Interview with Cleopatra

Interview with Cleopatra – Queen of Egypt

Cleopatra – Last Pharaoh of Egypt

Until now I have been using my superhuman skills in superior, supernatural interviewing to talk with dead people – famous but altogether dead people – who were rulers of the masculine persuasion. Now it is time to talk with the Queen of Egypt – Cleopatra VII.

me – It’s a pleasure to meet you. Would you prefer that I address you as Queen Cleopatra or Pharaoh Cleopatra?

Cleopatra – Queen, Pharaoh, Shmaraoh – it’s all the same. My full name was Cleopatra VII Philadelphus Philopator Philopatris Thea Neotera. But that’s a mouthful. Why don’t you call me Cleo?

Cleopatra VII 69 - 30 B.C.
Cleopatra VII 69 - 30 B.C.
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor  as Mark Antony and Cleopatra
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor as Mark Antony and Cleopatra
Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexander the Great  356 - 323 B.C.
Alexander the Great 356 - 323 B.C.

me – You know, Cleo, that as the queen of Egypt you are considered one of the greatest romantic heroines of all time.

Cleo – I was much more than that, but yes, that fact was brought home to me when I watched the videos you gave me of the film, “Cleopatra” – you know, the one with Elizabeth Tyler.

me – Taylor.

Cleo – That’s what I said. She and Richard Barton are such a handsome couple.

me – (I kept my mouth shut and didn’t say, ‘Burton’.)

Note: The 1963 movie, ‘Cleopatra,” with ElizabethTaylor and Richard Burton can be viewed in its entirety in the 25 You Tube videos displayed or cited at the end of this hub.

Early Years

me – When and where were you born?

Cleo – I was born in 69 B.C. in Alexandria, Egypt, the descendent of Macedonians who were established as rulers when Alexander the Great liberated Egypt from Persia (Iran) in 331 B.C. Ptolemy I was an ally of Alexander the Great and when Alexander died in 323 B.C., General Ptolemy assumed power over Egypt. This was the beginning of the Greek Ptolemaic Dynasty which lasted over three centuries.

Note: At the time, Alexandria was the capital city of Egypt and was populated largely by native Egyptians but the aristocracy was Greek.

My father was Ptolemy XII Auletes. He was called Auletes because he played the flute . . . badly. Before him there was Ptolemy I through XI – eleven in all – and my mother was Cleopatra V Tryphaena. I was named Cleopatra VII.

I know what you are thinking. Why were so many of us given the same name of either Ptolemy or Cleopatra? Why not different names?

me – Yes, the thought had occurred to me.


Books about Cleopatra

Cleopatra film Part One

Cleo – Using the same names was the Egyptian custom at the time. Although my family was of Greek heritage, they also adopted the Egyptian custom of intermarriage among royals – that is, pharaohs married their siblings. BTW, do you know what we called incest?

me – No, I haven’t a clue.

Cleo. . . the game the whole family can play.

me – I didn’t know that old joke was that old.

Note: The Ptolemy family tree is complicated and incestuous – a product of its time. As an example, when Cleopatra’s father, Ptolemy XII Auletes married her mother, Cleopatra V Tryphaena, he was marrying his half-niece because she was the daughter of his half-sister-double-cousin, Queen Berenice III. Hi wife was also his first cousin because she was the daughter of his uncle, Ptolemy X Alexander. Any questions?

me – Did you have siblings, Cleo?

Cleo – Yes, two older sisters, Cleopatra VI Tryphaena, and Berenice IV, and a younger sister, Arsinoe IV, and two younger brothers, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV. The custom of giving so many of us the same name was confusing as we grew up. When my mother called, ‘Ptolemy, come here,' three people showed up. And when my father called, ‘Cleopatra,’ all three of us answered.

me – How old were you when you became the Queen of Egypt?

Cleo – My father died in 51 B.C. and I ascended the throne. I was eighteen and married my brother, Ptolemy XIII, who was ten years old because custom decreed I have a consort. But not for one minute did I have any intention of sharing my power with him – the little brat.

Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Modern Egypt
Modern Egypt

me – How did you become the pharaoh? You were not the eldest daughter.

Cleo – To make a long story short, I loved my father but he was not an effective pharaoh. He ruled Egypt about as well as he played the flute.There was a rebellion and he was exiled to Rome for three years (58 – 55 B.C.). I accompanied him. My two older sisters, Cleopatra VI and Berenice IV, co-ruled Egypt during that period.

My father returned and with the help of Roman soldiers regained his rightful throne. My oldest sister, Cleo, had died – under suspicious circumstances. He had Berenice and her husband both beheaded.

me – I believe Vlad Dracula may have learned that "beheading strategy" from your father.

