Friday, June 22, 2007

Ancient Coin Undermines Legend Of Cleopatra's Beauty


I stumbled across the following article issued by the Associated Press and I thought you might find it as interesting as I did. I give full credit to the AP for the article. The article did not contain the writer's name.

So maybe Mark Antony loved Cleopatra for her mind. That is the conclusion being drawn by academics at Britain's University of Newcastle from a Roman denarius coin which depicts the celebrated queen of Egypt as a sharp-nosed, thin-lipped woman with a protruding chin. In short, a fair match for the hook-nosed, thick-necked Mark Antony on the other side of the coin, which went on public display Wednesday at the university's Shefton Museum.

"The image on the coin is far from being that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton," said Lindsay Allason-Jones, director of archaeological museums at the university, recalling the 1963 film "Cleopatra", which ignited the tempestuous romance between the two stars.
The notion that Cleopatra was not in Taylor's league was hailed as a revelation in British newspapers on Valentine's Day, though the image is hardly a discovery.
Replicas of the denarius can be found on eBay, and images on other ancient coins are no more flattering.

Plutarch, in the "Life of Antony" written a century after the great romance, said of Cleopatra: "her actual beauty, it is said, was not in itself so remarkable that none could be compared with her."
"But the contact of her presence, if you lived with her, was irresistible; the attraction of her person, joining with the charm of her conversation, and the character that attended all she said or did, was something bewitching. It was a pleasure merely to hear the sound of her voice..."
Chaucer, writing in the 14th century, described her as "fair as is the rose in May."

Shakespeare outdid them all: "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety; other women cloy the appetites they feed, but she makes hungry where most she satisfies."
I hope you enjoyed the article and I invite response.. God Bless.. Jerry..

1 comment:

G said...

Don't know why someone would try to find how Cleopatra was looking alike, since there are statues, so anyone can see her as she was. It was not a great beauty but not an ugly woman. See this link:
http://www.mysticunicorn.com/EGE-100.html
and:
http://www.utexas.edu/courses/ancientfilmCC304/lecture23/detail.php?linenum=15
Now imagine her alive with charming gestures and intelligent speaking.