Should Cleopatra VII Be Called "the Great"?

Should Cleopatra VII Be Called "the Great"?

  • Yes

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No

    Votes: 15 100.0%

  • Total voters
    15
Sep 2019
187
Vergina
Should Cleopatra VII Be Called "the Great"?

You will have to forgive me for another Ptolemaic centric thread.

Numerous ancient figures have undergone reassessments of late, for instance, many now consider Philip II of Macedon to be "Philip the Great." Cleopatra VII Philopator is another example, Roman propaganda of Cleopatra's era painted her in a negative light while modern historians have reassessed her positively. Some scholars (Joann Fletcher and Gunther Holbl) have even referred to her as "Cleopatra the Great."

What's your assessment of Cleopatra? Do you think she merits being called "Cleopatra the Great"?
 
Nov 2016
1,606
Germany
No matter how positively one may view her reign (and there are positive aspects), why should one make verbal knee-falls before her? That's ridiculous.
 
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Sep 2019
187
Vergina
I'm not convinced she deserves "the Great" myself. Though I will note the argument can be made that she completely revamped Egypt and made it a major player again. Egypt was in a period of sharp decline prior to her. Cleopatra by forming alliances with Caesar and Antony made the kingdom relevant again. Had Antony emerged victorious her children would have inherited large portion of the Roman East in the Donations of Alexandria. In the end of course she gambled and lost but perhaps that shouldn't completely negate her previous efforts. As an example, Antiochus III and Pompey were in the end defeated but we still call them the "the Great."
 
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Nov 2016
1,606
Germany
As an example, Antiochus III and Pompey were in the end defeated but we still call them the "the Great."
These are typical verbal knee-falls by stuffy historians before some big slaughterers from ancient history. The attributes "great" were given to both persons by contemporaries, Pompeius, because he fought successful battles for Sulla (who gave him the cognomen ´magnus´), and Antiochus III by the contemporary Greeks which compared him to Alexander. This does not mean that these people should be considered great from our point of view.
 
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Oct 2018
2,092
Sydney
I'm not convinced she deserves "the Great" myself. Though I will note the argument can be made that she completely revamped Egypt and made it a major player again. Egypt was in a period of sharp decline prior to her. Cleopatra by forming alliances with Caesar and Antony made the kingdom relevant again. Had Antony emerged victorious her children would have inherited large portion of the Roman East in the Donations of Alexandria. In the end of course she gambled and lost but perhaps that shouldn't completely negate her previous efforts. As an example, Antiochus III and Pompey were in the end defeated but we still call them the "the Great."
This is a good point. She went above and beyond with what she had and made a gamble that could well have paid off. As for 'the Great', I will use such epithets to describe those who received the title from contemporaries or those writing not long afterwards. To do so is to acknowledge how the personality was received by their culture and can also be a useful way of distinguishing them from other characters with the same name. It doesn't necessarily mean I actually think them great. However, if the epithet is just an honorific being applied by modern scholars I see no point in doing so. To me it seems ahistorical and gratuitous.