My wife shared this with me, something she saw on Facebook. I found it interesting, so different than the Hollywood version. She, without a doubt, is a unique figure in the history of humanity.
Cleopatra ascended the throne at the age of 17 and died at the age of 39. She spoke 9 languages. She knew the language of Ancient Egypt and had learned to read hieroglyphics, a unique case in her dynasty. Apart from this, she knew Greek and the languages of the Parthians, Hebrews, Medes, Troglodytes, Syrians, Ethiopians, and Arabs.
With this knowledge, any book in the world was open to her. In addition to languages, she studied geography, history, astronomy, international diplomacy, mathematics, alchemy, medicine, zoology, economics, and other disciplines. She tried to access all the knowledge of her time.
Cleopatra spent a lot of time in a kind of ancient laboratory. She wrote some works related to herbs and cosmetics. Unfortunately, all her books were destroyed in the fire of the great Library of Alexandria in 391 AD. C. The famous physicist Galen studied her work, and was able to transcribe some of the recipes devised by Cleopatra.
One of these remedies, which Galen also recommended to her patients, was a special cream that could help bald men regain their hair. Cleopatra’s books also included beauty tips, but none of them have come down to us.
The queen of Egypt was also interested in herbal healing, and thanks to her knowledge of languages, she had access to numerous papyri that are lost today. Her influence on the sciences and medicine was well known in the early centuries of Christianity. She, without a doubt, is a unique figure in the history of humanity.
Srila Prabhupada mentions Cleopatra in the Srimad Bhagavatam 3.31.38
Just try to understand the mighty strength of My maya in the shape of woman, who by the mere movement of her eyebrows can keep even the greatest conquerors of the world under her grip.
There are many instances in the history of the world of a great conqueror’s being captivated by the charms of a Cleopatra. One has to study the captivating potency of woman, and man’s attraction for that potency. From what source was this generated? According to Vedanta-sutra, we can understand that everything is generated from the Supreme Personality of Godhead. It is enunciated there, janmādy asya yatah [SB 1.1.1.]. This means that the Supreme Personality of Godhead, or the Supreme Person, Brahman, the Absolute Truth, is the source from whom everything emanates. The captivating power of woman, and man’s susceptibility to such attraction, must also exist in the Supreme Personality of Godhead in the spiritual world and must be represented in the transcendental pastimes of the Lord.
The Lord is the Supreme Person, the supreme male. As a common male wants to be attracted by a female, that propensity similarly exists in the Supreme Personality of Godhead. He also wants to be attracted by the beautiful features of a woman. Now the question is, if He wants to be captivated by such womanly attraction, would He be attracted by any material woman? It is not possible. Even persons who are in this material existence can give up womanly attraction if they are attracted by the Supreme Brahman. Such was the case with Haridasa Ṭhākura. A beautiful prostitute tried to attract him in the dead of night, but since he was situated in devotional service, in transcendental love of Godhead, Haridasa Ṭhākura was not captivated. Rather, he turned the prostitute into a great devotee by his transcendental association. This material attraction, therefore, certainly cannot attract the Supreme Lord. When He wants to be attracted by a woman, He has to create such a woman from His own energy. That woman is Rādhārāṇī. It is explained by the Gosvāmīs that Rādhārāṇī is the manifestation of the pleasure potency of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When the Supreme Lord wants to derive transcendental pleasure, He has to create a woman from His internal potency. Thus the tendency to be attracted by womanly beauty is natural because it exists in the spiritual world. In the material world it is reflected pervertedly, and therefore there are so many inebrieties.
Instead of being attracted by material beauty, if one is accustomed to be attracted by the beauty of Rādhārāṇī and Krsna, then the statement of Bhagavad-gita, param drstva nivartate, holds true. When one is attracted by the transcendental beauty of Radha and Krsna, he is no longer attracted by material feminine beauty. That is the special significance of Radha-Krsna worship. That is testified to by Yāmunācārya. He says, “Since I have become attracted by the beauty of Radha and Krsna, when there is attraction for a woman or a memory of sex life with a woman, I at once spit on it, and my face turns in disgust.” When we are attracted by Madana-mohana and the beauty of Krsna and His consorts, then the shackles of conditioned life, namely the beauty of a material woman, cannot attract us.