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Popular Historical Myths

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Ash
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Post by Ash » Mon December 15th, 2008, 11:50 pm

[quote=""gyrehead""]I'm going to be real pedantic here. And really in many ways this is actually an anti-myth myth. Namely that Cleopatra was blonde. ).[/quote]

Thats funny, because I never imagined her as blond.

Thanks for the infor on don, dona. I had heard it from a lecture on Moorish influence on language, and that was an exampler the speaker used. It sounded possible, but my gut was telling me that no, probably not.
Last edited by Ash on Mon December 15th, 2008, 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Tue December 16th, 2008, 12:01 am

Considering that the Arabic for lord is different, that would be quite a feat.....

Henna strengthens the roots I think, or something of the sort. More striking too.
Whatever Cleopatra's hair colour, she sure had a pretty nose! =))

annis
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Post by annis » Tue December 16th, 2008, 12:25 am

Yes, that's another mystery - was Cleopatra beautiful or not?
Contemporary descriptions of Cleopatra describe her as being short, slightly overweight, and with a hawk-nose.

Plutarch says her main charm was in her personality and intelligence:
"For her beauty, as we are told, was in itself not altogether incomparable, nor such as to strike those who saw her; but converse with her had an irresistible charm, and her presence, combined with the persuasiveness of her discourse and the character which was somehow diffused about her behaviour towards others, had something stimulating about it. There was sweetness also in the tones of her voice; and her tongue, like an instrument of many strings, she could readily turn to whatever language she pleased..."
Plutarch, Life of Antony (XXVII)

But Cassio Dio says:
"For she was a woman of surpassing beauty, and at that time, when she was in the prime of her youth, she was most striking; she also possessed a most charming voice and a knowledge of how to make herself agreeable to every one. Being brilliant to look upon and to listen to, with the power to subjugate every one, even a love-sated man already past his prime, she thought that it would be in keeping with her rôle to meet Caesar, and she reposed in her beauty all her claims to the throne--" (XLII.34)

Perhaps she was one of those women who have the power of making people believe that they are beautiful, even if they aren't really?

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Volgadon
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Post by Volgadon » Tue December 16th, 2008, 1:05 am

It sounds like she wasn't a bad looker at 16 but as she got a bit older her face took on a little too much character to be considered pretty. Short wasn't an issue back then, especially not for Romans (or Egyptians). The Romans weren't ones to talk when it came to the nose department either. I would say that Cleopatra more than made up for a lack of classical beauty with her charm.

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Post by Helen_Davis » Tue December 16th, 2008, 2:33 am

[quote=""Volgadon""]It sounds like she wasn't a bad looker at 16 but as she got a bit older her face took on a little too much character to be considered pretty. Short wasn't an issue back then, especially not for Romans (or Egyptians). The Romans weren't ones to talk when it came to the nose department either. I would say that Cleopatra more than made up for a lack of classical beauty with her charm.[/quote]

I prefer to think of her as beautiful- I've been told I was her in a previous life and I believe it- it explains a lot of things about me! :D

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Tue December 16th, 2008, 2:34 am

But there are still a fair amount around. Not in the big rivers such as the Mississippi or Atchafalaya or Red River, but certainly in the smaller ones even now.
Wow, didn't know that! Not in Texas, though, so far as I know - I guess those Wild West guys with their revolvers wiped them out.
Was henna used to change the color or for another reason? Henna adds body and makes hair thicker-looking and easier to control. Maybe the color was a side effect.
I've used henna. It comes in different shades, but the red is the classic shade, and that's what I always used. I did it for the color the first time. I have mouse-brown hair - or did until it started turning gray - but my grandmother had red hair, so I decided I was just bringing out a latent heritage. I've since used the "neutral" henna for its body and shine. Lovely stuff, even if it's messy to use!

There's a couple of pictures of sculptures of Cleopatra at Wikipedia. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I rather like the basalt statue. That one looks to me like she's wearing a wig. The head clearly is not.
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Post by annis » Tue December 16th, 2008, 2:40 am

This is an early Roman representation of Cleopatra. Scroll down to page 17. Despite the obvious nose she has an attractive appearance.


The average Roman was quite short- someone like Julius Caesar at around 6 ft was considered unusually tall.

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Post by annis » Tue December 16th, 2008, 3:09 am

In the interesting if slightly off topic category- I only recently discovered that the use of henna was banned in Spain by the Spanish Inquisition . The Edict of Granada in 1526 sought by the strictest measures to eliminate all manifestations of local culture with Moorish overtones including dress, jewellery, Arabic language, medical practices etc.
Both Christians and Moors used and grew Henna from the 9th century AD to 1567 when the Spanish Inquisition banned its use.

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Margaret
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Post by Margaret » Tue December 16th, 2008, 4:34 am

Boy, those Inquisitors had their noses into everything!
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Post by Ash » Tue December 16th, 2008, 8:58 am

And everyone.

This is interesting - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/ ... patra.html

The computer-generated 3D image has been pieced together from images on ancient artefacts

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