lia's Reviews > Cleopatra: A Life

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
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's review
Jan 30, 12

bookshelves: history
Read in January, 2012

I think Stacy Schiff is trying very hard to mend Cleopatra's reputation and to restore her to her rightful place as one of the greatest queen.

In overall i think it is a good read that can open the eyes of its reader what was truly happened so long in ancient Rome in the time of its greatest men namely Caesar, Mark Anthony and Octavian.

Schiff also trying to present us the histroy and the people amid so few data and so many fictions and legends surrounding them.

"Cleopatra" tells us about what made Cleopatra VII; her violent and volatile family's history, her educational background, the political background and the moment. Even Egypt's riches and its important to Rome. It made us understand some of the steps she take to ensure the glory of her failing Dynasty, The Ptolemy, and her reign.

But i think despite of what Schiff paints us, Cleopatra is still a Queen of many wrong choices. She always chose the wrong Roman to back up. First she chose Pompey who was defeated utterly by Caesar. She was lucky that she was able to sway Caesar to her side so much so that he wage war with his husband/brother for her and put her on throne. Secondly, after Caesar's dead, she chose to back up Dolabella who was defeated by Cassius. She again was in luck when Cassius cancelled his annexation of Egypt and had to fight the second Triumvirat for the right of the Republic instead. And the third time of course the story of Mark Anthony. Though Cleopatra didn't have any choice to chose Octavian instead because he was so young and so far away in Rome. While Mark Anthony is the greatest general of his era and rule the East.

In all i think this book has done a good job in defending one of the most maligned female ruler in history.


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01/22/2012 page 57
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