Cleopatra: Cleopatra (Women in History (Sterling))

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She was a woman in a man's position and understood she needed to take measures to protect herself as ruler so she chose to depict herself as a daughter of the god Amun , the most popular and powerful deity of the time. Hatshepsut reigned during the period known as the New Kingdom c. Ahmose began a policy of creating buffers around the borders of Egypt to make sure no foreign rulers could take control of the country as the Hyksos had.

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The pharaohs who preceeded Hatshepsut expanded on Ahmose's policy, including, of course, her father Thuthmose I who led campaigns into Syria and Nubia. Hatshepsut continued these kinds of campaigns early in her reign but needed further legitimacy to consolidate her hold on power. As a female pharaoh of Egypt she was breaking with a long tradition. The first ruler of Egypt was thought to be the god Osiris who established balance and harmony among the people of the land until he was murdered by his brother Set.

Cleopatra - Notable Women in History Series

Osiris' wife, Isis, brought him back to life but because he was incomplete he could no longer rule on earth and descended into the underworld where he became Lord of the Dead. His son, Horus , then took his place after avenging his murder. Following this paradigm, the monarchs of Egypt were always male.

The king patterned his rule on the just example of Horus and, when the king died, he identified with the king of the afterlife Osiris. There was no place in this model for a female ruler. In the Middle Kingdom , however, the god Amun began to gain in popularity. The Theban prince Mentuhotep II c.

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Amun, to whom credit for the victory was given, became Thebes' patron god. Under the reign of Senusret I c. The honorific God's Wife of Amun was bestowed on noble women who would assist the High Priest of Amun in his duties, usually the wife or daughter of the king. In the time of the Middle Kingdom the duties of God's Wife of Amun were little more than singing and assisting the male clergy but, by Hatshepsut's time, the role carried more weight.

Hatshepsut was appointed God's Wife of Amun by her mother and came to know the intricacies of the cult first hand as well as the power of authority. Thuthmose III, though a child, officially ruled with Hatshepsut until when she declared herself pharaoh, had herself represented in male attire, and took on the duties and obligations of the male pharaohs who had preceeded her.

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The marriage of her daughter to the heir-apparent was not enough, however, and so Hatshepsut re-created herself in an image she was sure the Egyptian court and people would not only accept but admire. She would be not only God's Wife in name but related to the god intimately as his daughter. In her inscriptions she relates how it was not really Thuthmose I who was her father but the god Amun himself:.

He [Amun] in the incarnation of the Majesty of her husband, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt [Thuthmose I] found her sleeping in the beauty of her palace.

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She awoke at the divine fragrance and turned towards his Majesty. He went to her immediately, he was aroused by her, and he imposed his desire upon her. He allowed her to see him in his form of a god and she rejoiced at the sight of his beauty after he had come before her. His love passed into her body.

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The palace was flooded with divine fragrance van de Mieroop, As a God's Wife of Amun, Hatshepsut had learned the language of the clergy and understood the rituals associated with the god. She had danced and sung for the god at the beginning of the festivals when the God's Wife was supposed to arouse the deity for the act of creation. By identifying herself as the daughter of the god she was now elevating her status beyond the semi-divine position of a ritualistic God's Wife to that of an actual daughter of the god.

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  • To further strengthen her hold on the throne of Egypt she also had inscribed an oracle which she claimed was given long before her birth in which Amun foretold that she would become pharaoh:. An oracle before this good god magnificently predicted for me kingship of the Two Lands, with the north and the south fearing me; and it gave me all the foreign lands, illuminating the victories of my Majesty.

    Year 2, second month of the growing season, day 29, the third day of the festival of the god Amun My father, the god Amun, Chief-of-the-Gods, appeared in his beautiful festival van de Mieroop, As a God's Wife of Amun, Hatshepsut would have known of the oracles of the god - oracles which would eventually be taken so seriously that Amun was the de facto ruler of Thebes and Upper Egypt - and so this claim of an oracle predicting her rise to power and the legitimacy of her rule as Amun's daughter would have carried a great deal of weight with the people of Egypt. Having married her daughter to her successor, and established herself as the daughter of the most popular god in Egypt - a god considered the creator and redeemer, the king of all the gods - Hatshepsut set about to rule her country and create her legacy.

    Hatshepsut immediately went to work on great public works projects, commissioning her exquisite temple at Deir el-Bahri at Thebes early on. In reliefs carved at this site Hatshepsut claims divine origin as the daugher of the god Amun and so clearly states her right to rule Egypt legitimately. She further claimed that her father, Thuthmose I, had made her his co-ruler and heir during his reign before her marriage to Thuthmose II.

    This clever woman spoke twelve different languages, and was a scholar of mathematics, astronomy and philosophy. Her lure therefore was her intelligence, not just her apparent good looks. She was no doubt less beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor or Sophia Loren, the women who portrayed her. Her exotic clothing, hairstyles and jewellery started trends among women, and she bathed in milk and honey to smell sweet. She dyed her hair and painted her nails with a mix of henna and juniper berries, and exfoliated her skin with sea salts and olive oil.

    No doubt it was this kind of routine and appearance that gave her reputation for beauty, while her drinking club that held feasts, party games, and alcoholic binges, gave her the reputation of a male equal with masculine traits. She certainly lived a life of luxury and enjoyed the havoc her reputation created as a match for men, and clearly Military Generals. It was the most expensive movie ever made at the time of its release, and nearly bankrupted its studio despite raking in a fortune at the box office.

    Cleopatras name has become a byword of beauty, luxury and excess, and will be remembered as a woman who had a hold over the most powerful men in Western history and who changed the world. Leave this field empty. From the cuisine, to the traditions or Located in Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan.

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    The National Italian American Surrealistically, there is a rhinoceros in front of an ancient Roman structure, the Arch of Janus. Dec 11, Dayna Smith rated it liked it Shelves: biographies-and-autobiographies , teen-nonfiction. A very good biography filled with pictures and graphics that will delight and inform.

    A great way to introduce nonfiction to younger readers and a fascinating look at the life of one of the most famous women in history. Apr 06, Mae rated it it was ok. This book wasn't terrible but it wasn't amazing either. I found some of the facts kinda interesting, but I'm not a fan of non-fiction. It doesn't really perk my interest. Tanayah Longs rated it liked it May 20, Hyeon rated it really liked it Feb 20, Lauren rated it liked it Jan 28, Rashpal Saini rated it it was amazing Oct 10, Paige rated it did not like it Feb 08, Daniel Gasparin rated it it was amazing Jun 04, Addie Davis rated it liked it May 22, Nikki rated it it was ok Jul 03, Grace Sarafidis rated it really liked it Jul 06, Marissa Brink rated it liked it Apr 17, Louise rated it really liked it Jul 30, Marlowe rated it liked it Jan 13, Za-ra rated it liked it Jun 13, Casey Violette rated it it was ok Nov 12, Greyson Baptist rated it really liked it Jan 09, Francille Zhuang rated it really liked it Nov 08, Ella rated it really liked it Dec 10, Erica Reinholz rated it really liked it Feb 23, Liv rated it really liked it Jan 21, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

    About Susan Blackaby. Susan Blackaby. Other books in the series. Sterling Biographies 1 - 10 of 40 books. Books by Susan Blackaby. Trivia About Cleopatra: Egypt'