Cleopatra film Part Two

Was this Cleopatra?
Was this Cleopatra?

Joint Reign

Cleo – After my father’s death, the political and economic instability that had plagued his reign continued - much like your America today. My empire suffered debilitating territorial losses as family members competed for control rather than governing - much like your Congress today. I tried to rule without my brother/husband. I signed official documents myself and minted coins only with my image.

me – Speaking of coins, was this coin one of those you minted?

Cleo – Of course not. That’s a vicious lie. Would any woman spend a fortune to mint a coin of herself looking like that?

That atrocious-looking coin was minted by the priests and ministers advising my brother who were worried I would upset their universe and anger the Roman force protecting the Ptolemaic Dynasty. I was too radical and refused to follow tradition and be subservient to my young brother so they could rule through him. They forced me into exile with my sister, Arsinoe, in 48 B.C.

Julius Caesar  100 - 44 B,C,
Julius Caesar 100 - 44 B,C,

Gaius Julius Caesar

me – Is that when Julius Caesar entered your life?

Cleo – It was more like me entering his. I planned to raise an army to regain my rightful throne but realized there was an easier way. Egypt still relied on Rome for protection, and I was the rightful ruler. Caesar made it easy for me by arriving in Egypt in 48 B.C. with an army of four thousand men to take control and installed himself in the royal palace.

me – Is that when you had yourself rolled up into a carpet and delivered to Caesar?

Cleo – I saw that scene in the movie, too, but that was just a fictional exaggeration. The truth is I bribed a loyal Italian servant and had myself delivered to Caesar in a sturdy sack, tied with string, and slung over my strong Sicilian servant’s shoulder.

I charmed Caesar with my exotic, alluring appearance, my wit, my persuasiveness, my ability to speak nine languages (I was the only one in my family who could also speak Egyptian), my intelligence, my humility (not really), and my unshakable belief that I was the daughter of the goddess, Isis. We fell in love the night we met and he reinstalled me as Egypt's queen.

Note: Cleo's brother/consort, Ptolemy XIII who was a teenager at that time, ordered the execution of Pompey the Great thinking this would please Caesar because they were in a civil war. But Caesar grieved over the death of Pompey who was his son-in-law (married to Caesar's daughter, Julia). Soon after Ptolemy XIII had a tragic accident and drowned in the Nile River. Hmmmmmm!

Cleopatra film Part Three

Cleopatra film Part Four

Cleopatra and Caesar

me – I know this is personal and you do not have to respond, but historians have conjectured that Caesar was your first … ?

Cleo – I could take the Fifth Amendment like many of your investment bankers and bank presidents, but yes, Julie-baby was my first love! He restored my throne but there was one condition. I had to marry my youngest brother, Ptolemy XIV, who was eleven at the time. Egyptian tradition, you know.

Caesar was infatuated with me as well as with my riches and extensive fleet of ships. And I needed him to accomplish my dream of a world empire. For our honeymoon, we took a Nile cruise for two months. The Oasis of the Seas cruise ship hadn't been built yet. I became pregnant almost immediately and our sweet son, Ptolemy Caesar was born in 47 B.C. We called him Caesarion or little Caesar.

me - Wasn't Caesar already married?

Cleo - Yes, but we were so in love he brought me, our son, and my entourage to Rome to live with him. This offended the conservative Republicans in the Senate - yes, we had them then, too. Caesar openly claimed Caesarion as his son and declared we would be married despite the laws in Rome against bigamy and marriages to foreigners.

Assassination of Julius Caesar
Assassination of Julius Caesar

Books about Julius Caesar

The Ides of March

me - What happened on that date?

Cleo - My whole world came crashing down on March 15, 44 B.C. Due to a conspiracy by his Senators led by Brutus, Caesar was assassinated outside the Senate Building in Rome. They thought he was a threat to the Republic and was planning to be declared a king. I returned to Alexandria because he had not mentioned either me or our son in his will and I believed we were both in great danger.

me - What did you do when you returned to Egypt?

Cleo - My first order of the day was to lose my consort, Ptolemy XIV. I never asked questions but I believe he was poisoned. Then I established my son, Ptolemy XV Caesarion, who was three years old as my co-ruler. 

Finally, I did extensive research - I certainly could have used the Internet if we had one - to learn who would be the next powerful ruler in Rome. There was only one answer. Marcus Antonius - Mark Antony!

Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) 83 - 30 B.C.
Marcus Antonius (Mark Antony) 83 - 30 B.C.
Actor James Whitmore - do you see a resemblance?
Actor James Whitmore - do you see a resemblance?
Octavian (Emperor Augustus) 63 B.C. - 14 A.D.
Octavian (Emperor Augustus) 63 B.C. - 14 A.D.

Mark Antony

me - I remember reading that Mark Antony summoned you to gauge your loyalty to the Roman Empire.

Cleo - On stage, do you know how important it is to make an unforgettable entrance?

me - Such as?

Cleo - I decided to make an entrance Mark Antony would never forget. I had a large barge painted entirely in gold paint with a gold canopy. I was dressed as Venus wearing a flowing, diaphanous gown. The oarsmen were my handmaidens in sea sprite costumes. Half-naked young slaves with amazing abs wielded large fans over my recumbent form. We sailed the Red Sea in a cloud of enticing incense.

me - Did your theatrics work?

Cleo - Antony was overwhelmed to put it mildly. We did some serious partying for three months and he fell madly in love with me.

I was pregnant with twins when I returned to Egypt. Alexander Helios and Cleopatra Selene were born in 40 B.C.and Antony and I were married in 36 B.C. - the same year our third child, Ptolemy Philadelphus, was born.

me - Why did Antony marry Octavia when his wife, Fulvia, died?

Cleo - For political reasons, what else? Antony shared control of the Roman Empire with Octavian who was Caesar's grand-nephew and adopted son. Antony.agreed to marry Octavia, the sister of Octavian, to strengthen their relationship. They had two daughters - both named Antonia.Then Antony finally came home to me, the love of his life, and we arranged a marriage ceremony in 36 B.C.

Beginning of the End

me - What angered Octavian?

Cleo - Antony formally restored to me and Egypt the territory which we had lost control of. He left his new wife, Octavia, and daughters in Rome and moved into my palace as the resident consort.Then he officially recognized Caesarion as the son of Julius Caesar and proclaimed him the "King of kings." That was the straw that broke the camel's back - an old Egyptian saying. Octavian saw himself as the king of kings.

Antony's close relationship with me raised Roman concerns over his loyalties, and Octavian used that Roman resentment to gain support for a war against Antony and me. What was in it for Octavian? He was later named Emperor Augustus, ruler of the Roman and Egyptian Empires.


Books about Antony and Cleopatra

Battle of Actium
Battle of Actium

Cleopatra film Part Five

Cleopatra

This is a pretty good portrait of me.
This is a pretty good portrait of me.
My chins were supposed to be photo-shopped.
My chins were supposed to be photo-shopped.
This is my favorite portrait. Oops, It's ElizabethTyler.
This is my favorite portrait. Oops, It's ElizabethTyler.

The End

me - Forgive me, Cleo, if I am being insensitive but how did Antony die?

Cleo - After a fierce naval battle with Octavian's Roman forces near Actium, Greece, Antony and his men retreated back to Alexandria. There he fought bravely against a superior army to defend Egypt. As a last resort, we had planned an exile in a resort - like Dubai or Palm Springs or Boca Raton. But Antony received a message that I was dead and gave himself a mortal wound with his sword.

The rumor, of course, was false - planted by a member of Octavian's press corps - but it was too late to save Antony. I sent my son, Caesarion, to safety in India.The last thing I wanted was a humiliating return to Rome as Octavian's prize prisoner. On August 12, 30 B.C., I did the only thing possible. I committed suicide with the aid of an asp - a poisonous snake.

me - I have always wondered. Why an asp? Surely, that must have been painful. Why not a more painless death by poison?

Cleo - Our Egyptian beliefs at the time promised that death by snake bite would ensure immortality. I would live with the Gods - from whom I was descended. A deadly asp hidden in a large basket of figs was smuggled into the mausoleum I had built for myself. It did the job for me and my two handmaidens.

me - it also provided you the immortality you sought. Who can forget Cleopatra? One last question, my dear Cleo, what was your secret for attracting as lovers the two most powerful men in the Roman Empire?

Cleo - I can best answer that with a quote from Bill Shakespeare:

“Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
Her infinite variety; other women cloy
The appetites they feed, but she makes hungry
Where most she satisfies ,,,”

me - Truer words were never spoken, er ... written. Ciao, Cleo.

Cleopatra's Children

Caesarion was lured back to Alexandria with the false promise of the kingdom of Egypt and executed by Octavian’s soldiers. Octavian wanted no competition for the Roman and Egyptian thrones. He was following the advice of Arius Didymus, the Greek philosopher who had said, “Too many Caesars is not good."

