Death of Cleopatra Revisionism Followup

Death of Cleopatra
Image via Wikipedia

Folks who are still interested in Christoph Schaefer’s theories regarding the death of Cleopatra might want to watch the German science show Abenteuer Wissen for more details (not sure how long the video will be up; I can’t seem to embed it here). The takes-too-long-and-is-too-painful theory works if you take the accounts of our ancient sources’ claims that it was a “peaceful death” at face value. Of course, they weren’t eyewitnesses and as we’ve mentioned before, there are problems with the accounts of the ‘funerating’ of Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra … it seems likely there are similar problems here. Nonetheless, perhaps a combination of ‘drugs’ plus snakebite-for-show satisfies everyone  …

Our previous coverage:

Some additional coverage outside of the Telegraph (which we mentioned in our first post):

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2 thoughts on “Death of Cleopatra Revisionism Followup

  1. Old news. I have a 1986 book on Caesar & Cleopatra, which only looks at the sources, but already comes to the conclusion that she, Eiras and Charmion, cannot have died from three snake bites. The author (Vandenberg) instead assumes a phiole of snake poison extracts. Whether that’s correct I can’t say, but some form of poison cocktail is more likely than a snake bite, which was probably just a mythical propaganda piece after the fact.

  2. markfdavidson says:

    Actually we don’t really know what species of snake was referred to. What we call an asp today is probably not what is meant in classical accounts.

    I think this was discussed on classics-l at some stage.

    So it may have been a cobra, for example, which has far more deadly and fast-acting venom.

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