Sunday, January 15, 2017

Update

I have another post on Medium regarding Cleopatra: Friday the 13th & Cleopatra: Not A Horror Story and Not Fake News.  I am going to be posting more about her both on Medium and on this blog because of how it relates not just to Sappho but the history as well as future of women in human society.

As a threshold matter it is important that people know that Cleopatra was a Greek woman, descended directly from one of Alexander the Great's generals.  The family was notorious for being incestuous as a means of preserving the purity of the blood line: speculation that Cleopatra herself may have been to some degree genetically African has virtually no basis.

As a Greek woman it is a certainty she would have studied Sappho intensely.  Not only was Alexandria Egypt already in Cleopatra's time a major center of learning, comparable to no other city except Athens, but there is solid evidence that she had special access, by virtue of being a Queen, to resources no one else had or even knew of.  In one of the few references to her by someone who actually met her, Cicero mentions that she promised to send or give him what he terms 'philologa,' which for someone such as him could only have meant books on philosophy.  She never sent those works and therefore it is not known exactly what they were.  But it is nonetheless evidence that she was quite learned, for it is startling that as a woman only in her 20s she would have even discussed such a thing with a man in his 60s, who already at that time was widely regarded as among the most learned individuals in Western history.

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