In a world dominated by the Gods 2000 years ago, where intrigues, assassinations and poisonings were common among the upper echelons of government and the military, the story of a woman who lived in one of the most turbulent historical epochs that has brought us to who we are today stands out.
Cleopatra, a descendant of Alexander the Great himself, ascended the throne at the age of 18, bringing the Ptolemaic Dynasty to an end. But in addition to being a queen, she was also a diplomat, naval commander, writer of medical treatises and linguist. In addition to her mother tongue, she spoke Koine Greek, Ethiopic, Troglodyte, Arabic, Assyrian, Median, Parthian and Latin, and was the first of her line to learn Egyptian.
At the beginning of his reign he faced management difficulties due to the drought that had caused great famines, the debts inherited from Rome, revolts of the Gabiniani soldiers, as well as, of course, continuous power struggles within the palace.
Descriptions of her image and intelligence, such as Plutarch's: "They say that her beauty was not dazzling, but when you were in her presence and talked to her she was irresistible" and poetic stories about her, such as the death-suicide of Mark Antony, aged 53, who stabbed himself with his sword believing her dead when she was hiding from Octavian in her own tomb.
Her own suicide, of which it is said that she had herself bitten by a snake, which was never found, so as not to be exhibited in Rome as a trophy (which had already happened to her sister Arsínoe IV),
as well as references to her strategies (it is said that she had herself hidden inside a carpet dressed in her best clothes to meet Caesar) have made us construct an image of an intriguing and mysterious woman.
However, the propaganda against her by contemporaries such as Octavian, Caesar, and authors such as Pompey, Scarius or Maecenas, describe her as "lascivious", "whore", "harlot" or "indecent mare", terms that reveal the antipathy, hatred and envy that are hurled in the form of insults, even in the 21st century, against women who hold some kind of power.
Despite this hurtful legacy, she is known to have only two known romances, with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony (in parallel to the intra-familial marriages of the time, culture and status).
From these romances he had his offspring, for whose permanence on the throne or other positions of power he fought until his death, as well as for the permanence of his country, Egypt, which then became a Roman province.
The theme of UN WOMEN's International Women's Day 2021 is: "Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world" That is why I wanted to tell the story of what was probably one of the most powerful leaders in the world.
The leaders of our time also face the challenge of managing a crisis of Pharaonic proportions, with minimal representation in positions of power at the global level.
According to data published by UN WomenAs of 8 November 2020, women were heads of state and government in only 20 countries in the world.
In 1995, there were four female heads of state and eight female prime ministers in 12 countries.
In 2020, only 24.9% of the world's parliamentarians will be women.
In June 2019, the Fortune list showed that of the 500 chief executives leading the highest-earning companies, less than 7% are women.
It is worth asking whether those of us who write, who write, history, will record for a thousand years from now the size or appearance of the noses of Margaret Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, or highlight their romances, their mode of dress...., for of course, as we have seen, we continue to point out what their achievements have been in comparison to their sex, being the first in, the only in, the last in...
And let us hope that the day will come when we can speak only of people, of humanity's achievements, against the great challenges we, as HUMANITY, face.
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