the message that 'Julie' wasn't going to come round tonight for his cocoa and copulation as usual but was now lying very dead in the senate. This was a heavy blow to Cleopatra who had grown fond of 'baldy bollocks' as she liked to call Caesar in bed. Now the ungrateful Romans and their deranged Republican Party had stabbed this most Democratic of dictators to death and no Roman health insurance plan would help Caesar now!
Receiving no invitation to the bonfire to burn Caesar's body, Cleopatra packed her slaves. eunuchs and servants into her luxury ship and sailed back to Egypt. To make her feel better, she poisoned her bratty baby brother Ptolemy Philadelphia Low-Fat-With-Chives before he grew up and got awkward and spotty like all young boys. She then proclaimed her son Caesar Junior (Caeserean as he had a face like a birth scar) co-ruler and waited to see who would come out top in Rome now - and more importantly - give her the all important gaming license.
The only fly in Cleopatra's make up dish was her hated sister Arsinoe who hadn't been ceremonially chopped up after Caesar's triumph and had instead, been given the job as Chief Wailer at the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus in Asia Minor. This move by her old lover suggested to Cleopatra that Caesar was keeping 'Arsy' alive to make future mischief so she decided it was important now to find someone else who could 'whack' her sister. He just had to be brought round to her way of thinking.
Have Barge - Will Travel
When Cleopatra heard the Republicans had been trounced at Philippi, she promptly sent a singing eunuch to the winning Democratic Triumvirate. Lepidus was away playing with horses and Octavian wasn't taken with the gift but Mark Antony welcomed the slave and got the important information that Cleopatra was thinking of spending her holidays in Tarsus in Asia Minor. So Antony left Greece and headed off in that direction telling Octavian he would back soon to mop any remaining Republicans who were still questioning the battle result and suggesting the Triumvirs were not true Romans anyway.
However Cleopatra decided to 'take the Roman by the family jewels ' and arrived in Tarsus on her specially decked out 'love boat'. It was built to impress and made a grand entrance with fireworks, music bands, dancers and a travelling circus. On one level of her luxurious barge, Cleopatra had a gaming area set aside so that visitors could play games like 'Ptolemiac Poker' and 'Gin Mummy'. Cleopatra sent out the prettiest of her slave girls and boys into Tarsus with flyers to get the punters in and soon her barge was heaving with happy gamblers losing their money.
Antony remained aloof, aware that Cleopatra was trying to entice him onboard her barge. However as more and more of his generals deserted their posts and went to try their luck on the floating casino, Antony knew he had to go along and met her.
Once Cleopatra saw Antony arrive, she changed into her best Ruthless Roman General Bloke Bait dress, a clingy 'minxy sphinxy' number her dressmakers her told her get any man she cared for. To make sure she made an entrance into the main gaming room, Cleopatra arrived on a ivory and gold throne, carried by a troop of very tall Nubians. Making sure Antony saw her, Cleopatra went over to a gaming machine, pulled the lever and up appeared like magic the words IACPOTUS (i.e. Jackpot in the handy Idiots Guide to Cod Latin ). Turning to Antony, she summoned a eunuch to come forward and give him an official welcome.
|“||Hail Mark Antony. The Conqueror of the Republicans, Slayer of the Shock Jocks, Master of his own kitchen and the One Third Ruler of the Roman World. Queen Cleopatra Bids You Welcome. I Trust You Have Brought Some Money to the Gaming Tables Tonight!||”|
Antony then bowed and made his speech in return:
|“||They Say You Are the Most Beautiful Woman In The World Queen Cleopatra. I am Mark Antony, the revenger of Julius Caesar and his best buddy in Gaul and Britannia. I welcome you to Tarsus. I will cancel the mooring fees if you give me on credit ..let's say 20,000 gold pieces to start with for us to play tonight.||”|
Cleopatra's servants then had put a large box full of best quality Egyptian treasure for Antony to get his grubby paws on and inside was a note. Meet Me Behind the Wheelhouse For The Hottest Hump Of The Century.
