Project Title

Cleopatra: Perceptions and Reality

Author Names

Laura CarrFollow

Authors' Affiliations

Department of History, Tusculum College, Greeneville, TN

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

1

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Joel Van Amberg

Faculty Sponsor's Department

History

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Undergraduate Student

Project's Category

Arts and Humanities

Abstract Text

Although Cleopatra is best known for her reported beauty, her influence went well beyond her outward appearance in Egyptian and Roman society. Cleopatra was a bright woman and used her beauty as a mechanism to profoundly affect those around her without arousing too much suspicion. In a time when it was uncommon and unpopular to have a woman in a position of such power, Cleopatra used her cunning to manipulate situations to her favor so that she could keep her power. In the pursuit of constructing a historical analysis of the perceptions of Cleopatra, this research addresses the ways in which Cleopatra has been portrayed and then provides a clear compare and contrast of that with how she actually lived and conducted herself. This study utilized a historical design, and ultimately textual analysis, to answer the research question. To facilitate the research on the topic of the political influences of Cleopatra, it is necessary to find and analyze both primary and secondary sources. Sources of this type are imperative in historical research in order to triangulate information. Primary sources for this topic consist of writings authored by individuals who were familiar with Cleopatra and her actions as a ruler. These primary sources ended up being primarily from Roman authors as they were more prolific writers than people from other areas. Secondary sources were also utilized in order to incorporate other scholar's writings and conclusions about Cleopatra and the people around her. These documents help to elucidate findings from researchers of Cleopatra and provide insight into her relationships and interactions with others. Amassing and analyzing these two types of sources together ultimately helped form a clearer picture of what evidence exists about Cleopatra and her life. This research is not yet completed, however, based on what information has been gathered so far, the expected outcome is the conclusion that Cleopatra was definitely not exactly what people in her time or currently have perceived her to be. Cleopatra, like any historical figure, is not two-dimensional; she is quite complex, in fact. From what has been gathered thus far, it has been easy to see that individuals who wrote about her around her lifetime had some interesting variations in what they believed to be true about her. From analyzing many of the similarities and differences that exist in these writings, it seems to be logical to expect that the Cleopatra was not all that her contemporaries have made her out to be and, in fact, was a bit more clever than any of them wished to give her credit for. It also initially appears that Cleopatra’s role in the events that transpired with the men in her life was not just a passive one but a very active, influential one.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

Cleopatra: Perceptions and Reality

Ballroom

Although Cleopatra is best known for her reported beauty, her influence went well beyond her outward appearance in Egyptian and Roman society. Cleopatra was a bright woman and used her beauty as a mechanism to profoundly affect those around her without arousing too much suspicion. In a time when it was uncommon and unpopular to have a woman in a position of such power, Cleopatra used her cunning to manipulate situations to her favor so that she could keep her power. In the pursuit of constructing a historical analysis of the perceptions of Cleopatra, this research addresses the ways in which Cleopatra has been portrayed and then provides a clear compare and contrast of that with how she actually lived and conducted herself. This study utilized a historical design, and ultimately textual analysis, to answer the research question. To facilitate the research on the topic of the political influences of Cleopatra, it is necessary to find and analyze both primary and secondary sources. Sources of this type are imperative in historical research in order to triangulate information. Primary sources for this topic consist of writings authored by individuals who were familiar with Cleopatra and her actions as a ruler. These primary sources ended up being primarily from Roman authors as they were more prolific writers than people from other areas. Secondary sources were also utilized in order to incorporate other scholar's writings and conclusions about Cleopatra and the people around her. These documents help to elucidate findings from researchers of Cleopatra and provide insight into her relationships and interactions with others. Amassing and analyzing these two types of sources together ultimately helped form a clearer picture of what evidence exists about Cleopatra and her life. This research is not yet completed, however, based on what information has been gathered so far, the expected outcome is the conclusion that Cleopatra was definitely not exactly what people in her time or currently have perceived her to be. Cleopatra, like any historical figure, is not two-dimensional; she is quite complex, in fact. From what has been gathered thus far, it has been easy to see that individuals who wrote about her around her lifetime had some interesting variations in what they believed to be true about her. From analyzing many of the similarities and differences that exist in these writings, it seems to be logical to expect that the Cleopatra was not all that her contemporaries have made her out to be and, in fact, was a bit more clever than any of them wished to give her credit for. It also initially appears that Cleopatra’s role in the events that transpired with the men in her life was not just a passive one but a very active, influential one.