Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Appetitive: Cleopatra

While making lunch and cleaning the kitchen yesterday while Cerinthus was working, I decided to listen to some of the BBC "In Our Time" podcasts. I have really been enjoying the science ones recently (on the Nervous System and the Age of the Universe), but I wanted to listen to some historical pieces. One that caught my attention discussed the life of Cleopatra.

Obviously Cleopatra is a figure who inspires much discussion-- and ridiculous conjecture-- but I thought that the table of experts did a lovely job explaining the political situation in Egypt and Rome before she came to power and discussing the context as well as her life. Furthermore, I did not realize that so little writing about her survives from Egypt-- almost nothing. Most of the Egyptian evidence is self-depictions on coinage that she minted. Almost all of the evidence that exists comes from Rome and most of it (save a few snide remarks from Cicero in his letters) comes posthumously.

I found the piece very enjoyable. It is not particularly in-depth, but it provides a lively discussion between scholars and a nice background for the topic. Enjoy.

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