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Cleopatra, Mark Antony and Pliny's Pearls for Dinner

One of the most famous pearl stories of all time is that told by Pliny the Elder in his book, The Natural History of Pliny Volume 2. The story revolves around a bet Cleopatra made with Mark Antony. From Pliny's own words: When Antony had been sated by her, day after day, with the most exquisite banquets, this queenly courtesan, inflated with vanity and disdainful arrogance, affected to treat all this sumptuousness and all these vast preparations with the greatest contempt; upon which Antony enquired what there was that could possibly be added to such extraordinary magnificence. To this she made answer, that on a single entertainment she would expend ten millions of sesterces. Antony was extremely desirous to learn...

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