AUC Press's Description
Cleopatra VII (69–30 BC) was the last monarch of the Ptolemaic dynasty in Egypt. Daughter of Ptolemy XII, she ruled with her two brother–husbands, Ptolemy XIII and Ptolemy XIV, both of whom she had killed, and with her son Ptolemy XV or Caesarion (44–30).
This new biography illustrates in full color the fascinating aspect of Cleopatra’s ever-shifting identity. A master of self-presentation, she was the first to craft for herself an image or, to be precise, a number of images. Depending on the audience, she might present herself as a goddess, a political leader, or an alluring and exotic woman. Roman statesmen likewise manipulated Cleopatra’s image for their own political ends. The tension embodied in our sources for Cleopatra’s life make her story especially captivating.
Cleopatra: The Last Paharaoh focuses on the ancient sources, but does not ignore the fascinating afterlife Cleopatra’s story has experienced. And the accounts of her life written by contemporaries, and even acquaintances, offer the reader a sense not only of Cleopatra but also of the literature and historiography of the time. Ancient sources include both the historical—Plutarch, Suetonius, Julius Caesar—and the literary—Horace, Virgil, and Lucan. Documentary evidence from inscriptions is also important. In addition, texts such as Cicero’s Letters provide some real-time snapshots of Cleopatra.