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CLA 305 Cleopatra Through Ancient and Modern Eyes (3 credits)

The last pharaoh of Egypt was also the first of its Macedonian rulers to speak the Egyptian language; Cleopatra was a charismatic woman, who directed her efforts toward protecting and enriching her family and subjects. Her efforts to enhance her realm collided with her family and romantic life, leaving a legacy for scholars, poets and artists down to the present day. The course will examine the Hellenistic period and the beginning of the Roman domination of the Mediterranean world, as focused in the character and historical career of Cleopatra, the last of the Ptolemaic rulers of Egypt. We will read the ancient sources on Cleopatra, the Ptolemies, Caesar and Marc Antony, the Battle of Actium and its aftermath, the consolidation of power by Octavian/Augustus. We will also analyze the evidence of ancient art and architecture, inscriptions, and archaeological contexts, including the background of Egyptian culture, the phenomenon of Alexander and the creation of the Hellenistic kingdoms. Fulfills the Art/Literature requirement of the GER/GEP.