Mary's Reviews > Cleopatra: A Life

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
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's review
Mar 11, 2012

it was amazing
Read in March, 2012

We've never given Cleopatra the credit she deserves. She was the only one of the Ptolemys (who knew she was Greek, not Egyptian?) who could speak the language of the people she ruled. She spoke many other languages as well. She was a great mother who insisted that her children learn history and languages. She had 4 children: one with Julius Caesar and three with Mark Antony. She educated some of Mark Antony's other children. She was also brutal, cunning, shrewd, and evidently enchanting. She held her own and more with the other rulers of her day, until the unfortunate battle with Octavian. He was not charmed by the queen, and she poisoned herself to avoid being taken to Rome in disgrace. (No asps were involved.) Octavian probably started that snake story himself because in his fury at having lost such a great prize of war, he had a model made of Cleopatra holding a snake to take back to Rome.
Stacy Schiff has written a fascinating account of a fascinating woman. She writes with great wit and humor where it is most unexpected. This book is a Pulitzer Prize winner, and definitely rates five stars from me.
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message 1: by Molly (new) - added it

Molly Charlie has always told me fascinating stories about her...I might try this one out.

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