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Coin shows Cleopatra was no beauty

by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / February 14, 2007 11:17 PM PST
So maybe Mark Antony loved Cleopatra for her mind? (AP tagline...)

>> Antony and Cleopatra -- one of history's most romantic couples -- were not the great beauties that Hollywood would have us believe, according to British academics. A study of a 2,000-year-old silver coin found the Egyptian queen, famously portrayed by a sultry Elizabeth Taylor, had a shallow forehead, pointed chin, thin lips and sharp nose.
On the other side, her Roman lover, played in the 1963 movie by Richard Burton, Taylor's husband at the time, had bulging eyes, a hook nose and a thick neck. <<

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

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quite a resemblance :-)
by jonah jones / February 14, 2007 11:54 PM PST
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That old stuff
by Willy / February 15, 2007 1:43 AM PST

Compared to modern coins anything surviving millennial period of time or more just does justice to the coin, not the image. All too often when casted/stuck, it was a simple hammer and die situation. Artistry could be lacking as metal working was still long away from what is modern coinage now. Look at the coinage of the period, not too many look that good to begin with. Whatever she did have, it was wily used. Happy -----Willy

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How did the person who designed the coin..
by EdH / February 15, 2007 2:23 AM PST

know what they looked like? And at what age? Note that the coin ha supposedly been dated to two years before Cleo's death which puts her in her mid-30s.

It would be foolish to put too much stock in an image on a coin of that age.

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Also keep in mind....
by Josh K / February 15, 2007 2:54 AM PST

....that art styles were very different then. The artist may not have been trying to create an accurate likeness.

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Also, the concept of "beauty"
by duckman / February 15, 2007 3:16 AM PST

is highly subjective for it's time and place.

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(NT) Yup! The people on our coins ain't that gorgeous either!
by Cindi Haynes / February 15, 2007 4:03 AM PST
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very true! i hear that JR suggested
by jonah jones / February 15, 2007 11:03 AM PST

a jennifer lopez 'green dress' $1 coin



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You're right
by duckman / February 15, 2007 11:20 AM PST

That Susan B. chick is NOT hot

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by taboma / February 15, 2007 1:16 PM PST

I had heard somewhere tha Cleopatra was four foot in height and black skinned. Seems right to me still.
And ugly? Not sure. the artisans throughout history are remarkable.
Maybe the artisan was being kind to her. Maybe she really was ugly to look at.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Mirror, mirror on the wall?

Thanks Dave,


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Hard to say...
by J. Vega / February 16, 2007 3:56 AM PST
In reply to: Cleopatra

It's hard to say. After Alexander conquered Egypt, the Ptolemies came into power. The Ptolemies were Greek, and marriage of family members was the norm in ruling classes.

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Four feet not exceptional then,
by drpruner / February 16, 2007 3:57 AM PST
In reply to: Cleopatra

and skins from albino to black-black are attractive to someone, sometimes many someones.

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There are black organizations
by Dragon / February 24, 2007 11:59 PM PST
In reply to: Cleopatra

Who will say that everybody in the general area was black. I've seen posters, posted in libraries with such depictions. There is no evidence with Cleopatra.

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Egypt is in Africa; could be called
by drpruner / February 26, 2007 1:49 AM PST
prima facie evidence. Of course, her ancestry included Greek and who knows what else, given the travels of Alexander and his lieutenants.

BTW, did I miss the post that showed we're supposed to care? Happy
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I wouldnt say that
by Dragon / February 26, 2007 10:38 AM PST

history books and the National Geographic were prima facie evidence. I'd have to see their evidence.

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(NT) Prima facie: Map of Africa. :-)
by drpruner / February 27, 2007 3:11 AM PST
In reply to: I wouldnt say that
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Egept is in Africa
by taboma / February 26, 2007 11:37 AM PST

Dan, You are right. Who cares?
Interesting to think about a four foot black beauty with a hooked nose and a protruding chin. What did the rest of her drop-dead body look like? I am posting this and laughing :

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Or this conversation:
by drpruner / February 27, 2007 3:13 AM PST
In reply to: Egept is in Africa

Julius, I've got a terrific girl for you.

What does she look like?

Well ... she has a great personality.

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Or this conversation?
by taboma / February 27, 2007 2:06 PM PST
In reply to: Or this conversation:

Doug, Want to date my SiSSter?
You are one funny person here on SE. We need more posts from you and others to lighten up the forum. Way too tense lately. Or High anxiety as you put it. I still laugh at that one. So funny to read.
Are we the only ones to find humor in that? :

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Coin depicting Cleopatra
by taboma / February 16, 2007 2:08 PM PST

So Dave, why was my post back to you deleted?
Cleopatra was Black skinned. Fact.
Check your history books and National Geographic.
She was also about four foot tall.
You and others should check out the USS Constitution and the height of the decks. The decks were built for the height of the sailors at that time. The sailors amd Marines were about four and a half foot tall at that time.


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Are some from CNET playing mind games here?
by taboma / February 16, 2007 2:35 PM PST

My original post to Dave was deleted. Now it is back.
What gives? Too controversial? History?


