Tuesday, October 06, 2009

I did some short reviews of books on another site, thought I would repost them here:

Cleopatra by Michael Grant

This is an historical biography of one of the most famous women of the ancient world. I would guess that when most people think of Cleopatra, images of a ruthless temptress come to mind, bolstered by sources such as Shakespeare and Roman propaganda. Michael Grant argues that Cleopatra was merely born ahead of her time, in an era where a woman was not able to rule alone, and in the case of the Ptolomies, had to be married to her brother.She was not innocent however, and had some of her own siblings put to death to further her ambitions. This happened in Rome too, but as is the case in history, the winner gets the best press. Grant uses a variety of sources to try and get to the truth behind the myth.I found this an enjoyable book, and very informative. I don't know how much more information has come to light since the book was published (1972), as I don't know a great deal about Ptolomaic Egypt. This book has inspired me to read more about the subject however.

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