“The Dishonor of Egypt, the Unchaste Downfall of Rome”: Cleopatra defined by the Roman Pen

In modern culture, there is an established depiction of Cleopatra as a woman who used her body to dupe two powerful, intelligent men into doing her bidding.

In these depictions, she is shown as a beautiful temptress with large, black-lined eyes, a curvy body, and a sensual air. She is referred to as a great beauty who used seduction to get what she wanted, and, in this scenario, all her achievements are relegated to the use of physical characteristics.

This view of Cleopatra could not be further from the truth. This talk will describe the real Cleopatra: the educated, intelligent woman who used what she had at her disposal to protect her kingdom from Rome, the biggest threat of her age. While her body was inarguably one of the ways she initially gained cooperation from Rome, her wit and intelligence were the more active of the tools at her disposal and the more masterfully wielded. To support this claim, this talk will first briefly explore what is known about the real Cleopatra, as shown by the remaining archaeological evidence of her life and the Hellenistic world in which she lived. It will then move on to examine how the Roman writers, at the behest of Octavian-Augusts, developed the label of the great seducer to reduce the role played by Cleopatra in holding off Roman expansion and to justify her sway over Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. Finally, it will trace how the Roman view of Cleopatra was revived during the Italian Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical ages to develop into the modern, cartoonish view of her still held today.

 

INFO:

Wed, July 7 2021 7:00 PM
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About the speaker:

Dr. Tara Sewell-Lasater earned her PhD in May of 2020 from the University of Houston, where she is now an adjunct instructor. Her work focuses on Ptolemaic queenship and numismatics. Specifically, she is working to overturn many of the previously held stereotypes about these women that have survived into modern scholarship from the descriptions by Roman writers and the interpretation of those sources by scholars of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

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This talk will explore what is known about the real Cleopatra based on the archeological evidence of her life.

Per gestire le categorie, entrare in CPT UI per uno dei post supportati ed abilitare le tassonomie di tutti i tipi di post che devono supportare questa voce, successivamente disattivare pure le voci in più in CPT UI.

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This talk will explore what is known about the real Cleopatra based on the archeological evidence of her life.

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