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1 Probably the earliest existing reference to the practice of shaving is in Genesis, xli. 14, where Joseph is said to have shaved and changed his raiment, when brought from prison into the presence of Pharaoh; in this case, we may presume that it was the head, and perhaps not the beard, which was shaven.—B.
2 The ancients had two methods of arranging the beard; in one it was cut close to the skin, in the other it was trimmed by means of a comb, and left of a certain length. These two methods are alluded to by Plautus, Capt. ii. 2, 16:—B. "Now the old fellow is in the barber's shop; at this very instant is the other handling the razor—But whether to say that he is going to shave him close, or to trim him through the comb, I know not."
3 Varro, De Re Rus. B. ii., states this fact in almost the same words. He remarks, in continuation, that the old statues prove that there were formerly no barbers, by the length of their beard and hair.—B.
4 "Africanus sequens;" he was the son of Paulus Æmilius, the conqueror of Perseus, and the adopted son of Scipio Africanus. In consequence of his conquest of Carthage, he was named Africanus the Younger. His custom of shaving is alluded to by Aulus Gellius, B. iii. c. 4. From the remarks of these writers, we may conclude that the Romans were not generally in the habit of shaving until after the age of forty.—B.
5 "Cultus." Suetonius gives a different account of the method in which Augustus managed his beard. After remarking upon his carelessness as to his personal appearance, he says, that Augustus sometimes cropped, "tonderet," and sometimes shaved, "raderet," his beard. Dion. Cassius mentions the period when Augustus began to shave, the consulship of L. Marcius Censorinus and C. Calvicius Sabinus, A.U.C. 714; he was then in his twenty-fourth year.—B.
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