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History vs. Cleopatra - Alex Gendler

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She was the most notorious woman in ancient history, a queen who enraptured not one but two of Rome’s greatest generals. But was she just a skilled seductress – or a great ruler in her own right? Alex Gendler puts this controversial figure on trial in History vs. Cleopatra.

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TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Brett Underhill
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Part of the problem in getting to know Cleopatra is that most of what we know about her comes through Roman sources such as Plutarch’s biographies of Caesar and Antony and Lucan’s history of the civil war. Being biased towards the Roman perspective, these helped inspire the popular depictions of her as an exotic seductress, most famously in the 1963 film portrayal by Elizabeth Taylor. More recently, scholars like Stacy Schiff have tried to break through the myths to get as close as possible to an objective look at Cleopatra in her own historical context.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animation lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director Brett Underhill
  • Animator Brett Underhill
  • Narrator Addison Anderson