CLEOPATRA VII • Quick Facts
Here are some quick, fun facts about the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt!
• Cleopatra was born in Egypt and had family origins to Macedonian Greece. She embraced many of the ancient customs and was the first member of the Ptolemaic to learn the Egyptian language.
• Believe it or not, she may have been renowned for her intellect more than her appearance. She spoke over 7 languages and was significantly educated in Astronomy, Mathematics and Philosophy.
• According to ancient writer Plutarch, Cleopatra's beauty was "not altogether incomparable" and claims it was her mellow and soothing speaking voice and tone that made her desirable, along with her "irresistible charm."
• She knew how to make an entrance and command a room. She is said to have once arrived to meet the Roman Triumvir in Tarsus on a golden barge adorned with purple sails and rowed by oars made of silver. She had been made up to resemble the goddess Aphrodite and she sat beneath a glided canopy with attendants who fanned her and burned sweet incense.
• Her exotic hairstyle, unique make-up looks and pearl jewellery became a fashion trend and still is to this day. According to historian Joann Fletcher, "so many Roman women adopted the 'Cleopatra look' that they have often been mistaken for Cleopatra herself."
• Anthony and Cleopatra enjoyed wandering the streets of Alexandria in disguise, playing pranks on the local residents.
• A 1963 film about Cleopatra was one of the most expensive movies ever made at the time of its release and remains one of the most expensive movies in history. Cleopatra was played by Elizabeth Taylor.
The budget for the film soared from $2 Million to $44 Million, with $200,000 on Elizabeth Taylor's costumes for the movie alone!
Evan Andrews (history.com)