Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Antony and Cleopatra: The Original "Brangelina"

Amateurs at scandal, really...
"Brangelina? Antopatra came first!"
     The handsome, boyish man's man and the powerful, dangerous vixen who steals his heart -- it's a trope that started waaaaay before Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie highjacked the tabloids.      The original outrageous, illicit power couple was none other than the pair who refuse to die in our imaginations -- the fun-loving Roman General Mark Antony and the fascinating Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra VII.
     Like Angelina Jolie, the last queen of Egypt had a brood of children. (Though unlike Angelina, she was hardly beautiful.)  Just as "Brangelina" (as the couple as been dubbed by the tabloids) parade their young'uns amongst the commoners, the queen also showed off her children to her people. Only instead of charging People magazine outrageous sums for the privilege of gazing upon the royal offspring, the queen commissioned sculptors to act as the paparazzi. Sadly, though, hardly any images of the queen's children survived the passage of time.
They got a People cover. Antony & Cleo's twins got a 33-foot statue.
That's what makes the recent find (or, more accurately, "identification" of a previously found object), so exciting -- a 33-foot statue depicting the children of the queen and Mark Antony:  twins Alexander Helios (sun) and Cleopatra Selene (moon). Researchers have identified the twins as the children of Antony and the queen by various means, including by the fact that the boy is wearing a sun disk, and the girl a crescent-moon disk. The style of the art also dates to the era in which the twins lived.
     Cleopatra actually had four children: one with Julius Caesar, and three with Mark Antony -- the twins and another little boy, Ptolemy Philadelphus. Read the rest of the article on Huffington Post...

3 comments:

Elizabeth O. Dulemba said...

I read your article over on the Huff Post. So cool that you're a regular there now!! :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I think I'd rather have a 33 foot statue instead of a cover on People. Both would be cool, but I'm rather partial to statues. :)

Vicky Alvear Shecter said...

Thanks, e! Me too, Stephanie--especially 33 ft statues!