Cleo and the chasm between promiscuity and virility

Good essay on Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff, who is working on an entire book about her.

(By contrast, Cleopatra is one of three people–the others being Hannibal and Morihei Ueshiba–who feature in one chapter, Nr 6, of my forthcoming book.)

The news, apparently, is that they are hoping to find her tomb in Egypt. But aside from that, says Schiff,

What good can be said of a woman who sleeps with two of the most powerful men of her age… Cleopatra has gone down in history as a wanton seductress. She is the original bad girl, the Monica Lewinsky of the ancient world. And all because she turns up at one of the most dangerous intersections in history, that of women and power. She presides eternally over the chasm between promiscuity and virility, the forest of connotations that separate “adventuress” from “adventurer.”

My previous musings on Cleo are here.

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2 thoughts on “Cleo and the chasm between promiscuity and virility

  1. “…….If and when we find Cleopatra, if and when a face can be fitted to her, do we promise to give up Elizabeth Taylor once and for all…..?”

    The face and other attributes of Cleopatra will always be those of the youthful Elizabeth Taylor, since it’s our first impressions of anything or anyone which are the most indelible in our minds, as Shankar Vedantam said in this article:

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