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Thread: Beards in the Ancient World

  1. #11
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    Captdon's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Interesting.

    BTW, an iron novacila of the sort they used:



    "This type of shaver corrodes quickly and became blunt; so most customers usually, or eventually, would be cut or nicked. But don’t worry – the tonsor would fix this by applying to the face a soothing plaster made from special perfumed ointment and spider webs soaked in oil and vinegar."

    SO HOW DID MEN SHAVE IN ANCIENT ROME?
    They could have sharpened it with a small rock.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister D View Post
    Aside from hygiene concerns, limiting self-expression may have been part of the reason beards were discouraged in modern militaries which tend toward a greater degree of homogeneity.
    Sounds more likely. The Civil War soldiers almost all had beards. They weren't worried about hygiene.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captdon View Post
    Sounds more likely. The Civil War soldiers almost all had beards. They weren't worried about hygiene.
    True. Beards were popular during that era. I wouldn't say almost all but beards were certainly common.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Standing Wolf View Post
    I recall that beards were briefly permitted in the Navy in the mid-'70s, for the first time in the modern era, but I was unaware that any of the other services allowed them, either back then or now.

    I can see grooming regulations becoming more liberal, now that mainstream cultural fears that linked facial hair with "hippies", drugs and radicalism have largely disappeared. Similarly, tattoos are becoming more acceptable in "conservative" contexts, such as the military and police forces.

    Roman tonsorial habits reminded me of a pamphlet that I picked up from the bookshop of a Conservative Baptist church in northern California back in the '70s. It was entitled, "Did Jesus Have Long Hair?" It took great pains to dispel any notion that Jesus might have had long hair and/or a beard, and it was illustrated with drawings of Roman busts of the era showing Emperors and such with short hair and clean shaven. That Jesus was not a Roman didn't appear to the writers of the pamphlet to be noteworthy.
    They may have been correct. Clean shaven and short hair was the norm for Jews at the time according to this link

    https://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-35120965.

    The fact that he wasn't a Roman really didn't matter. Japanese males are not Americans but very few wear beards.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    The trend seems to be reversing itself in the military. I visted BAMC (Brooke Army Medical Center) recently and most of the security police had beards. Well trimmed and short but beards. It surprised me. My image of a modern soldier is clean-shaven.
    The security police were likely contractors.
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