What the Debate Over Cleopatra’s ‘Race’ Gets Wrong

The monumental legacy of Cleopatra, Queen of the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt, is frequently eclipsed by reductive contemporary discussions over her identity. She has been variously claimed as Macedonian, Greek, Egyptian, and African.

Debates over Cleopatra’s “race” were reactivated after Netflix released a trailer for its four-part docudrama Queen Cleopatra last w…

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