Olympias, mom of Alexander and his sister, Cleo the unknown. One of the earliest Cleopatras that I learned about was Alexander the Great's little sister. What, I wondered, was Cleopatra of Macedon like? What if she was even smarter and more wily than Alex? What kind of life did she lead? How did she feel about her older brother getting to conquer the world while she was … [Read more...] about How Did I NOT Know This About the Name, Cleopatra?
Cleopatra & Her Daughter
The Face Behind the Cover of Cleopatra Rules!
When it came to time to discuss the cover for CLEOPATRA RULES! my wonderful editor, Larry Rosler, 1. What inspired you to photograph yourself in this way? A couple of weeks before I took the self portrait, I was having a discussion about photography with my cousin Matthew Langford, who also happens to be a photographer himself. We were going through a number of self portraits … [Read more...] about The Face Behind the Cover of Cleopatra Rules!
Cleopatra’s Daddy Issues
Everyone's parents are embarrassing when you're kid. And then, to add to the embarrassment, Daddy sold out to the Romans. He borrowed so much money from a Roman loan-shark--squeezing his people dry to pay off the interest--it was a wonder the entire economy didn't collapse. Rome then took some of Egypt's territories (because they could) and Daddy did nothing to stop them. His … [Read more...] about Cleopatra’s Daddy Issues
The Historical Guide to Cleopatra’s Daughter, Selene
Cleopatra Selene was the only daughter of Queen Cleopatra VII and the Roman general, Mark Antony. I've tried to answer the most common questions I get asked about her: 1. Is she a "real" figure in history? When I first started kicking around the idea of writing a historical fiction novel about Queen Cleopatra VII’s only surviving child, her daughter, Selene, most people … [Read more...] about The Historical Guide to Cleopatra’s Daughter, Selene
The Ancient Lure of Pretty Perfumes
Cupid hovers over Psyche like a perfume hawker at a department store.I love this fresco of Psyche sniffing her wrist as she tests a new perfume cupid has brought her (from Pompeii at the Getty Villa).How charming is it? And how still true. After all, what woman hasn't dabbed a pretty scent on her wrist and sniffed?Perfumes were big business in the ancient world. When I … [Read more...] about The Ancient Lure of Pretty Perfumes