The word κομᾶν
in Greek signifies “to
wear long hair,” and the constant epithet of the Achaeans in
Homer is καρηκομόωντες,
i. e. with the
hair all over the head being allowed to grow. They are thus
distinguished from the Abantes (Il.
), who only allowed their back hair to grow long (ὄπιθεν κομόωντες
), and the Thracians, who
were called ἀκρόκομοι
), because they wound their hair
into a knot on the top of their heads. The gods, too, are represented as
having splendid hair: Zeus has “ambrosial locks;” Apollo is
); and the goddesses and distinguished ladies
have “beautiful plaits” (καλλιπλόκαμοι, εὐπλόκαμοι
). By contrast, the vulgar
Thersites is represented as almost bald (Il.
). The old scholiasts supposed, probably rightly, that
in Il. 11.385
referred to a horn-shaped lock
of hair, and Helbig (Das homerische Epos,
p. 166) gives a
representation of what he considers this to be. As to the colour of the
hair in early times, we hear of yellow hair (ξανθαὶ τρίχες
) belonging to several of the characters
in Homer: Menelaus (Il. 3.284
), Demeter (Il. 5.501
), Agamede (Il. 11.740
); cf. Hes. Th. 947
. Unfortunately we have no certain illustration
of the way the hair was dressed in Homeric times, and without
illustrations we can seldom be very positive as to what descriptions
exactly signify; though conversely a little later we must not lay too
much stress on archaic statues, as the sculptors, having little command
over the material, were forced to observe a greater homogeneity of
treatment than was probably observed in the actual arrangements of the
hair by the men of their day.
Turning, then, with this proviso, to the ancient statues, we find in them
the hair built up in arrangements as stiff and symmetrical as, if not
quite similar to, that of the Egyptian and Assyrian statues. The winged
Artemis of Delos has an artificial arrangement of spiral curls on the
forehead, and stiff symmetrical ringlets hanging down the back and
shoulders (see Saglio, Dict. des Antiq.
i. fig. 1800).
Stiffer still are the front curls and the back ringlets of the Apollo of
Orchomenus; and in the Apollo of Tenea there are a series of
perpendicular curls on the brow similar one to another, and long hair
hanging down the back, divided by horizontal lines into a series of
homogeneous divisions. These horizontal lines doubtless point to the
threads or thin metal spirals (often of gold or silver) which were
fastened in this fashion round the hair. A bas-relief of a discobolus
given by Saglio (fig. 1799) exhibits a similar arrangement, except that
the back-hair is compressed into a circular roll. It is some arrangement
of this sort which is described by Homer (Hom.
), where he tells that Euphorbus had πλοχμοί θ᾽ οἳ χρυσῷ τε καὶ ἀργύρῳ
: and Helbig (Das Hom. Epos,
ff.) has supposed that this wasp-like fastening was effected by spirals
) of gold or silver. We
hardly ever find in the archaic statues the front hair otherwise
arranged than in some artificial symmetrical fashion (very frequently
with three long ringlets or παρωτίδες
beside the ears) of a row or fringe of curls or ringlets (σπεῖπαι
), the back hair gradually passing,
as time went on, from perpendicular or horizontally arranged locks to a
fastening up of the back hair on the crown of the head by means of a
band or bands. Illustrations tending to exemplify this may be seen in
the following drawings, one representing the head of Apollo from an
early Greek sculpture, and the other the head of Hermes, with braided
hair, in the Etruscan style, and a sharp pointed beard, from an altar in
the museum of the Capitol at Rome. In none of the statues is a
Apollo. (British Museum.)
Hermes. (Mus. Cap. Rome.)
band wanting. A very common arrangement is that figured in the
cut on the next page of an ephebus of the fifth century, taken by Saglio
from Gerhard's Berliner Trinkschale.
Owing to its frequency, this arrangement has been supposed by some
archaeologists, e. g. Conze (Nuove Mema. dell' Inst.
408 ff.), to be the fashion of wearing the hair noted by Thucydides [p. 1.497]
(1.6) as retained by the Athenians till a
short time before he wrote (χρυσῶν τεττίγων
ἐνέρσει κρωβύλον ἀναδούμενοι τῶν ἐν τῇ κεφαλῇ
). The κρωβύλος
large tuft or bunch of hair, also called κόρυμβος.
It is generally supposed that it was on the
top of the crown, as in the Belvedere Apollo or the
An Ephebus of the fifth century. (Gerhard.)
