FAQ

FAQ

Modern Lighthouses of Alexandria

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Can the Lighthouse of Alexandria be seen today? The short answer is no. But even though the great Pharos collapsed centuries ago, it remained an iconic figure of architecture, art, and the imagination. It is no surprise that people have continued to draw inspiration from it. Whether purposely or subconsciously, countless buildings replicate the unique shape and structure of the Pharos. ...

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Was Cleopatra Blonde?

cleopatra blonde

The color of Cleopatra’s hair does not survive in writing from antiquity. Nevertheless, modern scholars are equipped with several pieces of information which may help determine what it could have looked like. There are three undisputed facts which have given rise to debate about the color of Cleopatra’s hair: Cleopatra came from a highly incestuous family (the Ptolemies) in which brother-sister marriages ...

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I, Cleopatra by William Bostock

I, Cleopatra by William Bostock

Roman’s Rating: 5/5 I have read over twenty novels about Cleopatra to date, but I, Cleopatra by William Bostock was by far the most surprising. Being decades older than Margaret George or Colin Falconer’s novels (which I had read many times over), I expected an outdated and inaccurate portrayal of the ancient world. I began reading the book with a ...

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How did Cleopatra die?

Cleopatra death movie 1999

Cleopatra chose to die the same way she lived: dramatically. She and Marc Antony were defeated by Octavian, the leader of western Rome, during a naval battle in Greece during the summer of 31 BCE. The pair was forced to flee back to Egypt. Octavian reached Alexandria at the end of the following summer. Although Antony managed to raise another army to meet him in battle, ...

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Why is Cleopatra famous?

I get asked this question quite a bit and there isn’t an easy answer. There have been countless prominent people throughout history. So why is Cleopatra famous even 2,000+ years after her death while other people of greater or equal political prominence remain obscure? In many ways, Cleopatra was the world’s first celebrity. Thousands of years before her, the Egyptian ...

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Is Angelina Jolie a good choice for Cleopatra?

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Angelina Jolie is the star of the next Cleopatra movie. But many people are curious about how well she will fit into the role. Cleopatra has typically been portrayed by incredibly beautiful and talented women. These standards are, of course, a reflection of the time in which the films were made. Elizabeth Taylor’s performance in the 1963 film seems much more fake and over-the-top than Leonor ...

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How many children did Cleopatra have?

Many people may answer this question with “one” or “none.” That’s because movies about Cleopatra, including the popular 1934 and 1963 films, do not emphasize Cleopatra’s children. She actually had four. Three boys and one girl. In order from oldest to youngest, they are: Ptolemy XV Caesar – born June 23, 47 BCE Alexander Helios & Cleopatra Selene – born December ...

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Was Cleopatra beautiful?

The challenge in answering a question about beauty is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Criticizing Cleopatra’s appearance has become very popular in recent years, so I shouldn’t be surprised that this question gets asked a lot. But the debate is especially challenging because, more often than not, people judge images of Cleopatra that may not portray her actual ...

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What did Cleopatra look like?

Unlike the countless marble figures of Augustus, there are no definitive surviving statues of Cleopatra. Only two busts have been identified as Cleopatra VII to date, and only one of them is complete. That bust (right) now resides in the Altes Museum in Berlin. It portrays the Queen with hair pulled back into a bun beneath the traditional broad diadem of the Ptolemies. ...

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Why do you study Cleopatra?

I first began to develop an interest in ancient history when I was in second grade. My social studies book at the time contained a mishmash of random historical icons on the cover. One of them was King Tut’s funeral mask. I don’t know what it was about the image that captivated me, but I was very drawn to it. ...

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