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article imageCoin shows Cleopatra's ugly truth

By Tea Lulic     Feb 14, 2007 in World
According to academics, Antony and Cleopatra, one of the history's most romantic couples, were not the great beauties that Hollywood would have us believe.
I was always astonished by the beauty of Cleopatra. Moreover, I did a whole lot of research about her and the only thing I studied in university about her was that her beauty called everyone to follow her. More recently, I also found out that my name is her middle name. What a coincidence!!!
However, a study of a 2,000 year old silver coin showed that Cleopatra was not as beautiful. She had sharp chin, thin lips and pointed nose. Antony, on the other hand, had bulging eyes, thick neck and a hook nose.
The coin is from 32BC and was studied by experts at Newcastle University.
Clare Pickersgill, the university's assistant director of archaeological museums, said: "The popular image we have of Cleopatra is that of a beautiful queen who was adored by Roman politicians and generals. Recent research would seem to disagree with this portrayal, however."
Lindsay Allason-Jones (university's director of archaelogical museums) said: "The image on the coin is far from being that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Roman writers tell us that Cleopatra was intelligent and charismatic, and that she had a seductive voice but, tellingly, they do not mention her beauty. The image of Cleopatra as a beautiful seductress is a more recent image."
The coin pictures Antony on one side with a quote "Antoni Armenia devicta" meaning "For Antony, Armenia having been vanquished". On the other side of the coin is a picture of Cleopatra with a quote "Cleopatra Reginae regum filiorumque regum", meaning "For Cleopatra, Queen of kings and of the children of kings".
Well, I guess Hollywood can make anyone seem more beautiful than they are, so I am not surprised by this. However, Cleopatra was still very intelligent and her beauty was probably in her intelligence and not physical look. If we think about it, most of the pharaohs at that time wore a lot of make-up. Thus, her "beauty" was hidden beneath the make-up. I don't think we're ever going to find out how she actually looked like, but why does it matter anyway?
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