Cleopatra's children with Mark Antony were brought to Rome to be cared for by Antony's wife, Octavia.

Cleopatra's two sons would have posed a threat to Octavian when they became of age and were either murdered or died from illness.

Her daughter, Cleopatra Selene, survived, and was married to King Juba II of Numidia in Africa. The newlyweds were given the territory of Mauretania (present day Algeria) as a wedding present from Octavian.

© Copyright BJ Rakow 2010, 2011. All rights reserved.

Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So"


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Comments 81 comments

Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 5 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

OMG Boyfriend I love your interviews, even-though Cleo was a murder, her family or to anyone who got into her way, I guess she is worth talking to about now, maybe she sees thinks a little different Lalalalalalala Excellent hub I rate you way way up, love you, darski


lmmartin profile image

lmmartin 5 years ago from Alberta and Florida

I've always had an interest in Cleopatra and read anything I found to do with her. You've done a great job here of sticking to the facts, though everything I read does say she was a very small woman and quite homely. Funny how money and power can make you beautiful. As far as murdering her family and such -- that was the times. Excellent hub. Rated up, way up. Lynda


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I've been sort of eager for the Gaius Julius Caesar interview! I've wanted to tackle that topic, but not in your style; I think I'm intimidated by it, or something. I love how you throw your modern political barbs into the mix. You should just do a book, I'd read it for sure!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK

Very strange lot these Greeks, right?


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Nice one! Who's next? I loved that movie with Elizabeth Tyler (LOL). Great interview.


Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 5 years ago from Los Angeles

You are the One and Only who could have brough so much information and humor together and come up with such a great history lesson. I am off to the Dracula interview right this moment and you will hear from me:-))) and I might even link it to my Dracula if it is not too offensive (LOL) again.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is another masterpiece,so clever.I loved the movie,'Cleopatra'.Liz and Richard were a great team.I guess their love life was a disaster from day one,probably the only man she ever loved(guessing)i'm wondering who you will interview next? Thank you for a fun read.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

That crazy Cleo had a high opinion of herself! I bet the coin was closer to her image in the mirror than Liz Tyler. Great writing embued with facts and comedy, making for a captivating and entertaining read.


amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

Hi drbj,

It’s funny the similarities of Dick Barton and Elisa Tyler’s life’s with Cleo and Antony’s. Not quite so violent maybe.

This is interesting stuff though; I didn’t know that the latter Pharaohs were of Greek extraction. I didn’t know much about them at all - to be honest.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Darlene, m'dear, for loving my hubs and rating me way, way up. It doesn't get much better than that.

Yes, families today are not quite as murderous as they were in Cleo's day. She was a product of her time. And she did reach a certain level of immortality. The hard way. :)


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Well done, well researched and highly entertaining. For a tiny murderous and incest prone Queen she sure knew how to get what she wanted. And she had the power over men with her looks or was it her looks? hmmmmmm questionable. Put a big smile on my kisser and really enjoyed the humor you weaved into the history. Bravo...Rated Up Up and UP some more.


ACSutliff profile image

ACSutliff 5 years ago

Loved it, drbj! The jokes about Tyler and incest were perfect. (That's what I said and "MY humility" (Not really) were both awesome comments too.)

That line about Ptolemy having an accident and drowning in the Nile was well played. Hmmmmmmm indeed!

You went to a lot of trouble to find all those videos and other links! I hope I find time to check them out. I loved that Shakespeare quote at the end. You ask the most interesting questions!


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

Thank you again for a great history lesson. It's very easy and delightful to read.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

drbj – I enjoy these interviews of yours tremendously. My hat off for you! Gathering the most important facts and present it via ‘interviews’ (dialogue), is quite a challenge – but, of course, not for a genius like you :) When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess. Today I am so glad I was not born in that unfortunate circumstances – to know your own siblings or parent can poison you any day.... Today, of course, only with words and pictures. Who’s next? Don’t forget Queen Victoria, and Elizabeth 1.... Can I send you a list?


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

I loved this, drbj, as I knew I would. Although I had some background knowledge about Cleo, having done research for teaching Shakespeare, I learned a great deal from you. I, too, loved the movie. Btw, Dante places Cleopatra with the Carnal, not with the Suicides, just as he did Dido.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Me, too, Lynda. Cleo has always fascinated me - particularly her ability to seduce two such powerful men - in succession.

It has been difficult to separate fact from fiction - thanks for noticing - and although I, too, read she was not particularly beautiful. I discovered she was not as homely as some historians implied. She simply was not Elizabeth "Tyler" but then who is?

