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Old December 28th, 2017, 03:27 AM   #1
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Lightbulb Ancient Egypt - How would have Cleopatra reacted

I'm a huge a fan of the ancient Egyptian and Greek history and civilization. My question and point of this discussion is pretty straight foward. If Cleopatra was alive today how do you think she would have reacted to the fact that she is such a huge icon and an important figure in todays society? How do you think she would have reacted to the fact that we still depicture her in our modern culture through media, books and video games like Assassin's Creed Origins where we get to know almost every single detail of her life even if they might be somewhat fabricated? What would she think of the current state of Egypt?

Do you think she would be happy and shocked that people still remember her and decide to idolize her through depiction or by other means? Or do you think she would have been disgusted of the way we use her image to make profit and the way we idolize her?

This is a very interesting topic to me and I would love to have your opinion on this.

Last edited by Veridiyus; December 28th, 2017 at 03:38 AM.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 03:40 AM   #2
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Cleopatra`s image on coinage suggested she wasn`t a beauty,no Elizabeth Taylor, but she captivated two of the most powerful men of the time so must have had something maybe sex appeal or her obvious intelligence. She does come across as rather vain so I would imagine she would be delighted to know that even after so many years she is considered beautiful, intelligent and charismatic.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 04:06 AM   #3

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Overall in Ancient Egyptian culture the Queen expected to be venerated in some way. The Greek domination didn't change a lot the context. Romans undermined it a bit, but my guess is that expected to be remembered and venerated through the centuries. Just because of her education and cultural background.

She probably regret to note that the temples of her time are in ruins and that the deities of her time are no more worshipped...
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Old December 28th, 2017, 04:17 AM   #4

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Any woman worth her salt wud feel flattered to be thought beautiful & attractive. It is just something wired into her genes.

And intelligent on top of that? Even more flattered.

Important thing is, for her to handle all that flattery & not be overly distracted by it, to the point of preventing her from doing what she wanted to do, and being what she wanted to be.

Last edited by Dreamhunter; December 28th, 2017 at 04:24 AM.
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Old December 28th, 2017, 11:16 AM   #5

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Cleo was a shrewd politicaian who used her cult fo personality to her benefit. She would probably immediately begin to devise a way to profit from the fact.


By the way, have you read the Stacey Schiff book? In any ways not exactly as a scholarly work but in terms of being an editorial piece, definatley worth a read.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 02:55 PM   #6
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I don't know, I wonder if she might of been the one to point out she was Greek and the Ptolomaic dynasty was Greek and not Egyptian...
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Old January 5th, 2018, 04:16 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by MarsBar View Post
I don't know, I wonder if she might of been the one to point out she was Greek and the Ptolomaic dynasty was Greek and not Egyptian...
I imagine she would point that out if it is to her advantage, but speak Egyptian to her Egyptian subjects.
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Old January 5th, 2018, 04:49 PM   #8

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She loved Egypt, so I would suspect She would be deeply saddened at the end of Egyptian civilization, though I suspect she would be so distracted by this new world that she would eventually be consoled by the fact that so many still love that civilization, and the attempts to preserve the remains of their material culture. The names of the pharaohs are still spoken, though there is a voyeuristic aspect to museums she probably wouldn't like. It's funny, if you were to place gold and jewels in front of her, she would just smile, but bring in a blender, or a fan or a steel table or aluminum cans, and she would go bonkers.
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Old January 9th, 2018, 09:38 PM   #9

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As I understand the question, suppose just before her death, Cleopatra left a double as a body and was transported to the present: she lived her entire life, and is now looking at the current perception of herself. I think it depends on "which" Cleopatra you prefer.

Cleopatra described by Roman historians/poets under Octavian propaganda:
She'd be like a Kardashian, leveraging her notoriety & sexual attraction to create a career of being a celebrity. She be absolutely delighted so many books and movies have been made about her. She would quickly accept that historians and archaeologists have made careers studying her. She would be upset if tabloids didn't say SOMETHING about her. OF COURSE, she wanted to conquer the world ... and still does. $50,000 per personal appearance, minimum.

Cleopatra described by Greek historians:
She'd be a bit puzzled by all the falderall. She was a very effective administrator of her country, and a quite clever politician. Why do people keep referring to "her lover Marc Antony?" They were married. Why do people believe Octavian's claptrap about Egypt wanting to conquer Rome? Her grandfather, her father, and herself spent their entire reigns courting Roman support. That's history. Can't people read? She had two men in her life: TWO. What's all this whore nonsense? Greek-Cleopatra was very practical. She does manipulate Antony to pull him away from his Roman wife, but then seems to be genuinely in love with him and a good mother to her children. She did her job as a ruler, and then all these stories happen?

Cleopatra described by Arab historians:
Cleopatra would completely understand what happened. She would understand the Roman propaganda that demonized her because she used propaganda herself to build support amongst the Egyptians & Greeks in Egypt (an unruly, civil war-ish bunch). She would understand the concentration and exaggeration of sexual myths, as a natural progression of historians rewriting historians rewriting historians ... and pumping up the juicer bits to make it more interesting. She would be absolutely astounded that all her real accomplishments were totally ignored. She inherited a bankrupt empire from her father and single-handedly rebuilt it: her treasure depressed the world price of gold when Octavian hauled it back to Rome. She rebuilt govt administration, rebuilt temples, rebuilt roads, beefed up trade, reinforced alliances ... why doesn't anyone talk about THAT? She was with Caesar 4 yrs, and Antony about 11 (married 6) ... and that's all people want to discuss out of a 21 yr reign? Why doesn't anyone care about her books in mathematics, philosophy, alchemy (mainly pharmacology), and medicine? Why is it that only her book on cosmetics survived until 400 ACE? What about feeding people during the famines? Don't you people want to know where all the gold came from? Why does anyone care who her mother & grandmother were? Why does anyone care what she looked like? What about things that matter? -- Cleopatra would pick a political party and start to advance.

Last edited by Dios; January 9th, 2018 at 09:56 PM.
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Old January 11th, 2018, 10:15 AM   #10

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I suppose she would be somewhat flattered that she is still spoken of and remembered to this day. On the other hand, I feel she would saddened by the fact that most of the knowledge of Ancient Egypt and Antiquity has been lost, most notably with the destruction of the Great Library.
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