Today In Fact, 12 August

Three types of death can use this day.

The first is suicide. Cleopatra, the last independent Egyptian Pharaoh killed herself today in 30 BC by getting a snake to bite her breast.

Cleopatra was really a Greek woman, the inbred offspring of the Ptolemy dynasty that had ruled Egypt since Alexander the Great died some 300 years prior.

As pharaoh, she seduced Julius Caesar which solidified her grip on the throne. She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion, to co-ruler in name.

After Caesar’s assassination in 44 BC, she seduced Mark Antony in opposition to Caesar’s legal heir, Octavian Augustus. With Antony, she bore the twins Cleopatra Selene II and Alexander Helios, and another son, Ptolemy Philadelphus Mark Antony and Octavian fought the Battle of Actium. After losing the to Octavian’s forces, Antony committed suicide. Cleopatra followed suit. The chances of Rome remaining a Republic arguably died with Mark Antony’s suicide and Egypt lost her independence for two thousand years upon Cleopatra’s suicide.

In 1883 on this day, the last Quagga died. The quagga was a kind of zebra that was found in Southern Africa. Hunted to extinction. The last quagga, a female in Amsterdam’s Natura Artis Magistra zoo, had lived there from 9 May 1867.

There are 23 known stuffed and mounted quagga specimens throughout the world.

Five years to the day after the last quagga died, Hawaii as an independent state also died. It was absorbed into the United States as a territory, becoming part of union in 1959.

Suicide, species extermination and the end of sovereignty. All wrapped up in one day.

– Posted by Douglas Racionzer (serendipiday.blogspot.com)