miércoles, 12 de agosto de 2015

August 12: Today is the anniversary of the suicide of Cleopatra in 30 BC, bitten by a poisonous snake to one of her breasts.




Cleopatra Testing Poisons on Condemned Prisoners by Alexander Cabanel (1887) 


Cleopatra belonged to the "Ptolemaic ​​Dynasty" (founded by Ptolemy) of Greek Macedonian origin which ruled Egypt after Alexander the Great’s conquest, and during the Hellenistic period in history.


Cleopatra and Caesar (1866). Painting by Jean-Léon Géromê.

When Alexander died, General Ptolemy, close to Alexander, inherited Egypt. Cleopatra VII spoke Egyptian as well as Greek. Thus, she struggled to resemble Isis and represent such a goddess, making believe the she has reincarnated Isis herself.


Antony and Cleopatra, by Lawence Alma-Tadema.

Cleopatra had to govern with her family until she eventually became the only ruler of Egypt as Pharaoh until she met Julius Caesar. She took advantage of such a relationship to consolidate her son Caesarion to rule Egypt with her.



The Death of Cleopatra by Guido Cagnacci, 1658.  

Cleopatra was the daughter of Cleopatra V Tryphaena and Ptolemy V Auletes XII, who inherited the throne in the year 51 a. C. She became ruler when she was 18 along with her brother Ptolemy XIII, who was only 12, and who would also be her husband (often done in the Ptolemaic royal marriages).


The Death of Cleopatra by Reginald Arthur, 1892. Cleopatra killed herself by inducing an Egyptian cobra to bite her. 


Octavian plans were to take the Queen Cleopatra as a prisoner and display that in Rome for the traditional ceremony known as “Triumph”, thereby symbolizing the superiority and victory over the humiliated Egyptian enemy which the people of Rome hated.



The death of Cleopatra according Rosso Fiorentino

This increased more the popular support to Octavian and boost his political aspirations decisively. Thus he became Augustus!

Cleopatra is depicted taking her own life with the bite of a poisonous serpent. Adam Lenckhardt (Ivory),The Walters Art Museum.


Augustus means "great" or "venerable", derived from Latin augere "to increase".