She was the richest woman on the continent with the largest fleet of ships who lived in a very difficult time and made the most of it. Thank you for the up, way up rating. Coming from you, an inspired writer, it means a lot.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Wesman, nice to see you here. I agree. Julius Caesar would make a terrific subject for a hub. Go ahead - I would love to read your take on his life.

Thank you for noticing my not so subtle insertions of our present day political foibles where appropriate. I love finding those opportunities.

Funny you should comment about writing a book. If I manage to write enough hubs about these supernatural Interviews, I may combine them into a very inexpensive ebook. I would then acknowledge you for sure.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

doc I was enraptured by the dialogue...so much better than the sad story of power hungry politicians. You do wonders with history. Keep it up!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Yes, strange in some ways, dimi, but very lovable. Do pou, by any chance have some Macedonian ancestry? Just askin'.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

Oh sigh - saying goodbye to Cleo makes me sad....death by an asp? Yuck! You know me and snakes. I was going to say I saw so many similarities between us until I remembered that salient part.

As usual, BJ you outdid yourself. The pics are hysterical - indeed with the chins and PhotoShop and love the coin dialogue. Hope old Julie got a big kick out of it from somewhere in the other world!

I should have thought of naming all our children the same - that would have worked better perhaps.

Absolutely brilliant again and thanks for giving us some history along with all the witty banter! You could interview me anytime as you do it so well. Maybe when I become Queen or Empress, I'll have my people contact you!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Lela, I think I started a trend here with the Elizabeth Tyler thing. it is fun though. Delighted you enjoyed the hub and the movie.

You wanna know who's next? Well, any suggestions?


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Salut, ce mai faci draga mea?

The 'One and Only,' Petra dear? I am overcome. So happy you enjoyed my combination of info and humor - it's one of my favorite things to do when recounting history. Yes, by all means drop in on Dracula and Napoleon and Genghis if you can.

I will link your Dracula hub to mine do not think you will find it offensive - quite the contrary. Thanks for your laudable comments.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Ruby - thanks for "exploring" this interview. I agree, the movie, Cleopatra," was something special and so was the team of Tyler and Barton (have to keep a good thing going.) I think Liz was crazy about Mike Todd, the impresario, and then Richard Burton. But they were probably too much alike to stay married for long.

Thanks for the gracious comments; delighted you enjoyed the read. Not certain yet who I will interview next; waiting for that 'aha' moment.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

More excellent material for the book drbj,

I'm glad you cleared up that business about the coin. I had always assumed standards of beauty must have been wildly different back then!

I had read somewhere that her attraction was in her vibrant personality...as we know, that IS where true beauty lies.


carolina muscle profile image

carolina muscle 5 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

You caught the historical ambivalence about her very well.... she was by far the most interesting Pharoah .. to me, anyway.


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 5 years ago from USA

I love you and your abilities to talk to history!

Phoenix and I did a school field trip while in Turkey to a site where Cleo and Mark spend several days. Phoenix said she could feel the magic of the place.I think your writings have a little bit of magic too.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

What a great way to present history...or any subject for that matter. It occurs to me that this would work well in schools. Very interesting and well done.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Amy - you're right. Cleo could never win a beauty contest with Liz 'Tyler' but it's said that she possessed overwhelming charisma, an enchanting voice and was very persuasive. All her riches and ships didn't hurt either.

Thank you for all those approving comments - 'captivating and entertaining read' is how I aim to please. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Amillar, nice to see you here. Good point. Liz and 'Barton's' love life and battles may have been very similar to that of Cleo and Antony. They certainly were more publicized.

Thank you for finding this hub interesting - I learned from it, too. Before, I had always believed Cleo to be Egyptian, not Greek. There's always something new to learn. Speaking for myself, I plan to never stop learning. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Ken, you really know the way to my heart. Flattery does it every time. Thank you for enjoying the humor I weaved into the history. What a lovely way to put it.

Wow, 'well done, well researched and highly entertaining' - you're on a roll now - don't stop.

Although some historians question Cleo's beauty, there was never any doubt about her wit and charm. She certainly knew how to win a ruler. Or is it rule a winner? Both apply.

Delighted I made you smile and thanks for the 'up' to the third degree rating. You and your perspicuous comments are always welcome.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you for loving it, AC. I knew the comments about Tyler and Barton and humility and incest would hit your funny spot. (Not easy to be funny about incest, though.)

And wasn't it fortuitous of Ptolemy to go drown himself?

Thank you, too, for noticing the research. You will enjoy the Cleo movie, too, if you can ever find more than 2 1/2 hours to enjoy it. You could watch it in ten-minute segments otherwise.

