The controversy regarding the physical appearance of Queen Cleopatra VII has reignited, especially after the Netflix documentary series Queen Cleopatra casts a black woman as the beguiling figure in history. This controversy has started because there is a consistent reason for it!
There is no straightforward reason because apart from temple reliefs, busts, coins, or statues, there is no exact evidence of how the Ptolemaic queen looked. Many researchers also doubt that Queen Cleopatra was not as beautiful as many say!
She was enigmatic and charismatic, which attracted many men to her! She wielded a lot of power among Egyptian politicians, royal staff, and members; hence, she was more of a powerful woman with the grace and intelligence to control others with her knowledge, realistic perception, and intellect!
Cleopatra, the queen’s family, was originally from Macedonia in Greece! The royal family of the Ptolemaic dynasty ruled Egypt, and Cleopatra was the daughter of this family. Based on the ancient literary sources, there needs to be a more historical and archeological record of Cleopatra’s appearance!
This is because the first Roman Emperor, Octavian Augustus, ordered in 30 BC all images, busts, and statues of Cleopatra must be destroyed along with her lover, Mark Anthony! It is justified that no explicit source identifies how Queen Cleopatra looked.
With the Netflix series, the depiction of Cleopatra has been seriously questionable, especially when the physical traits of the queen are being questioned! The African heritage and the ethnicity shown in the series are questioned, especially when her Egyptian background is proven!
Through literary, archaeological, and historical sources, Queen Cleopatra VII has been known as Philopator, which means “beloved of her father”! According to Dr. Mustafa Waziri, an Egyptian Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Archeology, she was from Macedonia.
He also wrote in a lengthy official statement that Queen Cleopatra had Hellenic (Greek) features along with being light-skinned! Now we have our literary evidence!