Venus of the Capitol, or as in the accompanying figure of Artemis in the
British Museum: others, as we have seen Conze does, suppose that it was
on the back
Apollo Belvedere. Artemis. (British Museum.) Both figures with
of the neck; and the τέττιξ
was a pin for fastening it. Helbig (l.c.
the fashion was the same as that of Euphorbus noticed above, and that
are the metal spirals
which compressed the collected hair, and which resembled the sunk--in
bodies of grasshoppers. Many such spirals have been found in tombs, just
at the head of the corpse; but it is not quite decided whether these
were not some kind of ear-ring. Birt (Rhein.
1878, p. 625 ff.) supposes the τέττιγες
to be a kind of clasp (fibula,
), but such is not like the
grasshopper. Schreiber (Mitth. der deutschen arch.
8.246) supposes the arrangement to be the hair drawn
back from the ears and coming behind, while in front the hair is raised
up in a tuft, and the τέττιγες
this front hair. This, indeed, agrees somewhat with the statement of
Athenaeus (xii. p. 512 c), who distinctly says they were used περὶ τὸ μέτωπον.
In the Archaic period, as both sexes wore their hair long, the difference
between the arrangement of the hair of men and women was not marked; but
after the Persian wars the men begin to wear short hair; and, sculpture
getting a greater mastery over its materials, the symmetry and
homogeneous arrangements give place to the diversity of nature. We find
heads on which the hair is represented falling into natural
heterogeneous curls or ringlets: for example, the Hermes of Praxiteles.
(See also the annexed cut of Hermes.) Rich luxurious hair falling in
natural folds, such as is seen in the statues of Zeus (see annexed cut),
was the ideal which the Greeks of this time conceived (O. Muller,
Arch. der Kunst.
§ 330, 4). Though the men
of this age all wore shortened hair, yet they not unfrequently
gods with long flowing hair fastened up like a woman's: a
well-known example is the Apollo Sauroctonos.
Children still wore their hair long, the front hair being tied up in a
) on the crown (O.
Müller, op. cit.
§ 330, 1), or
arranged in a long plait or plaits stretching from the forehead across
the middle of the crown to the back of the head. (See Saglio, figs.
1809, 1810.) The former is supposed to be the σκορπίος
alluded to by the Scholiast on Thucydides
) as the tuft peculiar to children.
The hair cut off when the boy became an ephebus was called σκόλλυς
by Athen. (xi. p. 494 f) and
by Hesychius. It was cut off
on the third day of the Apaturia (κουρεῶτις
], the ceremony being preceded by a libation to Hercules
and the hair being
dedicated sometimes to Apollo (for Theseus went to Delphi or Delos to
perform this ceremony, Plut. Thes. 5
Ath. xiii. p. 605 a; Theophr. Charact.
21), but generally
to some river-god (cf. Il. 23.146
Eustath. ad loc.;
). Besides the ephebi,
athletes wore their hair cut very short (Lucian, Dial.
5, 3, and the statue of Palaestra in Philostr.
p. 433), as did also certain Cynic and Stoic
philosophers (Juv. 2.15
; Pers. 3.54; and Jahn
). A ψιλὴ
is also recommended to the Christians (Clem. Alex.
3.11). But it must be carefully remembered that
by full-grown Greek men of the Classical period, especially the Ionians,
the hair was worn moderately long, and much attention seems to have been
bestowed upon it, especially by dandies (Aristoph. Kn. 579
Agathon (ap. Ath. xii. p. 528 d) says that long hair was a sign of
. . . μάρτυρας τρυφῆς
Different from this was the custom of the Lacedaemonians, among whom the
boys wore their hair short (Plut. Lyc.
) and the men long, considering their hair “the cheapest
of ornaments” (Plut. Apophthegm. Lac.
