Poznan PhD Student Investigates Cleopatra's Death

Not Sherlock Holmes, but still somewhat of a detective: Karolina Anna Kulpa, a PhD student from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan has decided to research the secrecy-cloaked death o Cleopatra, one of the most famous women in history. To achieve the goal she will have to research the few available, and mostly subjective sources. Should she succeed, one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world will be solved.

"Cleopatra went down in history as a lover of Julius Cesar and Mark Anthony. The sources presents her as a wanton empress of the East who challenged Roman power" told Polish Press Agency Karolina Anna Kulpa, who disbelieves such rumours and has chosen the person of Cleopatra as the topic of her PhD research.

Who really was Cleopatra? Her character was played by the most beautiful women of the 20th century, such as Vivien Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor, but her true story is difficult to verify.

"No Egyptian texts have been preserved to modern times, only a few statues, reliefs and coins. Whatever was preserved, is a testimony of her enemies" said Kulpa. Still, a lot of information is simply missing, such as her looks, the identity of her mother, and her life before she ascended the throne at the age of 18.

The common knowledge of the life of Cleopatra is limited mostly to the fact that she committed suicide. Fewer claim that she supposedly negotiated with Octavian the safety for her children with Mark Antony (after her lover committed suicied), and then she laid hands on herself, thus preserving her dignity. But is this all true?

"Poets and historians claim Cleopatra died of a poison, either snake venom of some liquid. The theory of some plant-originated poison is more probable. Cleopatra herself was allegedly savvy with poisons, having tried several of them on some slaves" said the young researcher. But was it really a deliberate suicide, or was the queen forced or persuaded to take away her own life?

"We might never know the real reason behind Cleopatra's death. nevertheless, researching ancient sources concerning her death is a fascinating scientific journey" concludes Kulpa.


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