Antony was hooked like a flounder that cannot resist just one more little worm. When he arrived at the rendezvous point, a slave led him to Cleopatra's bedroom where she was waiting for her panting Roman in all her glory. However she was also holding a parchment in one hand and a Parker Pen Quill in the other.
|“||Mark Antony...you see I am ready for Rome's civilising mission but first can you just put your scribble and stamp on this small matter.||”|
She then asked one of bedchamber slaves to carry the document to Mark Antony. It read:
|“||I Mark Antony, Triumvir of Rome, Authorise the Immediate Termination of Arsinoe of Egypt as an Enemy of the Senate and People of Rome. Three Cheers for Caesar and put one on the tab for me behind the bar.||”|
If Antony actually read this properly is unknown but he filled out the document and gave it to one his aides to carry out the bloody deed.
|“||...And now Antony...you must stay with me so that we can mourn my sister together...Now get out of those clothes and come and join me to help me get through this tragedy..||”|
It is said by a witness, that Antony needed no further invitation and ripped off his tuxedo style runic and jumped into bed with Cleopatra.
He's Going to Marry Who??
Whilst he was wallowing in post coital turpentine (the barge had run out of the more agreeable turpitude), Antony was handed a phone by one his officers with an urgent call from Octavian...
Errr..Antony..Tony my love. Got a bit of a problem with the Republicans again. I know you don't like me but if they get me - you will be next.
Antony then left the barge without telling Cleopatra and made his way back to Rome to help out his fellow triumvirs Octavian and Lepidus. Cleopatra was unhappy that he had gone but was part mollified with confirmation that Arsinoe was definitely dead and the granting of a 24 hour casino license in Tarsus. So Cleopatra returned to Alexandria for some post remedial slave slapping to cheer herself up.
It was in Egypt where she got the news that Antony had married Octavian's sister Octavia and that now he was a reformed man and ready to settle down to 'smoking a pipe and walking the dog' or 'smoking the dog' and 'walking the pipe' (message may have been scrambled in transit) in Athens. Cleopatra went up the wall, over the roof and into the garden with royal rage. She smashed up the love barge where she remembered the fun and business she had enjoyed with Antony and ordered that nice statue he had sent of himself be smashed into a thousand fragments. Antony tried to sugar the bitter pill by sending a Good News Messenger who said 'Cleopatra's request for a nightclub next door to the Roman Senate' is under serious consideration ..' and the Bad News Messenger who had to deliver a report on of Antony and Octavia's wedding without having his head kicked in by a furious queen was of no avail. But Cleopatra had suffered a defeat and she was reduced to hurling insults at her staff and cursing Octavia as that 'frigid fat faced farmer's fancy who could curdle milk with one stare'. In other words - Cleopatra was mightily pissed off!
I Need My Man
Cleopatra hadn't given up hope in getting Antony back so she sent a series of anonymous 'dirty messengers' who would turn up in Athens and would then graphically describe what the Queen of Egypt was up to with her slaves. Antony tried to shut his ears to the stories and tried to act like the happily married man with Octavia. They even let the gossip magazine 'Saluta' to run an issue with declaring 'How Much Antony and Octavia Were Happy ' and now had two daughters as 'fruit of the loins' to prove it.
But if the Queen of Egypt wanted her man, she would get him and remembered that she had the pin number to Antony's Popularity Account in Rome. That way she contrived to withdraw all his goodwill and deposited into her personal bank in Alexandria. Antony who wasn't one with figures, saw that that his popularity ranking was slipping and decided that the best way was to go to war against some barbarians. Only problem he was completely skint. A bad run at the 'Gaming House of Zeus' (run by Cleopatra's company) hadn't helped either. So one day he slipped out of Athens and headed to Alexandria, leaving a note on the dining couch that he had 'Gone To Egypt To Raise Some Dough. Will Be Back in Time for Tea'.
Reunited and Ambitious
The moment Antony's boat arrived in Egypt, Cleopatra laid on a massive party and treated him like a conquering hero. More than that, Cleopatra formerly set up a throne for him so that they could now be the gods Isis and Osiris incarnate She also gave a big hint that they should disappear back home and get down to creating their own mini pantheon of gods.
Once she heard that Cleopatra was 'playing the trumpet' in bed with her husband, she left Athens and headed back to Rome see her lawyer. She dragged along the couple's daughters Antonia the Elder and Antonia the Younger (the ancient world was pretty hopeless at the idea of giving people different names). She wanted to 'sue Antony's ass' there and then - for child support and domestic cruelty. Though Octavian was pretty keen to rubbish his rival's name, there was still a group of Anthony supporters in Rome and they were clamouring for an 'accommodation' with Antony and Cleopatra. They also added a wish to see one of Cleopatra's 'Super Casinos' would come to Rome as well.
