Titbits Are Go!

Cleopatra and the Nose of Destiny

J.P. Williams
1 min readSep 18, 2023
Cleopatra, Roman sculpture ca. 40 B.C. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

In his book The Idea of History, philosopher and historian R.G. Collingwood sneers at scholars who assign “the most trivial causes for the vastest effects.” He makes an example of Cleopatra’s nose. Had it been differently proportioned, misguided historians would claim, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony wouldn’t have found the Egyptian queen as irresistible as they did and the course of history would have been different. As a fan of attractive noses — Hillary Duff’s, Zendaya’s, Lily James’s and Koyuki’s come to mind as particularly shapely, but equally as lovely yet altogether different is Angelica Huston’s — I can only say that I think Collingwood underestimates the power of a good schnoz.

Note: I wrote this for Medium.com. If you are reading this on another platform, it has been pirated. I quit the Medium Partner Program, so I’m not doing this for money. It is nice, however, to know someone’s reading, so please clap or comment to let me know somebody’s out there. Gladius adhuc lucet.

--

--

J.P. Williams

I write about the intersection of arts and ideas. Maybe some short book reviews for a while.