With Reference to Sources, Assess the Achievements of Cleopatra VII
“Ancient writers tend to depict Cleopatra as a power hungry woman” . This is just one perspective from historical literature. No one can doubt that Cleopatra achievements were historically dynamic, but the way in which they were viewed through the biased eyes of historians, some what nullifies or exaggerates there affects and the assessment of this is the crux of my essay. First we will look at the negative Roman interpretations and then on the other hand the positive portrayal of the Greeks. And finally, looking at modern sources who have begun to re-examine Cleopatra, through far more unbiased eyes, I will conclude that she contributes strongly to the formation of modern Egypt.
There have been many arguments regarding the achievements of Cleopatra on both Egypt and Rome. Most ancient Roman historians tend to portray a negative opinion upon Cleopatra’s achievements, as they see her as a figure of destruction towards Rome.
Cassius Dio, an Ancient Roman Historian, criticizes “Cleopatra as a Manipulator whose love for Julius Caesar and Anthony was purely politically driven”. Cassius Dio evaluates the significance of Cleopatra’s achievements of control and manipulation, but criticizes her for wasting it. At the time of Cleopatra, Rome was a Patriarchal Society. Driving much of the negative literature was the view of Cleopatra as a threat to this order. As Adrian Goldsworthy outlines one of the Cleopatra greatest achievements, in which was to strengthen the plight of women as influential to great men, in his book “Anthony and Cleopatra”.
On the other hand, the Greek Historian Plutarch did not follow the previous writing of historians, as Plutarch in contrast seems unbiased at times towards Cleopatra achievements. Contrastingly, Plutarch portrays Cleopatra as an intelligent and independent woman in his book “Life of Anthony”. “The attraction of her person, joining with the charm of her...
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