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Cleopatra

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Cleopatra
Cleopatraprofile2
First appearance Caesarion
Last appearance De Patre Vostro (About Your Father)
Profession Queen
Race Greek
Relationships Ptolemy XIII(Husband/Brother, deceased)

Mark Antony (Lover, deceased)
Caesar (Lover, deceased)
Charmian (Body Slave, presumed deceased)
Caesarion (Son)
Selene (Daughter)
Helios+ (Son)
Atia (Rival)

Status Deceased (Suicide)
Actor/Actress Lyndsey Marshal


Cleopatra is the the last active pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt and lover two of the most powerful men in Rome: Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony. 

Personality

Ambitious and sexually alluring, Cleopatra works hard to be everything to nearly everyone, especially those in power. Although addicted to opium she has enough will to set plans in motion to secure her foothold on Julius Caesar by purposely impregnating herself before an encounter with him to ensure a birth that she hopes will give her political clout in Rome. Later, her alliance with Mark Antony and her support of his conflict with Octavian ultimately lead to her undoing.

Cleopatra sometimes looks to her servant and advisor, Charmian, for affection and guidance; the women are affectionate, but the mistress-slave relationship remains clear.

Season OneEdit

Opium-addicted Cleopatra is introduced in the episode Caesarion, having been thrown into exile by her brother (and husband) Ptolemy XIII. Tracked down by Lucius Vorenus and Titus Pullo by the order of Caesar, her life is saved when Pullo intervenes in her execution, as ordered by her brother. That night, she begins the slow journey back to Alexandria in an effort to gain Caesar's protection. During the journey, Cleopatra decides to secure a pregnancy and first attempts to seduce Vorenus, who turns her down in favor of being faithful to his wife. Cleopatra then uses Pullo, a task he most definitely relishes in. After being brought to Caesar and securing an alliance, the two become lovers.

Several months later, Caesar and Cleopatra present thier son, Caesarion, but it is heavily implied that Pullo in instead his father.

Season TwoEdit

In Son of Hades, Cleopatra came to Rome after Caesar's death, and Mark Antony dismissed her request for public acknowledgement of Caesar's son Caesarion with derision, but was very physically attracted to her. Leaving Antony's office, Cleopatra came face to face with Pullo, and they shared an awkward look. Though Antony had assured his paramour, Atia of the Julii, that Caesar's former mistress was unappealing, a jealous Atia was nevertheless threatened by the presence of the Egyptian Queen. Later, at a party for the Egyptians, Atia was unimpressed with Cleopatra, but did recognize that she had an incredible appeal, for she stared at her in fear for the better part of the dinner. Atia felt that the queen was beneath her, but still regarded her as a threat, hence: as Cleopatra was leaving, Atia whispered in her ear, "Die screaming you pigspawn trollop."

Cleopatra reappeared in A Necessary Fiction, when Antony was forced by Octavian to relocate to Egypt, leaving Atia and new wife Octavia in Rome. When he arrived at the palace in Alexandria, he looked at an alluring Cleopatra with the same lustful eyes as before.

Years later in the next episode, Deus Impeditio Esuritori Nullus (No God Can Stop a Hungry Man), Antony and Cleopatra are seen ruling Egypt and raising their own twins, Helios and Selene. Cleopatra urged Antony to declare war on Rome to free himself once and for all from Octavian's tyranny. Antony was hesitant, knowing that an attack on Rome would strip him of the people's devotion, the one thing that Octavian did not yet have, yet Antony still possessed. When Antony refused Octavian's request for increased grain supplies for a starving Rome, Octavian sent his sister Octavia and mother Atia to intervene. Antony insisted to a jealous Cleopatra that he no longer loved Atia, but Cleopatra intended to publicly flaunt their love in front of the Roman women or kill them; trying to prevent Atia's humiliation or murder, Antony had his wife and former lover sent away without seeing them.

