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April 6, 2012

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allao=llm=  Page 2 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 6, 2012 Stir by Prof. Edmund Turiello N o S t l of the more interesting aspects of our ancestry.., our lineage.., our roots. THE CLOSE SHAVE IN OLD ROME Nero put his shorn hair into a golden box and dedicated it to a god. During the rule of Con- stantine and continuing to the end of the sixth century, all rulers with the exception of Julian, are shown clean shaven. It was the Roman custom to let the beard grow in time of mourning, as did Augustus, after the death of Julius Caesar. Later when the beard was shaved off, a season of festivity was de- clared. Many wealthy per- sons had slaves who were trained specifically in the tonsorial art, but the more common people had to go to a "tonstrina" or barber shop. Shaving was done with a "novacula" or razor. It was sharpened on a special stone imported from Spain, and was lubricated by spit, Beard soft- eners were unheard of and soap was not used. Everyone was given the "dry shave." Imagine for a moment the plight of the poor man who is getting a dry shave while sit- ting on a stool in the middle of a busy sidewalk and the barber is being continually pushed and shoved by the passing crowds. Bloodletting was kept to a minimum when the most famous barbers worked at a snail's pace. It was said in jest that while barbers trimmed around the ears a second beard grew. One Ro- man remedy for razor nicks f Sal LaMattina & Family Boston City Councilor - District 1 Congressman MIKE CAPUANO The Greeks during Hom- eric times regarded the beard as a sign of virility. They con- sidered clean shaving to be disgraceful and a sign of effeminacy. Even in early Jewish times, it was quite common for one person to touch the beard of the other during conversation. This reminds me of that part of an earlier column which stated that dancers of antiquity took hold of each other by the chlamys. In Rome, it became quite common and fashionable to shave, the beard partially, and then carefully groom it. The long untrimmed beard was considered the mark of a foul, filthy, and untidy person. Many were even referred to as "he goats," Shaving was almost a reli- gious rite, and a state duty to the Romans. Nothing stood in the way of the ordeal that was the daily visit with the barber. As soon as a young man reached maturity, his facial hairs received their first cut with scissors, and he was then introduced to the razor. A male's first shave was considered to be the beginning of manhood and was cause for celebration. The dates on which emper- ors and other notables first were shorn have been re- corded in history. Augustus was twenty-four at the time of his first shave and Caligula was twenty. Even was spider's webs soaked in oil and vinegar. Then there were those cowards who couldn't take the barber and resorted to the use of depilatories like resin and pitch, or pastes made from donkey fat, she goat's gall, bat's blood or powdered viper. For those who could take neither the razor nor the depilatory there was al- ways the tweezer. Finally there was the tonsorial mas- ochist who had part of his beard shaved, part depilator- ized and part tweezed. This ought to provide food for thought while shaving. The customer was also sprayed with perfume, make- up cream was applied to his face and pimples and blem- ishes or razor cuts were cov- ered with little spots of flesh- tinted cloth. These Roman pasties were called "splenia lunata" or in good old En- glish, "patches." When the ordeal was completed, the victim was returned to soci- ety looking like a clown, smelling like a pansy and given a wide berth for the rest of the day. Before the middle of the second century, most of the Roman men were revolting against their enslavement to the barber. The emperor, Hadrian became the libera- tor by letting his beard grow in order to hide an ugly scar. No further encourage- ment was needed. All men followed his example and the daily shave disappeared from their routine, causing no regret. NEXT WEEK: The June Bride Broadway Brake Corp. 000 HEAVY DUTY TRUCK & BUS PARTS & SERVICE Philip D'Angelo, President 45 Broadway 1093 N. Mostello St. Somerville, MA Brockton, MA 617-666-1000 508-580-2213 00Buona 00Pasqua .. gLl t Italia Unita, Inc. "Promoting Italian culture and the preservation of Italian heritage." 35 Bennington Street East Boston, MA 02128 Tel: (617) 561-3201 Fax: (617) 569-2898 -mail: ItaliaUnita I: I Res Publica by David Trumbull 2012 Republican National Convention Caucuses In accordance with the rules of the Republican State Committee, Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Bob Maginn is pleased to announce that the following locations have been chosen to hold the 2012 caucuses for the purpose of selecting delegates and alternates to the Republican National Convention to be held in Tampa, Florida from August 27  to August 30  2012. The caucus day is Saturday, April 28, 2012. Registration will begin at 9:00 am with the caucus to begin at 10:00 am. In accordance with the Republican Party rules and the results of the Massachusetts Republican Presidential Primary, all delegates and alternates are pledged to support Mitt Romney for President. First Congressional District -- North Middle School Cafeteria, 350 South Hampton Road, Westfield, MA 01085 Second Congressional District  Sutton Middle School, 383 Boston Road, Sutton, MA 01590 Third Congressional District- Littleton Middle School, 55 Russell Street, Littleton, MA 01460 Fourth Congressional District -- North Attleboro Middle School, 564 Landry Avenue, North Attleboro, MA 02760 Fifth Congressional District- Nevins Hall Memorial Building, 150 Concord Street, Framingham, MA 01702 Sixth Congressional District -- Lynnfield High School, 275 Essex Street, Lynnfield, MA 01940 Seventh Congressional District- Randolph Community Middle School, 225 High Street, Randolph, MA 02368 Eighth Congressional District -- Braintree Town Hall, One J.F.K. Memorial Drive, Braintree, MA 02184 Ninth Congressional District -- Old Rochester Regional High School, 135 Marion Road, Mattapoisett, MA 02739 The convention will host 2,286 delegates and 2,125 alternate delegates from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories. The convention will also include approximately 15,000 credentialed media an international press corps second 0nly in size to this summer's London Olympic Games.: 2012 will mark the third time the., Republica.n' Party convenes its convention in Florida. The Sunshine State also played host to the 1968 and 1972 Republican National Conventions that nominated Richard M. Nixon. Both were held in Miami Beach. 00Buona 00Pasqua CARLO BASILE STATE REPRESENTATIVE 1sT SUFFOLK DISTRICT AARON MICHLEWITZ Ill