Cleopatra: Her Life and Legacy (Online)

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Taught by Andrew Coletti

Andrew Coletti is an educator, food writer and history nerd who has been known to throw historical dinner parties just for fun. He makes videos about food history on TikTok and Instagram @passtheflamingo, and writes about food for Tasting Table and other publications.

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* This class will meet via Zoom! Download the web client at in advance; link will be sent before the talk. *

Cleopatra needs no introduction. One of the most famous names of the ancient world, her life is the stuff of legend: her great beauty, her highly-publicized relationships with Julius Caesar and Marc Antony, her tragic suicide. The subject of countless paintings, statues, plays and films, she's been portrayed by everyone from Elizabeth Taylor to Kim Kardashian, and is probably one of the first people you think of when you hear the phrase "Ancient Egypt."

But who was the real Cleopatra? How much of what we think we know is hearsay, and how much is based in fact? Primary sources reveal her as much more than a seductress in heavy eyeliner: a wise and politically savvy ruler who faced challenges bravely and did her best to keep her country united and independent.

In this class, we'll peel back the layers of myth to examine the historical facts about the last Pharaoh of Egypt. We will also consider some of the cultural depictions of Cleopatra in the centuries since her death, and how these differ from reality.

This class is an overview of Cleopatra's life and achievements. No prior knowledge of the ancient world is required!

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