Much of history is chronicled and understood in terms of myth and legend. Such “historiography” certainly applies to Cleopatra, whose supposed beauty and tragic death have been immortalized in art and media across centuries. In this lesson, students consider whether or not Cleopatra actually died from a self-inflicted snakebite through evaluating the reliability of various types of secondary, historical sources.
Image: Drawing of Cleopatra made by Michelangelo between 1533 and 1534. From the Wikimedia Commons.