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By Margaret M. Miles

Cleopatra—a courageous, astute, and fascinating lady who spoke many languages, entertained lavishly, hunted, went into conflict, eradicated siblings to consolidate her energy, and held off the specter of Imperial Rome to guard her kingdom so long as she could—continues to fascinate centuries after she governed Egypt. those wide-ranging essays discover such issues as Cleopatra’s debatable journey to Rome, her suicide through snake chunk, and the afterlife of her love potions. They view Cleopatra from the Egyptian standpoint, and look at the reception in Rome of Egyptian tradition, in particular of its faith and structure. They speak about motion pictures approximately her, and think about what encouraged Egyptomania in early smooth artwork. jointly, those essays remove darkness from Cleopatra’s legacy and illustrate the way it has been used and reused in the course of the centuries.

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The go back to Egypt could have come now not lengthy after Cleopatra obtained her reliable imprimatur from Roman authorities—and earlier than Caesar went off to Spain. If that reconstruction is true, it is going to clarify very well why issues remained sturdy and below keep watch over in Egypt. The queen used to be there. A letter of Cicero may well, certainly, provide a touch to that impression. He wrote to Atticus in June forty four, venting a few spleen opposed to Cleopatra. “I hate the queen,” he exploded. simply why is uncertain. Cicero expressed nice inflammation on the queen’s haughty demeanor whilst she dwelled in her gardens around the Tiber. fifty one however the particular criticism continues to be imprecise. Cicero makes a cryptic comment approximately a few literary fabric, possibly manuscripts, promised to him yet by no means added. What concerns, even if, is that Cicero takes a specific jab at a definite Ammonius, obviously a minister of the queen, who assured the engaging in of her grants yet did not enforce them. fifty two That assertion might good suggest that, on the time Cicero bought his gives you, Cleopatra was once now not round in individual and that her brokers have been performing for her. One may perhaps even take the conjecture a step extra, with due warning and tentativeness, and recommend that Ammonius pledged the supply of manuscripts (or copies thereof) from the library in Alexandria and that Cleopatra by no means introduced them. fifty three yet there isn't any have to press that hypothesis additional. Cleopatra was once, after all, again in Rome prior to the Ides of March in forty four. yet we don't understand how lengthy she have been there. it can, certainly, now not were very lengthy in any respect. One could take note of that Caesar himself had purely lower back to Rome from the Spanish wars and from a remain in Gaul in October of forty five. fifty four What 48 Cleopatra in Rome introduced Cleopatra again to Rome (on this reconstruction) can purely be guessed at. yet an informed wager is feasible. Now that Caesar’s foes in another country had finally been defeated, the dictator may well adopt a wholesale set of institutional and administrative reforms in earnest. between them, as we all know, have been significant plans for the Roman provinces, together with a wide-ranging coverage of colonization, either east and west. those concerned, between different issues, structural alterations in provincial management. fifty five one other merchandise of value during this connection has to be taken into consideration. It had now not been very lengthy sooner than, within the 60s to be particular, that a few Romans heavily mentioned the potential for annexing Egypt as a province. fifty six below these conditions, Cleopatra’s reappearance in Rome turns out virtually vital. She had to reiterate her claims at the realm of her forefathers. whether the queen didn't worry the conversion of Egypt right into a province, she might without doubt have a stake in any dialogue of the destiny of Cyprus. Caesar, as we've seen, had offered the island in forty eight to Cleopatra’s more youthful siblings, Arsinoe and Ptolemy XIV. fifty seven the placement had replaced markedly considering that then. Arsinoe have been arrested through Caesar and had marched in his triumph, and younger Ptolemy was once now Cleopatra’s husband.

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