Here you have an incredibly ambitious, accomplished woman who comes up against some of the same problems that women in power come up against today. Cleopatra plays an oddly pivotal role in world history as well; in her lifetime, Alexandria is the center of the universe, Rome is still a backwater.— Stacy Schiff
The most pioneering Stacy Schiff quotes that will be huge advantage for your personal development
parenting is an exercise in unintended consequences.
As always, an educated woman was a dangerous woman.
I'm a sucker for lost worlds. I was nostalgic even as a child. I was happiest in my hometown library in Adams, Mass., where nothing seemed to change.
A rich, multi-dimensional tour of Naples, most brilliant, battered, and bewildering of cities, here fixed to the page with wit and élan. Splendid.
Strangely enough, politics may just be the one realm in which having kids imposes no penalty on women. Kids are practically a necessity. For scientists, or Supreme Court justices, or chief executives, or the woman who wants to learn to fly F-l8s off an aircraft carrier, it works differently.
Motherhood is always an act of courage.
The vanity extended most of all to his library, arguably the real love of Cicero's life. It is difficult to name anything in which he took more pleasure, aside possibly evasion of the sumptuary laws. Cicero liked to believe himself wealthy. He prided himself on his books. He needed no further reason to dislike Cleopatra: intelligent women who had better libraries than he did offended him on three counts.
No one sits on the stoop when she's a kid and thinks, 'I want to be a biographer when I grow up,'
Power has for so long been a male construct that it distorted the shape of the first women who tried it on, only to find themselves in a sort of straitjacket.
My next book is on the Salem witch trials.
As a small-town Massachusetts girl, this makes me very happy. So does the reunion with documents!
I checked to see if there’d been a really good book published in the last few decades. Then I started with what Cleopatra would have read, asking myself, “What can we know about her education?” It turns out to be a very great deal, and bizarrely, no one had written about that before.
For a few thousand years, women had no history.
Marriage was our calling, and meekness our virtue. Over the last century, in stuttering succession, we have gained a voice, a vote, a room, a playing field of our own. Decorously or defiantly, we now approach what surely qualifies as the final frontier.
We don't know how Cleopatra spent her days, but we do know how other Hellenistic monarchs spent their days. There has been a great amount of scholarship in the last 30 years about education in the Hellenistic world and women in the Hellenistic world. We now know how an upper-class woman was educated in her day.
No one in the modern world controls the wealth or territory that Cleopatra did.
When a woman teams up with a snake a moral storm threatens somewhere.
Cleopatra stood at one of the most dangerous intersections in history;
that of women and power. Clever women, Euripides had warned hundreds of years earlier, were dangerous.
And in the absence of facts, myth rushes in, the kudzu of history.
Ancient history is oddly short on incorrect omens.
Women enjoyed rights in Egypt they would not again enjoy for more than 2,000 years. They owned ships, ran vineyards, filed lawsuits, practiced medicine. Their husbands supported them after divorce. Their power was unprecedented.
An interesting thing about book groups, it seems to me, is that there is no correlation between a brilliant book and a brilliant discussion. The first seems sometimes even to undermine the second.
It has always been preferable to attribute a woman's success to her beauty rather than to her brains, to reduce her to the sum of her sex life.