History vs. Cleopatra

Welcome to Rome Across Europe!

If this is your first time here, thanks for stopping by. If you’ve been here before then you know the level of respect and admiration we have for the infamous Gaius Julius Caesar.

If you know anything about Caesar, then you are probably familiar with his time in Aegyptus (Roman Egypt). Even if you aren’t a fan of history you may have come across the play Caesar and Cleopatra written in 1898 by George Bernard Shaw, or the 1945 British Technicolor film Caesar and Cleopatra directed by Gabriel Pascal and starring Claude Rains and Vivien Leigh.

Having seen how history has portrayed the woman who supposedly brought an end to the Res Publica Romana (Roman Republic), we thought we’d journey into a fictional courtroom to view History vs. Cleopatra!

According to an article in National Geographic, this is what Cleopatra actually looked like.

View the full lesson here.

The world has been so fascinated by Cleopatra that her story has been told in various formats, aside from the one’s we previously mentioned.


The renowned  William Shakespeare wrote the tragedy Antony and Cleopatra which was originally performed circa 1607, and has since been turned into movies and operas.

Original theatrical release poster of Cleopatra.

In 1963, Elizabeth Taylor starred as the queen in the film Cleopatra. It was the highest-grossing film of 1963, earning $57.7 million total (equivalent to $451.38 million in 2017), yet made a loss due to its production and marketing costs of $44 million (equivalent to $344.20 million in 2017).

Then in 1970, a Japanese comedy anime film directed by Osamu Tezuka and Eiichi Yamamoto. The film was a commercial failure.

We all can agree that Cleopatra was the most notorious woman in ancient history, and was a queen who enraptured not 1 but 2 of Rome’s greatest Generals.

Was she just a skilled seductress? Or was Cleopatra a great ruler in her own right?

The question remains for you decide. We hope you enjoyed today’s adventure and look forward to having you back again soon.

Till next time, Don’t Stop Rome-ing!