Cleopatra - what she really looked
If someone suddenly does not remember, the
queen of Egypt Cleopatra VII, which many people for some reason
associated with the standard of beauty, lived from 69 to 30 BC,
so, as you understand, she did not leave us a photo. :)
Moreover, even portraits were not written then. We know what the
rulers of that time looked like either from their sculptural
images or from the profile on the coins of that time. Naturally,
the artist could embellish, but judging by many, not
particularly attractive faces, then it was not very abused.
So, what did Cleopatra look like in reality?
Plutarch (a hundred years after her death) notes that "the beauty of this woman was not that is called incomparable and strikes at first sight, but her address was distinguished by irresistible charm, and therefore her appearance, combined with rare persuasiveness of speech, with a huge charm, squeezed in every word, in every movement, firmly embedded in the soul."
A marble bust of Cleopatra in a Berlin museum.
Other available sculptural representations of the queen are far from being in such good condition, so we turn to the coins.
Portrait of Cleopatra on an Egyptian silver tetradrachm 50-49 BC.
Portrait of Cleopatra on a bronze coin minted in Alexandria in 51-30 BC.
Portrait of Cleopatra on the Syrian tetradrachm.
Image of Cleopatra on a denarius of Mark Antony, 32 BC.
It is easy to see that the portraits are not particularly similar to each other and even less to the sculpted bust of Cleopatra. This is natural, since each carver of the stamp did it to the best of his ability. And the bust, perhaps, depicts Cleopatra in her youth (on the throne she ascended at the age of 17 years). But, in general, we can see that the beauty of the queen really did not shine. As if it is not the other way around. Look for example at this coin.
Denar 34 BC.
Cleopatra with her narrow forehead, large nose, narrow lips and slack chin looks like a man, and her Roman lover Mark Antony with bulging eyes, bull neck and hooked nose, slanted profile looks like a slaughterhouse employee. They're not very handsome...