Cleopatra’s Nose

CLEOPATRA’S NOSE             
Course Leader: John Miller

If Cleopatra’s nose had been shorter, the whole face of the earth would have changed. Blaise Pascal, Pensees

In 2020 Cleopatra’s Nose enters its tenth year.
Cleopatra’s Nose is the course where we look at historical events and ask the question WHAT IF ..?
If circumstances had been slightly different would subsequent events have followed a different course? The class meets at the Workers’ Club on the second and fourth Fridays of the month from 10.30 am to 12 noon.

Proposed Schedule for Term One 2020
14 February        The Extinction of the Dinosaurs.
If a meteor hadn’t hit earth would we be here?
28 February        The Battle of Teutoburg Forest
The destruction of three Roman legions in a German forest causes the emperor to rethink Rome’s imperial policy.
13 March             Catherine the Great
In a palace coup a German princess replaces her husband on the imperial throne and sets out to change Russia.
27 March             Pig Iron Bob
When in 1938 the wharf labourers refused to load pig iron for Japan, it sparked a confrontation with the man who would become Australia’s longest serving Prime Minister.


Proposed Topics for 2019
Term 1
February 8          Marco Polo

February 22        Isabella of Castile
March 8               The Irish Potato Famine
March 22             Marie Curie
April 12                Turkey and the Great War
Term 2
May 10                 The Conscription Referendums

May 24                 Tutankhamen’s Tomb
June 14                 Eleanor Roosevelt
June 28                The Iranian Revolution
Proposed Topics for Second Semester 2019
Term 3
July 26                                   The Trojan War
What if the Trojan Prince Paris had not abducted the Spartan Queen Helen and taken her back to Troy?
August 9                              The Black Death
What if the Mongol general besieging the Black Sea port of Kaffa had not resorted to catapulting the corpses of plague victims into the city?
August 23                            Crimea
An unnecessary war?
September 13                   Votes for Women – The Australasian Story
What if the NZ Premier had not attempted to defeat a bill giving the women the vote by persuading a new member to change his vote?
September 27                   Australia and the German Spring Offensive 1918
The heroes of Villers-Bretonneux
Term 4
October 25                          The Birth of Photography
What if Louis Daguerre had not accidentally discovered a practical method of producing a photographic image?
November 8                       Chiang and Mao
What if Chiang had not been kidnapped?

Schedule for Term Three 2018:

July 27                   Hannibal
August 10             Joan of Arc
August 31*            Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn
*Fifth Friday
September 14       Arthur Phillip
September 28      The Siting of the Federal Capital
Term Break
Schedule for Term Four 2018:

October 26         Decoding Enigma
November 9       Mandela
November 23     Mabo
Schedule for Term Two 2018:
11 May Maralinga
Australia’s nuclear legacy.
25 May Florence Nightingale
Nursing – no job for a Lady!
8 June Gandhi
From accidental activist to international icon
22 June The Miracle of Leipzig
How the peaceful protest of people holding candles played a key role in bringing down the Berlin Wall.
Class notes will be distributed, as far as possible, prior to the relevant class meeting.
Schedule for Term One 2018:
9 February The First Chinese Emperor

The famed Terracotta Warriors are only part of the amazing story of the rise of the Chinese Empire.
23 February The Conversion of Constantine
A sign in the heavens led to events that impacted Europe and later the world.
9 March Robert the Bruce
The King who famously refused to give up his quest to free Scotland from the English yoke.
23 March Wesley
Rescued from a house fire as a child, he went on to have a powerful influence on religious history.
13 April The Age of Steam
James Watt’s development of a viable steam engine was a major contribution to the industrial revolution that reshaped the world.