Compare and contrast Cleopatra’s relationships with Julius Caesar

Compare and contrast Cleopatra’s relationships with Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius. Some things to think about include: How are these relationships shown in the ancient sources? How is Cleopatra characterized in these relationships? Are these relationships purely political or did some mutual affection actually exist in them?

Compare and contrast Cleopatra’s relationships with Julius Caesar

Firstly, Write a paper of approximately 8 pages (standard font and margins) in which you deal with one of the following topics.
Primary sources:
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Appian/home.html
http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Cassius_Dio/home.html

Topics are:
1. Cleopatra, Caesar and Antony
Firstly, Compare and contrast Cleopatra’s relationships with Julius Caesar and Marcus Antonius. Some things to think about include:

Secondly, How are these relationships shown in the ancient sources?

Thirdly, How is Cleopatra characterize d in these relationships?

Fourthly, Are these relationships purely political or did some mutual affection actually exist in them?

2. Was Cleopatra VII Philopator the daughter of Cleopatra VI Tryphaina?
Firstly, Examine the question of Cleopatra’s legitimacy. We know a lot about Cleopatra’s father, Ptolemy XII
Auletes, but we are not sure who her mother was. Was Cleopatra legitimate or not?
NOTE: If you pursue this topic you will need to assess the concept of “legitimacy” as defined by the different people and societies involved.

3. Nature vs. nurture: Cleopatra
Firstly, Cleopatra became a larger-then-life figure in her own life time and she herself was partially responsible for developing this image.

Secondly, Because of this, much of what she did during her life is often discussed in terms of her own abilities or character flaws. Assess this idea.

Thirdly, How much of what Cleopatra did simply follows in the footsteps of her dynastic ancestors?

Finally, To what extent do her activities show her own personality at work?

4. Octavia and Cleopatra

The two women who are discuss ed most prominently in the history of the battles of the Roman triumvirs are Cleopatra herself and Octavia, Octavian’s sister. Our sources very much turn Octavia into a foil for Cleopatra. She becomes a woman who represents everything that Cleopatra is not. Approval for Octavia is clearly state d.

Also, Compare and contrast Cleopatra and Octavia. How do they express the power they have?

Further, What are the strengths and weaknesses of the way they both deal with the men around them?

5. The Cleopatra myth
“The figure of Cleopatra in western culture is the one Octavian/Augustus wanted Roman society to have. After all, our picture is substantially from Shakespeare, who based his interpretation of her on Plutarch, whose information was heavily influenced by Octavian’s propaganda against her.

Additionally, In particularly the vision of Cleopatra as a foreign temptress leading Mark Antony astray.”

Also, Do you agree with this assessment?

Lastly, Are modern views simply rehashing Augustan propaganda or is more going on in the portrayals of Cleopatra over time?