Of Greek descent and only a quarter Egyptian- another myth debunked- Cleopatra became queen around 50 BC, a time when only the support of the Roman Empire could guarantee survival to his reign (together with her brother, who left the scene only after a hard conflict). Shrewd diplomat, she sought him out asking for support from the most powerful men of her time: Cesare first and then Antonio.
The first of her was, her first love and the father of her first child: the relationship between the two was short and closed in a dry way. Her love for Antonio is different: a passion made of ups and downs that will give her three children, will lead her to commit money and military skills to help him in the battle for power in Rome and, defeated, to die in order not to humble herself. Cleopatra worked all her life to try to guarantee on the internal level her reign the same stability that she sought outside in the politics of alliance with Rome. “But what was Cleopatra really like? She was not a beautiful woman, nor did she have a seductive physique. She was petite, small, she was not striking for her appearance, she had a very sweet voice, but her words stung like darts”
In reality she was a woman not particularly seductive “she conquered with the look”. She was not beautiful and she did not have shapes that conquered at the first glance of her. Her strengths were her eyes and her marked intelligence and cunning. “The figure of Cleopatra was also a great source of inspiration for women, none of her like her”. In fact, in those days, society was profoundly male-dominated and patriarchal. Cleopatra with her tiny figure has been able to dictate the law and change history. She was committed to fighting the famine that had hit her country and worried about the well-being of her subjects, so much so that supplies were distributed to the villages most affected by the royal supplies.
Following the Hellenistic tradition, at the same time he promoted new constructions- the lighthouse of Alexandria was completely renovated under his reign- and supported the arts, astrologers, poets, engineers and scientists were at home in his court and many of the innovations that Caesar wanted to introduce. In Rome on his return from his stay in the East, according to historians, they are due to the influence of his mistress. The myth of Cleopatra eating man began when the queen was still alive: it was Octavian, accusing his rival Antony of being the slave of a lustful and lascivious woman, to initiate it. Truth or propaganda? Impossible today to give an answer. Capricious and fickle perhaps, but Cleopatra was a great queen, committed to claiming the independence and specificity of her country and emphasizing it through the arts. Snake or no snake.