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Cleopatra: The Last Queen of Egypt
 
 
Author
Joyce Tyldesley.
Publisher Basic Books  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 9.15 x 6.15 x 0.9 inches
ISBN 9780465018925
Pages/Publication Date 290/2008
Daedalus Item Code 32968
List Price: $16.95
Sale Price: $5.98
You Save: $10.97
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Description
She was the last ruler of the Macedonian dynasty of the Ptolemies, who had led Egypt for three centuries. Highly educated (she was the only one of the Ptolemies to read and speak ancient Egyptian as well as Greek) and astute (her liaisons with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony were largely to do with politics), Cleopatra steered her kingdom through impossibly taxing internal problems and the ever-present pressure of Roman imperialism. The biographer of Rameses the Great and queens Hatchepsut and Nefertiti, Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley here strips away our preconceptions of Cleopatra—many of them as old as her Roman enemies—to give us a rich picture of a country and its Egyptian queen.

"This entertaining biography hits the elusive sweet spot between scholarship and readability. British archeologist Tyldesley is charmingly transparent about the unreliability of her sources. She tells us that when the Roman poet Lucan describes Cleopatra's ineffable night of shame with Julius Caesar, he is writing the equivalent of modern tabloid journalism. In spite of the lack of eyewitness descriptions of Cleopatra, the question, for instance, of what she looked like becomes a fast-moving amusing discussion of statuary as royal propaganda, the modern perception of Cleopatra's nose as way too big and the difference between beauty and sexiness. Writing with an easy mastery of her subject, Tyldesley always seems to be able to lay her hands on the perfect lively detail, whether an excerpt from an obscure bureaucratic document or a description of a kind of giant robot that paraded through the streets of Alexandria pouring libations of milk from a gold bottle. Though she makes it clear we'll never know what Cleopatra was really like, Tyldesley provides a memorable journey through the rich and contradictory sources of our knowledge about her."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
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