When I first scrolled down the list of books that we were going to be reading for our class “Women of Power,” I was shocked to find a whole novel devoted to Kleopatra. My understanding of ancient Egypt was dry, dull and intangible and the only thing I knew of Kleopatra was from movies, where she is depicted as weak, seductive, and meant only to be beautiful. Instead, as I began to read the pages of Kleopatra,
I was immersed into a world where ancient Egypt was full of drama, deceit, and a woman that gracefully and independently ruled a nation despite all societal and cultural expectations. Within our class we dissectedKleopatra
through lively class discussions, analyzed her power in papers, and experienced the rich culture, food, makeup, and religion of ancient Egypt through presentations. At the end of studying Kleopatra,
I felt like I had gotten to know a woman in history. She was no longer some mysterious woman from long ago, she was the powerful, intelligent, undaunted woman who made mistakes, had lovers, doubted herself, remembers her childhood, and oh yes, ruled ancient Egypt.