I have always been interested with anything to do with Egypt, and thought that Cleopatra would be quite a fascinating topic to study. I was interested in learning more about her life and thought it would be a good topic to gain a better understanding of her. I thought the mystery of her death would be an interesting addition to this assignment. To do this I wanted to look at the details of Cleopatra’s life and what events led up to her death. The three main theories of Cleopatra’s death is suicide by snake bite, suicide by poison, and the possibility that she was murdered. I analysed this information, along with the information I had gathered about the background of her life and came to the conclusion that she either committed suicide by poison, or she was murdered. The information is too strong and believable for the poison suicide, however I personally think it is more believable that she was murdered, as people would have more to gain from this, rather than Cleopatra ending her own life over a broken heart.
Who was Cleopatra, and how did she die?
Queen Cleopatra of Egypt is the most well known of all the ancient Egyptian queens. She was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 69 B.C. during the reign of Ptolemy. Cleopatra was not Egyptian, but rather Macedonian, descended through a general of Alexander the Great. In 51 B.C. when Cleopatra was eighteen years of age, her father, Ptolemy Auletes, ruler of Egypt, died, leaving his kingdom and his will to Cleopatra, for her to become Egypt’s new queen. Little did they know she would be the last, after her mysterious death in 30 B.C.
Cleopatra’s cause of death has presented many theories that have been contemplated for many years and continue to be to this day. The events of Cleopatra’s life have influenced these theories including her very special relationship with Marc Antony, which is to be believed the core motivation for two of the main theories. Suicide by snake bite is the first theory for the...
* Informed me on how the snake bite theory could be proven wrong and good information on the poison theory.
* This site had good visuals with a recreated image of the ‘death scene’. This provided some good information on the background with Antony and Octavia, as well as some details about the snake bite theory.
* This provided some good background information on Cleopatra, as well as some good information on the background of Cleopatra’s family.
* This had some good information on Cleopatra’s relationship with Julius Caesar, and their first meeting, but did not help my investigation much. I was disappointed to find it did not have much information into the different death theories.
MacDonald, F. (2003) Cleopatra: Queen of the Kings. Dorling Kindersley Ltd. Great Britain.
* I found this book to have some quite good information about the three different death theories, I think this was a good help overall. It was set out nicely, visually as well.
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