Mark Antony, Caesar's friend and his most expensive avenger, requested the support of Cleopatra, which agreed even with his country to the brink of ruin. After a sensual encounter in Tarsus, in his lavish royal trireme, Cleopatra demanded the execution of his sister Arsinoe as a prerequisite to assist it to Antonio, who agreed to his proposal. At that meeting, they fell in love passionately. Cleopatra, trying to impress his lover, gambled that he could get "under his belt," a dinner of ten million sesterces. Logically, Marco Antonio accepted.
On the day in question, dinner was served with the finest delicacies and, of course, expensive (to learn how to be a dinner at the time you can see it here) But not unusual in view of Marco Antonio. Cleopatra came to the event with an impressive two beautiful pearl necklace, addressed Planco, elected judge of the contest, and asked how it could be worth every one of the pearls:At least five million sesterces"Replied the judge.
Following this "appraisal" Cleopatra threw a pearl in a cup and filled it with vinegar (remember that pearls are mainly composed of calcium carbonate react with calcium and CO2 clear vinegar) to dissolve the pearl to drink. As he was being repeated with the second pearl, to "spend" ten million, Antony gave up.