Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley

I'm just catching up with what has happened in the 3 days I've been away.

Stop press: Peter Jones' review is here.

The Daily Telegraph has a review of Cleopatra: Last Queen of Egypt by Joyce Tyldesley.

If the Emperor Augustus had been able to see into the future, and had a flick through The Daily Telegraph on February 15, 2007, he'd have been delighted to read an article headlined: “Long-lost coin reveals Cleopatra was no beauty”.

After defeating the last queen of Egypt, Julius Caesar's adopted son was determined to destroy her reputation. He smashed the images made to glorify her and ensured his pocket historians cast her as a greedy, incestuous, adulterous whore who used her foreign, feminine wiles to emasculate the Roman Empire.

The Egyptologist Joyce Tyldesley picks through the Augustan propaganda to assess the woman “as an Egyptian politician rather than a Roman mistress”. She is honest about the many gaps in her story: we don't know much about Cleopatra's upbringing but we do know she was raised in the ultimate dysfunctional family.

Read the rest.

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