In my quest to make dolls that will answer kid's questions I got stumped on Cleopatra.
Her skin is so contraversial that I figured I needed to do some major research before I chose a color for her.
I'm dreading her eye color.
She was really famous at the time, I'm really not sure why I can't find more descriptions of her physically. Oh well here we go.
Cleopatra VII's great great great, great great great grandfather, Ptolomy I Soter was appointed as a satrap in Egypt by Alexander the Great, and is the beginning of Cleopatra's family line in Egypt so I'll start there.
There is a specific statue of him that keeps poping up, which you can see on his wiki page. Coupled with descriptions saying he had a fat neck and poofy eyes, I can't find much else on how he looked. However, Alexander the Great had famous "lion colored" hair so I find it safe to assume that I don't know what color hair Ptolomy I had. It could have been dark, or it could have been light colored.
Alexander is also reputed to have had at least one blue eye so I can't make any assumptions on Ptolomy's eyes either.
I haven't found any description of his wife, Bernice I's eyes or hair either.
Next we have their son, Ptolomy II Philadelphu who sounds like a very interesting character. I've found this Cameo which depicts him with brown hair and his second wife, Arsinoe II with fair hair. They were full siblings therefore the blonde gene could be very present in both of them, but I'm not sure when this cameo was created, so it could be an artist's impression.
His first wife, Arsinoe I, who the wife who bore the decendents which included our Cleopatra VII was a Macedonian and Thesslian decent which were both greek.
I can't find a colored description of their heir and son, Ptolemy III Euergetes, however, his wife, Bernice II had legendary hair. Some say it was blonde, amber or auburn. All say it was light, beautiful and that it was very long. Artificially coloring hair was possible, but there is a greek word for amber, berenixe, which seems to be named after her so I'm thinking it's reletively safe to go with it.
Their married heirs, Ptolemy IV and Arsinoe III both have coins, and no hair or eye color I can find, but if we acept Bernice II had "light" hair, I also assume Ptolemy IV Philopater and Arsinoe III Philopater, had the genes for light hair.
Ptolemy V Epiphanes was an impressive ruler who took over at the age of five, dealt with civil war and famine, died at only 28 and seems like he had hair and eyes which weren't remarkable enough to mention. When he was 16 he was married to Cleopatra I of Syra who was 10.
I'm going to have to look into her line a bit more to see what eyes and hair her people had, however it seems like historians are not quite sure that she is the woman who contributed in Cleopatra VII's direct line. Hmmmm.
Ptolemy V's Children, Ptolemy VI Philometer, Cleopatra II and Ptolemy VIII, a.k.a "the sausage" were a bloody, crazy bunch who's psychotic sibling/incests rivalry is well documented, but not their eye or hair colors.
In my opinion, Cleopatra II is one of the prettiest Ptolomy I've seen
Next is one of their sons, Ptolemy IX Lathyros who's statue is also very attractive, but he happens to look a lot like my husband so I may be biased.
His sister/wife Cleopatra IV may or may not have been in Cleopatra VII's direct line, but I can't even find a personal name for her much less any physical description, so I guess NEXT!
EEEE! We're getting so close now!
Next is sexy Lathyros's son, Ptolomy XII Alutes who is Cleopatra VII's for sure daddy! Woo!
Again there isn't much to go off of in the way of hair and eye color. Descriptions tend to go over his obsession with flute playing. I personally think that his long, strong cheekbones look much more "traditional greek" than his sexy father's rounded face so I'm making a huge assumption that they had medium to dark brown hair. One thing I did discover is that they all had wavy hair.
Three days later, I've discovered that looking at each individual ancestor really wasn't that helpful, considering I only found out one hair color. Hmmmm.
I guess I did discover some very attractive people, but that really doesn't help at all either.
I don't get it! Years before kings wrote love letters saying "her hair the color of lapis," and such things. Why are these famous leaders lacking hair description? Ug!
I think I'll go with dark brown wavy hair for Cleopatra VII and then include a black Egyptian wig.
No idea about her eyes. Maybe I'll make her smiling or squinting.