Could any tomb have more plunder than that of Marcus Antonius?
"Again, you made a tour through Italy, with that same actress for your companion. Cruel and miserable was the way in which you led your soldiers into the towns; shameful was the pillage in every city, of gold and silver, and above all, of wine. And besides all this, while Cæsar knew nothing about it, as he was at Alexandria, Antonius, by the kindness of Cæsar’s friends, was appointed his master of the horse. Then he thought that he could live with Hippia by virtue of his office, and that he might give horses which were the property of the state to Sergius the buffoon. At that time he had selected for himself to live in, not the house which he now dishonors, but that of Marcus Piso. Why need I mention his decrees, his robberies, the possessions of inheritances which were given him, and those, too, which were seized by him? Want compelled him; he did not know where to turn. That great inheritance from Lucius Rubrius, and that other from Lucius Turselius, had not yet come to him. He had not yet succeeded as an unexpected heir to the place of Cnæus Pompeius, and of many others who were absent. He was forced to live like a robber, having nothing beyond what he could plunder from others." -- Cicero, Second Oration Against Antony
"Antony himself, however, after sending Cleopatra back to Egypt, proceeded through Arabia and Armenia to the place where his forces were assembled, together with those of the allied kings. These kings were very many in number, but the greatest of them all was Artavasdes, king of Armenia, who furnished six thousand horse and seven thousand foot. Here Antony reviewed his army. There were, of the Romans themselves, sixty thousand foot-soldiers, together with the cavalry classed as Roman, namely, ten thousand Iberians and Celts; of the other nations there were thirty thousand, counting alike horsemen and light-armed troops. And yet we are told that all this preparation and power, which terrified even the Indians beyond Bactria and made all Asia quiver, was made of no avail to Antony by reason of Cleopatra. For so eager was he to spend the winter with her that he began the war before the proper time, and managed everything confusedly. He was not master of his own faculties, but, as if he were under the influence of certain drugs or of magic rites, was ever looking eagerly towards her, and thinking more of his speedy return than of conquering the enemy." -- Plutarch, Life of Antony
"...but as for Antony, though many generals and kings asked for his body that they might give it burial, Caesar would not take it away from Cleopatra, and it was buried by her hands in sumptuous and royal fashion, such things being granted her for the purpose as she desired. ... But Caesar, although vexed at the death of the woman, admired her lofty spirit; and he gave orders that her body should be buried with that of Antony in splendid and regal fashion." -- Plutarch, Life of Antony, 1st centuryTharoor, I., The Tomb of Antony and Cleopatra?, Time Magazine, April 23rd 2009
Zahi Hawass, secretary-general of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, announced earlier this week that his team of archaeologists was readying for the final approach toward what could be the tomb of Cleopatra. The site is at Abusir, some 30 miles from the port city of Alexandria, among the ruins of an ancient temple to the Egyptian god Osiris. Nearly two dozen coins unearthed there bear Cleopatra's profile and inscription, and carvings in the temple enclosure show two lovers in an embrace. A ceramic fragment supposedly mirrors the cleft chin of the rebel general Mark Antony — leading Hawass to speculate that it is the Roman's own death mask. Archaeologists already dug up the mummies of ten nobles around the site, a sign, perhaps, that a more regal prize dwells within. Using ground-penetrating radar, they have spied out three further subterranean passageways which they believe could lead to the grave. "If this tomb is found," Hawass told TV reporters as they set about their dig this week, "it will be one of the most important discoveries of the 21st century."