FIVE ACTRESSES, FIVE CLEOPATRA'S:
The real Κλεοπάτρα Φιλοπάτωρ (Cleopatra Philopator), her actual spoken language was Greek, was Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, a Greek State within Egypt, established by one of the followers of Alexander III of Macedon (aka: The Great), from 51 to 30 BC.
Most of my readers know of her political and sexual relationships with both Statesman and Roman General Gaius Julius Caesar and, after his assassination on March 15, 44 BC, with Roman general Marcus Antonius leading to her death.
Some of the history about the Egyptian Queen, that my readers might know, comes not from history books, but "Hollywood Motion Pictures". Which might be a misleading statement by me, as the first known motion picture about her came from France in 1899.
This article takes a look at five motion picture about "Queen Cleopatra", three come from the United States, one from the United Kingdom, and one from Italy
For the record, that 1899 motion picture was not a historical biography, but a silent French horror short subject, running about two-minutes. It was made by the great Georges Melies, a magican turned film maker, and his original title was "Cleopatre (Cleopatra)". When the short came to the United States, the title was either "Cleopatra's Tomb", or "Robbing Cleopatra's Tomb". Melies tells of an archeologist, played by himself, digging in a tomb, who accidently severs the remains of "Cleopatra", played by Jehanne d'Alcy, releasing her ghost for revenge against him.
Above, Jehanne d'Alcy as "Cleopatra".
The first American film was the 1917 "Cleopatra". The screenplay was based upon a book by British novelist H. Ridder Haggard's, who wrote 1885's "King Solomon's Mines" and 1886's "SHE", and William Shakespeare's two plays, 1599's "Julius Caesar", and 1607's "Anthony and Cleopatra".
This "Lost Film" starring Theda Bara has reached legendary status after a 1937 fire, at the "Fox Studios", destroyed the last two known prints.
The Five Motion Pictures of This Article:
CLEOPATRA released October 5, 1934
DeMille first applied his lessons learned from "The Ten Commandments" to "The Sign of the Cross", with Claudette Colbert's famous nude milk-bath scene. A similar scene would be in "Cleopatra".
First, there is credit given to the Greek Middle Platonist philosopher, historian, biographer, and essayist, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus, more simply known as Plutarch, for his biography, "Life of Caesar".
Bartlett Cormack wrote the initial story for the motion picture. He is credited with using "historical material", but what that "historical material" is, other than Plutarch's book, I could not locate.
The actual screenplay was written by two writers:
Waldemar Young started screenplay writing in 1917. Among his work are four silent films by director Tod Browning starring Lon Chaney, Sr., 1925's "The Unholy Three", 1927's "The Unknown" co-starring Joan Crawford, 1927's "London After Midnight", and 1928's "West of Zanzibar" co-starring Lionel Barrymore. For Cecil B. DeMille, Young co-wrote 1932's "The Sign of the Cross", and 1935's "The Crusades". Also in 1932, was the "Island of Lost Souls" starring Charles Laughton as H.G. Wells' "Dr. Moreau" and Bela Lugosi as "The Law Giver".
Vincent Lawrence started his screenplay writing career in 1924. Most of his work before "Cleopatra", were musicals for Maurice Chevalier. However, in 1938, Lawrence co-wrote the screenplay for "Test Pilot" starring Clark Gable, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy. The following year he was an uncredited contributor to the screenplay for 1939's "Gunga Din" starring Cary Grant, Victor McLagen, and Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
The Three Leads and Two Main Supporting Players:
Claudette Colbert portrayed "Cleopatra". Colbert bookended this motion picture with the release of director Frank Capra's 1934, "It Happened One Night", co-starring with Clark Gable, and followed this feature with the 1934 version of authoress Fannie Hurst's "Imitation of Life", with her "Cleopatra" co-star Warren William.
Joseph Schildkraut portrayed "King Herod". Schildkraut started acting in the Austrian-Hungary film industry in 1915. Over his career the actor would portray "Judas Iscariot" in Cecil B. DeMille's 1927 silent classic, "King of Kings", that starred H.B. Warner as "Jesus". In 1929, he portrayed "Gaylord Ravenal" in the hybrid part silent, part talkie, version of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II's "Show Boat", and he also appeared in DeMille's 1935 "The Crusades". In 1959, Joseph Schildkraut portrayed "Otto Frank" in director George Stevens production of "The Diary of Anne Frank".
