Christoph Schaefer, a professor of ancient history at Trier University in Germany, says that Cleopetra likely died of a poison overdose, not a snakebite. Some of his reasons include a cobra’s bite is not always fatal, and can lead to a slow and agonizing death, and she was reported to have died a quick and painless death. Also, she died in August, when the temperature would have been too hot for a snake to stay still long enough to bite its victim.
Interested in learning more about Cleopatra?
Visit The Sullivan Library to read William Shakespeare’s The Tragedy of Antony and Cleopatra (822.33 SH15T), to read Shaw Bernard’s Caesar and Cleopatra: A History (822.922 SH26C), or Michael Grant’s Cleopatra (932.02 G767C).
Interested in learning more about Egypt?
Look for our copies of Rainer Hagen’s Egyptian Art (709.32 H121E), Rachel Storm’s Mythology of Ancient Egypt (299.3 ST74M), Afaf Lutfi Sayyid-Marsot’s A History of Egypt (962 SA99H), James Allen’s The Art of Medicine in Egypt (610 AL53A), or Edward Frank Wente’s Letters from Ancient Egypt (932 L569), as a starting point.