February 17, 2007

This Is News?

Antony Cleopatra.bmp

Gasp! Somebody has figured out that Antony and Cleopatra were no Burton and Taylor!

"The relationship between Mark Antony and Cleopatra has long been romanticized by writers, artists and film-makers.

"Shakespeare wrote his tragedy Antony and Cleopatra in 1608, while the Orientalist artists of the 19th century and the modern Hollywood depictions, such as that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the 1963 film, have added to the idea that Cleopatra was a great beauty.

"Recent research would seem to disagree with this portrayal, however."

The university's director of archaeological museums, Lindsay Allason-Jones, 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."

Recent research? It's been pretty generally understood that Cleopatra manipulated her way round the Ancient World by means of her charisma and intelligence, instead of her looks, ever since, oh, her own time. This is nothing new.

Cool coins, tho'.

Speaking of such things, you should have seen the look on the eldest Llama-ette's face when I explained to her recently that Cleopatra wasn't even a native Egyptian but was, instead, a Macedonian Greek. We got into a long discussion about Alexander's empire, its division, the Ptolemeys and Roman imperial interests. Despite my best efforts to assure her that I was telling the truth, I'm not at all sure she believed me.

Posted by Robert at February 17, 2007 08:34 AM | TrackBack

The state of the diemaker's art back then was... ah... really, really primitive, so I'm betting neither "likeness" is worth a hot, flying flapjack.

I think I'll stick with slabbed Morgan dollars.

Posted by: Hucbald at February 17, 2007 03:46 PM