15), and tradition marking it as one of the institutions of Lycurgus
(Plut. Lys. 1
: cf. Hdt. 7.208
Plut. Nic. 19
; Aristoph. Birds 1281
; Aristot. Rh. 1.9
, who considers the wearing of long
hair a class-distinction of the Spartans), though doubtless it was an
old Dorian custom (Becker-Göll, Charikles,
p. 288). There are, however, some assertions seemingly at variance [p. 1.498]
with this opinion. Thus Alcibiades (Plut. Alc. 23
; de Adult.
is said to have cut his hair close, in order to be like a Spartan; and
again they are said to have worn short hair till they defeated the
Argives in 550 B.C. at Thyrea (Hdt. 1.82
but this latter is controverted by Plutarch (Plut. Lys. 1
), and the former may be some mistake of
Plutarch's from the fashions of his own day. The Euboeans wore their
hair long at the back (ὀπισθοκόμαι,
Poll. 2.28), like the Abantes in Homer; and the Macedonians wore long
hair and beard till after the battle of Arbela, when Alexander made them
cut both short, so as not to allow themselves to be seized thereby in
hand-to-hand conflict (Plut. Thes. 5
Pollux (2.29) has preserved to us a number of terms signifying different
kinds of tonsures, which we can fix with some degree of definiteness.
Thus, the “garden” cut (κῆπος
) was the hair cut short on the crown, but raised all
round with a crisping iron (Schol. Eur. Tro.
); the reverse, the “bowl” cut (σκάφιον
), was the hair cut short all round
the head (hence called περιτρόχαλα
with a centre tuft probably left intact (Schol. Ar. Av.
806; Hesych. ad
Phot. s.v. cf. Hdt. 3.8
). The latter attached only to slaves
and the lower orders (Schol. Ar. Av.
856), and it is to
be remembered that a mark of class-distinction between slave and free
was established by their hair (τὴν ἀνδραποδώδη
120 B). The Ἑκτόρειος
was apparently the hair in
front, above the forehead, puffed out, and the back hair flowing about
the neck (Poll. 2.30); and the Θησηΐ,
the hair cut close in the front (Plut. Thes.
); while what we should call a fringe appears to have been
and was said to be a
peculiarity of the Dorians (Poll. 2.29). Μαλλός,
a lock of wool, was used for short round fleecy
hair, resembling wool (μαλλοὶ
113), such as is seen in
some of the early Greek sculptures, particularly in the heads of
Hercules. (British Museum.)
As to the way Greek women wore their hair, we frequently find in
vase-paintings the front hair crisped in a kind of fringe, and the rest
fastened back by a band in one long cue, itself tied at the extremity,
often in a lump of some size. There nearly always appears to have been
some band behind. Sometimes long ringlets hang down the neck underneath
the band, as in the statue of Peace at Munich; sometimes the hair is all
drawn back in a mass at the back of the neck, as in the Venus of Milo
and the Venus de Medici. A not uncommon arrangement for young girls was
to have the hair drawn up and fastened in a large bunch on the top of
the head; an example is the Victory given by Stackelberg
(Gräber der Hellenen,
plate 60; cf. pl. 29
and 15). It would be endless to describe all the different forms in
which women wore their hair which appear on statues. Saglio (i. p.
1361), Blümner (in Baumeister's
p. 618), and Guhl and Koner (fig.
222, p. 205, ed. 4) give a great number of illustrations, which show
that they were as various as may be seen in our drawing-rooms to-day. As
time went on, the
Fashion of hair of Greek girls. (Right-hand figure, Niobe;
left, from a bas-relief at Rome.)
arrangements of the hair came to be more and more artificial
and crisped with the curlingtongs, till the climax is reached in the
wonderful structures which appear in Roman times. Especial notice is to
be taken of the head of Berenice, wife of Ptolemy Soter (Visconti,
pl. 52, 6 and 7), which exhibits a
great number of delicately arranged curled ringlets hanging over the
forehead all down the temples and on to the shoulders. The only feature
noticeable as common to the different headdresses is that they all
tended to narrow the forehead, and we know that such was considered a
mark of beauty (see O. Müller, Arch. der Kunst,
§ 329, 3)
For the barbers and their instruments, see TONSOR; and for the various pomades used, UNGUENTUM
But a word must
be said about false hair and dyeing. The wearing of false hair, whether
wig (πηνίκη, φενάκη, πρόσθετον, ἔντριχον,
) or front (προκόμιον
), a custom which undoubtedly came to the
Greeks from the East (Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the
), is chiefly
mentioned of women and effeminate men (Aristoph. Thes. 258
; Ael. VH
; Lucian, Dial. Meretr.
5.3, &c.). As
to dyeing, the colour most affected was yellow (ξανθή
): see Plut. Amat.
40; Poll. 2.30; Ath. xii. p. 542. It is
noticed as something strange that the hair of Atalanta (Ael. VH 13.1
) and Lais (Alciphr.
