Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Okay, the title pretty much explains it. Cleopatra wouldn't be in power if it wouldn't have been for her daddy. You know, her dad was one of those people who just knew the right people and went to the right parties. And it payed off for not only him, but his whole family, particularly Cleopatra. The Cleopatra that is in this blog and that you probably think of is actually Cleopatra VII. Her dad is Ptolemy XII, who is not really Egyptian. Can you believe it? Cleopatra is NOT Egyptian. Isn't that weird!? She is actually a decedent of Alexander the Great. So I guess great power runs in the family. But anyway, she didn't have to work to be famous or a Pharaoh. Her father killed a few people, and twisted his way into the right spot. So BAM(!), she got rich, famous, and powerful, all thanks to her daddy. But becoming powerful wasn't easy. When she was 18, to gain power, she had to marry her 10 year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII. Talk about your big age difference! Together they ruled for 4 years. But Cleopatra wanted ultimate power. And her brother's advisers were planning to kill Cleopatra. They saw her as a threat to Ptolemy XIII. She caught a whiff of this plan and freaked out. So she did what any girl in a situation would do, she murdered him. Duh! Why not? But her plan wasn't too successful. She was now 22, and she had to marry her 10 year-old brother Ptolemy XIV. Even bigger age difference now. You could say she needed a new lucky star. But she wasn't content with that. NO! So, she had him poisoned. Later in life, she ruled Egypt and Rome with both Caesar and Antony.
Monday, December 15, 2008
"Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed."-William Shakespeare. Shakespeare may have exaggerated just a bit (or a lot) but Egypt would have been a lot different without Cleopatra. Cleopatra ruled from 51 BC to 30 BC. So she ruled 20 years with great power. Like I said in my last post, Cleopatra did anything for power. I'm talking like murdering, poisoning and bribing. Cleopatra's family fought for many years among themselves, trying to get power, (CAT FIGHT!) but Cleopatra won. (probably because she killed tons of people) She held off Rome's army for many years by treaty (the power of paper!). But all her twisted ways came back to bite her. Because sword makes a HUGE hole in paper, no matter how well you write. She had lots of smarts, and helped her country in many ways. But she also hurt it. It's your decision what she did most.
Okay, so far, I've made Cleopatra seem nice. Well... I'm not so sure about that. Let me tell you, this Pharaoh had some sharp claws. Especially when it came to love or power. And it ran in the family. Two weeks after Ptolemy XII (Cleopatra's rich daddy) came into power, he killed his step-mother, the old Pharaoh. The Egyptian people were outraged, so they chased him down to the river, killed him and dropped his body in the Nile. What a nice welcoming gift! To come into power, she had to marry her 10 year-old brother, Ptolemy XIII, so being completely power-hungry, she consented. But she wanted power, and bad. Her brother's advisers were planning to kill her. So she murdered him. How nice! But then misfortune struck Cleopatra. She was now 22 and had to marry her still younger brother, Ptolemy XIV, who was 10 years old. But Cleopatra, being herself, married him. But she was not happy being co-ruler. She bribed his officials into poisoning him. Do you see where I'm going with this? She bribed and charmed her way into most anything she wanted her whole life. Some say it was her charm, some say it was her whit, and still some say it was her beauty. At first, I believed that it was the third of these options, but I found out that she was actually UGLY! If she lived in modern day, she'd be the dorky fat kid everyone made fun of! Can you believe it? I know I couldn't. But anyway, she was mean to her last and final moment. When she received word that Octavian was coming to Egypt, she decided to test poisons, in case it came to suicide. She tested different drugs on innocent servants and took note of which died the fastest and least painfully. So basically she would stand over the servant and say "Okay, try this. It'll kill you.... Are you dead yet? No? Are you in pain? You are? How much?" She would do it over and over. But she found that the ones that died fastest died with the most pain. And she was empress, so of coarse she deserved to die fast and painlessly. Duh! So without any luck, she moved on to poisonous reptiles. The same thing would happen over and over, only with bites instead of drugs. And she finally found it, the perfect bite. An asp. You would get bitten and your senses would slowly dull until you died. And to make sure the plan was covered up, she poisoned her servants, ensuring the plan was concealed for history. Like I said, she wasn't exactly Mother Teresa.
The air is still, it seems as if the whole world has stopped spinning to mourn the death of a great queen. Nearby lay two dieing servants and a dead man, the woman's second and last love. An asp slithers away into the darkness. One of the servants adjusts the dead Pharaoh's crown with her last breath. The other whispers "It is well done indeed and fitting for a princess descended of so many royal kings."A note lays on a nearby table addressed to Octavian. Who is this Pharaoh? How did it all happen? Well, this scene is how the death of Cleopatra may have happened. But nobody knows how it really happened. "How could nobody know how she died?" you ask, "She was famous! She was probably swarmed with paparazzi. There is no way nobody knows what happened." Well, first of all, there was no paparazzi. Second, Cleopatra kept the plan from everyone except for a chosen few. And everyone who knew about this was killed promptly after the queen. Well, I didn't tell you how she died, so here goes:
Cleopatra's love stories are all really tragic. And this is no exception. Antony was told that Cleopatra had been killed by this enemy Octavian (they were in war, it wasn't just a cat fight.) So absolutely horrified, he threw himself on his sword (I'm talking he really did THROW himself on his sword!) But even at this Antony was not successful. He was in terrible pain, but not yet dead. Then he recived word that Cleopatra was alive and wanted to talk to him. (why couldn't he have been told that before his suicide attempt?) He was dragged to Cleopatra's tomb, where Octivian had locked her. Ropes were strapped around him and he was pulled up the wall into the window by Cleopatra and her servents. (Girl power!) He died in her arms. Thinking she had nothing to live for, she had a poisionous asp snuck into her room under a basket of figs. It bit her (Ouch!) and her servents. Talk about going out with a BANG!
Friday, December 12, 2008
I'm sure some of you may have heard some wild stories about Cleopatra. Do you know what I mean? Well, even if you don't you will soon. One of the most interesting ones I found was that Cleopatra SWALLOWED a pearl! Now, I know what you're thinking: "Why in the WORLD would she do that?!" Yep, that's what I thought. But it was a bet, not just for fun. Cleopatra, being rich and famous (having a rich daddy didn't hurt) had the two biggest and most expensive pearls a the time. So she bet Antony that she could hold the most expensive dinner in history. Antony walked into the banquet hall and there were two empty plates and two glasses filled with vinegar. If I were him I would be thinking, "Real funny Cleo. You got the most expensive air in the world. Good for you." Cleopatra appeared, wearing royal robes, and her ears had the two pearls I had mentioned earlier. Don't ask me how she fit them on her ears, she just did. She sat down, not bothering with the greetings. She unclasped the pearls from her ears and placed one on her plate. She smashed it with her palm and dropped it in the glass of vinegar. She than drank down the solution. Yummy! Cleopatra offered the other pearl to Antony. He refused it, and informed Cleopatra that she had won. She grabbed up the remaining pearl, and promptly left. Now, this story isn't as crazy as it sounds. In Egypt at the time, pearls were worth less than the ground Cleopatra had walked on. But in Rome, they were worth more than Caesar's palace. And Cleopatra, being a smart little heiress, knew this and put the knowledge to good use. Weather the story is true or not, that is for you to decide.