Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 24 March 2013 (Cleopatra’s Ironclads)

“The temples are carved out of the living rock, and the gods twenty or more times the size of men–as they should be.”

“And the great Sphinx—is it true what they say, that it is not a woman but a man?”

“It is neither man nor woman, but the Pharaoh incarnate, the lion-bodied king.” The accounts had it that the desert sands hid no woman’s breasts but a king’s regalia. She adjusted the mantle of Isis with its knot below the heart, and shivered a bit. Yes, that was the scale she had taken on, with the frame of a mortal and the duties as long and broad as the Nile. To say it aloud, well, that was another thing.


Julius Caesar commissioned a statue of Isis for the temple of Venus Genetrix (his divine ancestor). This excerpt, and last week’s as well, imagines Cleopatra’s conversation with the sculptor.

Weekend Writing Warriors offers eight-sentence excerpts from a variety of writers; see the other excerpts here.

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4 Responses to Weekend Writing Warriors: Sunday 24 March 2013 (Cleopatra’s Ironclads)

  1. Sue says:

    well the Nile is not so broad and the story we heard was that the sphinx defend the king’s tombs. Hmmm apparently Greek Sphinx are totally different in meaning than Egyptian ones.

  2. This is an interesting story, enjoyed the glimpse into her emotions. Excellent excerpt!

  3. Vivien Dean says:

    It’s still daunting, no matter how it’s perceived. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Kate Warren says:

    The shiver is a nice touch. Even the boldest and most able of us are sometimes daunted by our responsibilities.

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