Monday, May 10, 2010

The Love Story of Cleopatra and Mark Antony

The most tragic episode of Cleopatra’s story of love is revealed in her affair with Mark Antony. Together with her father Pharaoh Ptolomy XII Cleopatra VII was a regent of Egypt. When her father died in March 51 BC, the 18 year old Cleopatra and her 12 year old brother Ptolemy XIII became joint monarchs.

Mark Antony, a friend and adviser of Julius Caesar, thought Cleopatra was responsible for Caesar’s death and wanted to meet her. Cleopatra turned him down several times but finally gave in.

She came to him on a boat dressed as the Goddess Venus. The two fell in love and Mark spent the winter at Alexandria, after which Cleopatra bore him twins.

Four years later, in 37 BC, Mark visited Alexandria again while on route to make war with the Parthians. Mark then renewed his relationship with Cleopatra. At the time he was married to Octavia Minor. But he left his wife and married Cleopatra.

Octavia’s brother Octavian brought the army of Rome to destroy them. When it was clear that the army of Rome was going to claim victory, Mark gave word to Cleopatra.

Cleopatra decided to leave the battle site on her ship. When Mark heard about it, he thought Cleopatra had left to die, and decided that his own life was no longer worth living. He committed suicide by falling on his own sword. Cleopatra followed suit a few days later, by purposely getting bitten by a cobra.

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