Their political and sexual relationship was a maneuver to save Egypt from the worst aspects of Roman domination. After Julius Caesar was murdered, Cleopatra, still in her early twenties, met Mark Anthony and a love affair strongly motivated by politics began.
Her effect on Mark Anthony was profound. This noble Roman turned traitor to his own people when he attempted to save the country of this fascinating black queen from Roman domination. After Anthony's death, the victor, Octavius, assumed full control of Egypt, and Cleopatra, now without a protector or champion, committed suicide. After Cleopatra's death, Egypt became a Roman colony and the harsher aspects of Roman rule settled over Egypt and the Middle East. To the south, in the lands untouched by Rome, new proud civilizations were rising. And in the centuries that followed, black women once again began to play major roles in the theatre of history.
Lights of achievement did shine in other parts of Africa, though the second Golden Age was over. The more ruthless aspects of Roman rule made African and Middle Eastern people question old gods and search for new ones. This led to the development of Christianity and subsequently Islam. From the beginning these were religions of the oppressed. When the oppressor, the Romans, stopped killing Christians and became 'Christian' the religion was dramatically changed. Their misuse of this religion and widespread dissatisfaction in the Roman colonies of North Africa and the Middle East facilitated the rise of Islam.