In the 2007 series finale, De Patre Vostro (About Your Father), Antony lost the Battle of Actium to Octavian, who then sought Antony's personal surrender and threatened to burn the palace to the ground with everyone inside if Antony did not capitulate. Cleopatra hoped for some alternate solution, but to Antony the only way out of the situation was suicide.

Octavian made a secret offer to Cleopatra: she could keep her life and her crown in exchange for allowing his men into the palace to take Antony. She was genuinely torn between her love for Antony, her duty as queen and her personal honor. She and Antony agreed to die by their own hands, but with Charmian's help Cleopatra later faked her own suicide. The news of her Cleopatra's alleged suicide prompted Antony to immediately kill himself, with the help of Vorenus.

Meanwhile, both Pullo and Vorenus believed that Caesarion was actually Pullo's son, and Cleopatra herself soon confirmed that. When confronted with the truth that Caesarion would very likely be put to death to cement Octavian's position as Caesar's heir, Cleopatra allowed Vorenus to escape the palace with Caesarion. Cleopatra then met with Octavian regarding his proposal that she be allowed to keep her kingdom, but soon realized that Octavian's true intent was to keep her as a trophy and to parade her around in chains in Rome. Cleopatra decided that she would not be Octavian's pawn and ordered that preparations be made for her suicide. Her method of death was via the bite of an asp to her breast. Tipped off that she was in the process of killing herself, Octavian rushed to Cleopatra's chambers in an attempt to prevent her death. The dying Cleopatra rose to meet Octavian and spoke into his ear, "You have a rotten soul." Those would be her final words as immediately speaking them, she collapsed onto her throne and died.

Upon Octavian's return to Rome, he asked Octavia to raise Antony and Cleopatra's twins, and she accepted. Octavian described the twins as "amiable enough as far as I can tell." Although ordered to find Caesarion and kill him, Pullo smuggled him into Rome and introduced him to everyone using the name Aeneas. Reporting back to Octavian, Pullo later lied and stated that he had murdered the boy, an answer that Octavian accepted. The series ended with the indication that Pullo is about to tell Caesarion that he is in fact his father.

TriviaEdit

  • Plutarch and many other ancient historians stated that Cleopatra died by the bite of an asp. In antiquity, an asp was a rather generic term for any number of venomous snakes. It's likely that the actual snake that assisted in her suicide was an Egyptian cobra, a deadly snake capable of killing a human in under 10 minutes with a single bite.
  • The name "Cleopatra" translates as "father's glory."
  • Cleopatra is seen murdering 2 people throughout the entire series.
  • Historically, Cleopatra did not come to Rome after Caesar's death; she was actually living in Rome when he was assassinated in 44 BC and immediately left upon his murder, never to return. Cleopatra met Mark Antony in Tarsus in 41 BC.
  • The historical timeline has also been manipulated in the series. Cleopatra and Antony had their twin son and daughter, Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene, in 40 BC before he married Octavia Minor. When he later left Rome, he settled in Athens, Greece with Octavia, and they had two daughters. He ultimately left his wife in Greece and reunited with Cleopatra in Egypt; he and Cleopatra subsequently had their third child, Ptolemy Philadelphus (whose existence is not acknowledged in the series).
  • The scenes where Cleopatra schemes to give birth to "Caesar"'s child by seducing Vorenus or Pullo, gives color to the historical debate about who Caesarion's true father was. After he was born, Cleopatra openly declared that he was Caesar's child, while several of her political enemies, including Octavian, sought to prove otherwise. According to historian Michael Grant, there is at least one potent argument in favor of each side:
    • On the one hand, the portrayal of Cleopatra as promiscuous or sexually voracious is an invention of later propaganda (much of it from Octavian), and there is no hard evidence that she had relations with any man other than Caesar or Mark Antony.
    • On the other hand, there is speculation that Caesar was infertile - a theory reinforced by the fact that, in the course of three marriages and numerous liaisons with other women, he had produced only one child, his daughter Julia - and thus could not have fathered Caesarion.


QuotesEdit

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