Cleopatra's Nose

A small introduction about her: Cleopatra VII Philopator (late 69 BC – August 12, 30 BC) was the last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. She originally ruled jointly with her father Ptolemy XII Auletes and later with her brothers, Ptolemy XII and Ptolemy XIV, whom she married as it was a custom in Ancient Egypt, but eventually she became the sole ruler. As pharaoh, she consummated a relation with Julius Caesar that help her with keeping the throne. She later elevated her son with Caesar, Caesarion. Then, after Caesar was assassinated, she aligned with Mark Antony in against Caesar’s legal heir, Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (later known as Augustus).

But rather than talking about her life and achievements, the most interesting thing about her was the power she had among men, e.g., Julius Caesar and Mark Antony. If you had read “The Art of Seduction” by Robert Green, Cleopatra was one of the greatest women to use seduction as a way to gain power. Other women were Bathsheba, from the Old Testament, Helen of Troy and the Chinese siren Hso Shi.
"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)
Where do I want to get with this? Well, maybe you have heard of the famous aphorism by Blaise Pascal “Had Cleopatra’s nose been shorter, the face of the world would have changed.” What this means is that, had her nose been smaller, she would have lacked the dominance and strength of character which, in the physiognomy of the seventeenth century, a large nose symbolized. In other words, Caesar and Antony would not have fallen in love with her, and the course of history would have been altered drastically.
Just to let you picture her, Cleopatra wasn’t at all the exact personification of what we consider universally beautiful. In coins issued during her reign, she’s depicted as a masculine figure, with a hook-nosed crone. But as stated before, she knew very well how to be charming and how to seduce, not only with her looks, but also with her words, posture and manners. Also, she knew very well how to handle men; especially Julius Caesar and Antony, for the liaisons with them were more political than passionate.

Women like these, exist to this day, immersed in our societies, some being more influential than others. Now, the next time you come across someone mentioning this aphorism, you will know what they are trying to tell you. Be it, the character of a person, or for that matter, the lack of it. The simple details which end up making a woman as influential as Cleopatra was, regardless of her beauty. Learn from this, that a woman should not be judged just by the way she looks, but rather for what is held within her physical appearance. 
Pictures via TheOtherCraftLord and RainfeatherPearl.
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