Cleopatra's Signature DiscoveredThe handwriting of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra has emerged from a Greek papyrus stored for more than a century in a mummy casing in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, Germany, a Dutch scholar claimed yesterday. "Cleopatra's signature can be found in just one word: 'genestho,' which means 'Make it so!' It is the formula for the royal authorization, and had to be added by the ruler's own hand," said Peter Van Minnen, a Dutch Academy research fellow in religious studies at the University of Groningen... Van Minnen insists the document he discovered is an original. The main text was the work of a secretary, while the subscription "genestho," written in a different hand, was signed by the queen herself. Moreover, at the top of the page, the Alexandrian office where the text was received added a note about the date they received it, around 33 B.C... "The text dates from 33 B.C. and clearly shows how Cleopatra tried to strengthen Canidius' allegiance to her. He is allowed to export (tax-free) Egyptian wheat up to 10,000 sacks and to import wine to Egypt up to 5,000 amphorae," said Van Minnen.
by Rossella Lorenzi
October 3, 2000
I should start writing "genestho" on all my office documents, just for grins...