After reading the biography about Cleopatra and actually learning a little context around her life, I was excited to take a mini-roadtrip to Milwaukee to check out the Milwaukee Public Museum’s exhibit about her. It was an interesting exhibit that displayed a lot of artifacts that have been dug out from the sea by divers who are working to uncover the truth behind the myth that is “the last queen of Egypt.”
I think a lot of people associate her with Ancient Egypt, but in reality, she ruled up to the year 30 BC, in the days of Ceasar and Marc Antony, when Egypt already had “ancient history.” I also didn’t realize the context of her life until I read the book – I always imagined her ruling waaay back in the day, with the pharaohs.
Other facts I learned about Cleopatra:
- She wasn’t Egyptian – she was actually Greek. But she did learn to speak Egyptian so that the people would support her (in addition to several other languages)
- She “conquered” both Ceasar and Marc Antony, having kids by both legendary rulers
- She was so unbelievably rich. I literally can’t believe it when I read descriptions of her possessions and riches. EVERYTHING was made of gold or precious jewels.
- Alexandria sounds amazing. I wish I could see how it really looked back then – all the riches, white streets & buildings, expansive port and world-renowned library. Unfortunately, all that was destroyed by a combination of natural disasters, including a tidal wave that submerged most of that coastal area.
- Cleopatra & Marc Antony’s bodies have never been found. We still don’t know where they were buried, but archaeologists are currently excavating a nearby town in Egypt that might finally solve this mystery!
If you have a few hours to kill on the weekend, I would recommend making the 90-minute drive up to Milwaukee to check out the exhibit. Plus, during January, they have a discount on tickets – $20.12 covers the entrance to see Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt plus parking!