As always, your presence and gracious comments are much appreciated.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Mickey, for appreciating my 'great history lesson.' Making history 'easy and delightful to read' should be the aim of every historian. Then readers would not find history ancient and dull, but interesting and thought-provoking. I have spoken. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Martie, for enjoying my interviews and did you say, "a genius like me?" You now qualify, you know, to be my BFF. Oh, wait a sec, you already are.

I think most little girls have the princess dream at some time in their childhood as a result of fairy tales, films and TV programs propaganda. But that was certainly not the case with Cleo. She lived and ruled in an unbelievably hostile era.

I will keep your selections for future interviewees in mind, and yes, by all means, send me a list. :)


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

Life is full of coincidences. Earlier today I watched a repeat of last night's "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. He interviewed Stacy Schiff about her book "Cleopatra." She mentioned many things that were in your interview, including the fact that Cleopatra was Greek. It sounds like an interesting book.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Ah, Sweet Mystery, I knew you would appreciate my thoughts about Cleopatra and am delighted you learned something. I always learn something from you.

The Cleopatra movie filmed in 1963 was very expensive to produce as one would expect with Tyler and Barton as lead actors. One of its charms was that the moviegoer could imagine the attraction each felt for the other by watching the onscreen chemistry between the two.

Thanks for enjoying this and your kind comments.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Hillary. Thank you, my dear for your effulgent comments - and giving me the opportunity to use that word which I haven't used since the days of Cleo.

"Enraptured with the dialogue" were you? Your hyperbole of speech is much appreciated, as are you m'luv. I will try to do "more wonders with history" for you.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

You know, TGBAIC, I wasn't going to mention the asp knowing your aversion to said scaly slimy slithering sneaky snakes. But I had to be true to the facts. It wasn't a gigantic asp, you know. Just your garden variety of Egyptian cobra.

I knew you would appreciate the graphics - coin, chins PhotoShopping, et al. And I, too, also thought naming all my kids the same would save a lot of time since back in the day with my four darlings I always called three of the other names before getting to the correct name of the fourth.

Thank you, thank you for the 'absolutely brilliant' and outdoing myself.

I would be happy to interview you any time. Just have your people call my people. :)))


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

So happy to have cleared up any confusion about the Cleo coin, Jane. As you can note from the few photos and portraits of Cleo, she was not homely - just not an Elizabeth Tyler. But then again, who is?

And you are absolutely right about her attraction to men - she was charismatic, persuasive, had a ready wit, a charming personality, a seductive voice and a gazillion ships.

Yes, now I have four chapters for the 'Interviews' book. Any suggestions for interviewing other famous personages?


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Chris.

Yes, to me, too, Cleo was clearly the most interesting Pharaoh of all besides being the only female and the very last one.

Love your very unique comment about my 'catching the historical ambivalence' about her very well. Thank you.


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Bubbly Favorite Feminist...

Brilliant Female Friend...

Best Fat Frog...

Beautiful Fairy Figure...

Oh my oh my! I’m not your

Bony Flunked Fraulein

Not having a clue what a BFF is!

:)))


christopheranton profile image

christopheranton 5 years ago from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom

Very Good. You really bring the story to life. Thank you.


Jane Bovary profile image

Jane Bovary 5 years ago from The Fatal Shore

drbj,

Julius Caesar, Queen Elizabeth I, William Shakespeare, Sigmund Freud...? So many possibilities ...I think you might have to publish volumes 1, 2 and 3.


Sweetsusieg profile image

Sweetsusieg 5 years ago from Michigan

I promise, I NEVER had this much fun in History class (though I did have a great teacher). If we could just clone you and put at least 1 of you in all the school systems think of the knowledge and fun that could be had during school hours!!! I can almost bet the crime rate would drop (since you have the heads up on all the forms of punishments that have been used in the past), the children would be glued to their chairs in the fierce awesomeness of your tutelage!!

So the term 'Blue Blood' was well before the A.D. times then? Keeping it in the family, incest is best put your brother to the test? (ewww)

AWESOME Hub!! You Rock!!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

BJ - where have you been? I've missed my namesake. Thank you for loving my ability to 'talk to history' - not easy, you know. But at least they do not talk back.

How wonderful that you could visit that spot in Turkey - I'm sure it did have a magical feeling. For me, most historical spots do seem to have an aura of sorts. Even if it's all in my head.

And thank you for that lovely comment - 'my writings have a little bit of magic, too.' I shall treasure it. And you.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Christoph, for believing that my method of combining history with humor would work well in schools. I think so, too, since I have also used this method successfully when presenting interpersonal skills seminars to adults who, would you believe it? often have a shorter attention span than teenagers.

