|30 BC||Cleopatra VII, Queen of Egypt, commits suicide.|
|On this day||In history the Queen commits suicide.|
After Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, she aligned with Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar’s legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus). With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus (her unions with her brothers had produced no children). After losing the Battle of Actium to Octavian’s forces, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra followed suit, according to tradition killing herself by means of an asp bite on August 12, 30 BC.
Two things I note. One with her brothers she had no children. Inbreeding brings problems. And two she dies from the asp. A traditional method of killing oneself. I wonder if the asp is a symbol from the garden of Eden. It caused Adam and Eve eviction and now is used as an evil executioner of Cleo.
According to Plutarch (quoted by Ussher), Cleopatra tested various deadly poisons on condemned persons and concluded that the bite of the asp (from aspis – Egyptian cobra, not European asp) was the least terrible way to die; the venom brought sleepiness and heaviness without spasms of pain. The asp is perhaps most famous for its alleged role in Cleopatra’s suicide (some believe it to have been a horned viper), though in 2010, German historian Christoph Schaefer and toxicologist Dietrich Mebs, after extensive study into the event, came to the conclusion that rather than enticing a venomous animal to bite her, Cleopatra actually used a mixture of hemlock, wolfsbane and opium to end her life.
With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool
Be angry, and dispatch.
—Cleopatra, Act V, scene II
Cleo was thirty nine when she died. She killed herself when Anthony her main guy died. He killed himself by throwing himself on a spear when he was informed of her death which was not true. She heard he was dead and committed the asp bite. Sounds like Romeo and Juliet to me. I have informed my wife that upon my death she is to leave our asps alone.
There are some people I wish would play with an asp. Do you have any in mind?