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it was there all the time
by jonah jones / February 16, 2007 5:14 PM PST

Speakeasy: Coin shows Cleopatra was no beauty
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] - 2/15/07 7:17 AM
Total posts: 14 (Showing page 1 of 1)Back to Speakeasy forumTrack this thread
Post 10 of 14 | Previous | Next | Next unreadCleopatra
by taboma - 2/15/07 9:16 PM
In reply to: Coin shows Cleopatra was no beauty by Dave Konkel [Moderator]
I had heard somewhere tha Cleopatra was four foot in height and black skinned. Seems right to me still.
And ugly? Not sure. the artisans throughout history are remarkable.
Maybe the artisan was being kind to her. Maybe she really was ugly to look at.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Mirror, mirror on the wall?

Thanks Dave,


Post 10 of 14 | Previous | Next | Next unread

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It was there all the time?
by taboma / February 17, 2007 12:33 PM PST

Please report this glitch to Lee and the engineers.
My post did not show following the threads originally.
Later, it showed up.
Has been going on a few other times for the past week. Posts not appearing and suddenly show up again.
Frustrating to say the least. When I follow a discussion I often question was the post tossed or is it a glitch!?


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In Greenfield Village in Dearborn MI there's
by drpruner / February 20, 2007 7:18 AM PST
In reply to: Is this really true?

an old millhouse from the period you mention. The doorways are noticeably shorter, as are some of the other doorways at the Village. I'd guess, from memory, they're about 5'8" or slightly higher. The guides always give 'short average stature' as the reason. (I can walk through them, and I'm a little short. Say, how about a loan 'til payday? Happy )

Perhaps, though, work buildings had fewer amenities like large entries, to save money.

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by EdH / February 20, 2007 7:32 AM PST

Quick research around the web indicates that Americans of the Revolutionary period were, on average, nearly as tall as modern Americans. They were taller than Europeans of the same period.

If the doorways were lower then they were saving money on materials or employing women or children perhaps. Are ALL mills of that period like that? I'll have to check. We have some around here.

The gun decks of the Constitution are plenty high enough for modern folks to walk upright.

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As I said, some of the buildings were short-entry,
by drpruner / February 22, 2007 12:04 AM PST
In reply to: Maybe...

others taller. I remember that only the mill was pointed out by the guides.
As to ships (based on personal experience), anything goes (over- or under-sized), as long as its equipped for its mission. Nothing to do with the size of the crewmen. I'm told Das Boot (The Boat, as in U-Boat) is the most realistic of the submarine warfare movies. Certainly those WWII era German sailors would have been very cramped.

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USS Constititution
by taboma / February 24, 2007 2:42 PM PST
In reply to: Is this really true?

Hello everyone that posted. Sorry to be late with my post back.

Concerning the height of Cleopatra and the height of seamen and soldiers on the decks on the USS Constitution:
Cleopatra was four foot in height.
On-board the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) there was 450 Officers, 55 Marines and 30 male children.
I had the privilege on having a personal tour as a member of the USAF Cadets Parent?s Organization to the USS Constitution at Charlestown Naval shipyard. The USS Constitution was in the middle of another major reconstruction at that time in 1996.

A Female Ensign Officer escorted us. The ship was only open to the public and to view the main deck.
We toured the deck below during reconstruction, viewed everything from the officer?s quarters and below that were being reconstructed and replaced.

We were able to tour that deck easily and the height of that deck was comfortable enough not to worry about banging your head on a lateral support beam.
During the last reconstruction of the Constitution, the support beams were larger and the deck height was diminished slightly.
The second deck had the powder magazine and cannonballs stored forward.
The restoration work was superb by the craftsman rebuilding the Officers Quarters.
Just wonderful to see all this handwork being done.

Next, we went down to the lower deck. Before descending, our Ensign guide warned us all to watch out for the supports and to lower our heads in this area.
The bottom deck stored all the provisions for the ship. Had a galley and was the berthing for 55 Marines and 30 children plus a mess hall area. Pretty tight area.

Those 30 children were to be called the ship?s monkeys. The children used to scurry up the ship?s masts and set the sails. The kids were strong, nimble and fast rigging the ship.

I enjoyed our tour and thanks to the Navy Dept. for allowing us to be aboard this magnificent ship. Still Commissioned!
I also want to thank that Ensign for all the wonderful information that she provided us.
There is a store museum at the dock if interested .
The Constitution set sale in 1997 into Boston Harbor. One heck of a day for our country!

Here is a link to the USS Constitution from Wickipedia.
I think that all would like to find out more of the USS Constitution.
I do also.



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How tall was Cleopatra?
by EdH / February 25, 2007 12:46 AM PST
In reply to: USS Constititution

Why do you say she was 4 feet tall? I have not been able to find that but I did find a couple references to her being short, around 5 feet.

I am not at all sure anyone knows how tall she was.

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Was Cleopatra black?
by EdH / February 18, 2007 1:06 AM PST

I find this unlikely since her ancestors were mainly Macedonian Greek. It seems to be "common wisdom" these days that she was black, but that may be a myth. It's a matter of some dispute.


She has been depicted in many ways and even appears different on different coins, so it seems it is up in the air.

BTW, I've been on board the Constitution. The decks are low, but I think four-and-a-half feet may be an exaggeration. I doubt the sailors were that short.

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Ships are built to purpose;
by drpruner / February 20, 2007 7:20 AM PST
In reply to: Was Cleopatra black?

the comfort of the crew (including the officers!) is not that important.

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