How Did Cleopatra Die ?
As per the ancient Roman historical accounts, Cleopatra committed suicide by making an asp bite her. Enough evidence to support this fact has been provided by Strabo, who was present in Alexandria when this event took place. According to him, there are two different stories about the cause of death of Cleopatra.
While some others believe that she killed herself by applying a toxic ointment on her skin, while some others claim that she induced an asp to bite her arm. Some of the popular historians and poets of that era have clearly mentioned in their writings that Cleopatra died of the venomous bite of two asps.
There is yet another theory that contradicts the above theories regarding Cleopatra’s death. Many historians doubted that the great Egyptian queen was killed by Augustus. In fact, the widely acclaimed German historian, Christophe Schaefer, suggested that the Queen was compelled to drink a mixture of three poisons -- hemlock, opium, and wolfsbane. He concluded it on the basis of the fact that Cleopatra is known to have died a slow, pain-free death, while the death caused by an asp bite can be very painful.
Another story describing how Cleopatra died was documented by Plutarch, nearly hundred and thirty years after her demise. According to his account, Cleopatra was captured by Octavian in her mausoleum after Antony’s death. As Octavian wanted to present her to mark his victory, he asked his freedman Epaphroditus to keep a watch on her so that she does not commit suicide. However, she managed to trick Epaphroditus and induced an asp, hidden in a basket of figs, to bite her on her hand. She took this step to ensure her immortality as a goddess. A similar account was given by another historian Suetonius.
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