Cleopatra: A Sourcebook / Edition 1

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Who was Cleopatra? Who is Cleopatra? Viewed as both goddess and monster even in her own lifetime, she has become through the ages saint and sinner, heroine and victim, femme fatale and star-crossed lover, black and white. A protean figure, Cleopatra defies categorization.

Cleopatra’s life story, gleaned from contemporary sources, is powerfully intriguing: Married four times, she seduced two of the most powerful men in Rome (Julius Caesar and Marc Antony), became the sole ruler of Egypt, gained legendary status for her lavish banquets, and chose to die rather than endure disgrace as the prisoner of Octavian, Caesar’s heir.

This fascinating sourcebook documents what we know of the historical figure and also shows how she has evolved through the lens of interpretation. Arranged both chronologically and thematically, the volume consists of a series of readings about Cleopatra—historical, literary, and documentary—extending from ancient times to the twentieth century, from the European Romantics to the Afro centrists, and from Middle English to modern Arabic.

In her introductions to the readings, Prudence J. Jones provides helpful information about the sources, placing them in historical and cultural context. She includes passages both familiar and unfamiliar, some not easily found in translation. Suitable for classroom use, Cleopatra: A Sourcebook reveals a multitude of Cleopatras, raising as many questions as it answers about one of history’s most captivating figures.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806137414
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2006
  • Series: Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 920,594
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Prudence J. Jones is Assistant Professor of Classics at Montclair State University, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations ix
Preface xi
Introduction xiii
Part 1 Ancient Sources
1 The Ptolemies 3
2 Cleopatra's Early Career 31
3 Caesar 46
4 Antony 94
5 Octavian 129
6 Actium 147
7 The Death of Cleopatra 180
Part 2 Reception
8 Good Woman or Bad? 207
9 The World Well Lost? 223
10 Women's Voices 247
11 Egyptomania 255
12 Fatal Cleopatra 260
13 Cleopatra in Arabic 270
14 Afrocentric Cleopatra 279
15 Modern Cleopatras 287
1 Alexandria 309
2 The Mediterranean World in the Time of Cleopatra 310
Genealogical Tables
1 Abbreviated Genealogy of Julius Caesar, Octavian, and Antony 313
2 Abbreviated Genealogy of the Ptolemies 314
Chronological Table: The Death of Alexander the Great to the Death of Cleopatra 317
Glossary 319
Selective Cleopatra Filmography 325
Bibliography 329
Index 333
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