1) was naturally of this colour. But, as in all
ages, it was considered as a mark of being “fast” for women
to wear yellow hair (Menander ap. Clem. Alex. Paed.
though we find men too choosing this colour, e. g. Demetrius Phalereus
(Ath. xii. p. 542). Dyeing was frequently resorted to in order to
conceal grey hairs (Ael. VH 7.20
When Andromache hears of the death of Hector (Il. 22.469
), in her distraction she lets fall from her head
a band or fillet fastened
from the front of the forehead to the back of the head near the neck
]; her κεκρύφαλος
or coif (though Buchholz,
Die homer. Realien,
2.2, 269, takes it as similar to
see below); her πλεκτὴ ἀναδέσμη,
a thick puffed-out band
at the end of the coif, fastening in the mass of hair enclosed thereby;
and her κρήδεμνον,
a cloak or mantilla,
with [p. 1.499]
lappets hanging down on both the cheeks
(hence the plural κρήδεμνα
according to Buchholz, a “veil,” = καλύπτρη.
could be drawn at will entirely over the face (Il. 14.184
; cf. Helbig, op. cit.
157 ff.). It appears to have been similar to the Latin calantica;
see below. As to other fastenings
used for the hair, we hear of the στεφάνη,
a metal plate resting on the front part of the
head, and especially found in representations of goddesses (Il. 18.597
). The σφενδόνη
(Poll. 5.96) or “sling-shaped
band” was perhaps similar,
Hera (Juno) with σφενδόνη.
broad in the middle, where it stood on the forehead, and
tapering away towards the extremities; the ὀπισθοσφενδόνη
320, ed. Kock) was a similar band for the back hair. The στλεγγὶς
was, according to Pollux (7.179),
“a gilt band,” and indeed most hairbands were somehow
ornamented with gold or silver (ib. 5.96). Those dedicated by Nicias in
C. I. A.
2.824, line 10, had raised work in wood
(ἐπίτηκτοι ἐν ξύλῳ
), and were
probably like combs (Boeckh, Staatshaushaltung,
ii.3 289, 290). The usual names for ornamental combs
The generic term for any hair-coverings other than regular hats was
Greek Head-dresses. (From ancient vases.)
Greek Head-dresses. (From ancient vases.) The
left-hand figure on the top wears a κεκρύφαλοξͅ proper (reticulum). Of the two bottom figures, the one on the
left hand wears a μίτρα, and
the one on the right a σάκκοξͅ.
to have been made of silk (Salmas. ad
Solin. p. 392), byssus (Paus.
), and wool (Poll. 7.66). Yet
was strictly applied to
a net, like that in No. 1 of the accompanying cut. The σάκκοι
were pouches of thicker stuff, not of
net-work, which covered either the whole or part of the head, and were
usually coloured (examples in Nos. 2 and 3). Bladders (πομφόλυγες,
Fr. 320, ed. Kock) appear to have been used for this purpose (Moeris,
222; cf. Martial, 7.33
). The μίτραι.
were originally bands which gradually became
broader and broader (see No. 4), till they developed into a kind of cap
with lappets hanging down over the ears and cheeks, not dissimilar to
They were of bright
colours, a non-Grecian article of apparel, and were especially (at least
in later times) worn by prostitutes (Serv.
ad Aen. 4.216
; Mayor on Juv.
It has been customary among most peoples to cut off some of the hair as a
sign of mourning for the dead. For Grecian examples, see Hom. Od. 4.198
23.135; Eur. Hel. 1087
1438; Lysias, Epitaph.
According to Plutarch, indeed (Quaest. Rom.
14 = 2.267, ed. Reiske), it was a custom among the Greeks for the women
to shave off their hair in sign of mourning, while the men let the hair
grow, each sex reversing its usual practice (cf. Artemid.
1.19, who says that the men whose custom it was to
wear long hair were philosophers, prophets, priests, kings, rulers, and
actors); but these statements no doubt refer solely to Imperial times
p. 370, note 1). In
an interesting section of his Ceremonial Institutions
§ 361) Mr. Herbert Spencer, with great wealth of illustration
from tribes and nations in all parts of the world, shows how cutting off
the hair, like most other mutilations, is a sequence of trophy-taking,
and, whether used as a class-distinction or in religious ceremonial
(especially in ceremonies to the dead), it betokened the subjection of
the shorn man either to his fellow-man or to the gods. We still observe
the practice of cutting the hair in order to mark our convicts.
