Sunday, 30 August 2015

30 BC Aug 30 Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, dies

Volume 1 in Toxicology in Antiquity
2014, Pages 11–20

Chapter 2 – The Death of Cleopatra: Suicide by Snakebite or Poisoned by Her Enemies?

Queen Cleopatra VII, known more commonly as Cleopatra (note that there have been a number of historical Cleopatras), was a first-century bc Egyptian empress in Egypt, a femme fatale, who strove to control the hearts and minds of two great Roman men with political power, Caesar and Mark Anthony. When Anthony lost the civil war with the Romans, Octavian captured Cleopatra and, with her, the Egyptian Empire. During her last days, she suffered a mysterious death, either due to a self-inflicted snakebite, the more usually accepted explanation, or via poison administered by Octavian and his men. This dilemma presents an intriguing puzzle for the history of medicine.


  • Cleopatra;
  • death;
  • Caesar;
  • Mark Anthony;
  • Octavian;
  • Egypt;
  • snake;
  • poison;
  • murder;
  • suicide