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Cleopatra Bio Discovers Wealth, Brains Behind Asp-Bitten Bosom

In “Cleopatra: A Life,” Stacy Schiff handles the politics of the ancient world from 48 to 30 BC with the immediacy she might bring to a book about the Clinton or Bush administrations.

For two millennia, according to Schiff, the Egyptian queen has suffered from an image problem -- largely because what we know about her comes not from Egyptian historians but from Roman ones, who had an agenda.