Most people know of Elizabeth Taylor's illnesses during the shooting of her "Cleopatra", which I will address later, but they don't know of the delays caused by Claudette Colbert during the filming of her "Cleopatra".
One story goes, that while shooting 1934's "Four Frightened People", between September 16, 1933 and November 3, 1933, Claudette Colbert suffered an appendicitis and was still recovering during the filming of the Cecil B. DeMille motion picture. Apparently, the actress could only stand for a few short minutes at a time and some scenes were rewritten to accommodate her.
For my reader's information, the production dates for "Cleopatra", Claudette Colbert's next motion picture, were between March 13, 1934 and May 2, 1934.
I leave this to my readers interpretation, because I could not locate any specific date for the actress's actual appendicitis.
What is not disputed was the fact that the costumes Claudette Colbert wore were extremely heavy, because of the type of available materials in 1934, and they slowed her movements at times.
It was quite difficult to be rolled into a rug and breathe and come out looking pleased with yourself," Colbert remembered. "We only had to do that scene once.
As I already mentioned, Cecil B. DeMille didn't like censorship. On July 1, 1934, the strict "Motion Picture Production Code" would start to be enforced by the no-nonsense Joseph Breen of the "Hayes Office". That meant "Cleopatra" would be one of his first targets.
It is 48 BC and "Cleopatra" and her brother "Ptolemy XIII Theos Philopator", there is no actor listed in this role, are politically battling for control of Egypt. "Pothinos, Ptolemy's Regent", played by Leonard Mudie, kidnaps "Cleopatra" and her loyal follower "Apollodorus the Sicilian", portrayed by Irving Pichel, and takes the pair to the desert to die of thirst.
Next the Senate makes "Marc Anthony" and "Octavian" co-rulers of Rome, but the two remain bitter rivals for power.
When "Marc Anthony" arrives at Tarsus, "Cleopatra" awaits him on her royal barge and the Roman co-ruler finds himself invited to a banquet in his honor.
"King Herod" who is secretly aligned with "Octavian" now visits the lovers. "Herod" in a private audience with "Cleopatra" reveals that both Rome and "Octavian" would be pleased, if she were to poison "Anthony".
"Apollodorus" reminds his Queen of her duty to Egypt over her love for any man. On a condemned murderer, she tests the poison wine to see how well it works. While drinking with "Anthony" he holds the poisoned wine class in his hand
One last note:
Claudette Colbert was afraid of snakes and, according to Genevieve McGilliguddy for "Turner Classic Movies", Cecil B. DeMille held off shooting her death sequence as long as possible. At the time of shooting the scene, DeMille walked onto the set with a boa constrictor wrapped around his neck and handed Colbert the tiniest garden snake he could find.
CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA premiered in London, England, on December 11, 1945
His name was George Bernard Shaw, who insisted he just be called "Bernard Shaw". Probably his best-known work, among his many plays, is "Pygmalion", first performed on October 16, 1913. Although the play is still performed as Shaw wrote it. Most people know it as lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Lowe's Broadway musical "My Fair Lady".
There is a term, "overkill", that is used when something goes to the extreme. Look at the "Official Writing Credits" for this motion picture and it reads:
George Bernard Shaw (scenario) (as Bernard Shaw)
George Bernard Shaw (dialogue) (as Bernard Shaw)
George Bernard Shaw (play) (uncredited)
George Bernard Shaw (screenplay) (uncredited)
The Three Main Roles:"
Vivian Leigh portrayed "Cleopatra". Leigh would bookend this motion picture with the British historical drama, 1941's "That Hamilton Woman", co-starring Sir Laurence Olivier and Alan Mowbray, and Lev (Leo) Tolstoy's 1948 "Anna Karenina", co-starring Sir Ralph Richardson and Kieron Moore.
The Play As A Screenplay:
The play is typical Bernard Shaw satire and his victims are two, first, William Shakespeare's use of history, and second, his own 1898 Great Britain. It has been described as:
an exploration of power, politics, vengeance, and mercy.
The play, for that is what this motion picture is, opens with "Caesar" walking in the moonlight and coming upon a Sphinx. His armies have just arrived in Egypt and he is concerned that the country is in a Civil War between "Cleopatra" and her brother "Ptolemy". Sleeping on the paws of the Sphinx is a teenage "Cleopatra", Vivian Leigh was 32-years old at the time, having been driven from Alexandria by her brother, she awakes and sees an old man, Claude Rains was 56-years old, and they start to talk. Not knowing who he is, she tells him about her fear of "Julius Caesar" and the Romans.
