She nonetheless survives as a wanton temptress, not the last time a genuinely powerful woman has been transmuted into a shamelessly seductive one.
Note: I don't quite agree with this. I've read several biographies of the Last Pharaoh that make it perfectly clear she was an intelligent, accomplished statesman.
A Roman could not pry apart the exotic and the erotic;
Note: Gosh, this sounds like an American.
Cleopatra’s asp is the cherry tree of ancient history, a convenience, a shorthand, most of all a gift to painters and sculptors through the centuries.