From the National:
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.
William Shakespeare and George Bernard Shaw both wrote plays about her famous romances, and these have inspired a continuing flow of other dramatic portrayals.
Most great actresses seem to have played Cleopatra at some stage in their careers and she has featured in films since the dawn of the silver screen.