At the end of it, Christie was found at a spa under an assumed name.
When questioned the author had no idea that she was Agatha Christie. Originally published at Tracy S. You can comment here or there. When you think of Cleopatra, you probably think beautiful, seductive, irresistible. In truth, one of the most famous women rulers was probably none of these. What she was, was a skilled administrator, an amazing diplomat, and a ball of charisma.
Most people know the basics: she ruled Egypt, slept with Julius Caesar, slept with Marc Antony, rebelled against Rome and when that failed, killed herself by hugging a snake. Her ancestors were descended from the Macedonian Greeks. When Alexander the Great ruled the world one of his generals was named Ptolemy Lagides.
When Alexander died, his generals divided his empire up like pieces of a giant pizza, with Ptolemy getting the slice that included Egypt. The Ptolemy dynasty ruled Egypt for nearly over years when Cleopatra came to power. You could almost look at the name as a title. Women regents in the Ptolemaic dynasty were all either named Cleopatra, Berenice or Arsinoe. She was politically savvy. In the past, the Ptolemies refused to speak Egyptian. Only their ancestral Greek.
We have them to thank for the Rosetta Stone. Cleopatra made more of an effort to connect with her Egyptian subjects. She learned to speak Egyptian, and styled herself as Isis reborn. She wrenched a wobbly dynasty on the decline back into prominence. At least one imminent Roman general vouched for her grasp of military affairs. And in a patriarchal society like Rome, a woman ruler would have seemed weak.
Not to mention that her younger brother-husband wanted her dead.
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Egypt was on shaky ground with Julius Caesar. So Caesar went to Egypt to sort things out. He arrived during a three-way civil war between Cleopatra, her brother and her sister. She even convinced Caesar not to annex Rome, but to leave it as a client state in her hands. An alliance with Marc Antony also made political sense.
The duo were also said to have cared for one another, and had three children together. History is written by the winners. Thus, the image we have of Cleopatra today is one shaped by Rome. Cleopatra was dangerous and threatening, concluded Roman writers. Therefore, she must be sexually alluring. So was Cleopatra ugly? Yet, art is subjective.
A bit like how sculpture of Nefertiti is portrayed wearing a masculine beard to show that she has taken on the masculine traits of kingship. Or even how millennia later, Queen Elizabeth the first would say that she has the frail body of a woman, but the heart of a king. Add to that, what we consider attractive changes. In Roman times, a prominent nose signified strength of character and power. The famous Greek Philosopher Plutarch described Cleopatra in a biography of Marc Antony written about years after her death. In it he says that her beauty was not exceptional, but she was well spoken-with a sweet voice and a charming way of conversing.
So in other words, Cleopatra was no great beauty, but not ugly either. And she more than made up for it in charisma and intellect. The themes of the fairy tale are even recycled in such popular and well-known works as The Phantom of the Opera and Twilight. Versions of this story appear around the world, and may date back 4, years, making Beauty and the Beast a literal tale as old as time. Although everyone fears shark attacks, hippos are statistically more dangerous. Yet in the early 20th century, there was a movement to populate the swamps of Louisiana with hippos that could be used to feed American Citizens.
In , the US faced a food shortage. Most native meat animals such as the Buffalo had been hunted to near-extinction. There was no more west to move to. Existing ranch land was over-grazed, and any new land would have to be purchased from farmers at a premium that would drive meat prices up further.
What was to be done? A man named Frederick Burnham thought he had an answer. Burnham was one of the templates for Indiana Jones. Burnham had been born to missionaries on a Sioux reservation. As an infant, he survived a Sioux raid when his mother hid him in a pile of green corn shocks. By the age of 12 he was supporting himself in California as a rider for Western Union. His education continued when at 14 he became an army scout during the Apache Wars. The frontiersmen and cowboys he served with some of which had served under Kit Carson taught him how to track and live in the wild.
He was part of the band of trackers who searched for Geronimo. Throughout the next two decades, Burnham lived as a freelance adventurer. But with the closing of the American frontier, he found himself without an adventure to lance for free. He and his wife packed up and headed to Rhodesia present-day Zimbabwe where he served as a scout in the first and second Matabele wars. Burnham impressed Baden-Powell so much, Baden-Powell formed an organization for boys so that they could aspire to be scouts and manly men just like Burnham.
He obviously sat up all night thinking up the name. Soon after, Burnham went to the Klondike to pan for gold. While there, the commander in chief of British forces asked him to become chief of scouts serving in the recently-ignited Boer war. A Congressman from Louisiana named Robert Broussard also thought he had the answer to the meat scarcity. Broussard, came up with this plan while searching for the answer to an unrelated problem: Invasive water hyacinth that were clogging the Louisiana swamps.
The invasive species, which had been introduced by Japanese delegates to a cotton expo in , were killing fish and clogging up the shipping lanes used by cargo vessels spoiler: a problem that persists today.
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They could eat the invasive hyacinth, and then be eaten. Irwin was a bit of an odd duck. His specialty was apples, but he had a passion for the idea of importing hippos for meat. Knowing what we know of hippos now — how territorial and dangerous they are — we can see that this is a terrible idea. But Broussard latched onto the idea. That is a matter of minor importance. The point is that Cousin Bob is their cousin; and he is satisfied, even if they are not.
And the idea of introducing hippos had a nice, attention-getting quirkiness to it. Trystan rated it it was amazing Feb 13, Nov 08, Tracy S.
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- As They Slept - Part 4.
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