Today let's talk about love. Boy meets girl. Love at first sight. Enemies to lovers. Broken-heartedness and devastation at love lost. Celebrate with me the giddy highs and pulse pumping excitement of love found, the joy and gladness of enduring love, and the ravaged, depressing lows of love lost of three couples of the ages.
Cleopatra and Marc Antony
(photo: 20th-century fox /rex features)
Cleopatra began her reign of Egypt when Julius Caesar put her in power over her husband (and brother) Ptolemy. She charmed him and their affair continued until his death three years later. Caesar's death caused a civil war in Rome between Octavian, his grandnephew, and Antony, his cousin.
Antony suspected Cleopatra was involved in his Caesar's murder and demanded she appear before him to explain herself. They fell in love at first sight. He spent the winter with her instead of fighting and ruling his empire. Their affair outraged the Romans who were wary of the growing power of Egypt.
The couple was defeated in battle by Octavian (named later changed to Augustus) and they each committed suicide, Antony, by falling on his sword and Cleopatra, by putting an asp to her chest. Theirs was a tragedy immortalized by William Shakespeare.
Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal (photo: museyon.com)
She died in 1629 while giving birth to their 14th child. He was devastated. His grief affected him both emotionally and physically but inspired him to create a fitting final resting place for the love of his life - Taj Mahal (photo: Wikipedia).
Shah Jahan became ill and was overthrown by his eldest son. He lived the rest of his life under house arrest in the Red Fort of Agra.
King Ramesses II and Queen Nefertari (Photo: martingracephotography.com)
He led military expeditions into the Levant, reasserting control over Canaan and also led expeditions into Nubia. Inscriptions commemorate these deeds at the temples at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein.
One of many great Nubian queens, Nefertari reigned from 1292 B.C. to 1225 B.C. She is heralded as the queen who married for peace. Her marriage to Ramesses II began as a political move, a sharing of power between two powerful leaders. No only did it grow into one of the greatest royal love affairs in history but it brought the hundred year war between Nubia and Egypt to an end.
Their story was an armistice that lasted over a hundred years. Even today, a monument stands in Queen Nefertari’s honor. If fact, the temple which Ramesses built for her at Abu Simbel (photo: Delange.org) is one of the largest and most beautiful structures ever built to honor a wife.