Cleopatra for her part was spreading the name of 'Antony & Cleopatra' as a quality brand name for gambling and sex. If the Egyptians were pretty poor soldiers - at the least they knew how to make a good time go a long way. She had the money and Antony was her willing accomplice.
Antony and Cleopatra then made something of a royal tour from Alexandria, all the way up to the Roman-Parthian border near Armenia. Everywhere they passed through the local monarchs or Roman governors were given large rubber stamps to approve the opening of various 'Antony & Cleopatra Entertainment Multiplexes'. One venue they were keen to open a 'Gentleman's Club' was the complex known in Jerusalem as 'God's House', 'The Temple' or 'Voice of the Burning Bush'. However Herod the Great who was now King of Judea managed to persuade Antony from going ahead with the plan, he suggested that God wasn't keen to share his dressing room with a troop of naked dancers from Asia Minor. Cleopatra was sure Herod was really planning to set up his own private casino there and noted that he had already started demolishing the old temple complex to start construction of something much grander. So she wrote down To Take Over the Temple Once Completed and a red line through Herod's name.
Egyptian Cat Stuffing
The growing influence and gambling addictions of the Romans now got Octavian thoroughly worried. So many Romans were talking ship to the East to spend there money that treasury officials warned Octavian that his country would be broke in a year.
So Octavian decided to initiate a series of slanders about Antony and Cleopatra. He tried scaring Romans with the story that Antony and Cleopatra would demolish the city and erect a huge gambling complex on their site. This didn't seem to bother the Romans so Octavian came up with a different scare story. If Rome let the Egyptians into their city, their pet cats would disappear and it would be sent back to Egypt and stuffed for use in hideous (and kinky) religious rituals . Up went the warning cry Tibbles Termini!
This led to crowds of anxious Romans to head to the Forum with banners saying ' Leave Our Pussies Alone' and 'Just Say No To Mummy This Time'. Octavian was happy. He now had a 'Causi Catos ' and could tell the Egyptians to 'go stuff themselves'. It was going to be war.
Antony Is No Actium Man
War was declared so Antony and Cleopatra sailed to Greece with a huge fleet to take on the Romans. They once again used their old trick of taking a few floating gaming centres to entice the Romans to desert their ships and to take 'a punt' on a quick gamble. However, because of treachery or bad luck, the gambling galleys missed joining the main fleet and disappeared towards the Pillars of Hercules at the other end of the Mediterranean. Robbed of this weapon, Antony's fleet was crushed. Canny as ever, Cleopatra kept her best boats in reserve and returned to Alexandria.
Antony had now lost his main army and when his soldiers decided to desert him Egypt, he asked one of his bodyguards to kill him. Cleopatra was a bit sad but she was also a strong woman and decided that if she couldn't take on the Romans in battle, perhaps her charms would work on Octavian. Failing that she could offer him a stake in her business. Cleopatra even asked her sign writers to replace 'Antony & Cleopatra' with 'Octavian & Cleopatra' in anticipation she could pull off a 'merger'.
However Octavian was not having that. He realised that Cleopatra wasn't really his type of woman anyway and only wanted to bring her back to Rome to grace a triumph. He would give her a choice of chains - gold or silver, and perhaps a retirement villa in a dull part of Gaul reserved for obnoxious foreign rulers like her if she played her part in the victory show.
Cleopatra tried to avoid her fate and sent Ptolemy Caesarion away from Alexandria to avenge her at a later date. But 'Julie Junior' was betrayed by one of friends and died like a filleted fish on the banks of the Nile. By then Cleopatra was already dead. She had called in her favourite Asp (also known as Roger) and let him do his 'snakey things'.
Last of the Yummy Mummies
Cleopatra's death in August 30 B.C. was such a happy time for Octavian that years later he made it his favourite month and renamed himself 'Augustus'. Cleopatra and Antony were buried together in a tomb and then forgotten about. Octavian announced a takeover of Cleopatra's gaming empire and renamed it 'Caesar's Entertainment and Leisure Corporation' and would later expand into the gladitorial games business and burning religious dissenters (i.e.Christians). That was for the future. Now Ancient Egypt was Octavian's personal property and he started to use it as her personal bank account to write out cheques so that he could make the Roman Empire 'snazzier' and a lot grander. Just a shame that future emperors like Caligula and Nero preferred to spend it on decadence instead.
