May 1, 2020
Cleopatra, the last great queen of Egypt, doesn’t really need an introduction. You can see her in your mind already, can’t you? Pretty and sultry with her cat-eye makeup, covered head to toe in shiny gold. Extravagant, self-serving, ruthless: this epic seductress used every magic trick in her lady arsenal to hold onto power, no matter the cost. Didn’t she? That’s the Cleopatra the ancient Romans want us to see. The truth is that few women’s stories have been more brutally revised by sexist haters. But clear away the acrid smoke of sexist Roman killjoys and another picture emerges: of a deft and capable pharaoh who ruled one of the most powerful empires the ancient world would ever see. Who was Cleopatra, beyond the smoke and hate and all that glitter? Let’s travel back and see if we can find her. Grab your strappy sandals, some hot pink smoke bombs, and your shiniest diadem. Let’s go traveling.