1. Men's hair.
The Romans in early days used to wear long hair (Liv. 5.41
; Cic. Cael. 14
), and they often speak of their incompti
avi (Ov. Fast.
): cf. also Hor. Od. 2.15
, and Mayor on Juv. 16.31
The coin representing Quirinus, struck under Augustus, represented
him as having long ringlets hanging down his back (cf. Verg. A. 6.810
). In 300 B.C. we are
told that Titinius Mena introduced barbers into Rome from Sicily
(Varro, R. R.
2.11, 10; Plin. Nat. 7.211
). Whether this was the case or not may
be disputed; certain it is that we have the story of Attus Navius
pointing to the knowledge of the razor in most remote times: perhaps
it was the scissors (forfex
), which was
introduced about 300 (Marquardt, Privatleben,
At any rate, it was from about that time that it became the custom
to wear the hair cut short, and it was only in times of misfortune
(e. g. when M. Livius was disgraced: Liv.
), or from exceptional
circumstances, as in foreign countries in order to appear more
imposing to the inhabitants (e.g. Scipio in Africa, Liv. 28.35
that a Roman allowed his hair to grow. The men wore their hair cut
quite short, and let it lie without
making any division, either quite flat or curled (crispus
) or waving (capillo
), according as nature willed it, using
no artificial dressing whatsoever further than combing it on feast
days (cf. Hor. Od. 1.15
). On statues we generally find the
hair brushed forward on the head, so that the forehead was narrowed,
a narrow forehead being considered by the Romans, as by the Greeks,
a mark of beauty (Hor. Ep. 1.7
1.33, 5; Mart. 4.42
This is seen in the fine coin of Antonius annexed. The hair hanging
over the forehead like a fringe was called capronae
22; Apul. Flor.
iii. p. 342; Fest.p.
48, M.), while the locks which hung on each side down the temples
were called antiae
Coin of Antony.
Fest. p. 17, M.). Both the capronae
are seen in the annexed figure of Cupid from the
British Museum. To be sure, dandies paid elaborate attention to
their hair, wearing artificially arranged curls and fringes crisped
with the curling-tongs and soaked with unguents, but are spoken of
with contempt for so doing (Cic.
Cat. 2.1. 0
, 22; Sest.
8, 18; Rose. Am.
11, 25). The ordinary simple way of wearing
the hair continued under the early
Cupid. (Brit. Museum.)
empire, the statues of Augustus and his immediate family
exhibiting it (Visconti, plates 18 ff.). Nero indeed (ib. pi. 30, 3)
and Otho (31, 6) appear to have arranged their hair in tiers of
curls (comam in gradus formatam,
Suet. Nero 51
); but they were
notorious fops, and fops always spent much time and trouble on the
arranging of their hair, “preferring disorder in the state
than in their curls” (Senec. de brev.
12, 3, a vigorous declamation on the extravagance in
Bust of M. Vipsanius Agrippa.
We find true Romans, like Trajan (Visconti, pl. 36, 4 and 5), wearing
their hair combed quite plainly, forward from the crown towards the
forehead. Some of the Antonines, especially the luxurious Lucius
Verus, appear with highly-crisped and curled hair, as indeed do
several statues of M. Aurelius (ib. pl. 41) and his son Commodus;
but in the reign of M. Aurelius it became the custom to wear the
hair cut quite short (ἐν χρῷ
like the austere philosophers; and as we see from coins and statues,
e. g. Alex. Severus (ib. pl. 52, 1 and 2) and Trebonianus Gallus
(pl. 57, 1 and 2), ,, this practice continued, except in
Bust of Commodus.
the case of Elagabalus and Gallienus (pl. 51 and 57), down
to the time of Diocletian, when the hair appears a little longer,
but combed quite flat down on the crown without division, and cut
evenly round the forehead. See the figures on the
Bust of Alexander Severus.
Bust of Elagabalus.
broken disc in Saglio (fig. 1852), and the busts of
Constantine the Great in Visconti (pl. 61, 1 and 2). A fine medal of
Constantine (Saglio, fig. 1853) shows us the hair worn still longer,
but yet not of any extreme length, with a fringe of short curls on
the forehead and the neck covered with similar curls. After this
time there appears to have been a great deal of attention paid to
the adornment of the hair, and the barbers were people of no small
pretensions, as may be seen from the story of Julian and the barber
in Amm. Marc. 22.4, 9-10
of the emperor himself.
