Tuesday, September 2, 2008

6-Was Cleopatra a Beauty?

I found this a fun reading and video regarding the famous Cleopatra and whether or not this famous woman was actually beautiful.

From Wikipedia:

"In most depictions, Cleopatra is put forward as a great beauty and her successive conquests of the world's most powerful men is taken to be proof of her aesthetic and sexual appeal. Whether or not she would have been considered beautiful by current standards is unknown, but clearly she was appealing by the standards of her time. The philosopher Blaise Pascal contends that Cleopatra's classically beautiful profile changed world history: "Cleopatra's nose, had it been shorter, the whole face of the world would have been changed."

Here is some evidence against this great beauty myth:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17157862


video

4 comments:

Nicole said...

The idea that Cleopatra was ugly is really interesting. It's weird that she was always portrayed as beautiful. Yet this also depends on people's opinions. For the coins, were they made by the Egyptians? If not then maybe the country that made them thought of her as ugly. She also looks very similar to Marc Antony so maybe they were trying to show that Cleopatra and Antony were a perfect match because they looked similar. Hmmm...
I read this book called Cleopatra VII Daughter of the Nile and even though it's fiction, it's pretty interesting. It's put in diary form and it tells of her everyday life written by her!
~Nicole Hutak

tayler said...

I think that its difficult to say whether or not cleopatra was beautiful or not just by the face on the coin. In my personal expierience, i have found that some really pretty people dont have as attractive profiles as they do a front view. I dont think her image as "beautiful" should be completely tarnished by the face on the coin...

Jessica said...

Just the thought that Cleopatra was ugly is strange. She has always been depicted as one of the most beautiful women even seen. The time gap poses an issue, because what was beautiful then may not always beseen the same way today, like the binding of the chinese girls feet. The image of a person is also an opinion. While some may think that she is beautiful, others may find her not so apealing.
-Jessica Skalet

Becca B said...

Nicole -- I read that book too!
It's more than likely nowhere near what actually happened, but it was a good one nonetheless. Also, I agree with Tayler on the idea that a person's beauty should nt be determined by one picture...ever seen someone who's gorgeous but just not photogenic at all? I know I have, and you never know -- maybe it was the same story with Cleopatra. Or, there's also the possibility that they just got a lame coin-making dude...