Mark Anthony and Cleopatra

MARK ANTHONY & CLEOPATRA: A story of Love and Sacrifice

This is the second in our Classic Love Stories Series, and today’s story shares some similarities with our first story in the series about Romeo and Juliet. The true love story of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra is one of the most memorable, intriguing and moving of all times. We hope you find some inspiration, and of course, some lessons from one of the greatest love story of all times.

The relationship of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra is a true test of love. They fell in love at first sight. The relationship between these two powerful people put the country of Egypt in a powerful position. But their love affair outraged the Romans who were wary of the growing powers of the Egyptians. Despite all the threats, Anthony and Cleopatra got married. While fighting a battle against Romans, Antony got false news of Cleopatra’s death. Shattered, he fell on his sword. When Cleopatra learned about Antony ‘s death, she was shocked. And she took her own life.

Mark Anthony and Cleopatra is a true to life love story that has been told and passed down from one generation to another; the story of these two historical characters was dramatized by William Shakespeare and is still staged all over the world. That’s how much influence it wields.

Mark Anthony

 

Mark Anthony was a Roman General and Statesmen during the reign of Julius Caesar. He gained fame as a skilled General and as great orator. He was, in short, a very powerful man in the Roman Empire.

When Julius Caeser was assassinated, Mark was able to persuade the people to turn against those who had plotted to kill Caeser. Instead of taking command of Rome, however, two other men rose up and together the three of them agreed to rule Rome together as a triumvirate. Mark Anthony was in charge of the eastern Roman Empire, which included the modern day Middle East, near Egypt.

Cleopatra

Cleopatra became Queen of Egypt when she was 18 years old. Her 10 year old brother (whom she was also married to) was co-ruler of Egypt. For several years Cleopatra was the dominant ruler, but that changed when her brother plotted against her. She was forced out of Egypt and was about to go to war with her brother when Julius Caeser stepped in and requested that the dispute be settled peacefully.

Knowing that Caeser would decide who would take the throne in Egypt, Cleopatra smuggled her way into Caeser’s quarters. She was able to persuasively present her case while also charming the much older Caeser. Ultimately, Cleopatra returned to the throne of Egypt and also became Caeser’s lover. The two of them later had a child together.

As Caeser’s power continued to grow, the Romans grew wary of Caeser, concerned that he would become supreme ruler of Rome along with his foreign Queen, Cleopatra (Rome at this time was still led by the Senate rather than by Emperors). This mistrust of his power, along with the disapproval of his relationship with Cleopatra, eventually led to the plot to assassinate Caeser.

Mark Anthony and Cleopatra Relationship

Mark Anthony and Cleopatra became involved after Caeser’s death. Anthony wanted to extend his power in the eastern Roman Empire through warfare, but he needed financial assistance. Knowing the Cleopatra was very wealthy, he summoned to meet with her.

As she did with Caeser, Cleopatra was able to charm Anthony and the two of them became lovers. Cleopatra agreed to fund Anthony’s war campaigns, and in return was able to keep Egypt independent of Rome. In addition, she also obtained land that had formally been under control of the Roman Empire.

The two lovers eventually married (even though both were married to someone else within their separate Empires) and they had three children together.

Once the Roman people finally learned of the deal Anthony made with Cleopatra, they were outraged. With the help of a competing member of the triumvirate, the Roman senate ended up declaring war on Cleopatra and Anthony.

When a battle became inevitable, Cleopatra convinced Anthony to wage a naval battle, even though his army was strong than his navy. As the battle started, Cleopatra pulled her ships out of the war and sailed back to Egypt. Anthony followed her, but by doing so it left his navy leaderless and they lost. Meanwhile, his Army was also defected, leaving him powerless.

Cleopatra arrived in Egypt and acted as if she had won the war, but the charade was only able to last so long as the Roman army moved in on Egypt.

Upon arriving in Egypt, Anthony was given false information that Cleopatra had died. He apparently couldn’t stand to continue living and so he committed suicide. Anthony lived just long enough, however, to be brought to where Cleopatra was staying. He died in her arms.

Cleopatra was trapped in her mausoleum. She tried to make a deal with Rome to save her sons. Eventually, however, she committed suicide as well. She was then buried next to Anthony.

Lessons Learned

Some legends say that Cleopatra was a very beautiful woman. But other legends, along with recent findings (see this CNN article) show that she was only average looking. This means she was able to charm Caeser and Anthony with her presence, her intelligence, her grace and her speech.

While society today is very appearance-oriented, chances are Rome wasn’t too different. By being self-confident, she was able to start relationships with two powerful men.

For those of you looking to start a new relationship, remember that looks aren’t all that matters. Believe in yourself and that belief will be become reality to others.

 

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