Beards Throughout History: The Story Of Facial Hair

Daniel Bishop
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Beards and moustaches have played a notable role in the culture and aesthetic of a great deal of ancient civilizations. Battles were won and lost, facial hair became fashionable, and some of the greatest men in human history come from a long line of beard-wearing people.

This is a topic that has been studied and written about by many authors and our interest is pure aesthetics. Being the scholars we are, we will provide you with a brief history of facial hair, focusing on the style of beards throughout history.

Ancient Egypt

While not technically a civilization, ancient Egypt is an excellent starting point in our journey through facial hair. Ancient Egyptians wore a style of beard known as the “sidelock”.

This style was worn by the Pharaohs and was a sign of royalty. Common Egyptians did not wear beards, but did wear moustaches, which did not hold any cultural significance.

Ancient Greece

The Greeks began their takeover of large portions of the ancient world in 800 BC, when the powerful city-state of Sparta expanded its territory and conquered southern Greece. The Spartans were the first of the Greeks to adopt the beard as fashionable and began to grow them out.

The Spartans wore their beards very short, with the goal of allowing them to be able to hold their shields closer to their face, without the beard getting in the way.