• Cleopatra: The Egyptian Queen: The Entire Life Story

  • By: THE HISTORY HOUR
  • Narrated by: Lizzie Richards
  • Length: 1 hr and 50 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Cleopatra: The Egyptian Queen: The Entire Life Story

By: THE HISTORY HOUR
Narrated by: Lizzie Richards
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Publisher's Summary

Cleopatra VII Philopator was the last active ruler of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, nominally survived as pharaoh by her son Caesarion. She was also a diplomat, naval commander, polyglot, and medical author. As a member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, she was a descendant of its founder, Ptolemy I Soter, a Macedonian Greek general and companion of Alexander the Great.

Inside you’ll learn about:

  • Rome comes to Egypt
  • Sibling rivalry
  • Caesar and Cleopatra
  • Assassination
  • Antony and Cleopatra
  • An Alexandrian idyll
  • Dusk approaches
  • And much more!

Julius Caesar maintained a private affair with Cleopatra that produced a son, Caesarion (Ptolemy XV). When Caesar was assassinated, Cleopatra attempted to have Caesarion named as his heir, but this fell instead to Caesar's grandnephew Octavian. In the Liberators' civil war Cleopatra sided with the Roman Second Triumvirate formed by Octavian, Mark Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus. Cleopatra had an affair with Antony that would eventually produce three children: Alexander Helios, Cleopatra Selene II, and Ptolemy Philadelphus. Octavian's forces invaded Egypt and defeated those of Antony, leading to his suicide. When Cleopatra learned that Octavian planned to bring her to Rome for his triumphal procession, she committed suicide by poisoning, the popular belief being that she was bitten by an asp.

©2018 The History Hour (P)2018 The History Hour

What listeners say about Cleopatra: The Egyptian Queen: The Entire Life Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • HP
  • 10-31-22

Good overview, poor narration

This is a good, concise overview of Cleopatra's life. However, the narration is a little hard to swallow as the narrator's performance is somewhat robotic and annoying.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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God awful narrator but good story.

How the narrator was chosen for the role, I'm not sure, but the story was interesting. I had a hard time finishing, even though the book was short, because the narrator sounded like she was reading to group of children who don't speak English. Whiny and robotic.

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Cleopatra Understood

I've listen a few books on Cleopatra and Rome during this period and found this book by far the best researched. Details about her life written in a manner that provides a real feeling for the complexity of her life. The richness of Egypt and the relationship between Cleopatra and her people and her contemporary statesman from around the Mediterranean are quite amazing. Buy it!

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A lesson in making a subject interesting.


When you think how horribly dull most history books are, you are grateful for someone who actually puts life into the subject. This book does just that,

Just learning that Cleopatra was in Rome when Caesar was murdered and that she had to flee back to Egypt, was worth the price of the book.

The average history book is so dead it should be buried with honors. And history has always been my favorite subject. Nothing is more fascinating. But what a painful slog so many of them are. Why not bring the past to life?

This book was wonderful and made a bygone era pulse with interest and color.

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A Great Queen from a Beguiling Age Trapped

A Great Queen.
Cleopatra’s bold actions and thoughtful strategy created the last chance of Hellenism to resist Rome and a create a joint Mediterranean empire, as Alexander had dreamed and Cleopatra undertook. She represented more than political continuity; she embodied the continuity of Greek culture and learning as well as Egyptian tradition. She was able to captivate men with her incredible charm as well as her superb intelligence and this arose great passions, both in her lovers as well as in her intimidated detractors who were threatened by her wealth, power, acumen, intelligence and aplomb. Those who hated her, primarily Romans elites such as Cicero, hated her because she represented everything that Rome was not as she flouted every custom and convention that was Roman. She was a young woman with staggering power, stunning guile and astounding ability when young women were supposed to be sequestered until they were pressed into service as dutiful wives. The notion that the world, this world, any world, could be ruled by a woman, any woman, this women, and one not even a proper Roman woman, but a temptress and a seductress, a harlot queen, was simply intolerable to the martial Roman mind. She was a deviant in that she tried to hold the line against the deviance of Roman hegemony. She was a threat to the Roman idea of world order because she was an alien from a strange an alien world. Add to this, the shabby envy of Rome in the realization of its inadequacy in philosophy, language, culture, literature, art and architecture when compared to the accomplished and sophisticated Greek East. In terms of policy, she had no choice but to consistency aligned herself with the future, with the growing and most powerful regional power in the Mediterranean, Rome. The son she had with Julius Caesar, Ptolemy Caesar, represented an alternative future, an alternative world order to unbridled Roman hegemony, a merger between the last great Hellenistic kingdom of the East and the new and undeniable power of Rome in the West. A world in which the Hellenistic Greek world would be a partner of, not subordinate to, Rome. A new dynasty that would fuse the two cultures. She knew that Egypt was the last domino in the Mediterranean to fall to the wolves of Rome. Her acts of seduction were at once acts of political genius and strategic brilliance.

