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Science (10)

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What killed the young pharaoh ?
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Bitten By A King Cobra?
What Has Become Of The Beautiful Queen Of Egypt ?
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The Conspiracy Theory
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Cleopatra

Bitten By A King Cobra?

Cleopatra

We are in August 30 BC, Mark Antony and Cleopatra lost the Battle of Actium and were decisively defeated by the Roman army of Augustus who took possession of the Royal Palace in Alexandria. In proud triumph, Augustus begins celebrations and already imagines himself parading before tens of thousands of Romans, all in awe of his recent military achievements. Cleopatra will also be part of it, chained and ridiculed in front of the crowd ..

It is then that Augustus' daydream is abruptly interrupted by an envoy handing him a papyrus; Cleopatra and her most loyal maids have just been found dead in her room where a meal awaited them. Approaching the scene, Augustus notices that the Queen of Egypt is dressed in her finest tunic and is covered with jewels. Emblems of Ptolemaic dynasty supremacy are littered on her chest. Enraged by the sight of it, the Roman general can only contemplate Cleopatra's suicide. He quickly learns that shortly before her death, Cleopatra supposedly received a fruit basket. Augustus then calls in a doctor who notices sting traces on Cleopatra's arm and those of her maids.

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Bitten by a king cobra ?

Death of Cleopatra

Augustus immediately alludes to a snake bite, probably hidden in the fruit basket that Cleopatra received. But the doctor quickly points out that it would be very difficult to hide a snake of such size in such a small basket. Moreover, a snake could not have attacked three people at once but it turns out that the queen's maids died exactly the same way. The only known Egyptian snake that could have caused such marks is the king cobra because the bites of other vipers cause lots of swelling and are easily identifiable. Clearly, the death of Cleopatra is due to poisoning but the story remains mysterious.

The memory of the last Queen of Egypt is preserved today by a sculpture ordered by Augustus to commemorate Cleopatra, her arm surrounded by a viper. The death of Cleopatra and Mark Antony, following that of Julius Caesar a few years earlier, marks the end of Ancient Egypt and the beginning of the Roman era with the coronation of Augustus in Rome.

Where is the tomb of Cleopatra ?

The death of Cleopatra remains just as enigmatic as the place where she was buried alongside Mark Antony. According to some sources, the queen was buried not far from Alexandria but new developments mention Taposiris Magna as a possible burial place. Along with the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb, that of Cleopatra's is an event that animates the spirit of the greatest fan of Ancient Egypt archaeology.

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