Pub. Date:
Princeton University Press
Cleopatra of Egypt: From History to Myth

Cleopatra of Egypt: From History to Myth

by Susan Walker, Peter Higgs


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Fabled for her sexual allure and cunning intelligence, Cleopatra VII of Egypt has fascinated generations of admirers and detractors since her tumultuous life ended in suicide in 30 B.C. The last of the Ptolemaic monarchs who had ruled Egypt for three centuries, Cleopatra created her own mythology. She became an icon in her own lifetime and a legend after her death.

This lavishly illustrated catalogue coincides with a major international exhibition celebrating images of Cleopatra. It explores how she was depicted during her own era, in works ranging from coins to life-size sculpture. Exciting new discoveries are featured—including seven Egyptian-style statues believed to represent Cleopatra, and two portraits probably commissioned while she was living in Rome with Julius Caesar. The book also examines interpretations of Cleopatra from the Renaissance to modern times, as seen in paintings, ceramics, jewelry, plays, operas, and film. In addition, recent archaeological finds from Alexandria (Cleopatra's capital) and from Rome illustrate aspects of life in Cleopatra's day.

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE: Palazzo Ruspoli, Rome
October 12, 2000-February 25, 2001 The British Museum, London
April 12-August 28, 2001 The Field Museum, Chicago
October 20, 2001-March 2, 2002

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780691088358
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 06/03/2001
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 11.50(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Susan Walker is Deputy Keeper in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum. She is the author of Roman Art and Greek and Roman Portraits and the coauthor of Ancient Faces: Mummy Portraits from Roman Egypt.
Peter Higgs is Curator in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities at the British Museum.

Table of Contents

Index of lenders 6

Foreward by the Director 7

Preface 10

Maps 11

I. The Ptolemies and Alexandria 13

1. Sins of the father: the inheritance of Cleopatra, last queen of Egypt 14

2. Alexandria 32

II. Cleopatra, Lady of the Two Lands 127

3. Cleopatra's subtle religious strategy by Guy Weill Goudchaux 128

4. Cleopatra's images: reflections of reality by Susan Walker 142

5. Identifying the Egyptian-style Ptolemaic queens by Sally-Ann Ashton 148

III. Cleopatra and the Power of Rome 189

6. 'Spoiling the Egyptians': Octavian and Cleopatra by J.H.C. Williams 190

7. Searching for Cloepatra's image: classical portaits in stone by Peter Higgs 200

8. Was Cleopatra beautiful? The conflicts answers of numismatics by Guy Weill Goudchaux 210

IV. Egypt in Rome / The Myth of Cleopatra 275

9. Egyptian influences in Italy by Carla Alfano 276

10. Anything truth can do, we can do better: the Cleopatra legend by Christopher Pelling 290

11. The myth of Cleopatra since the Renaissance by Mary Hamer 302

Chronology 370

Glossary 371

Bibliography 371

List of authors 374

Concordance 375

Photographic acknowledgements 379

Index 380

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