Cleopatra: A Sourcebook
Who was Cleopatra? Who is Cleopatra? Viewed as both goddess and monster even in her own lifetime, she has become through the ages saint and sinner, heroine and victim, femme fatale and star-crossed lover, black and white. A protean figure, Cleopatra defies categorization.
Cleopatra’s life story, gleaned from contemporary sources, is powerfully intriguing: Married four times, she seduced two of the most powerful men in Rome (Julius Caesar and Marc Antony), became the sole ruler of Egypt, gained legendary status for her lavish banquets, and chose to die rather than endure disgrace as the prisoner of Octavian, Caesar’s heir.
This fascinating sourcebook documents what we know of the historical figure and also shows how she has evolved through the lens of interpretation. Arranged both chronologically and thematically, the volume consists of a series of readings about Cleopatra—historical, literary, and documentary—extending from ancient times to the twentieth century, from the European Romantics to the Afro centrists, and from Middle English to modern Arabic.
In her introductions to the readings, Prudence J. Jones provides helpful information about the sources, placing them in historical and cultural context. She includes passages both familiar and unfamiliar, some not easily found in translation. Suitable for classroom use, Cleopatra: A Sourcebook reveals a multitude of Cleopatras, raising as many questions as it answers about one of history’s most captivating figures.
What people are saying - Write a review
"Evil woman," the moment I saw such a term used for Cleopatra, I knew this book was trouble, written by a Roman enthusiast, I'm assuming.
It was as if time ticks backward, and now we are back to the recession of Augustus, the era of pruny, old men who wrote in order to defile the reputation of the Queen. And it is obviously this "author" only ever read the works of such pruny, old, hateful men who still could not deny her of beauty nor intelligence.
This is a rather one-sided perspective on Cleopatra, so I do to recommend it, as it focuses mainly her "liaisons" instead of the prosperity of Egypt under her rule; unlike Hatsheptut whom the people could not accept as pharaoh, Cleopatra was loved and respected.
Well, that's my two cents. I dislike reading things with biased point of view, more so if it is blatant. I can almost guarantee no one from that era was more of a saint than Caesar.
Cleopatras Early Career
The Death of Cleopatra
Good Woman or Bad
2 The Mediterranean World in the Time of Cleopatra
1 Abbreviated Genealogy of Julius Caesar Octavian and Antony
2 Abbreviated Genealogy of the Ptolemies
The Death of Alexander the Great to the Death of Cleopatra