"We have observed for thirty centuries that a large nose is a sign on the door of our face that says 'Herein dwells a man who is intelligent, prudent, courteous, affable, noble-minded and generous"

"I will prove that there are infinite worlds in an infinite world. Imagine the universe as a great animal, and the stars as worlds like other animals inside it. These stars serve in turn as worlds for other organisms, such as ourselves, horses and elephants. We in our turn are worlds for even smaller organisms such as cankers, lice, worms and mites. And they are earths for other, imperceptible beings." (Cyrano de Bergerac, “The Other World“)

6 March 1619: Today, 394 years ago, Cyrano de Bergerac was born in Paris – and not in Gascogne, as Edmond Rostand’s famous play about him might lead to believe. And even though there was probably no Roxane and no Christian de Neuvillette and no balcony scene with Christian acting as a proxy, Cyrano was indeed a soldier in a Gascogne regiment and probably a well-known duellist.

But first and foremost Hercule-Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac was a poet and author and a harbinger of science fiction literature and enlightenment,though his most sophisticated works, L'Autre Monde: ou les États et Empires de la Lune (The Other World: or the States and Empires of the Moon) and Les États et Empires du Soleil (The States and Empires of the Sun) were published posthumously

But Rostand’s archetypical image of Cyrano as a rapier-wielding, ghostwriting tapir stuck since the late 19th century, but even the nose “…a rock! A peak! A cape! – A cape? Forsooth! It's a peninsula!" is purely fiction.

The picture below shows the actor Coquelin Ainé as Cyrano in a litho by Toulouse-Lautrec (1898).

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