"Caesar" returns "Cleopatra" to the palace, reveals his identify, and compels her to stop being a little girl, accept her position as co-ruler of Egypt, and promises to guide her in learning how to properly rule.
"Julius Caesar" orders his military aide, "Rufio", played by Basil Sidney, to take control of the palace and adjacent theatre to fortify "Caesar's" position in Alexandria. After completing that, "Rufio" is to burn the Egyptian ships on the island of Pharos. Next, "Caesar's" secretary, "Britannus", played by Cecil Parker, declares every non-Roman present in the palace a prisoner of his general. However, "Caesar" allows all who want to leave the palace to go, "Ptolemy" and his followers leave, but "Cleopatra" remains.
His watching is interrupted by the arrival of "Cleopatra's" nurse "Ftatatteta" and "Apollodorus the Sicilian". They are accompanied by a large group of porters carrying carpets for "Cleopatra" to choose one for "Caesar".
On the island, "Caesar" is in a slump, thinking the Romans will lose the battle, because of his age. "Rufio" gives him some dates to eat, thinking that he is just hungry and his mind is wandering, and "Caesar's" outlook changes. He returns to his normal self, but "Britannus" arrives with a large bag full of incriminating letters from "Pompey's" associates against "Caesar".
The heavy bag of letters hits the boat containing "Apollodorus" and "Cleopatra" and it starts to sink, but he has just enough time to drag the rug with the Queen rolled in it to shore. "Caesar" unrolls the rug and finds "Cleopatra" inside.
Move forward six months, "Cleopatra", "Caesar" and the other Romans are besieged in the place of Alexandra by the Egyptians under the command of her brother "Ptolemy". "Cleopatra" and one of her brother's advisors, the prisoner "Pothinus", played by Francis L. Sullivan, debate who should rule Egypt, herself, or her brother. They stop so she can be the hostess at a banquet for "Caesar" and his lieutenants. While, "Pothinus" goes to "Caesar" calling "Cleopatra" a traitor, who is only using him to gain the Egyptian throne. After hearing about what "Pothinus" told "Caesar", "Cleopatra" orders her nurse, "Ftatateeta" to kill him.
Later, "Caesar" prepares to leave for Rome, his forces have swept "Ptolemy's" armies into the Nile, and "Ptolemy" has drowned when his barge overturned. "Cleopatra" is now the unopposed Queen of Egypt. "Rufio" is made governor, "Britannus" is offered freedom for the army, but declines to stay with "Caesar". While, "Cleopatra" wears mourning clothes for the loss of her nurse.
SERPENT OF THE NILE aka: SERPENT OF THE NILE, THE LOVES OF CLEOPTRA released May 8, 1953
Sam Katzman in turn, assigned director William Castle to the production. In 1958, with his motion picture "Macabre", he became the "Gimmick King". My article, "A Tale of WILLIAM CASTLE the Motion Picture 'GIMMICK KING", is available for reading at:
The Three Main Roles and Two Interesting Minor Ones:
Above, Fleming in the movie and below a French movie magazine with a article about the movie with a cover photo of the actress without the wig.
It is 44 BC and "Julius Caesar" has been assassinated and "Mark Anthony" is in Egypt with "Cleopatra". "Anthony's" close friend "Lucilius" having witnessed the Queen with both "Caesar" and his friend, believes "Cleopatra" to be a skilled manipulator of men to seize more power. Specially, to make the blind to reality "Mark Anthony" help her become Queen of Rome and her son heir to the throne.
"Mark Anthony's" conscience will not let him lead the Egyptian army against Roman soldiers and he decides to remain within the palace.
"Octavian's" forces surround the palace grounds, and "Mark Anthony" stabs himself for his sins against Rome. "Lucilius" and his men breach the palace gates, enter the palace proper, find the dying "Anthony" and takes him to "Cleopatra", where he dies in her arms.
In frustration and reflecting upon what she has done, "Cleopatra" uses a snake to kill herself, before "Octavian" can enter her private chambers. The motion picture does not show her dying.
DUE NOTTI CON CLEOPATRA (TWO NIGHTS WITH CLEOPATRA) released in Italy February 4, 1954
This is a typical "bedroom sex farce" of the 1950's and 1960's and has nothing to do with any actual historical events and was very dated.
