Although everything we know about Cleopatra was written by her enemies, there is a certain mystique about this ruler that makes her one of the most talked about historical figures of all time.
It's no wonder why a Cleopatra outfit is favored for costume parties and themed events.
Unlike the rulers before her, Cleopatra made an effort to learn the Egyptian language.
She related to the Egyptians like no other of the Ptolemies.
Nonetheless, she has often been portrayed as a conniving, immoral woman, primarily by the Romans who were not very fond of her.
You see, the most powerful men in Rome, namely Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, were drawn to Cleopatra's intelligence and personality.
Caesar's love was so strong for Cleopatra that he moved her into his country estate with their son and often visited her there.
This scandalized the people of Rome, for Caesar already had a wife.
Even more shocking was when Caesar had a statue made of Cleopatra and placed it in a temple of Venus, thus declaring her to be a goddess - not only in Egypt, but also in Rome! The love affair with Mark Antony began after the assassination of Caesar.
He too was captivated by Cleopatra.
He spent countless days with Cleopatra, feasting, hunting and playing games.
He went so far as to give her and their three children a large part of Rome's eastern provinces, as well as some countries he had not yet conquered.
Again, the Romans couldn't believe the hold Cleopatra had on such powerful Roman men.
The answer may be found in the fact that Cleopatra had a brilliant mind and a fine education.
She was descended from an ancient royal line and was worshiped as a goddess.
And the wealth of the Ptolemies was legendary.
It was believed that Cleopatra's charm was irresistible and a peculiar force of character that gave her a certain magnetism.
Along with Caesar and Antony, men were simply enchanted by her.
As with her character, she lived in grandeur.
Her palace was richly decorated with marble, ebony and gold.
Cleopatra died at age 39 in the year 30 BC, likely by her own hand.
Of the many successors of Alexander the Great, only she became a legend like Alexander.
She ruled Egypt for 21 years and, having raised her country to new heights, had also brought about its downfall to the Romans.
In a world where women had little power, she had fought to control the destiny of her nation.
And, if she had succeeded in her great venture, it would have been Cleopatra and her descendants who ruled the Western world, instead of the emperors of Rome.
So if you're looking for a costume that not only looks good, but has an interesting story to boot, dress up in a dazzling Cleopatra outfit and see how many countries you can rule.