And thank you, too, for the 'interesting and well done'. You made my day.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Yes, dear MysteryLady, 'Life IS full of (mysterious) coincidences.' I have added the new book by Stacy Schiff, "Cleopatra: A Life" that you refer to. It is very readable. Thank you for reminding me.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Forgive me, dear Martie, for putting you in a quandary which is just one step above a dilemma. Which is what I found myself in when I started reading your list of phrases. What on earth is the dear girl talking about?

Then the aha moment struck. I read the first two: 'Bubbly Favorite Feminist...' and 'Brilliant Female Friend...' and thought what lovely phrases to describe me. Then I read 'Best Fat Frog...' ugh! and realized, finally, you were trying to figure out the meaning of BFF. It's Best Friend Forever!

Delighted to present the translation. Call upon me any time when I'm not ROTFLMAO. :)


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you Christophe for the visit and the comment. Believe me, the pleasure was all mine. Bringing a 'story to life' is one of my favorite things to do and I do appreciate your saying so.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Thank you, Jane. I will add Caesar, Shakespeare and Freud to my list. Elizabeth I already heads this prominent list of potential interviewees. Wow. Three volumes? You flatter me. Which I love of course. :) Have a great weekend.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, susie -ah, the honey doth 'dripeth' from your comments and I'm loving it, naturally. I'm happy you were happy in your History class with a great teacher. Mine were rather dull and I know I missed a lot. Because the teachers were dull, for me, the subject was dull. Isn't that a shame?

At leaat I learned something. It may not have been history but I learned that if you combine teaching or training with humor, you cannot go wrong. You, the teacher, enjoy your work, and the students profit by enjoying your work, too, and remembering!

You are spot on about the crime rate dropping if miscreants thought impalement was the punishment. I shudder even at just the thought.

BTW, great incest poem - I'll probably repeat it. Thanks for the 'awesome and you rock' comments, m'luv, backatcha. :)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..stunning and perfect - like your comments to me - lol lol - and stunning and perfect - and I'm not talkin' about Cleo Lane here - but me is talkin' 'bout someone as special as you!!!!!!

I love your interview series - everyone has a masterpiece - this is yours!!!!!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, Colin, If I could still blush at your gracious and laudatory compliments, I would. But since I'm past the blushing stage - way past - suffice it to say, thank you, thank you.

I'm delighted you enjoy my series of Interviews and that you, the master of epigrammatic prose and poetry, find this a masterpiece. I sorta have a fondness for it, too.

Happy to see you creating your masterpieces, too. Missed you there for a short time. :)


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..thanks for the warm sentiments my dear friend - in fact I missed myself during this time too - lol lol lol


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 5 years ago from New York, NY

drbj - this interview series of your I applaud! I always loved history (still do) and reading about Cleopatria in this fashion really puts a whole new twist on who this Egyptian goddess was. I cant stop thinking of how a C-section got its real name which is what I kept thinking about while reading of Cleopatra's son Caesarion :)

Anyway, as always . . bravissima to you my friend! This was a true jewel.

Just so you know I am saving Genghis to read later tonight - you do know that I keep your Hubs saved so that I only read them when I know I have a few minutes. .. kinda my way of savoring the best of the best here on Hubpages


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Oh, Shari, you are so sweet and you say such nice things - all absolutely true of course. How nice to know that you save my hubs to read when you can and savor them as the 'best of the best.' Great! Now that makes two of us who believe they deserve that approbation. :)

Thank you for your applause and your bravissima - I shall cherish your gracious words.

BTW - Many folks think that the 'caesarean section' got its name because Julius Caesar was delivered in that fashion. I don't believe that is true.

I tend to think it's because the procedure is said to have been derived from a Roman code called 'Lex Caeseara' which specified that a baby be cut out of the mother's stomach if she dies during birth.


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

Another coincidence! Sunday's Parade magazine had an article on Stacy Schiff's book "Cleopatra"!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

So I noticed, ml. Just goes to show, you can't keep a good gal down!


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Your decision to doing this as an interview is absolutely fascinating. I thoughroughly enjoy reading them


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, hello - how nice to see you here. Delighted that you see my interview as absolutely fascinating. That makes two of us, ho, ho. Thanks you for thoroughly enjoying reading my Interviews. I enjoy your saying so. :)


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

Your interview of historical figures adds a fun dimension in reading History. The injected humor makes not only for interesting reading but also help us relieve tense facial muscles:)


twentyfive profile image

twentyfive 5 years ago

Cleo is one of the most interesting women in history. Glad you made this interview. Thank you for displaying the links for the movie, too. :) If this hub was a lil movie, I'd enjoy it, too ;)


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, SilentReed, thank you for noticing my injected humor in the retelling of history.