Enter the bumbling "Cesarino", come to Alexandria to serve on "Cleopatra's" army staff.
CLEOPATRA premiered in New York City on June 12, 1963
The motion picture was directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. His previous motion picture as a director was 1959s "Suddenly Last Summer", starring Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, and Montgomery Clift. Mankiewicz only directed 22 motion pictures, but co-wrote 69 screenplays, and produced 23.
Like DeMille's production, the screenplay was based upon the histories of ancient Greek and Roman writers. As with the 1934 screenplay, Plutarch was used, but additionally the works of Roman historian Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus, commonly known as Suetonius, and Greco-Roman historian Appianus Alexandrinus, known as Appian of Alexandria.
There were two other credited screenplay writers:
The first writer was Ranald MacDougall. Among his screenplays were Joan Crawford's 1945 "Mildred Pierce", and Errol Flynn's 1945 "Objective Burma". In 1950, MacDougall wrote "Bright Leaf" starring Gary Cooper, Lauren Bacall, and Patricia Neal, and in 1954, he would write producer George Pal's "The Naked Jungle" starring Charlton Heston and Eleanor Parker.
There also was one uncredited screenplay writer, playwright Ben Hecht. Who over his career wrote the classic newspaper play 1931's "The Front Page", the screenplay for the original 1932 "Scarface" starring Paul Muni and Ann Dvorak, 1934's "Viva Villa" starring Wallace Beery and Fay Wray, 1935's "Barbary Coast" starring Miriam Hopkins, Edward G. Robinson and Joel McCrea, 1939 "Wuthering Heights" starring Merle Oberon, Sir Laurence Olivier, and David Niven, and Alfred Hitchcock's 1946, "Notorious" starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman.
The Road to This Screenplay:
Producer Walter Wangler, who was the "Presenter (aka: Executive Producer)" of John Ford's 1939 "Stagecoach", producer of 1938's "Algiers" starring Charles Boyer, and Hedy Lamarr, producer of Alfred Hithcock's 1940 "Foreign Correspondent" starring Joel McCrea, 1945's "Salome, Where She Danced" starring Yvonne DeCarlo, and the Ingrid Bergman and Jose Ferrer 1948 "Joan of Arc", wanted to make a motion picture about "Cleopatra". This desire went back to his days as an undergraduate of "Dartmouth College".
In 1951, after watching "A Place in the Sun", starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, and Shelley Winters, Walter Wangler found his candidate for the role of "Cleopatra", Taylor. Without speaking to Elizabeth Taylor, Wangler started pitching his story idea to the studios, among them Monogram and RKO, but no studio was interested.
However, something came up in his personal life that delayed the proposed motion picture. A hired private detective confirmed that Wangler's wife, actress Joan Bennett, 1947's "The Macomber Affair" co-starring Gregory Peck and playing Elizabeth Taylor's mother in 1950's "Father of the Bride" co-starring Spencer Tracy and the sequel 1951's "Father's Little Dividend", was having an affair with producer Jennings Lang.
On December 13, 1951, spotting his wife with Lang on the "Music Corporation of America (MCA)" lot, Wangler shot Jennings Lang twice not killing him. Walter Wangler pleaded insanity, and would spend four months at the "Castaic Honor Farm" in Castaic, California.
While this was going on, "20th Century Fox" was having financial problems, three motion pictures released in 1958 were all box office failures. The films were "The Roots of Heaven" starring Errol Flynn and Trevor Howard, "A Certain Smile" starring Rossano Brazzi and Joan Fontaine, and "The Barbarian and the Geisha" starring John Wayne from director John Huston.
"20th Century Fox's" troubles was perfect timing for Walter Wangler, as the studio's president, Spyros Skouras had told executive David Brown to find him a big picture to make back the lost box office. Unbeknownst to Wangler was that Brown had suggested a remake of the Theda Bara 1917 "Cleopatra".
Among four film ideas Walter Wangler pitched to David Brown was his "Cleopatra" and the go ahead was given.
On September 15, 1958, Wangler purchased the screen rights to the Franzero biography, and in December, Ludi Claire, a former actress and screenplay writer was hired to update the 1917 screenplay, which was basically only camera placement directions, for the new production. In March 1959, English psychologist and author Nigel Balchin was hired to write another script draft.
