Tag Archives: Egypt

Cleopatra

Was Cleopatra Really So Beautiful?

Ancient Roman historian Dio Cassius, who described the Egyptian queen Cleopatra as ”the most beautiful woman of all”, never saw the object of his admiration. In fact, he even lived more than 100 years after Cleopatra’s death.

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Cleopatra and Julius Caesar(Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1866)

To be honest, Cleopatra was not exceptionally beautiful in any way, at least according to present beauty standards. From portraits painted and coins issued during her reign, we can assume that Cleopatra had quite a long nose, protruding chin and that she looked ”rather majestic than beautiful”. Caesar’s and Mark Anthony’s passion for Cleopatra was probably evoked by her inner values; strong charisma and wisdom.

Ancient coins portraying Cleopatra(on the left) and Mark Anthony

Another common misconception is that Queen Cleopatra was of ancient Egyptian origin, when in fact, she was Macedonian Greek ancestry, descendant of Ptolemy, one of the Alexander the Great’s generals.

Due to sheer amount of incest in her family(16 roles of her great-great-grandparents were filled by only six individuals), some sources say there could be a connection between her looks and genetical inbreeding of her ancestors, however this currently belongs only to the realm of speculation.

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Boomerang

Did the Aborigines Really Invent the Boomerang?

According to available evidence, Australian aboriginal tribes weren’t the only ones in history to ever invent and use a boomerang. Boomerangs were already in use by ancient Egyptians about 4000 years ago, as a hunting weapon. In the same manner, they were also used by a number of indian tribes in North America(mainly Navajo).

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Painted boomerangs in Melbourne(Fir0002/Flagstaffotos)

Contrary to popular belief, primary advantage of the boomerang is actually not the well-known ability to return back to the thrower, but that the boomerangs usually fly much further when compared to straight, conventional pieces of wood. Most of the returning boomerangs were used just for practising, ”true” boomerangs used for hunting were never designed to return back to the thrower.

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Wall painting from ancient Egyptian tomb, depicting the usage of a boomerang-like weapon for bird hunting

Little Known Fact: If boomerangs always returned back, Australian army in the First World War would probably think twice before using boomerangs equipped with hand grenades in combat. You can still see some of these in the Australian Army Infantry Museum, Singleton.

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