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Antony & Cleopatra: Lovers who changed the course of history

Updated on December 6, 2010

Antony and Cleopatra: The famous couple in history

Antony and Cleopatra are among the most famous couples in history. Unfortunately their story ended tragically, not unlike that of Romeo and Juliet, another famous play by William Shakespeare.

Cleopatra was said to be the most beautiful of all queens and was known as the Queen of Kings. She was the last pharaoh Egypt ever saw. Marc Antony was a general in the Roman army and successor of Julius Caesar. Antony was also one of Caesar's best friends, though they both desired Cleopatra's affections.

These lovers lived in different worlds. One was a Roman Emperor and the other was a Pharaoh of Egypt. As Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra lived in that country's capital city Alexandria where she was born in January of 69 BC and would later also die. Marc Antony was born in Rome on January 14, 83 BC. However, unlike Cleopatra, Antony would not die in Rome where he was born, he would later die in Alexandria, Egypt.

Antony & Cleopatra - The love story

The beginning of a tragic affair

Before her life with Antony, Cleopatra was the mistress of Julius Caesar. They even had a son together. After Caesar's assassination, Cleopatra was accused of having something to do with it. She was called to Rome, to explain herself in front of the new Emperor of Rome.

The new Emperor was none other than Marc Antony, and the two almost instantly fell in love.

Antony accepted an invitation to visit Cleopatra in Egypt, and spent the winter of 41 and 40 BC in Egypt with Cleopatra, where they ended up conceiving twins. It was not until four years later in 37 BC when Antony visited Egypt again. He and Cleopatra renewed their relationship and decided to marry.

Antony decided to live in Alexandria with Cleopatra and their children. The couple had a third child name Ptolemy Philadelphus.

Octavian, who was Marc Antony's rival for the throne of Rome, declared war on the couple's armies. Unfortunately, the war did not go in the couple's favor. ... (continued below...)

Their tragic end

False news, and dramatic suicides

Octavian, the rival for the throne of Marc Antony, declared war on the couple's armies. Unfortunately, the war did not go in the couple's favor.

Antony got word of Cleopatra's death and tried to kill himself with a sword through the belly. He didn't die right away, and instead, got word that Cleopatra was not really dead, though badly hurt. On this news, Antony took off to Alexandria where he died due to his injuries.

After her lover's death, Cleopatra committed suicide. Legend has it that she provoked an Egyptian Asp to bite her, delivering the fatal poison.

Supposedly, these famous lovers were buried together, but the location was never known. Now it seems that their burial place has been discovered!

The entrance to the temple where they are thought to be buried has been underwater for some time, which is why no one has ever uncovered it. Evidence discovered so far includes ancient coins found with the Queen's face on them. Archeologists plan to drain the water and excavate the temple, in hopes of finding the ancient remains of Antony and Cleopatra.

Find the full story on this tomb discovery at:

Books About Antony and Cleopatra - Learn more about these star-crossed lovers

Photo credits

Flickr: Antony & Cleoptara, dreamsjung

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