5 Books About Cleopatra

5 Books About Cleopatra

Cleopatra: beautiful, powerful, legendary. She was also the last ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt. Learn all there is to know about the woman who ruled Ancient Egypt as well as gain insights about her sacred animal companionthe catwith these 5 informative and imaginative books about Cleopatra.

1. Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff

“Her palace shimmered with onyx and gold but was richer still in political and sexual intrigue. Above all else, Cleopatra was a shrewd strategist and an ingenious negotiator. She was married twice, each time to a brother. She waged a brutal civil war against the first and poisoned the second; incest and assassination were family specialties. She had children by Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, two of the most prominent Romans of the day. With Antony she would attempt to forge a new empire, in an alliance that spelled both their ends. Famous long before she was notorious, Cleopatra has gone down in history for all the wrong reasons. Her supple personality and the drama of her circumstances have been lost. In a masterly return to the classical sources, Stacy Schiff boldly separates fact from fiction to rescue the magnetic queen whose death ushered in a new world order.”

2. The Life and Times of Cleopatra Queen of Egypt by Arthur Weigall

“This comprehensive treatment of Cleopatra and the political and social world in which she lived will be an indispensable resource for anyone interested in Cleopatra or in ancient Egypt. Laying bare the “injustice, the adverse partiality, of the attitude assumed by classical authors,” the author offers the reader a new, more balanced look at the life of one of history’s most important women. The book is divided into sections on Cleopatra and Caesar and Cleopatra and Antony and is supplemented by a number of maps and illustrations.”

3. A Conversation with a Cat: A Novel by Stephen Spotte

“Stephen Spotte’s imaginative novel recounts the tales of a scroungy former alley cat named Jinx, whose memories aren’t just his own but those of other cats who existed before him, one of which was Annipe, Cleopatra’s pampered pet. Through Annipe’s eyes the ancient Mediterranean world of Cleopatra and her legendary lovers, Caesar and Antony, is spread before us in all its glory, pathos, and absurdity. Jinx reveals these stories telepathically one night to his stoned and inebriated owner just home after gall bladder surgery. Annipe’s memories are bookended by Jinx’s own that detail his early scavenging days in bleak urban alleys.”

4. Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley

“She was the last ruler of the Macedonian dynasty of Ptolemies who had ruled Egypt for three centuries. Highly educated (she was the only one of the Ptolemies to read and speak ancient Egyptian as well as the court Greek) and very clever (her famous liaisons with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony were as much to do with politics as the heart), she steered her kingdom through impossibly taxing internal problems and railed against greedy Roman imperialism. Stripping away preconceptions as old as her Roman enemies, Joyce Tyldesley uses all her skills as an Egyptologist to give us this magnificent biography.”

5. The Memoirs of Cleopatra: A Novel by Margaret George

“Told in Cleopatra’s own voice, The Memoirs of Cleopatra is a mesmerizing tale of ambition, passion, and betrayal in the ancient Egyptian world, which begins when the twenty-year-old queen seeks out the most powerful man in the world, Julius Caesar, and does not end until, having survived the assassination of Caesar and the defeat of the second man she loves, Marc Antony, she plots her own death rather than be paraded in triumph through the streets of Rome.”


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