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Random Notes on Greek Manners

Durant’s, in chapter 13 of The Life of Greece, drops the following tidbits of interest:

  • Many Greek women were ashamed of their stumpy legs. They took affixing large cork soles to their shoes.
  • Most Greek men did not cut their hair at all. This changed with the Battle of Marathon. I don’t know why.
  • Almost all Greek men wore beards. This changed  in the 4th century when Alexander the Great cut his off–he argued that the beard could be used against him in combat.
  • No Greek men wore mustaches. Even Greek hipsters, such as they were, abstained from the stache.
  • The barbershop was often called the “wineless symposia” on account of all the gossips and gadflys that hung out there. Women would also attend the barbershop, where they would shave using depilatories made from arsenic and lime(!). King Archelaus of Macedon was asked by the barber how he wanted his hair cut. He responded, “in silence.”
  • Most bathed with olive oil and a crescent shaped strigil made of metal.
  • Most Athenian men wore at least one ring; Aristotle wore several. Aristotle = pimp.

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