Cleopatra was notorious for her numerous affairs with celebrities and nobodies alike. When she died, her coded address book was discovered and then published by the Roman Sun tabloid scribe scandal sheet. It listed all of Cleopatra's lovers. Oddly Caesar was missing but Antony was in there along with Cicero, Livy, Virgil and all the cast of Thunderbirds including Brains and Lady Penelope. Socrates was also listed though how the two got together isn't known as the old Greek had been dead for four hundred years.
Cleopatra in Art, Fiction, Films, Cartoons etc etc
Cleopatra's fame during her lifetime and the later legends/tabloid stories/lies about her afterwards has meant that she has never gone away in popular imagination. Some admired her for taking on a lot of powerful men and taking most of them for a ride except a few odds and sods.
The Christian church naturally took a dim view of Cleopatra and would gloat every time they recalled her defeat by Augustus. She was the opposite of a Good Women in their eyes. For St.Augustine, Queen Cleopatra was an An uppity Egyptian .. incestuous .. snake charming killer who used her body to get her way.. Shame I didn't know her otherwise that would helped the book sales of my autobiography 'Confessions of A ex-Pagan'...
Since then artistic representations of Cleopatra have usually shown her as a bit of tart - turning men into jelly every time they got a whiff of her perfume. She was an erotic template, a tentpole creator for men's lustful desires and the emasculator of manly virtue. Now Cleopatra's name is used for crap cosmetics or sleazy saunas. Perhaps Cleopatra wouldn't have minded that. At least people would still be talking about her 2000 years later!
What Happened to the Asp ?
Following the death of Cleopatra, Roger the Asp had to make its own career in the world as a street performer. He was forced to live in a pair of smelly trousers and work as a children's entertainer. Then one day he lost his temper and killed one particular birthday girl and her playmates. Upset that he was still a just a stupid snake, Roger hung himself with its own tail.
- Cleopatra also had time to invent the Ménage à trois but in those days it was called the Nile Delta Position in her honour.
- Contemporary coins apparently show Cleopatra with a hooked nose, round and apparently very fat. Of course these could be fakes put out by her enemies.
- Cleopatra's dad was 'a bit of lad' writes Cicero. One wonders how he knew.
- Ovid says it was coloured pink and was a Roman Oboe - not a flute.
- The Rosetta Stone never lies!
- Seleucus said he was one of Seleucids , the former ruling dynasty in Syria. He spoke Diabolic Demotic Greek according to Josephus so perhaps wasn't the genuine article.
- Berenice was said to have been 'prettier' than Cleopatra but the Ptolemies were short on filial piety..or pity.
- The carpet Cleopatra came rolled up in was later one of the trophies displayed by Emperor Augustus in the Palatine Palace. However it's supposed 'aphrodisiacal' qualities got it banished into a cupboard where it is said Messalina found it in 41 A.D.
- As a young man Caesar had once spent time in the court of King Nicomedes of Bythinia Asia Minor as an 'ambassador'. However the allegation was that Caesar had become 'over fruity' with Nicomedes. He said he did it 'For Rome' and that the pay off was that Nicomedes had sold his country to Caesar for a nominal sum and a tin of lubrication jelly.
- Centuries later its loss to posterity was still being lamented by the Byzantine historian Procopius.
- According to Nokia Nokius who says this was true
- Herodotus on his travels recorded that he saw friezes and statuary dedicated to Antony and Cleopatra. He didn't know what this meant as he had been dead for the last 400 years.
- Have you ever tried to play a 'Strumpet' ? Must have been an ancient world typographical error left in by mistake.
- The exiled poet Ovid, who was also said to have rejected Octavian's advances, was said to have written a fourth book to his "Ars Amortoria" in Alexandria based on Cleopatra's 'Good Snake and Sex Guide'.
- It is a common fallacy that Shakespeare wrote a play called Anthony and Cleopatra. This is a complete and utter lie! He nicked it off Morecombe and Wise literary geniuses that they were.