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Monday, May 05, 2008

Review of Stanley M. Burstein, The Reign of Cleopatra.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2008.05.08
Stanley M. Burstein, The Reign of Cleopatra. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007. Pp. xv, 180; maps 2, pls. 10. ISBN 978-0-8061-3871-8. $16.95.

Reviewed by Jean A. Straus, Université de Liège (jean.straus@ulg.ac.be)
Word count: 1551 words

Table of Contents

Comme son titre l'indique, ce livre n'est pas à proprement parler une biographie de Cléopâtre, mais une étude sur le règne de la dernière reine d'Egypte. Sa composition et la bibliographie ne laissent pas douter un seul instant qu'il est destiné avant tout aux étudiants universitaires anglophones, mais il peut intéresser à coup sûr un plus large public.

Etc. at BMCR

The Blurb from U.OKlahoma Press

The Reign of Cleopatra

By Stanley M. Burstein

An engaging, accessible biography of the legendary Egyptian queen, with source documents
Ambitious, intelligent, and desired by powerful men, Cleopatra VII came to power at a time when Roman and Egyptian interests increasingly concerned the same object: Egypt itself. Cleopatra lived and reigned at the center of this complex and persistent power struggle. Her legacy has since lost much of its former political significance, as she has come to symbolize instead the potent force of female sexuality and power.

In this engaging and multifaceted account, Stanley M. Burstein displays Cleopatra in the full manifold brilliance of the multiple cultures, countries, and people that surrounded her throughout her compelling life, and in so doing develops a stunning picture of a legendary queen and a deeply historic reign. Designed as an accessible introduction to Cleopatra VII and her time, The Reign of Cleopatra offers readers and researchers an appealing mix of descriptive chapters, biographical sketches, and annotated primary documents. The narrative chapters conclude with a discussion of Cleopatra’s significance as a person, a queen, and a symbol. A glossary and annotated bibliography round out the volume.

Stanley M. Burstein is Professor Emeritus of History at California State University, Los Angeles, and coauthor of Ancient Greece: A Brief History.