The Official History Chicks Podcast Book Club discussion

Cleopatra: A Life
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July Book Choice > Final Discussion

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Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
What were your thoughts on our July book choice, Cleopatra: A Life written by Stacy Schiff?

At the end of the book, there were many thoughts and assumptions on how Cleopatra spent her last few days. Curious to hear what you thought really happened to Cleopatra and why she chose the death that she did.

I personally thought Stacy Schiff did a splendid job telling Cleopatra's story in a way that made it easy for someone, such as myself, that does not fully understand Egyptian/Roman history to paint a clear picture of events and those that played a role.

It is tragic that a queen, such as Cleopatra, that put her people above herself, thought of Egypts future and seemed, for the most part, to rule in a positive manner, would end her life so early. Suicide during Ancient Egyptian was viewed as an honorable way to leave this world, however, I wonder what the history of Egypt would have looked like if Cleopatra would have lived longer.


message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary | 22 comments I wonder too. And I think she decided to follow the societal custom and end her life rather than face what might have been death by someone else's hand.
Thank you Amber!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm very late to this discussion but I read Schiff's book a few months ago, and I quite adored it. I know it is not academic scholarship, but as narrative nonfiction she did a great job.

She had really gorgeous prose and articulated very well Cleopatra's lack of promiscuity and undeserved reputation. I also liked how she noted Cleopatra was Macedonian Greek with only a tiny bit of Persian, not an Egyptian.

Her daughter Selene is equally if not more interesting, and perhaps this book can be a future pick! Cleopatra's Daughter And Other Royal Women of the Augustan Era by Duane W. Roller !


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