Picture Cleopatra, Empress of the Nile, Queen of Egypt, and eminence of the Ptolemy Dynasty, and it's likely another member of royalty will spring to mind. Yes, Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor, she of the violet eyes and slightly patrician accent. Who could forget the entrances she made as Cleopatra, the jewels she wore, the way she worked over her well-coiffed lovers? This glamorous image need not diminish the true story of a woman who assumed her grip on power using all the ruthless politics and tactics at her disposal. The real Cleopatra directed massive armies, bumped off family members when necessary to secure her position, constructed a mausoleum where she could spend eternity, and died under mysterious circumstances. And, of course, her passions were no less epic: Both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony swooned in her arms. For one whose existence on this earth may have been no more than 30 years or so, it most certainly can't be said that Cleopatra didn't know how... More >>>