cleopatra coin
AGRS 39A :  Cleopatras
Course Catalog No: 32455
ETCH 3105
Hickey, Todd
2:00 - 5:00 PM

In this seminar, we'll scrutinize and discuss representations of the Ptolemaic queen Cleopatra from Antiquity to the present day; our sources will include monuments, literature, art, movies, and advertising. The only prerequisites for the course are interests in this (in)famous monarch and in our engagements with (and refashionings of) her over two millennia.

Our goals:

  • To acquire familiarity with the ancient sources for the life of Cleopatra VII (ca. 69‒30 BCE).
  • To hone our skills for interpreting these and later representations of the Ptolemaic queen.
  • To recognize the relationship(s) between later representations and their precursors. We'll be less interested in the factualness of representations (to the extent that this can even be determined) than in their “hows” and “whys.”
  • To work toward an understanding of the remarkable cross-cultural persistence of Cleopatra’s image over two millennia.

Course Notes:

  • Production of a short video (10 minutes) analyzing of one of two set texts concerning Cleopatra: 20%.
  • 20-minute in-class presentation concerning a Cleopatra. Your selection must be approved in advance, but the range of acceptable objects—from temple reliefs to Assassin’s Creed—is broad. A Cleopatra of your own making (even performed) is also permissible: 40%.
  • Final exam: Short-answer/multiple-choice/true-false questions concerning the material covered in the course: 25%.
  • Regular attendance and participation in discussions, during both ordinary meetings of the seminar and your peers’ presentations (each of which will be allotted 15 minutes for discussion): 15%.