Shaving: The ungodly habit that likens man to a woman. For those curious, you can read the pamphlet here.

If that doesn’t work, this is the PDF of the writing.

It’s a quick read, and offers both amusing and both interesting statements. For instance:

“It is impossible to calculate the number of suicides, homicides, and murders perpetrated within the last thirty years (which are an average lifetime) by means of the disgraceful practice of shaving, and the common use of the razor.” Hmmm…

But it also includes an interesting history of the beard, and its use as a status symbol, i.e, when the Franks took over France, the slaves were forced to shave. Only nobles and kings were allowed to have beards.  Turks considered it more heinous an act to cut one’s beard off than to be flogged or branded. As read in many ancient epics, the most respected were often referred to as being bearded.

As read here and elsewhere, the first man to notably shave his beard was Alexander the Great, who then encouraged his army to do so as well to prevent the enemy from using them as handles. This then caught on because his face, beardless, was circulated widely on coins.

Rome then caught on at about 434, when P. Ticinus brought back a group of captive barbars from Sicily. (barbars, as in barbarians, those who shaved. I never made the connection, but I wonder if this is where we get the word barber from.)



2 thoughts on “Shaving

  1. Hi,
    We’ve been watching ‘The Dark Ages: The Age of Light.’ on BBC4, and learnt that the Romans? Greeks? described foreigners’ speech as “Bar-bar-bar-bar”, and hence Barbarians became a generic name for foreigners.
    best wishes another phil

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