Cleopatra: 2050 years after death: woman queen lover enemy


  • Paola Volpe University of Salerno



Plutarch, Cleopatra, Caesar, Antonius, Seduction, Θαῦμα


The subject of this paper is the representation of Cleopatra in Plutarch. Linked to the most important politicians of her age, Caesar and Antonius, she seduces her lovers with her charm, with her beauty, with her culture, with the ambiguity of her character and her actions. Egyptian and, therefore, far from the behaviour of Roman women, she made θαῦμα the weapon of her seduction, accompanied by all-female cunning, not without elegance and seduction. In the Life of Antonius Plutarch, alongside the merciless description of Antonius, naive in relationships with others (he easily fell into the hands of flatterers) and “slow in perception”, introduces a ‘cameo’ that portrays Cleopatra as a woman not beautiful, but of great charm thanks to the seduction of the voice that modulated words as if they were musical notes. Even her death was shrouded by that sense of mystery that had characterized her life: it was the asp that caused it, but no trace of the reptile was found.


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