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Great

Great Queen . This book is not an introductory work on Cleopatra or her times. Instead, it is a complement to other works. It is very interesting, very insightful, and very worth buy.

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New view of Cleopatra

Well written and well researched, The history, the record, the various accounts, are all too old for it to be otherwise. Great book.

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Very interesting

This was a very interesting biography of Cleopatra, who was quite a skilled strategist, obviously intelligent and incredibly adept as a political leader from a budget and policy perspective. It was refreshing to read a biography to combat the skewed film perspective of a beautiful but conniving woman who used her beauty to get what she wanted for Egypt. Definitely worth listening.

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  • Erfan
  • 09-26-19

A Living Cleopatra


Most historical literature is culled from English or other contemporary language documents. Since this is an accounting of politics, military strategy, Egyptian court culture and Greco-Roman mythology, before the start of the common era (CE), it tests our willingness to bond with the characters and their lives. Ms. Schiff has the master story-teller ability to overcome this "museum distant" view and feel close to the human and emotional life of Cleopatra and the people to whom she was a god, a lover, a bountiful sovereign, and a military threat.

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  • Vinda
  • 09-26-19

Great book


I’ve told people that I don’t like history. Really, I don’t think I like the way history is taught. I absorbed SO much about Greek antiquity, Egypt, Rome, etc and I loved every minute of it while reading this book. I found myself “googling” names, places, eras...all to have a better grasp of this story and in the process I think I learned more from this book than I ever learned in a world history class.

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  • Acton
  • 09-26-19

LOVE IT!

We see our time as the present time and Cleopatra’s time as the past, but her time was the present time to her as well. Cleopatra lived in the 'now' and it is still 'now'. The unending succession of present moments is unthinkable and disorderly. We tumble from moment to moment, from nothingness to nothingness. This serves to heighten the isolation of each moment. The truth is that the human condition is trapped by time. What is time? It is regret of the past and dread of the future. We are stuck in the betweenness of the present moment; between regret and dread but no wait, the present moment, this oasis between regret and dread, is only a mirage sitting amid the two deserts of regret and dread, it does not exist. The present moment is only real in the sense that it is the instantiation of regret of the past and dread of the future. By thinking that we are living in the present moment we are being deceived by time itself. In truth, we exist in the cruel midst of regret and dread, nothing more. Time becomes deadlocked and suspended at this dark point. The aftermath of the battle of Actium for Cleopatra and Mark Antony was an example of the two-fold regret/dread nature of time for human beings. Stacy Shift, in the closing lines of the book, tries to fathom how Cleopatra felt. I submit that she experienced the true dualistic nature of time itself, regret and dread, but in a much more intense, but no less true or real manner than us. For Cleopatra, the regret of the past and dread of the future were concentrated in the now. of the present moment.

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  • Alfred
  • 09-26-19

Recommended


We know next to nothing about Cleopatra’s early years. She is a young woman when we first encounter her. Much of the first part of the book is more about Julius Caesar; to history, she is important only through him. It is only after his death that Cleopatra, to history, becomes a major player in her own story.

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  • Cherie
  • 09-26-19

Interesting

This was a very interesting biography of Cleopatra, who was quite a skilled strategist, obviously intelligent and incredibly adept as a political leader from a budget and policy perspective. It was refreshing to read a biography to combat the skewed film perspective of a beautiful but conniving woman who used her beauty to get what she wanted for Egypt. It brought home again the sad conclusion that so much of what survives of truly resplendent cultures are just what the upstarts and empire builders deigned to leave behind as they slashed and burned their way to conquering new territories for the resources.

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  • Roston
  • 09-26-19

Great


The history books that I like all share the quality of being well written, of not getting lost in meaningless details, of attempting to present a strategic view of the events and be structured into a flowing narrative. This book does all this, while acknowledging that there are holes in what has been transmitted to us along the last 2+ millennia. Definitely worth listening.

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  • Tom
  • 09-26-19

Interesting and Insightful


We know next to nothing about Cleopatra’s early years. She is a young woman when we first encounter her. Much of the first part of the book is more about Julius Caesar; to history, she is important only through him. It is only after his death that Cleopatra, to history, becomes a major player in her own story.

I thought I knew everything there was to know about Cleopatra, but there were some surprises in this book. That said, this is not an introductory work on Cleopatra or her times. Instead, it is a complement to other works. It is very interesting, very insightful, and very worth buying.