The Story of Cleopatra


Book Details

Author  John Lord
Publisher  A. J. Cornell Publications
Publication Date   October 10, 2011
Pages  17


Originally published in 1883 as a portion of the author’s larger “Beacon Lights of History, Volume III: Ancient Achievements,” this Kindle edition, equivalent in length to a physical book of approximately 24 pages, describes the life of Egyptian queen Cleopatra.

Includes supplemental material:

• The Life of Cleopatra in Brief
• The Story of Antony and Cleopatra in Brief

Sample passages:

She was only twenty-one when she was an object of attraction to Caesar, then in the midst of his triumphs. How remarkable must have been her fascinations if at that age she could have diverted, even for a time, the great captain from his conquests, and chained him to her side! That refined, intellectual old veteran of fifty, with the whole world at his feet, loaded down with the cares of government, as temperate as he was ambitious, and bent on new conquests, would not have been chained and enthralled by a girl of twenty-one, however beautiful, had she not been as remarkable for intellect and culture as she was for beauty. Nor is it likely that Cleopatra would have devoted herself to this weather-beaten old general, had she not hoped to gain something from him besides caresses—namely, the confirmation of her authority as queen….

She certainly had the power of retaining the conquests she had won—which rarely happens except with those who are gifted with intellectual radiance and freshness. She held her hold on Antony for eleven years, when he was burdened with great public cares and duties, and when he was forty-two years of age. Such a superior man as he was intellectually, and, after Caesar, the leading man of the empire—a statesman as well as soldier—would not have been enslaved so long by Cleopatra had she not possessed remarkable gifts and attainments, like those famous women who reigned in the courts of the Bourbons in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and who, by their wit and social fascinations, gathered around their thrones the most distinguished men of France, and made them friends as well as admirers….

The fate of Cleopatra was tragic also. She too destroyed herself, not probably by the bite of asps, as is the popular opinion, but by some potent and subtle poison that she ever carried with her, and which had the effect of benumbing the body and making her insensible to pain. Yet she does not kill herself because she cannot survive the death of Antony, but because she is too proud to be carried to Rome to grace the triumph of the new Caesar. She will not be led a captive princess up the Capitoline Hill. She has an overbearing pride….

About the author:
John Lord, LL.D. (1810–1894) was an American historian and a touring lecturer. Other works include “The Old Roman World,” “Ancient States and Empires,” and “Points of History.”

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