Interesting and fun reading is what I had hoped for, but helping to relieve tense facial muscles is an added fringe benefit I never dreamed of.

Here's to humorous history!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, 25 - delighted you enjoyed the "Cleopatra" movie. Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most glamorous and well-known actresses in the 60s was a great choice, I thought, to play the part of Cleo in one of the most expensive movies of that time. You are most welcome for the links.

You would enjoy this hub as a movie? What a lovely thing to say.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

Oh now I get the whole snake thing, I missed the part about the after life before. That Cleopatra seemed to be a free spirit ahead of her time. I love your interviews, what a great collection and one I plan to enjoy again. Very well written and brillantly spoken by those you interview! Katie :)


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

My hubs would not be complete, katie, without your perceptive and most gracious comments.

Cleopatra was definitely ahead of her time and the 'snake thing' must have worked - she is immortal in the sense that we have never forgotten her. :)


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest

Well done. Amazing details along with your usual entertaining humor. I did a paper on her when I was a kid. Fascinating person and era she lived in. Crazy baout the incest thing. Yikes. and boy does that actor resemble Marc Antony. I never really noticed before. I'll have to watch that movie again. I'ts been many many years. Great hub.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Laura. Thanks so much for visiting Cleo. She's such a drama queen she gets miffed when ignored. Delighted you enjoyed my 'amazing humor.' I amaze myself sometimes once I get started with these Interviews.

The 1967 movie with Tyler and Barton is long but entertaining. Happy you noticed the resemblance between Mark and James. Uncanny.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 5 years ago from Chicago

The game the whole family can play. :D

Your Hub is totally captivating. I love it! I learned an awful lot too that I did not know. You are an amazing writer! Thank you for this treasure. What talent you display.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

As for the talent, what is that famous adage? It takes one to know one! Right?

Thank you, James. for your sublime comments - you make my day. You know that you are an amazing writer as well. But I think I have told you that more than once.


msorensson profile image

msorensson 5 years ago

Awesome..bookmarked..

Love it!!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

With just four words, Melinda, you made me your slave . . . forever! :)

If you have a chance, take a look at my newest: "Who Was the Most Famous Female Spy?"


Docmo profile image

Docmo 5 years ago from UK

Another awesome hub, drbj. Can I ask a favour- could you put a link to all your supernatural interview series from your profile- I recently learnt how to do this... you could put collective headings that link to a series of articles in your profile makes it easy to find them all together!

BTW I am coming to Florida in July!


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Docmo. Thank you for stopping by and the "awesome." Yes, I plan to redo my profile and will, as you suggest, link my Interview series so they can be more easily found. Thank you for the suggestion - it makes sense to me.

Great that you plan to visit Florida this summer. Which area(s) is on your agenda?


ellahall2011 profile image

ellahall2011 5 years ago

Great hub. I really appreciate this.


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

How nice to meet you, ellahall, especially since you really appreciate my 'great hub.' Do visit the other 12 Interviews with Undead Celebrities and let me know what you think. :)


SIerra Smith  5 years ago

Omg this saved my life i had a interview to do with Cleo and its due tomorrow so this definitely saved me thanks


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida Author

Sierra - I am delighted that this saved your life and Cleo is happy, too, that you found her. Good luck. No thanks is necessary. Just tell your friends.


cnwriter profile image

cnwriter 4 years ago from Los Angeles

Fantastic piece...thank you


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, cnwriter, delighted you found this piece 'fantastic.' Do take a look at some of my other 23 supernatural "Interviews."


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Fascinating! You did a wonderful job on this. I was glued from start to finish! Amazingly interesting. So glad you told me - I missed this one and wasn't on hub when you originally wrote it.

Wasn't she something? I admired Cleopatra for being a pretty brilliant lady for those times...I know she had to have her reasons for the things she did but imagining her floating up on the ship to meet Marc Anthony? Smmmarrrrt! lol


drbj profile image

drbj 4 years ago from south Florida Author

Delighted you enjoyed Cleo from start to finish, Kelly. She thanks you for finding her. Me, too. Yes, Cleo was ahead of her time - a brilliant strategist who seemed to be always one step ahead of both Caesar and Antony. And she put her talent as a drama queen to the test by staging her meetings with both those powerful Roman leaders. We could use her in politics in the U.S. today.

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