Boys appear ordinarily to have had their hair cut short, and combed
forward on the forehead like the men. See the bust of Marcellus in
Visconti (pl. 19, 6 and 7), Drusus (ib. 23), Annius Verus (ib. 42),
Commodus (ib. 44), Philip (ib. 55). Sidonius (Ep.
4.13) says it was cut round the forehead in rotae
But young boys employed in the service of
religion (the Camilli
) are always
represented as wearing long hair (e. g. on the Column of Trajan);
and favourite boy-slaves employed to wait at table are especially
noted as comati
24). Similar [p. 1.501]
terms are capillati,
95, 24) even
says that the arrangement of their hair formed one of the modes of
classification of such slaves.
In the case of men, dyeing the hair black (Mart.
) and blonde (Trebell. Gallien.
21, 4) is well attested (cf. Mart. 4.36
, &c.). Wigs (capillamenta, galeri
) are also mentioned
(Suet. Cal. 11
12), and remains of wigs have been found in the Catacombs
2. Women's hair.
Binding the hair back in a plain knot with fillets (vittae
), occasionally with a plait in front,
appears to have been the ordinary arrangement followed by maidens
(Ov. Met. 8.319
), and such is seen on coins
representing Diana, Victory, &c., struck during the
republic, the knot being sometimes on the back of the crown,
sometimes lower down
- 1. Octavia, the niece of Augustus. (Capitol. Mus.,
- 2. Messalina, wife of Claudius.
- 3. Sabina, wife of Hadrian.
- 4. Plautilla, wife of Caracalla. (The last three
from the British Museum.)
on the back of the head or on the neck; sometimes,
however, on the middle of the crown. All artificial arrangements,
curls, ringlets, &c., were considered meretricious (Plaut.
2.2, 32). At marriage the dressing of their
hair was altered (Tert. de Virg. Vel.
12). It was one
of the wedding ceremonies for the bridegroom to divide the hair of
the bride with the caelibaris hasta
(Ov. Fast. 2.560
; Festus, s. v.) into
six divisions (sex crines:
s. v. senis crinibus
), and these were
fastened up with a different (V. Max.
) kind of vitta (Serv. ad Aen. 7.403
) on the crown
of the head (cf. Plaut. Mil.
3.1, 196 ; Prop. 5.11
). The matrons also in ancient times wore a high mass of
hair on the crown, which was called tutulus,
and Varro (L. L.
7.44) likens it
to a boundary stone (meta
); but it
ceased to be worn in comparatively early times, though we do not
know when (for ornatrix a tutulis
Wilmann's Ex. Inscr.
203 has been proved by Henzen to
be not genuine), and the vittae
be the special mark of the matron (Ov. A.
3.3, 51), the tutulus
being retained only by the Flaminica
(Festus, s. v. tutulus).
In the early empire Ovid (A. A.
says that there were as many ways of ladies dressing their hair as
there were bees in Hybla. But though they varied, as in our own
days, according to what was considered becoming by the individual
(and Ovid gives numerous precepts on that point), yet there were no
very elaborately constructed arrangements. We find the hair divided
in the middle by a plait stretching from the forehead across the
crown to the back of the neck; sometimes instead of the plait a tuft
of hair on the front of the forehead (the tonuis
being in all cases aimed at), but the hair was let
wave in natural folds along the temples and head. For different
varieties see Livia (in Visconti, pl. 19, 1); Agrippina (pl. 24*, 1
and 2). However, as time went on, the way in which the hair was
arranged became more and more artificial, with curls and ringlets in
front and plaits behind, till the most wonderful structures came to
be erected towards the latter end of the first century and the
beginning of the second. (See cuts opposite.) The next cut,
representing Julia, daughter of Titus, gives an example of them, as
well as the annexed coin of Marciana, the sister of Trajan, and also
the cut above (No. 3) representing Sabina, wife of Hadrian. These
drawings show what Juvenal
Julia, daughter of Titus
and Martial allude to in several passages (Mart. 2.66
; Stat. Silv. 1.2
). We can understand how severe
the duty must have been on the unhappy tire-women. The whole
diadem-like arrangement appears to have been called orbis,
and the single ringlet annulus.
The hair, too, was frequently
adorned with jewels (Plin. H.
Coin of Marciana.
9.117; cf. Clem. Alex. Paed.
