September 6, 2011/ ISBN 1611139155
Biography / Audio CD (Unabridged)
by Jo Rogers
the movies and stories written about Cleopatra, very little is actually
known about her. Stacy Schiff has done some amazing research in
an effort to separate fact from fiction. You might wonder why we
don’t know one of the most famous queens in history. After
all, she lived in an era of recorded history. But history is only
as accurate as the historian can make it, or is allowed to make
it. Even then, it had to be “politically correct” if
the historian wanted to keep his job and his head.
What do we
really know about Cleopatra? We know she was the seventh Egyptian
Queen named Cleopatra. She was also Egypt’s last pharaoh.
After her death at the age of thirty-nine, Egypt fell to Augustus
Caesar. She would never be ruled by a pharaoh again, though she
would regain her independence after Rome fell.
We are not
sure what Cleopatra looked like, though we can assume the image
used on the Egyptian coins was fairly accurate. That is the only
portrait of her made. We don’t really know what her personality
was like, because the only recorded accounts were not left by Cleopatra
or by her loyal subjects, but by Romans, her enemies. Cicero slanted
his description to fit his hatred of the exotic queen’s control
of Julius Caesar.
The book is
well-written and filled with interesting information about this
famed Egyptian queen. I learned a lot I had never heard. For one,
I found in the recording of history, true facts are often a casualty.
I wish there was a machine with which we could see the past and
keep history honest. But, if you’re like me and fascinated
by Egyptian history, “Cleopatra: A Life” is a must-listen.
Try it for yourself.