Cleopatra was always my ‘favourite’ - incredibly messy family (all her siblings opposed her/her father and died either directly or indirectly as a result), tactically had it off with 2 of the most powerful men in Rome and had their kids, gave them cool names (her twins with Mark Antony had middle names meaning Sun and Moon), was fluent in 9 languages and was v accomplished in many different subjects, found a way to go out on her own terms rather than be paraded in a Roman triumph as a trophy, and such a powerful opponent that yer man Augustus Caesar named the month in which he defeated her after himself. i love that she is seen as this huge sex symbol retrospectively even though she was not considered to be very attractive and was instead just incredibly charismatic.
used to always be really interested in Elizabeth I as well when i was a wean with the somewhat misguided instincts of ‘powerful women are cool’ ( MORE WOMEN OPPRESSING THEIR SUBJECTS ).
In a twitter thread the other day on the topic of ‘Name a more iconic couple’ someone mentioned William Haines and Jimmie Shields. I wasn’t really familiar with either of them, and ended up crying at a wikipedia article, of all things:
Ghengis is just the tip of the iceberg, the Mongols are endlessly fascinating (did one of my degree modules on the Mongol empires). Looking at a society like that from the perspective of a European who was brought up in the UK school system was absolutely mindblowing. Also, I now have a constant fascination with the steppe as being an almost magical landscape. VIEW THIS: