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Full Version: Did German soldiers use long hair?
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Anonymous

Avete omnes!<br>
<br>
Could anybody tell me if the German soldiers (the loyal ones like my hero Flavius) were allowed to keep their hair in their traditional style or if they had to cut it like the rest?<br>
It's an important detail, I wanted to make a painting of this marvelous German and I'd love to portray him with his long golden hair over his roman armour...<br>
Something romantic for Mamma Roma.<br>
Thank you very much and valete bene!<br>
<br>
Valeria Iulia <p></p><i></i>
I can see no reason to assume German auxiliaries would be required to shorten their hair. Admittedly, imperial iconography makes a questionable source, but auxiliaries from other parts of the Empire are frequently depicted with native clothing styles and hairstyles.<br>
<br>
That said, by far not all Germans at all times wore their hair long. <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

My two cents worth:<br>
In the swiss army, before the advent of kevlar, they used a very heavy steel helmet. In the 70's the fashion as you know was for young men to wear long hair and that was sometimes violently opposed, especially in the military.<br>
In the swiss army at that time they would not take the recruits to the barber as they did in other armies. But according to friends of mine who were in the swiss army at that time, after a few days sweltering under a four pounds steel helmet, you'd get a haircut by yourself..<br>
I don't think the suebian knot goes along well with the wearing of a roman helmet.<br>
However, the fashion of wearing long hair was adopted in the late empire, as shown on the pictorial evidence.<br>
However again, according to the ancient authors, the Franks, for instance, did not wear their hair long but actually shaved the back of their head..<br>
Come to think of it, the fashion of short cropped hair that appeared in the IIIrd century AD corresponds to the appearance of the very heavy helmets of the Niederberer type..<br>
But well, it depends on the period. <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

"Then Civilis fulfilled a vow often made by barbarians; his hair, which he had let grow long and coloured with a red dye from the day of taking up arms against Rome, he now cut short, when the destruction of the legions had been accomplished." - Tacitus, Histories 4.61<br>
<br>
So there's one German auxiliary commander who wore his hair short while in Roman service, since he only started to grow it when entering rebellion. <p></p><i></i>
However, Civilis' haircut is in the context of a vow. This is not that uncommon. It seems to indicate though, that even as a rebel commander he would have worn it short had it not been for that vow (and that other barbarians also would have since letting your hair grow long as part of a vow is meaningless if everybody does it) <p></p><i></i>

Anonymous

..."his hair, which he had let grow long.."<br>
To me, it means he used to wear his hair short, then let them grow and dyed them red as a sign of protest.<br>
The text does not say: "his hair, which he used to wear long".. <p></p><i></i>