Sep. 3rd, 2013

transemacabre: (Rose Red)
It rather amuses me that the recent reconstruction of Richard III's face, based on his skull, means that Aneurin Barnard of The White Queen is likely the most accurate Richard III, at least looks-wise, in media history.




More obscurely (and unjustly so), the emperor Heinrich IV was the closest thing the medieval Holy Roman Empire had to a Caligula. He was memorably described by the chronicler Ekkehard as "arch-pirate and heresiarch and apostate and persecutor of souls". Bishop Erlung of Wuerzburg also tells us that he had "piercing" eyes like that of a lynx; all the more striking a detail when you consider what a Eurasian lynx's eyes look like:



Although rare, humans can have amber eyes of similar color, like so:



We also know, from analysis of Heinrich's skeleton and skull in 1900, that he stood at least six feet tall, had broad shoulders, an athletic body, "a sharpely chiseled, narrow face", large eyes, and "a finely-shaped mouth"; together with those eyes, he must've been a handsome man. No wonder Matilda of Tuscany and Pope Gregory VII wanted to see him grovel before them half-naked! Heinrich's mother Agnes of Aquitaine was from a good-looking family -- her brother was Eleanor of Aquitaine's great-grandfather -- so likely he inherited his looks from her.

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