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埃及艳后克莉奥帕卓

2006-02-06 00:00

  这是一位历史上最富盛名的神秘女子:她广播的艳名,她与恺撒、安东尼的两段恋情,她的丰功伟业与远大的政治报负,还有她结束于蛇吻的传奇一生。究竟埃及艳后的真面目如何?她不朽于世的奥秘在哪里?

  Three centuries later, shortly before the birth of Christ, Egypt was still ruled by a living goddess, Cleopatra, a Greek descended from one of Alexander's generals. She looked back to the Golden Age of Alexander's world empire and was determined to do even better herself.

  Alexander died at the age of 32. By the time Cleopatra was 23, she had gone ever further than Alexander making her entrance into Rome as Queen of Egypt and consort of Julius Caesar, the most powerful man in the world.

  consort:(国王或女王的)配偶

  These were complex times. To keep your throne, you had to be adaptable, ruthless, intelligent and a great politician. Cleopatra had all these traits which is why history has provided us with lots of interpretations of Cleopatra. Renaissance poets saw her as a heroine dying for love. And painters alluded to her eroticism in their bare breasted portrayals of the dying queen. Hollywood reinforced the image of Cleopatra as a vamp starting with Theda Bara's seductive portrayal in 1917.

  trait: 显著的特点, 特性

  allude:To make an indirect reference:暗指,间接提到

  eroticism:色情, 性爱倾向, 性的兴奋, 性欲亢进

  But who was the real Cleopatra? What did she really look like?

  We're in Berlin because this is the best portrait of Cleopatra in the world. There are very few ancient sculptures that are existing. So this is probably as close as we're ever going to get to how she really looked. She's rather plain looking, isn't she? Look at her hair. It's tied up in a simple bun. It's a classical Greek hairstyle. It's practical but not exactly designed to captivate a Roman general.

  We know from ancient sources that her hair was a reddish color, wavy. But look at her nose. It's a little bit too long and hooked at the end. And her mouth, is not exactly sensual. She's not wearing any jewelry. There are no earrings, no necklace. This is not the portrait of a femme fatale.

  femme:A woman or girl.

  The ancient sources tell us she was intelligent, witty, charming, a linguist and along with this, she had a tremendous determination. It was this amazing combination of abilities that made Cleopatra the most famous woman in history. It wasn't her beauty.

  Women in Egypt had always been powerful: Queen Hatshepsut, Nefertiti and now Cleopatra. But during the era of the Ptolemy's, the role of Greek women had changed. They gained an identity apart from that of their husbands or families. Women participated in the arts and civic life and marriage became a union of two people, not just two houses. The portraits of the women of this period show strong individuals looking back at you with confidence. They're almost haunting. Women would not have this power again until the 20th century. Cleopatra was well educated, strong minded with ideas of her own and a female.

  As an intellectual, Cleopatra would have been heartbroken: when during fighting between Egyptians and Caesar's Roman troops, there occurred one of the greatest tragedies of the ancient world - the burning of the library of Alexandria. It's sad to think about what was lost in the fire at Alexandria. There are the missing manuscripts of Aristotle and Plato. They were probably there. There was an entire room with editions of Homer. Maybe even there were early manuscripts of the Old Testament, which could probably help settle Biblical questions today.

  manuscript: 手稿, 原稿

  Testament:遗嘱;圣经

  Cleopatra was eventually able to replace 200,000 of the manuscripts. Books were very important to her. It's ironic that today everybody knows her for her beauty, but it was her intelligence that was most important asset she had.

  耶稣诞生的三百年后,埃及依然在克莉奥帕卓女王的统治下,她是亚历山大大帝手下一名将领的后代。她一面追怀着亚历山大帝国的黄金时期,一面决意自己做得更出色。

  亚历山大于32岁驾崩,当时埃及艳后仅23岁,她远行得疆界比亚历山大更远,她以埃及王后和世界上最有权力的人——朱利安·恺撒情人的身份走进罗马。

  当时局面非常复杂。要保住王位则必须是一名灵活,无情、机智兼出色的政客。这些特点埃及艳后全部具备,这也解释了为什么我们会从历史上看到关于她的多种不同说辞。文艺复兴时期的诗人将她视为爱情献身的女英雄。画家们把她描绘为裸胸垂死的贪欲的女王。好莱坞的电影强化了她的荡妇形象——第一部始于桑德·芭拉在1917年媚人的扮演。

  可是埃及艳后究竟是什么样的人?她的外貌是怎样的呢?

  于是我们来到了柏林,这儿有全世界最好的埃及艳后的肖像。现在仅存的古代雕像已是凤毛麟角,所以这一尊也许能帮助我们尽多地了解她的外貌。她长得挺平常的,是不是?看看他的头发,结的是个简单的髻。这是希腊古典发型。风格朴实,并非特别设计来俘获罗马将领的爱情。

  我们从古代资料了解到她的头发是浅红色的,有波纹的。可瞧她的鼻子,是稍有点长的鹰钩鼻。嘴也算不上性感。她不饰带任何珠宝。没有耳环,没有项链。这并非一个性感尤物的相貌。

  古代资料还告诉我们,她聪明、诙谐、迷人、精通多种语言,而且,她还具有惊人的毅力。正是集合了这种种才华而决非美貌,才使得埃及艳后成为历史上最负盛名的女性。

  过去,埃及妇女的势力向来不弱,如:哈特谢普苏特女王、奈费尔提蒂女王,以及想在这位克莉奥帕卓女王。但在托勒密王朝时期,希腊妇女的角色改变了。她们取得独立于丈夫和家庭外的身份,参与到艺术和市民生活中,并以两个个人而不是两家人的名义缔结婚姻。这一时期的妇女形象表现除了强烈的个性与自信。那令人印象深刻。21世纪以前妇女们都没有再拥有过这种权力。埃及艳后便是受过良好教育、意志坚强、有自己思想的一位女性。

  在埃及人与恺撒的罗马军队作战期间发生了古代一大惨剧——亚历山大图书馆的焚毁。作为一位知识人士,这一悲剧定曾让埃及艳后为之哀恸不已。要说亚历山大图书馆在那次火灾中的损失是令人伤心的。遗失的亚里士多德和柏拉图手稿估计就在其中。有一整个房间里放的是荷马的作品。如果《圣经旧约》的早期文稿没有在那时遗失的话,也许今日我们对《圣经》的许多疑惑已经解开了。

  埃及艳后最后找回了二十万册文稿。书籍对她太重要了。讽刺的是她以美貌蜚声于今日世界,而其实智慧才是她最最可贵的资产。

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