Cleopatra's Egypt:

and her 40 Drachmae Portrait Coin

Although Cleopatra VII's portrait-bearing 40 Drachmae coin (below) was minted in Alexandria, her name and images are most readily visible in Dendera, Egypt. From the external walls of the Ptolemic Temple of Hathor (51-47 BCE) in Dendera come the mural reliefs (shown above) depicting Cleopatra VII's cartouch and her making offerings to Hathor with Caesarion, her son by Julius Caesar.

Alexandria, Bronze, AE40, 51-30 BCE. Obverse: Diademed bust of Cleopatra VII.

Reverse: Eagle on thunderbolt; cornucopiae. [SNG Copenhagen 422]

Q: Is the portrait on this coin of a stylized queen, or is it a representative image of Cleopatra VII herself?

A: The Dendera Temple images are stylized according to Egyptian tradition, but the visage on the coin is believed to be within the tradition of realistic Hellenistic portraiture. [Grant, Cleopatra, 1992, p.66]

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