Did Cleopatra really offer men a night with her at the cost of their lives?
Man, misogyny sucks. It sucks even more when it reduces a highly competent and intelligent ruler of ancient world to a sex maniac witch because there's no way a woman could achieve that much without sleeping around with powerful men.
Let's clarify one thing right away, Cleopatra didn't look anything like this:
A British-American woman pretending to be an Egyptian queen of Macedonian origin:
Sally Ashton, a Cambridge Egyptologist, painstakingly researched ancient artifacts and records in order to reconstruct Cleopatra's facial features. And after a year of research, the following is the culmination. Not quite the British-American version of feminine beauty.
A reconstruction of Cleopatra's face, a result of extensive work of Cambridge researchers:
Hollywood simply couldn't cast someone with a pointed nose, short forehead and dark complexion as a female lead (God forbid, what if they act well and get nominated for Oscars!). Because, you see, lead women are always loving, beautiful, perfectly proportionate and of fairer complexion.
Moving ahead, there is very little historical evidence regarding Cleopatra. We don't even have her proper portrait. Part of a papyrus scroll she wrote survives till this day, bearing a word she wrote in her own handwriting. That's probably the closest we would ever get to the elusive queen.
Plutarch wrote her biography 200 years after her death. There are accounts of Dio, Sallust, Suetonius as well which emerged around the same time and a bit later. All these men were Romans, eager to glorify the Roman Empire and its founder Octavius a.k.a. Augustus. The same Octavius whose sister was abandoned by Marc to marry Cleopatra. The same Augustus who waged war against Marc Antony, drove him to suicide and almost had Cleopatra as a prisoner in his empire.
Let's also remember that these men were no great fans of women, and a powerful woman would be the last thing they needed to affirm their world view. Therefore, as the centuries passed, her depiction became increasingly depraved. By the time Hollywood popularized her based on false historical accounts of no veracity, Cleopatra was an exotic woman who seduced some of the most powerful men with her sorcery.
But in reality, a careful review of scant evidence reveals the facets of Cleopatra's personality we have willfully forgotten while embracing the distorted version sold by her detractors and later Hollywood.
To conclude, Cleopatra was a very intelligent and skilled ruler, inheriting a large empire at early age of 18. She most likely had relations with only two men, Caesar and Marc Antony, giving birth to four children. She was well read, quite adept at scientific advances and a great conversationalist. These were probably the reasons Caesar and Marc Antony found their love in her. That she could achieve so much in an ancient and dangerous society controlled by men stands in testimony to her character and courage.
Also, since running an empire is a very demanding task, she had no time to offer sexual favors to random men in exchange of their lives.
This information was taken from Quora. Click here to view the original post.
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