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A Fabulous Read for Those Interested in Ancient Mediterranean History
on June 9, 2015
Stacy Schiff mines ancient sources to find the real Cleopatra. Forget what you've heard about her being a seductress ruled by her own desires. Cleopatra was an highly intelligent, resourceful woman who received the finest education available in her day.
She lost an empire, regained it, almost lost it again, and ultimately failed to stop the encroachment of Rome. Schiff sifts through what ancient historians - all of them from enemy states - had to say about her, and accounts of events to demonstrate that Cleopatra made well reasoned decisions, and ruled successfully for a long time.
I quite enjoyed the style of the book as well. It comes across as a narrative instead of a scholarly review. For those who want to know more, there is an extensive section of notes as well.