Additionally, Skouras hired Rouben Mamoulian, 1931's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" starring Fredric March and Miriam Hopkins, and 1940's "Mark of Zorro" starring Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell, and Basil Rathbone, to direct the new movie.
While the above was going, a small battle over the leading actress started. In October 1958, "20th Century Fox" production head, Buddy Adler, was thinking cheap to help recoup their losses and suggested several contract actresses. Joan Collins, who portrayed "Princess Nellifer" in "Warner Brothers" 1955 big budgeted "Land of the Pharaohs", made several test films. Adler's next two choices were Joanne Woodward and Suzy Parker, but Wangler wanted a more voluptuous actress and suggested Susan Hayward, Sophia Loren, and Gina Lollobrigida. Everyone was surprised when they heard that Mamoulian had offered the role to Dorothy Dandridge, but like the others didn't pan out.
It was now September of 1959, and Walter Wangler went back to Elizabeth Taylor who was on the set for "Suddenly, Last Summer" and being directed by Joseph Mankiewicz. Wangler wanted to know what it would take to have her on the motion picture. He got his answer, in what was for the 1950's a record-setting contract. Elizabeth Taylor calmly asked for one-million-dollars and ten percent of the box office gross and got it.
In April 1960, Buddy Adler entered into an agreement with Italian producer Lionello Santi to film in Italy. On the 20th, Santi took out a full-page ad in "Variety" announcing "his" upcoming production and didn't mention "20th Century Fox" at all, angering Adler. Mamoulian had gone to scout locations in Italy, reported back that he didn't like them and besides the "Summer Olympics" were going to be on during filming in Rome. Adler moved the production to the United Kingdom's "Pinewood Studio".
Also in the Spring of 1960, English novelist Lawrence Durrell was hired to rewrite the entire screenplay once again.
Then on July 11, 1960, Buddy Adler died of cancer and the production was turned over to Robert Goldstein. On July 15th in a memo to Goldstein, Walter Wangler warned that filming in England could be hazardous to Elizabeth Taylor's know frail health, but he was ignored.
On July 28, 1960, Elizabeth Taylor signed her real contract and the amounts had "Variety", "The Hollywood Reporter" and local film critics in disbelief.
In August 1960, Stephen Boyd was cast as "Mark Anthony", and Peter Finch as "Julius Caesar".
Enter screenplay writer Nunally Johnson, director John Ford's 1936's "The Prisoner of Shark Island" starring Warner Baxter, Ford's 1940's "The Grapes of Wrath" starring Henry Fonda, and Ford's 1941 "Tobacco Road" starring Gene Tierney. Nunally Johnson proceeded to write a 75-page-draft about "Cleopatra" and "Julius Caesar" that was very similar to Cecil B. DeMille's 1934 motion picture.
Filming finally resumed on January 18, 1961, but both Taylor and Mamoulian were dissatisfied with Johnson's screenplay. After sixteen-weeks of filming, costing the studio seven-million-dollars, all Rouben Mamoulian had to show for it was ten-minutes of film. He was fired and Elizabeth Taylor demanded either one of two directors she had worked previously with and Joseph L. Mankiewicz was hired, the other was George Stevens, with Taylor 1951's "A Place in the Sun" and 1956's "Giant" with Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean.
By February 1961, Mankiewicz envisioned a story with "Mark Anthony" being self-destructive, because he cannot compete with "Julius Caesar" and he becomes the new focus of the screenplay. Within a month, both Lawrence Durrell and Sidney Buchman were hired and started writing another new screenplay, but by April, Durrell was out and Ranald MacDougall hired by Wangler. Mankiewicz had asked for either playwrights Lillian Hellman, or Paul Osborn.
Filming was set to resume on April 4, 1961, but on March 4th, Elizabeth Taylor was hospitalized for pneumonia and Spyrous Skouras suspended production at the British Pinewood Studio. After agreeing with Mankiewicz, the film was moved to Rome, Italy's, "Cinecitta Studios", that Rouben Mamoulian had turned down.
However, there had been cast changes, both Boyd and Finch now had previous commitments, and of course changes in the final screenplay.
The Main Cast for 1963's "Cleopatra":
Rex Harrison portrayed "Caius Julius Caesar". Harrison had last been seen in 1961's "The Happy Thieves" co-starring Rita Hayworth and Joseph Wiseman. He would follower this picture by recreating his Broadway role of "Professor Henry Higgins" in the 1964 musical feature film, "My Fair Lady".