11). St. Paul (1 Tim. 2.9) and St. Peter (1 Pet. 3.3) felt bound to
warn Christian women against such “braiding of the
hair.” During the whole of the second century there continued
the most artificial arrangements of ladies' hair, but we find
crisped curls in front giving way to plaits ; but these latter were
no less employed to build up tower-like structures on the front part
of the head. Such structures, however, which must have been
excessively uncomfortable, gradually (see the bust of Faustina in
Saglio, fig. 1864) went out of fashion (see Lucilla in Visconti, pl.
.43); and in [p. 1.502]
the third century waving hair
(e. g. Crispina, pl. 45; Julia Domna, pl. 48; Plautilla, pl. 49, No.
4 above) appears to have been sought after,--though very likely the
high arrangements of the preceding century continued to be worn,
especially in the provinces (Tert. de Cult. Fem.
and later St. Jerome, de Viry. serv. Ep.
arrive at such elegant simplicity as may be seen in the bust of
Soaemis (pl. 51) or Mammaea (p1. 52, 5), though the hair of the
latter appears to have been fastened behind with a mass of what
looks like false plaits. From the time of Alexander Severus onward
the arrangement adopted was to draw the back hair up and fasten it
on the crown. This was sometimes done simply, as in the accompanying
cut of Helena, or it was drawn up over a chignon; sometimes it was
plaited, and then fastened up, either simply as in
Coin of Helena. (British Museum.)
the coin of Herennia (Saglio, fig. 1869) or wound round in
circles rising one above the other on the top of the head (ib.,
fig. 1873)--like a tower, says
183). The figure of Galla Placidia
in the diptych of Monza (ib.,
shows two massive plaits of hair on the top of the head, one
slightly higher and behind the other. It is noticeable that statues
of the third and later centuries have often movable hair, so that it
could be altered to suit the taste of each period; see Visconti,
vol. 3.181, 192.
Women, of course, as well as men dyed their hair both black (Plin. Nat. 26.164
) and especially
auburn, often to cover grey hairs (Ov. A.
3.163). The practice is as old as Cato's time (cf.
Serv. ad Aen. 4.698
“in Catone legitur de matronarum crinibus: flavo cinere
unctitabant ut rutilae essent” ). In later times it was
effected by a kind of pomade called spuma
). It is noticed by
p. 764) that Galen (15.185, ed.
Kuhn) declares that ξανθός,
or golden hair, is sometimes incorrectly used for πυρρός,
False hair was used by ladies in the time of the early empire (Ov.
3.165), and later (Mart. 5.68
); also wigs, generally yellow (galeri,
Petr. 110; capillamenta,
Tert. de Cult. Fem.
and chignons (caliendra,
1.8, 48). We find the hair for these
was imported, especially from Germany (Mart.
), and even from India (capilli
The hair was fastened up with hair-pins (acus
8.13; acus comatoria,
Petron. 21) [Acus], and
), which we find made of
boxwood (Juv. 14.194
), ivory (Claud.
de Nupt. Honor. et Mar.
102), and tortoiseshell
(Ov. A. A.
3.147). The hair was also at
times fastened with bands (diademata
of gold set with jewels (Isid. Orig.
19.31; cf. Ov. Am. 3.13
; Lampr. Hel.
23), like the Greek στεφάνη.
As to nets, the women used to
(Nonius, p. 542),
sometimes made of gold threads (Juv.
; Petr. 67). The mitra
) has been explained above;
while the calautica
(Cic. in Clod. et Cur.
5.2, p. 336) was a cap with lappets covering the ears and with two
strings for tying under the chin. Ausonius (Perioch.
v.) uses it to translate the κρήδεμνον
of Homer, and it is used as nearly
synonymous with mitra
by Serv. ad Aen. 9.616
. Nonius (p.
537) says it was worn by women only.
The chief works on the subject of the hair of the ancients are
Salmasius, Epistola de caesarie virorum et
1644; Krause, Plotina,
1858; Becker-Göll, Charikles,
3.287 f. ;
3.237 if., 269 ff.;
204 ff.; Guhl and Koner, Leben der Griechen und
(ed. 4), 200 ff., 623 ff.; Marquardt,
Privatleben der Römer,
Blümner in Baumeister's Denkmäler,
art. Haartracht and Kopfbedeckung;
pp. 157-170; but, above all, the
article in Saglio, Dict. des Antiquités,
All descriptions must,
however, be supplemented by carefully looking through such
illustrated works as the volumes of plates belonging to Visconti's