b) Evaluate ancient and modern images and interpretations of Cleopatra VII
Images and interpretations of a person can change over time. Such movement is paralleled with changes in opinion and morals throughout generations. Cleopatra the seventh is subject to this fluctuation. Ancient images and interpretations differ greatly to the impression left today merely by her name. Chris Dumasis, a modern day historian amplifies this theory in ‘Interpretations of Cleopatra’. She argues, “women have been demeaned of their true substance since the early time of patriarchal society.” Taken into account, this argument entails that when studying ancient sources it must be understood that at times, only a very narrow view of the events are presented in history. Cleopatra is a victim of this view. Roman and Latin interpretations are extremely one sided and are the few ancient sources of her that remain today. But they do not count for the entire story, as they were only two of the few literate societies at the time. As a result, the true image of Cleopatra may have been suffocated for centuries, only capably of being fully appreciated by modern day images and interpretations of her.
Presented by Real History, 2012
In focusing solely on the ancient interpretations and images that we’re left of Cleopatra, one is left believing, for the majority of her lifetime, that Cleopatra was a women despised by those around her. It can also be believed that she was not as beautiful as portrayed to be by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film ‘Cleopatra.’ Cleopatra’s coin portraits such as the ones in the above image, issued within her lifetime and are likely to be approved by Cleopatra herself, according to Stacy Schiff. These images are possibly the truest images of the Egyptian queen to date due to history’s pattern of distorting images over time. Amy Crawford in her article ‘Who was Cleopatra?’...
References: Dumasis, C. (2012) The Legacy of Cleopatra [Internet]. Available from: <http://athenaofwisdom.blogspot.com.au/2012/02/cleopatra-and-power-of-being-woman.html> [accessed 22nd Jan 2013]
Grant, M. (1972). Cleopatra. Castle Books, Memphis TN
Smart, C. (2004). The works of Horace.[Internet] Of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Available from <http://www.gutenberg.org/files/14020/14020-h/14020-h.htm> [Accessed 19th Jan 2013]
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