Cleopatra—a brave, astute, and charming woman who spoke many languages, entertained lavishly, hunted, went into battle, eliminated siblings to consolidate her power, and held off the threat of Imperial Rome to protect her country as long as she could—continues to fascinate centuries after she ruled Egypt. These wide-ranging essays explore such topics as Cleopatra’s controversial trip to Rome, her suicide by snake bite, and the afterlife of her love potions. They view Cleopatra from the Egyptian perspective, and examine the reception in Rome of Egyptian culture, especially of its religion and architecture. They discuss films about her, and consider what inspired Egyptomania in early modern art. Together, these essays illuminate Cleopatra’s legacy and illustrate how it has been used and reused through the centuries.
Margaret M. Miles is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Classical Studies at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and Professor of Art History and Classics at the University of California at Irvine. She is the author most recently of Art as Plunder: The Ancient Origins of Debate about Cultural Property.
“After reading, and perhaps re-reading, the contributions to this remarkable set off essays, the reasons contributing to the posthumous super-status of Cleopatra VII become self-evident.”—Bryn Mawr Classical Review (BMCR)
"Supplements our current understanding of a rich tradition with new layers."—Alastair Blanshard Prudentia