A FemDom Icon: Cleopatra’s life and how after it her image was destroyed by Lilly Rita Dragon

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra

Cleopatra remains a popular historical figure, yet few are aware of her real accomplishments which have been distorted over centuries.

The last ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt, Cleopatra was actually an ethnic Greek. She was born to one of Alexander the Great’s generals. Like another great female ruler in history, Catherine II of Russia, she embraced all things Egyptian and endeared herself to the people.

As you can imagine, this upset many of the ethnic noble class who believed they should be ruler rather than an outsider.

But Cleopatra was from a noble line herself. As such, her ancestors were often cousins of each other. In fact, in order to protect bloodlines, Cleopatra entered arraigned marriages with two of her brothers. This is another point where critics attack her while ignoring the same quality in others. This was simply an aspect of dynasties.

Her marriages to her brothers were ceremonial, yet such arrangements allowed Cleopatra to gain power on her own terms instead in relation to her siblings.

In fact, she had to protect herself against both of her brother-husbands who made attempts on her life during their respective marriages.

Cleopatra was also quite adept at outmanoeuvring her brothers. When the powerful Roman Emperor Julius Caesar visited Egypt and her brother refused her the opportunity to meet him, she had herself snuggled into his chambers with the laundry. Their meeting would result in a powerful alliance as well as heirs.

She met Mark Antony with similar theatrics: knowing that he envisioned himself as the Greek god of pleasure, Dionysius, she dressed herself as Aphrodite and dressed her attendants as cupids. Although critics attack this as Cleopatra being manipulative, it shows how Cleopatra is well aware that powerful people are naturally attracted to each other. Her display led to another powerful alliance, thus strengthening the Roman and Egyptian worlds.

Cleopatra had such a strong hold on Rome, she was there in the city when Caesar was assassinated. And while she had to flee after his murder, her hairstyle and dress became very fashionable among Roman citizens.
A legend surrounding her death is that she allowed herself to be bit by an asp. This legend has promoted by both those that dislike her as well as those that objectify her. There is something oddly sensual about a woman and a snake apparently. Scholars now believe that she simply poisoned herself with snake venom or another ointment using a knife or pin.

Despite all the exaggerations and lies as well as suppressing her accomplishments, Cleopatra remains a major historical figure to this day. Her critics were unable to ruin her.

Cleopatra portrayed by ancient Egyptian artists

 What happened after her death

When the name Cleopatra is mentioned, most everyone has an opinion. These opinions have been formed by centuries of exaggerations and lies. While the obvious culprit would be Hollywood and its love of superficial storytelling, the smears against Cleopatra begin much earlier.
In fact, a Roman Senator who lived at the same time as Cleopatra is the original source of most of these falsehoods. Cicero criticized much of Roman culture and historians look to him as a legitimate story teller. However, Cicero often exaggerated in his writings. Sometimes the exaggerations were to flatter his friends. More often it was to insult those he did not like.

He did not like Cleopatra’s relationship with Mark Antony. Cicero wrote about their relationship more than either’s leadership, especially because he often framed their leadership skills through their relationship. This created so much tension between Cicero and Antony, that he had Cicero killed and his lie producing hands delivered to Cleopatra as tribute.she avoided  being such by killing her self

But that only fed into the negative storyline of Cleopatra. And those equally jealous of the powerful couple promoted Cicero’s stories well after all three leaders were dead.

Over the centuries Cleopatra was objectified as a seductress as her many accomplishments were ignored, instead of praised for her resourceful leadership.

Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra

Stacy Schiff, a Pulitzer prize winner historian is currently working to undue centuries of insult to Cleopatra.

For instance, Roman and Egyptian rulers were associated with local deities. In art they would be painted or sculpted to look like a favored god or goddess. While previous Cleopatras (there were other Egyptian queens who took that name) were associated with the goddess Isis, Cleopatra VII was known as the New Isis for her intelligence, kindness, and strength. Isis was an Egyptian goddess who also gained popularity in Roman and Greek cultures as the goddess of life and magic, as well as the protector of women and children. While a ruler may have the power to associate themselves with a deity by commissioning artwork, it was the people who truly saw Cleopatra VII as the New Isis. This further supports the idea that Cicero was not truthful in his account of the ruler.

Other critics focus on the fact that Cleopatra VII was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom in Egypt. But this was due to a lost naval battle led by Antony, who was a decorated commander. Placing the blame on Cleopatra, not an experienced warrior fighting his own Roman navy, seems sexist. Especially because their opponents had over twice as many forces as they did.

In Cleopatra’s case, the superficial allure of sex has distorted the true image of a great leader.

Written exclusively for Female Fetish Federation

3 responses to “A FemDom Icon: Cleopatra’s life and how after it her image was destroyed by Lilly Rita Dragon”

  1. She literally held the entire fate of the Roman empire in her hands at one point, and yet even in Shakespeare and in film she’s always shown as a kind of daft bimbo who doesn’t know what she’s doing. About time she was given a bit of credit.

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