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The Final Pharaoh of Egypt
Cleopatra's Death
Her Early Years | Cleopatra and Julius Caesar | Cleopatra and Mark Antony | Mark Antony vs. Octavian | Mark Antony's Death | Cleopatra's Death | Cleopatra's Palace Uncovered | Links and Contacts | Reference Page | About Me

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Statue of Cleopatra. Picture available from http://www.duke.edu~aad1/

When Octavian reached Cleopatra's monument, she refused to let them in. When they finally got through the window, she tried to stab herself, but was stopped and taken prisoner in her mausoleum. Now Cleopatra no longer wanted to live. So she devised a plan in which she would commit suicide.
First, she acted as if she were sick. She asked Octavian for a doctor. Once the physician arrived, she whispered something to him and sent him on his way. Once "well" again, she ordered for her finest clothes and jewelry. After taking a bath, she asked if she could go visit Antony's tomb. After Cleopatra got back, she ordered a large feast. Surprisingly, Octavian allowed this. So Cleopatra and her servants sat in silence and ate their last meal together.
After the meal, a strange old lady arrived at the door of Cleopatra's mausoleum, asking the guard if she could give a basket of figs to the queen. She sat the basket down, bowed to Cleopatra, and left. About the same time, Octavian received a note. When he opened it, he found Cleopatra's plea that he would allow her to be buried in Antony's tomb. With that, he sent servants to go check on her.
Once the guards got to her, it was too late. She was lying peacefully on her bed with her two servants dying at her feet. Two pricks were found on Cleopatra's neck. Many people believe that Cleopatra ordered someone to put an asp in the basket of figs for her suicide. After she had been bitten, her two servants, Iras and Charmain, repeated Cleopatra's actions. She was buried with Mark Antony as she wished.
More than two thousand years after her death, she is still looked upon as one of the greatest rulers of Egypt. In a world where women were looked down upon and had very little power, she fought to control the destiny of nations. Because she failed, Egypt slowly disappeared and the Roman Empire and the Mediterranean becomes a Roman lake.