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The (Ptolemaic) Queen’s Speech: “More Effective Than a Million Soldiers”

Jordan Clare Johansen

University of Chicago

In a rare instance of a Ptolemaic queen’s direct speech, a hieroglyphic inscription at Philae records Cleopatra II advising her brother-husband Ptolemy VIII on military and religious affairs. I argue for the queen’s role as a military decision-maker; her association with bellicose Isis, who massacres her own brother-husband’s enemies; and the value of integrating non-classical sources for studying Hellenistic history.

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Lightning Session 1: History and Literature

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