How Cleopatra really died and why

Despite the fact that Cleopatra is one of the most remembered and famous queens of Egypt, the reality is that there are still many things that are unknown about her person. In this article, we will talk about how Cleopatra died and what led to it, as well as the consequences of her death for the world.

How Cleopatra died

Cleopatra was the last queen of the Ptolemaic dynasty and his death marked the end of the Hellenistic period of Egypt. Her name is associated with a symbol of beauty, although her face is actually unknown, but what stands out most about this queen is that she was truly loved by her people, since she loved the country’s culture, its history and learned the Egyptian language. even though her education had been merely Greek, making her the first of her dynasty to learn it.

Without going further into her life, since you have the article Cleopatra, the queen of Ancient Egypt to learn more about who this sovereign was and her very important role, after Cleopatra’s death several theories were considered for her death.

Cleopatra committed suicide in her chambers on August 12, 30 BC.. Octavio’s soldiers found her, who saw two slight stitches in her arm, so they thought at first that she had died from the bite of an asp, others thought that she had taken poison but, whatever it was, the soldiers found that Cleopatra was dead on the royal bed along with her two maidens, who had also just committed suicide. The soldiers repeatedly tried to revive the queen but she was already dead.

Why did Cleopatra commit suicide?

We have to go back in history to talk about the context and the reasons that led the queen to commit suicide.

In September 31 BC, the fleet of Cleopatra and Antony was defeated by Marcus Agrippa, Octavian’s right-hand man, in the Battle of Actium. Given this, Cleopatra returned to Alexandria and shortly after Marco Antonio returned with her. This was the beginning of the end, so much so that all those companions of bonanzas who were with them years ago disappeared and only the faithful friends who were willing to share the fate of the couple remained.

Octavio did not stop advancing towards Alexandria, the closer he got, the more they thought that suicide was the best solution to avoid being captured. Before all this, Cleopatra tried to reach some kind of agreement with Octavio so that he will spare her life and her four children -Cesarión, son of Julio César, and three children with Marco Antonio-, since he firmly believed that he would demand the death of Marco Antonio, considering him a true rival who could collapse his supremacy in Rome. Octavio only responded evasively and continued to advance towards the capital.

The summer of 30 BC arrived and they were already surrounded by Roman troops. Cleopatra barricaded herself in one of her palaces with her faithful, Marco Antonio fought alongside her faithful but, little by little, they either surrendered or changed sides. A rumor reached him that the queen had committed suicide which added to the hopelessness of the battle, he killed himself with his sword.

Actually, Cleopatra had not committed suicide, although she had everything ready to kill herself and burn everything of value that she had kept in the palace itself. Octavio tried to persuade her of such a thing but he couldn’t offer her the only thing she wanted, to save her children. Proculeius, under Octavian’s orders, climbed up and entered the palace, at Cleopatra’s notice. a dagger stuck in his chest but it was not fatal.

She was attended by a trusted eunuch of the Roman sovereign in a palace in Alexandria, she stopped eating but they urged her to do so if she wanted to save the lives of her children. A few days passed and he had an interview with Octavio, what really happened is not known because many stories are told, but all of them have as a common point trying to save his own life and that of his children, but he realized that it was not possible. Octavio was aiming take them to Rome as objects of triumph and display it in a humiliating way until he ended up spending his days in a dungeon.

Two days later, Cleopatra had already given up. She had visited the remains of Marco Antonio, she left in writing her last wish to be buried next to him for Octavio and took her own life. How? She is really unknown, just as it is not known where she was actually buried.

Consequences of Cleopatra’s death

One of the first consequences of Cleopatra’s death is that with her the Ptolemaic dynasty ended.

In turn, Cleopatra ensured that Octavio’s triumph was not so notorious because on his return to Rome he could only parade with his effigy and not with her, to humiliate her before everyone. Although she did take the three orphans, Ptolemy XVI Philadelphus Antony, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene II, who were chained behind his car and were shown in the military victory parade. Finally, they were delivered to Octavia, Octavio’s sister and Marco Antonio’s wife, who was already taking care of the children she had had with him.

the fate of Caesarion he was another, Cleopatra sent him to Upper Egypt, and he became Ptolemy XV but only for 18 days. He returned to Alexandria as he was supposed to be allowed to be king but he was executed by order of Octavian on August 29, 30 BC. C., who kept alive the idea of ​​the philosopher Ario Didymus who said that there was only room for one Caesar on the world.

All of this resulted in Octavio managing to dominate Hellenistic Egypt and turning it into a Roman province, just as all of this led him to become the first emperor of romeAugustus.