The Portrayal Of Ancient Egypt

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Ancient Egypt is an interesting area of costume and clothing history to observe. When researching this era, it is hard for one to completely grasp the exact clothing of the time period. This is primarily due to how long ago this civilization existed, but also how little evidence has survived throughout the centuries. However, there are some coins, reliefs, statues, and rare clothes that survived the test of time. From these artifacts, historians are able to draw a faint image of what men and women in Ancient Egypt looked like. Cleopatra (specifically the VII) is an iconic name that has stood the test of time. Portrayed by Elizabeth Taylor in the 1963 film Cleopatra, this fearless woman was depicted as donning a golden headdress, blue…show more content…
Her family came into power at the brink of Roman rule. She belonged to the Ptolemaic dynasty, a Greek family that came into power after Alexander the Great’s death. After her father died, she came into power at age 18 alongside her brother, but quickly stole the throne for herself. Despite her brother temporarily overthrowing her reign, she was able to regain the throne, gain the love of Julius Caesar as well as Mark Antony, and maintain Egypt’s independence until her death. During her twenty-one year reign, she established herself as fierce, intelligent, seductive, and non-submissive. She was the only important female leader in the Mediterranean world and used any means necessary to maintain her power. Debates have sparked over whether Cleopatra used sex as a political tool, or if she truly did find love with two Roman men, both of which directly helped maintain Egypt’s independence (Grochowski). Stemming directly from these debates and how she is depicted in mainstream media, Cleopatra is often pictured as a beautiful seductress. In all actuality, coins and relics of Ancient Egypt depict her as average looking with a hooked nose. Uncovering the truth about Cleopatra’s appearance helps develop a new understanding of this iconic ruler. With this new information, one will see that Cleopatra’s appearance was less about sexuality as it was about divinity and strength. This depiction of Cleopatra of which this paper is centered around is
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