The Greek writer Plutarch first wrote about her in a book called Parallel Lives sometime around 100 AD. He said she met Antony “at the very time when women have the most brilliant beauty and are at the acme of intellectual power”. The Roman historian Cassius Dio went further. She was, he said: “a woman of surpassing beauty”.
But neither actually saw her and were writing long after her death. They spawned an enduring myth that has been sustained ever since by books, ballets, operas, films and paintings. She remains one of the most famous women in history.
Cleopatra in the arts through the ages by John Kelleher (May 7, 2011) – The National