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Avete omnes,<br>
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in another topic about the new film about Alexander the Great our respected fellow RAT member Theodosius the Great wrote, that Julius Caesar was blonde:<br>
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I always thought that Caesar was dark haired, if not even black haired, perhaps only because I am influenced by movies (Rex Harrison , Claude Rains, Klaus-Maria Brandauer or Jeremy Sisto) or by paintings (my favorite one of Lionel-Noel Royer shows him very dark, too) ...<br>
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I know, serious historians that are so numerous in this forum, would never trust to modern movies or paintings (as I did ).<br>
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I only remember a text where he is described to be rather bald-headed, because he preferred to wear a laurel wreath in order to hide his bald-plate, as mockers stated. So my question is, does anybody know a source for the description of Caesar's hair colour or about his appearance at all?<br>
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Uwe<br>
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(Sorry for opening this new topic, but I didn't want to disturb the discusssion about Alexander in the other topic referred above) <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/bromanarmytalk.showUserPublicProfile?gid=uwebahr>Uwe Bahr</A> at: 11/24/04 2:30 pm<br></i>
I don't know Latin but a quick Google did turn up a result stating the Caesar comes from "caesaries" or "abundant hair". Funny since he was bald<br>
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www.pioneerthinking.com/g...rends.html<br>
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Unfortunately the search didn't turn up anything on hair color.<br>
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Anonymous

According to the Roman historian Suetonius, born in the 1st century, Julius Caesar had brown hair and brown eyes. His predecessor, Sulla, had blond hair, per Plutarch. <p></p><i>Edited by: <A HREF=http://p200.ezboard.com/[email protected]>Paulus</A> at: 11/25/04 2:32 am<br></i>
I think the idea of Caesar with blond hair may arise from confusion between 'Caesar' (Gaius Julius Caesar) and 'the Young Caesar' (Gaivs Julius Octavianus Caesar - later known as Augustus). Suetonius says that Augustus had "hair the colour of straw", which give us the strong possibility that he was blond. From the moment he learned that he had been adopted as Caesar's heir in the will he used the name 'Caesar' and in doing so mustered a huge amount of support from his great uncle's retired veterans and political supporters. This usage of the Caesar name must have become widespread and is reflected in the New Testament where Augustus is simply referred to as 'Caesar'. I suspect then, that the 'blond Caesar' is perhaps the blond YOUNG Caesar, as opposed to the balding brown haired dictator in perpetuo.<br>
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Crispvs <p></p><i></i>
Actually, Suetonius doesn't say he had brown hair.

The Latin says: "Fuisse traditur excelsa statura, colore candido, teretibus membris, ore paulo pleniore, nigris uegetisque oculis, ualitudine prospera..."

'colore candido' is translated in the Penguin as 'fair', but I suspect this has often been taken to mean his hair, rather than his complexion, which is surely what is meant by 'color'. Suetonius clearly states that Caesar had black eyes ('nigris oculis') - this would be very unusual with blond hair, wouldn't it?
Blond hair with black eyes? I have rarely seen black eyes to begin with. My ex- girlfriend had very dark eyes that looked black until close up and her family was from Jamaica. She wasn't blond... I find that very unlikely. I am also under the impression Caesar had dark hair and a ruddy complexion.
Some people (for example Colleen McCullough in her novel Caesar) have argued that 'nigris oculis' might have ment black ring around iris, which makes one's eyes look quite piercing. That would be good explanation why Caesar would have had "fair complexion" with "black eyes". Eyes could have actually been blue or brown or green, etc, but the black ring would immediately catch the eye, so to speak.
Surely 'candida' would indicate a very white colour. If it referred to his hair it would therefore be talking of his hair in later life, and would thus tell us nothing about his hair colour when younger, whereas if it referred to his complexion it would suggest that he had quite an unhealthy look about him, which I do not recall reading elsewhere. However, if he did have a pallid, unhealthy complexion, that would match with having dark circles around his eyes, as the two do tend to go together. Again, we could be seeing a description of Caesar in later life, long after his youthfull looks had left him. He did live to be 56 or 57 after all.

Crispvs
Quote:Some people (for example Colleen McCullough in her novel Caesar) have argued that 'nigris oculis' might have ment black ring around iris, which makes one's eyes look quite piercing. That would be good explanation why Caesar would have had "fair complexion" with "black eyes". Eyes could have actually been blue or brown or green, etc, but the black ring would immediately catch the eye, so to speak.


In the novelistic sense and in some iconography , Julius Caesar is a little older and at the same time about the same age as Christ. They have blond hair and blue eyes… Actually, they were breed by beautiful celtic women… then they were taken from their slave mothers and placed as true sons. That would make sense since the descriptions of the people of Spain around those days were of tall individuals with blue eyes and red hair. Salud.
Quote:Surely 'candida' would indicate a very white colour. If it referred to his hair it would therefore be talking of his hair in later life, and would thus tell us nothing about his hair colour when younger, whereas if it referred to his complexion it would suggest that he had quite an unhealthy look about him, which I do not recall reading elsewhere. However, if he did have a pallid, unhealthy complexion, that would match with having dark circles around his eyes, as the two do tend to go together. Again, we could be seeing a description of Caesar in later life, long after his youthfull looks had left him. He did live to be 56 or 57 after all.

Crispvs

I don't see any mention of him having a pallid complexion Crispus. :?
However I do recall him being described as of robust health, and having dark hair and eyes.
The idea of a black rig in the iris is interesting.
Read my post more carefully Byron. You will see that I said that I had never read of him having an unhealthy look before. My main point was to point out that the word 'candida' would normally indicate a brilliant white. It is where we get the word 'candidate' from, as the candidates for magistrates positions under the Roman republic and early empire had their togas whitened with pipe clay before giving speeches in order to give them a brilliant white hue to make them more striking to voters. The brilliant white of their togas led to them being known as 'candidates'. Therefore, mention of the word 'candida', if it referred to a physical characteristic, and if meant literally, must indicate his hair colour. After all, what other part of the human body can go a brilliant white in colour? If it was not meant literally, then we must search for the next most likely explanation for using the word for a brilliant white.

Crispvs
My apologies Crispus, I seem to have developed the habit often displayed here of picking up on an irrelevant point in someones post and making that an issue..... :wink:
It was the description of rings around his eyes as opposed to dark rings in his iris I was at issue with, not the whole of your post. :wink:
I agree heartily that the dark cirlces would be a sign of tiredness/weariness/illness, as different from black rings in his iris.
Hi !

This may be of interest,
There are a few medical conditions (most notably Wilsons disease) which can exhibit a phenomena known as Kayser-Fleischer rings (named after Dr Bernard Kayser- not Caesar Smile ), which manifest as dark circles around the iris, although these usually show as brown rather than deep black. These are caused by copper deposits due to liver malfunction and progressive liver disease.

[url:30sa8tfo]http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1770985/[/url]

Here's an example,

[Image: eye.jpg]
I have heard of this too, there seem to be a few illnesses that are visible as anomalies in the iris....
(He says, running to nearest mirror, to check for black rings, brown rings, and speckles in his iris..... :roll: )