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Ambitious, intelligent, and desired by powerful men, Cleopatra VII came to power at a time when Roman and Egyptian interests increasingly concerned the same object: Egypt itself. Cleopatra lived and reigned at the center of this complex and persistent power struggle. Her legacy has since lost much of its former political significance, as she has come to symbolize instead the potent force of female sexuality and power.
In this engaging and multifaceted account, Stanley M. Burstein displays Cleopatra in the full manifold brilliance of the multiple cultures, countries, and people that surrounded her throughout her compelling life, and in so doing develops a stunning picture of a legendary queen and a deeply historic reign. Designed as an accessible introduction to Cleopatra VII and her time, The Reign of Cleopatra offers readers and researchers an appealing mix of descriptive chapters, biographical sketches, and annotated primary documents. The narrative chapters conclude with a discussion of Cleopatra's significance as a person, a queen, and a symbol. A glossary and annotated bibliography round out the volume.
Stanley M. Burstein is Professor Emeritus of History at California State University, Los Angeles, and coauthor of Ancient Greece: A Brief History.