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I haven’t been buying books lately because I have so many. But this one caught my eye. After checking at the library (it’s there but only as reference) I shelled out two bucks for this. Great deal, considering the cover says $30 CAD.

Image via Tumblr

Cleopatra is an interesting character. Michael Grant reminds us that she was far more intelligent and aware than a mere seductress or silly young girl as writers like Shakespeare and Shaw have portrayed her. No, she was raised in a royal line and had to know how to appease various (powerful) interest groups, especially the Romans. Although most people think of her as Egyptian, Grant says she’s of Greek origin, which I found surprising.

This book is a great complement to the HBO series Rome, which is well done but so mercilessly cut (from the director’s original version) that it’s a bit hard to follow at times.


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Biblical sensuality, 1959 Hollywood style

Solomon and Sheba 1959 via Tumblr

Solomon and Sheba 1959 via Tumblr

Sheba, a great pagan Queen comes to seduce Solomon, the Israelite King, with the intent of his destruction. Turns out she falls for him and vice versa. After many twists and turns, Sheba converts to Judaism and God rules that they each remain in their separate nations. This is loosely based on the Biblical account and other religious commentaries (opinions, arguments) external to the Bible.

It was nice to see Yul Brynner as a young man with hair. And Gina Lollobrigida is enchanting. I love discovering classic actors heard about in childhood but never seen in action. She is fantastic. A major Hollywood sex symbol in the late 50s and early 60s. Apparently Howard Hughes invited her to work in Hollywood earlier on, but she declined, preferring Europe. This may have delayed her career a bit. But I respect her for doing what she wanted, and not being swayed by the eccentric tycoon.

I enjoyed this movie. When historical films are well done, as this one is, it always gets me back to the books. The battle and temple scenes are especially good. Maybe they’re not entirely accurate. I don’t know. I’d have to spend weeks researching that. But overall, the excellent visuals help me to flesh out not just Biblical passages about Solomon but much of the Old Testament… a curious work of power, as Northrop Frye put it.


Is being a Lesbian/ being gay a sin?

Vintage photograph of two intimate women in a ...

Vintage photograph of two intimate women in a hammock, circa 1900 via Wikipedia

Here’s another Q&A at AllExperts.com, where I do volunteer work.

Catholics/Is being a Lesbian/ being gay a sin?