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πώγων, γένειον, ὑπήνη). Of these, γένειον properly “chin,” is the earliest word, for πώγων is not found in Homer, and ὑπήνη only in the epithet of πρῶτον ὑπηνήτης, a youth with his first beard. (Il. 24.348; Od. 10.279.) Μύσταξ is the moustache; πάππος the hair on the nether lip; χνόος or ἴουλος the first down. ὑπήνη is sometimes restricted to the hair about the upper and lower lips, that is to the μύσταξ, and the πάππος combined; γένειον to the beard proper, the hair on the chin. (Cf. Poll. 2.80, 10.120.) There is no special word for the whiskers.

The beard was regarded by the Greeks, like other ancient nations, as a type of manhood, which it was a disgrace to be without; while in the Homeric times it had even that sanctity which it had among the Jews, a common form of entreaty being to touch the beard of the person addressed. (Hom. Il. 8.371.) The different modes of wearing the beard are seen in the statues of gods, of which the head of the Olympian Zeus is the most striking. It was only shaven in sign of mourning, although in this case it was often not shaven, but left untrimmed and a smooth face was sneered at as a sign of effeminacy. (Aristoph. Thesm.

Head of Olympian Zeus. (Visconti, Mus. Pio Clem., vol. vi., tav. 1.)

218 ; Athen. 13.565 a.) The Spartans punished cowards (τρέσαντες) by shaving off part of their beards (Plut. Ages. 30), just as Hanun

Etruscans, with pointed beards. (Dennis, Etruria, i. p. 262.)

treated the ambassadors of David (2 Sam.. 10.4). From the earliest times, however, it seems to have been customary to shave the moustache; and on the most ancient vases men are represented with the space round either lip clear, and with a pointed beard, as in the above figures from a painted tile in an Etruscan tomb, representing two grey-headed men in conversation. [p. 1.286]

There was a curious custom at Sparta, which may have existed from very early times, that the Ephors on assuming office issued an edict to the citizens “to shave the moustache and obey the laws” (κείρεσθαι τὸν μύστακα καὶ προσέχειν τοῖς νόμοις, Plut. Cleom. 9); although the Spartans were in general derided for their carelessness in the treatment of their hair (Aristoph. Wasps 476; Lysist. 1022). For to leave the beard and whiskers untrimmed was with the Greeks as much a sign of boorishness as to shave them entirely was a sign of effeminacy; and we hear of various styles of trimming them, one of which, the “wedge beard” (σφηνοπώγων), was used on the stage for masks of attendants and old men (θεράποντες and πρεσβῦται ὑποδύστροποι, Poll. 4.137, 145).

In the time of Alexander the Great the custom of smooth shaving was introduced (Chrysippus ap. Athen. 13.565 a, τὸ ξύρεσθαι τὸν πώγωνα κατ̓ Ἀλέξανδρον προῆκται, τῶν προτέρων οὐ χρωμένων αὐτῷ), and spread from the Macedonians (whose kings are represented on coins, &c. with smooth faces) throughout the whole Greek world. Laws were passed against it without effect at Rhodes and Byzantium (Ath. l.c.); and even Aristotle, we are told, conformed to the new custom (D. L. 5.1; cf. the statue of Aristotle in the Palazzo Spada, Visconti, Iconogr. i. pl. 20), unlike the other philosophers, who retained the beard as a badge of their profession. A “man with a beard” (πωγωνοτρόφος after the Macedonian period implies a philosopher (cf. Pers. Sat. 4.1, magister barbatus, of Socrates), and we have many allusions to this custom of the later philosophers in such proverbs as “the beard does not make the sage” (πωγωνοτροφία φιλόσοφον οὐ ποιεῖ, Plut. de Is. et Osir. 3: cf. ἐκ πώγωνος σοφός, Dio Chrys. 72.2).


