Numismatic and History Discussions > History and Archeology

Did Cleopatra really commit suicide??

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Hello everyone,

I thought I'd share some thoughts regarding a program I saw the other night on Cleopatra.  They presented an alternate theory on the death of Cleopatra.  As we all know she supposedly died of a venomous snake bite while being held captive by Octavian.  Some experts noted that it's a possibility Octavian had her murdered and staged as a suicide because of a possible threat to his throne.

Does anyone have any thoughts to this??  It sure seems like a reasonable theory...

Joe Sermarini:
I think she had no power to threaten.

I disagree.  Cleopatra wasn't some goldigger.  She was Queen of Egypt in her own right, and had proven herself time and again a very ambitious and resourceful woman.  By herself she couldn't have done Octavian a lot of damage, but given the Alexandrians were a source of trouble for the entire history of the Empire and Cleopatra's penchant for forming alliances....

I know that if I were in Octavian's shoes, I would have spent a lot of time worrying about what she was stirring up in Egypt. 

Of course, if she had an accident....

I was under the impression Octavian was intent on parading Cleopatra through Rome in his triumph? If so it would seem unlikely he would have her killed before. You also have to remember that in general Rome did not consider it necessary to disguise the execution of enemy leaders something to be hidden.
                                                          LordBest. 8)

Interesting thoughts here...

Cleopatra was a very strong, determined woman.  It seems odd that she would just commit suicide, considering no ptolemies before her had done so.

Also, didn't Octavian have her son killed shortly after her death?

Maybe she wasn't a direct threat, but an alliance with a political power in Rome could've presented a threat...


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