The article concerns the novel "Zabij Kleopatrę!" (Kill Cleopatra, 1968) by Teodor Parnicki. In Parnicki's literary output, it is a breakthrough novel in which the contemporary formula of historical novel changes into metafiction and the characters become aware that they are fictious figures: they debate on their textual status and consider the dependence on the author. It does not mean, however, that the historical subject matter disappears. I reconstruct the references to Byzantine as it was in the 5th century and I underline - after Stefan Szymutko - that thay are significant for the interpretation of the text. Nevertheless, the metafictional plots make me revise Szymutko's statement about the primacy of being over the text because there is no historical being that would precede the text. Every historical plot or case turns out to be textual from the very beginning because it is connected with somebody's intentions and interests, which transforms the critical reflection upon the history into the unending sequence of interpretive sentences.