Saturday, May 1, 2010

SINful Saturday -- Cleopatra's SINful Allure!

(Did you know? The face that launched a thousands ships had classical GREEK proportions. Cleopatra, while adopting the languages and rites of Egypt, was descended from the Hellenistic Ptolemaic dynasty)

        Cleopatra as imagined in the HBO mini series Rome, played by Lyndsey Marshall. Could this be one of history's first great seductresses?

Cleopatra has captured the public's imagination for hundreds of years as the last Egyptian pharaoh to rule Egypt (after her death, it became a Roman province).

Many of us know a bit of her story. Cleopatra's great seductions are part of her great claim to fame. At times rumored to be a great beauty, and at other times rumored that it was her charm, wit and dulcet voice that snared men, one thing is for certain: men were spellbound by her.

To gain backing for her claim to the throne over her brother, the twenty-one year old Cleopatra is rumored to have famously seduced the fifty-two year old Julius Caesar in 47 BC, after being smuggled in a rolled up carpet to meet him. Nine months after that infamous meeting, Ptolemy Caesar "Caesarion" (little Caesar)  was born to Cleopatra. Sure enough, Caesar backed her claim to the throne.
     Emerging from the rolled up carpet

However, Cesar did not recognize Ceasarion as his rightful heir, choosing his grandnephew Octavian instead.

When Cesar was later assassinated, Rome became embroiled in a civil war between the Ceasarian party led by Mark Anthony and Octavian, against the party of Cesar's assassins. Due to her past alliance, Cleopatra backed the Ceasarian party.

During the power upheaval left by Caesar's death, Anthony met with Cleopatra to ascertain her loyalty, and was so charmed by her he spent the winter with her...leading to the birth of their twins, Alexander and Cleopatra. After a separation of 4 years, they were reunited once again and were rumored to have stayed together in Alexandria and married according to an Egyptian rite--despite the fact Anthony already had a wife back home (naughty naughty!).

 Very famous depiction of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra by real life lovers Richard Burgess and Elizabeth Taylor

Relations between Octavian and Anthony which had been strained for years broke apart with Octavian waging war in 33 BC.

As armies closed in, Cleopatra famously incited an asp to bite her, choosing to take her own life.

 Cleopatra's conquests changed the course of history, as a pretty SINfully seductive ruler!

--Chloe Waits


Anonymous said...

I wish my History lessons had been presented like this.

Chloe Waits said...

Howdy Valance

I am glad you enjoyed! Some thing are a bit murky and up for debate about Cleopatra, but I enjoyed being more decisive about what I think happened, more romantic that way...wink :)

Christa Paige said...

I am such a fangirl for that era. Rome was one of my favorite shows, mainly for the legionaries, sword wielding and the sexy exchanges between characters. Not many people know about her heritage stemming way back to Alexander the great, I think it is cool you included that tidbit. She is such the ultimate seductress, or at the very least, the way she is depicted gives her that sensual passionate air.
Who's up next? 'You must be moral, when I'm not' Octavian?? Mark Anthony? (either of them in a peplos...please please please)

Great post Chloe.

Savanna Kougar said...

Long ago I read a book that was in written in the first person... the author had written it as if she was Cleopatra... and she did an outstanding job, following most of what you presented. And thank you. Cleo was a great seductress, I believe.

There aren't many who can beat Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra. However, I did see a Xena, Warrior Princess episode that featured Cleopatra. It was excellent.

Keta Diablo said...

Oh, great job, Chloe. You know this stuff is right up my alley. Thanks so much for sharing,

Hugs, Keta

Chloe Waits said...

Christa, I loved Rome too, especially Kevin McKidd! I should do Mark Anthony heehee.
Savanna, let me know what that book title was if you remember!
and thanks Keta :)