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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Les Secrets du Les du
The Legend of Cleopatra’s Pearls
Legend has it that Cleopatra owned two gigantic pearls, gifts from Oriental kings. While Mark Antony was a guest in her realm, he indulged in day after day of splendid banquets. Cleopatra, who was haughty and arrogant, scorned these lavish feasts. One day, Mark Antony asked what could possibly be added to such extravagance that would convince her to join him at the table. Cleopatra said that he must watch her spend ten million sesterces on one meal. Dumbfounded by this request, Mark Antony declared it impossible.
The queen challenged the Roman general, betting him that it could indeed be done, and that she herself would swallow the sesterces. Skeptical, Mark Antony immediately agreed to the bet. The next day, she served him the usual sumptuous meal. When the second course was set, servants placed a single vessel filled with vinegar in front of Cleopatra. The queen removed one of the two pearls adorning her ears and dropped it into the liquid. After the pearl dissolved, she drank the mixture down in a single swallow.
Mark Antony lost the bet.

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