Creating a strong bond and status isn't everything are just a few relationship lessons learned from Marc Antony and Cleopatra. This tragically famous couple lost everything because their connection was built on the flimsy foundation of power and status. While books and movies will likely never be created about your love struggles, that doesn't mean lessons can't be learned from Cleopatra and Marc Anthony.
Who Was Marc Anthony?
Marc Anthony was a Roman General and Statesmen during the reign of Julius Caesar. He gained fame as a skilled general and as great orator. He was, in short, a very powerful man in the Roman Empire.
When Julius Caesar was assassinated, Marc was able to persuade the people to turn against those who had plotted to kill Caesar. Instead of taking command of Rome, however, two other men rose up and together the three of them agreed to rule Rome together as a triumvirate. Marc Anthony was in charge of the eastern Roman Empire, which included the modern day Middle East, near Egypt.
Who Was Cleopatra?
Cleopatra became Queen of Egypt when she was 18 years old. Her 10 year old brother (whom she was also married to) was co-ruler of Egypt. For several years Cleopatra was the dominant ruler, but that changed when her brother plotted against her. She was forced out of Egypt and was about to go to war with her brother when Julius Caesar stepped in and requested that the dispute be settled peacefully.
Knowing that Caesar would decide who would take the throne in Egypt, Cleopatra smuggled her way into Caesar's quarters. She was able to persuasively present her case while also charming the much older Caesar. Ultimately, Cleopatra returned to the throne of Egypt and also became Caesar's lover. The two of them later had a child together.
As Caesar's power continued to grow, the Romans grew wary of Caesar, concerned that he would become supreme ruler of Rome along with his foreign Queen, Cleopatra (Rome at this time was still led by the Senate rather than by Emperors). This mistrust of his power, along with the disapproval of his relationship with Cleopatra, eventually led to the plot to assassinate Caesar.
Marc Anthony and Cleopatra Relationship
Marc Anthony and Cleopatra became involved after Caesar's death. Anthony wanted to extend his power in the eastern Roman Empire through warfare, but he needed financial assistance. Knowing the Cleopatra was very wealthy, he summoned to meet with her.
As she did with Caesar, Cleopatra was able to charm Anthony and the two of them became lovers. Cleopatra agreed to fund Anthony's war campaigns, and in return was able to keep Egypt independent of Rome. In addition, she also obtained land that had formally been under control of the Roman Empire.
The two lovers eventually married (even though both were married to someone else within their separate Empires) and they had three children together.
Once the Roman people finally learned of the deal Anthony made with Cleopatra, they were outraged. With the help of a competing member of the triumvirate, the Roman senate ended up declaring war on Cleopatra and Anthony.
When a battle became inevitable, Cleopatra convinced Anthony to wage a naval battle, even though his army was strong than his navy. As the battle started, Cleopatra pulled her ships out of the war and sailed back to Egypt. Anthony followed her, but by doing so it left his navy leaderless and they lost. Meanwhile, his army was also defected, leaving him powerless.
Cleopatra arrived in Egypt and acted as if she had won the war, but the charade was only able to last so long as the Roman army moved in on Egypt.
Upon arriving in Egypt, Anthony was given false information that Cleopatra had died. He apparently couldn't stand to continue living and so he committed suicide. Anthony lived just long enough to be brought to where Cleopatra was staying. He died in her arms.
Cleopatra was trapped in her mausoleum. She tried to make a deal with Rome to save her sons. Eventually, she committed suicide as well. She was then buried next to Anthony.
Some legends say that Cleopatra was a very beautiful woman. But other legends, along with recent findings show that she was only average looking. This means she was able to charm Caesar and Anthony with her presence, her intelligence, her grace and her speech.
While society today is very appearance-oriented, chances are Rome wasn't too different. By being self-confident, she was able to start relationships with two powerful men.
For those of you looking to start a new relationship, remember that looks aren't all that matters. Believe in yourself and that belief will be become reality to others.
We don't know if the Marc Anthony and Cleopatra relationship was a truly a loving relationship, or whether she started relationships with him and Caesar purely to gain the throne and save Egypt. What do know is ultimately her plans came to ruin as she lost everything, including her life.
Learn from Cleopatra that you should date and marry better reasons than simply money, status or power. All of those can be taken away. Only love and a firm commitment will endure through all of life's surprises.