Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cleopatra's Daughter - A Virtual Tour Part I

I'm LOVING this book. Seriously. It opened my eyes up to the world of Ancient Egypt like it never had.
Granted, I'd always been biased to British history and literary figures but this book has blown me away.
Though it does have it's ups and downs [more of which I'll post when I've finished reading the book, I'm about 1/3 there], I constantly have to google and research to create a visual interpretation of what Michelle Moran was saying in the book.

So, hence, for myself [and any others who might be interested in Ancient Egypt], I created a virtual tour and guide of the times as based from the book of Michelle Moran. Well, mostly I did it to avoid having to google everything again, so I'll just post everything I come up here and credit as necessary. And basically I just want the readers of my blog to appreciate the same things I did whilst I was reading the book!

No spoilers below! But if I do slip, let me know in the comments so I could update this post!


First up, who are these characters from the Hellenistic Egypt times? Well, there's Kleopatra Selene. As per the book, she is the only daughter of Marc Antony and Kleopatra VII.
[Photo on the left from http://www.bible-history.com/] The book is told from her point of view [hence the title "Cleopatra's Daughter". No, it's not about the famous Cleopatra VII talking about her daughter] She was only 11 when her mother and father committed suicide when their empire was falling against Octavian's forces. [Previous sentence is not a spoiler because everyone pretty much knows that they killed themselves -- its part of Ancient History!]

She has a twin brother, Alexander Helios, whom I can't find a decent portraiture on the internet right now, who is more level-headed and is an excellent horseman like his father.

She also has a younger brother, Ptolemy Philadelphius, described to look a lot like Marc Antony [now, I really have to look for photos of Marc Antony!!! Is he that much of a looker? Really?? I couldn't imagine although the bust pieces of him from the museums kinda look interesting -- he's got wavy [or curly] blonde hair, doesn't he?]

Anyways, the book was initially set in Alexandria, where Selene was recounting how lovely the place was. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was located there: The Lighthouse of Alexandria, to which Selene has drawn many wonderful views of the city [painting by Salvador Dali on right].

 Alexandria is on the top of Egypt, it is also known for their sea ports and was the capital of Egypt. Alexander the Great had founded this city when he conquered Egypt!

This city is also known for the Library of Alexandria, it was also stated in the book that it's filled with thousands of scrolls and Selene and Alexander loved to read through them. The book also describes the mausoleum of Antony and Kleopatra, and I would've loved to see the mausoleum as well as the Library of Alexandria and the Lighthouse, but unfortunately, they're all destroyed now :( Well, who would've thought it would survive after 2000 years [except for the pyramids of course]

My, my, who would've ever thought that people in those days would ever think that their works and legacy would still live 2000 or more years on?? Hopefully I would love to make at least a tiny bit of impact to the world as much as they did.

I left out my notes at home so I'll create a virtual tour part II when I come up with more interesting bits and bobs. I'm at the part where Kleopatra and Alexander are already seeing the sights and structures of Rome, so the next part would probably be longer than this!

Hope you enjoyed :) I'd already included Alexandria as one of my places to visit in my goal to see the world!




6 comments:

Nina said...

I love Ancient Egypt! At one point I even considered to become an Egyptologist! Haha!

Anyway, I think we have this book. I'll have to check my mom's stash for this one. ;)

fickle fan said...

Nina!! :) I'd love to be an Egyptologist too, purely for the love of ancient artefacts and history. Let's plan a trip there. uh.. when we've got the extra money! :P

Whee, go check the book out, its sooo nice! Never knew Cleopatra Selene and her brothers existed before this book [then again I don't know much about Ancient Egyptian History before I read this book]

StephanieD said...

You've made me want to read this book even more - great job on the research!

miss cindy :) said...

an award for you here

Esme said...

Great review-I have this ready to be read.

fickle fan said...

@Stephanie - will research more on Monday. I'm forced to go on overtime so expect a new post up then! :P

@Esme - go read it so we could chat about it once you're done :)

@miss cindy - many thanks for the award! i'm off to your site now! :)