Roddy McDowall portrayed "Octavian--Caesar Augustus". McDowall had also just appeared in 1962's "The Longest Day" and would follow this picture with an episode, "Journey into Darkness" on the forgotten 1963 television series, "Arrest and Trial". Roddy McDowall also was in "Camelot" with Burton.
The "original directors cut" of the motion picture was "five-hours-and-twenty-minutes" and Joseph L. Mankiewicz wanted to present the feature in two-parts, "Caesar and Cleopatra" and "Anthony and Cleopatra", but "20th Century Fox" refused his request. The final road show cut, depending upon the source, is either my previously mentioned four-hours-and-eleven-minutes, or, four-hours-and-three-minutes plus intermission.
As I also alluded to above, no matter how long you make the motion picture, and how spectacular the scenes. When you use the same Greek and Greco-Roman writers for your main source that Cecil B. DeMille used, the story basically remains the same as 1934's "Cleopatra" with slight changes. A fact discovered by Nunally Johnson and not accepted by Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
Speaking to that final screenplay, there was a planned massive battle sequence between "Anthony and his Egyptian Army" and "Augustus Caesar and his Roman army", which was never filmed, because the film makers had finally run out of money.
The screenplay opens after the "Battle of Pharsalus", August 9, 48 BC, in Greece, a part of the "Roman Civil War led by several Senators with the help of Roman general "Pompey", who was defeated and fled into Egypt on sanctuary offer from "Ptolemy XIII".
Above to Rex Harrison's immediate left is Martin Landau portraying "Rufio", and to Harrison's far right is Andrew Keir portraying "Agrippa".
"Ptolemy XIII" is banished to the eastern desert and certain death from "Mithridates II of the Bosporus", an ally of "Caesar", and "Pothinus" is sentenced to immediate execution.
Now firmly in control of the country, or is he? As "Queen Cleopatra" requests that "Gaius Julius Caesar" make her Queen of all Egypt. "Cleopatra" is crowned and starts to develop dreams of ruling the entire world beside "Caesar". Who, in turn, has a dream of becoming the first "King of the Roman Empire".
"Caesar" returns to Rome and becomes "dictator for life" and a group of Senator's now plan his assassination as "Queen Cleopatra" and "Julius Caesar's" son arrive in Rome.
"Cleopatra" expects her son to become the new Roman emperor, but becomes enraged when she learns that "Julius Caesar's" will recognizes "Octavian" as his "Official Heir". "The Egyptian High Priestess", played by Pamela Brown, advises the Queen that they must flee in the night, because the Romans are blaming her for "Caesar's" death. "Cleopatra" leaves and returns to Egypt with "Caesarian".
"Mark Anthony" is planning a campaign against the "Parthian Empire" aka: the "Arsacid Empire" in northeast Iran, but needs money and supplies that only Egypt can give him. However, "Cleopatra" refuses to meet with in, but after several requests, she agrees to a meeting on her royal barge in Tarsus.
Several months later, "Octavian" and his army are advancing toward "Alexandria" and "Cleopatra" sends "Caesarian" to the eastern Egyptian lands to lead that army against the Romans. "Cleopatra" convinces "Anthony" to take command of the remaining Egyptian army in Alexandria. He meets with the only Roman left following him, "Rufio", and the two go to the Egyptian encampment.
"Octavian" discovers that "Cleopatra" is going to kill herself, with his guard they burst into her chamber, only to find her dead with the asp that she used.
Cleopatra died on August 10, 30 BC. at the age of 39. She actually had four children, one by Gaius Julius Caesar, Caesarian, and three by Mark Anthony, Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II, and Ptolemy Philadelphus. All three would be adopted by "Octavia".
At the time of Julius Caesar's arrival, Ptolemy XIII was 15-years-old, and with his death, his younger brother, Ptolemy XIV became Pharaoh of Egypt. Like his older brother, under Egyptian royal law he was wed to his sister Cleopatra. At the time of their wedding he was 12-years-old, his reign was in name only, as Cleopatra and Julius Caesar ruled Egypt. This brother/sister arrangement continued when Mark Anthony became Ptolemy XIV's sister/wife's lover. He died on July 26, 44 BC and his successor and new Pharaoh of Egypt was Caesarian. Casarian, at age 17, was killed in late August 30 BC, the exact date in August is unknown.