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The snake that killed Cleopatra
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:18 am 
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Recently the italian ethologist Fulco Pratesi made researches among historical documents to establish what kind of snake really killed Queen Cleopatra.
Accordino to him, the greatest part of historians consider this fact a legend, or say that the snake that killed her was the so called Vipera lebetina (scientific latin name), or – it’s more probably – the Naja haje (scientific latin name), the cobra – to which Egyptians were devoted to. Both these snakes can have a lenghth of two meters, nad it’s not clear what could be the real snake.
In North Africa and in the whole Egypt lives a very dangerous snake whose scientific latin name Echis carinatus. Its being dangerous can only be similar to that of the Indian cobra, whose lenght is almost 4 meters.
According to a scientific research made in 1948 by an Indian Research Institute, people infected by the real cobra were 5%, while those infected by the Echis carinatus were 36%.
So, this was the most rapid way for Cleopatra to die.
According to an italian snake studious, the Echis carinatus’s poison is really dangerous, and it makes these snakes the most dangerous in the world.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 4:39 am 
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It could be important to know in how many minutes this poison can kill a person and how this big snake could not have been seen by Emperor's soldiers who came into the Queen's room...


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:17 am 
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Sorry, the article I translated didn't tell it!! :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 6:51 am 
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Interesting post by Hatshepsut76. What makes me wince is the almost certainly hideous death that she would have endured.
I have always believed the 'snake bite' story to be true does anyone here doubt that? and why. I'm not as well read as many on here and am trying to extend my general knowledge regarding ancient Egypt.
Thanks all,
HD


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2005 9:40 am 
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I don't know enough about the period to say if it's true or not, but I have always wondered if she would have gone through the trouble of handling a life snake if they must have been quite adept at making poisons.

Wouldn't it have been much easier to smuggle a vial of poison into the mausoleum in a basket of figs then a life snake?

They may have been able to make poisons out of snake venom?

I'm guessing here and just speculating :)


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