Not surprisingly, Cleopatra needed a place to relax. She was, after all, not only the Queen of Egypt, but also the only human since Hannibal to strike fear into the Roman Empire. She fought with Herod (after unsuccessfully trying to seduce him) and crossed innumerable others including the entire citizenry of Rome.

Cleopatra traveled extensively, so when she needed a break, she would naturally choose Cyprus, the idyllic island in the Eastern Mediterranean.

While she stretched out in the sun, she might have savored her reputation as one of history’s most romantic femme fatales, since both Mark Anthony and Julius Caesar fell in love with her. Caesar had a golden statue of her erected in Rome, but unfortunately the liaison came to a sudden end when he was murdered.

But Cleopatra was not finished with conquering powerful men. As the Greek biographer Plutarch put it, “Plato admits four sorts of flattery, but she had a thousand.” Caesar’s successor, Mark Antony was her next conquest. He realized that bringing Rome and Egypt together would help him with his military campaigns, so he sent for Cleopatra. But she knew how to keep a man waiting, delaying her splendid arrival on the famous barge immortalized by William Shakespeare in “Antony and Cleopatra.”

Cleopatra loved drama, and enjoyed the good things of life, including great food and wine. That’s why Cyprus was the perfect getaway choice for her.

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1200 B.C. and 1191 A.D.