2. Roman

The Romans in early times wore the beard uncut, as we learn from the insult offered by the Gaul to M. Papirius (Liv. 5.41), and from Cicero (pro Cael. 14; cf. Sen. Nat. Q. 1.17, 7; Hor. Od. 2.15, 11; Tib. 2.1, 34; Ov. Fast. 2.30; Verg. A. 6.809); and, according to Varro (de Re Rust. 2.11) and Pliny (7.211), the Roman beards were not shaven till B.C. 300, when P. Ticinius Menas brought over a barber from Sicily; and Pliny adds, that the first Roman who was shaved (rasus) every day was Scipio Africanus. (Cf. Gel. 3.4.) His custom, however, was soon followed, and shaving became a regular thing. The lower orders, then as now, were not always able to do the same, and hence the jeers of Martial (7.95, 12.59). In the later times of the republic there were many juvenes who shaved the beard only partially, and trimmed it, so as to give it an ornamental form; to them the terms bene barbati (Cic. Catil. 2.1. 0) and barbatuli (Cic. Att. 1.1. 4, 16; pro Cael. 14) are applied.

In the general way in Rome at this time, a long beard (barba promissa, Liv. 27.34) was considered a mark of slovenliness and squalor. The censors, L. Veturius and P. Licinius, compelled M. Livius, who had been banished, on his restoration to the city, to be shaved, and to lay aside his dirty appearance (tonderi et squalorem deponere), and then, but not till then, to come into the senate, &c. (Liv. 27.34.) The first time of shaving was regarded as the beginning of manhood, and the day on which this took place was celebrated as a festival. (Juv. Sat. 3.186.) There was no particular time fixed for this to be done. Usually, however, it was when the young Roman assumed the toga virilis (Suet. Calig. 10). Augustus did it in his twenty-fourth year; Caligula in his twentieth. The hair cut off on such occasions was consecrated to some god. Thus Nero put his up in a gold box, set with pearls, and dedicated it to Jupiter Capitolinus. (Suet. Nero 12.)

With the Emperor Hadrian the beard began to revive. (D. C. 68.15.) Plutarch says that the emperor wore it to hide some scars on his face. The practice afterwards became common, and till the time of Constantine the Great the emperors appear in busts and coins with beards; but Constantine and his successors to the end of the 6th century, with the exception of Julian, are represented as beardless. The contrast between the custom of the early emperors and those of Hadrian and his successors as to the beard is seen in the annexed coins. The Romans, unlike the Greeks, let their

Coin of Augustus. Coin of Hadrian. (British Museum.)

beards grow in time of mourning; so Augustus did (Suet. Aug. 23) for the death of Julius Caesar, and the time when he had it shaved off he made a season of festivity. (D. C. 48.34; cf. Cic. in Verr. 2.12) Other occasions of mourning on which the beard was allowed to grow were, appearance as a reus, condemnation, or some public calamity. (Liv. 6.16, 27.34; Mart. 2.36, 3; Ulp. in Dig. 47, 10, 15.27; Suet. Jul. 67, Oct. 23; Caes. Gal. 5.24; Plut. Cat. min. 53, Anton. 18.) Tacitus (Germ. 100.3) says that the Chatti let their hair and beard grow, and would not have them cut till they had slain an enemy. For an account of barbers, see TONSOR. (Becker-Göll, Gallus, iii. p. 237, foll.)

[J.H.F] [W.S]

hide References (26 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (26):
    • Cicero, Letters to Atticus, 1.1.4
    • Aristophanes, Wasps, 476
    • Homer, Odyssey, 10.279
    • Homer, Odyssey, 2.11
    • Homer, Odyssey, 2.15
    • Homer, Iliad, 24.348
    • Homer, Iliad, 8.371
    • Diogenes Laertius, Vitae philosophorum, 5.1
    • Caesar, Gallic War, 5.24
    • Cicero, Against Verres, 2.2.30
    • Cicero, Against Catiline, 2.1.0
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 6.809
    • Suetonius, Nero, 12
    • Suetonius, Divus Augustus, 23
    • Suetonius, Divus Julius, 67
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 5, 41
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 27, 34
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 6, 16
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 3.4
    • Plutarch, Agesilaus, 30
    • Plutarch, Cleomenes, 9
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 12.59
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 2.3
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 2.36
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 7.95
    • Ovid, Fasti, 2
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