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those historical gingers

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annis
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Post by annis » Sat October 16th, 2010, 6:34 am

Posted by Margaret
While writing an article about Boudica, I wanted to get to the bottom of the question about her hair color, which is variously translated in England as "a great mass of the tawniest hair fell to her hips" (Earnest Cary), "a mass of very fair hair which she grew down to her hips" (S. Ireland) and "a great mass of bright red hair ... to her knees" (not sure about the translator, but the quote is from Lindsay Allason-Jones's Women in Roman Britain).
I rather like George Shipway's version - quoted here from Imperial Governor. Paulinus is describing the leading Icenian warriors of Boudica's army as he recalls the final battle:

"Picked fighters these, mighty men of huge stature, tall as a javelin, blue-eyed and bearded and long-haired, and their hair was the tawny colour of sunlit autumn oak-leaf" Then, being Paulinus he adds, lest we suspect him of unseemly sentimentality, "i saw them afterwards, in their hundreds, when they were dead."

(Edit: The source of "the great mass of red hair" version appears to be The Rebellion of Boudicca (1962) by Donald Dudley and Graham Webster)
Last edited by annis on Sat October 16th, 2010, 8:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sat October 16th, 2010, 7:25 am

[quote=""annis""]Posted by MLE


What a remarkably sensible and logical approach to religion! Pity other nations didn't follow their example.[/quote]

Ive heard this story too. but not in relation to Khazars but to the Russian prince Vladimir.

He invited representatives of the catholic, greek othodox, islam, jewish, bulgaria, and others to present which religion his country would adopt when he got tired of Odin.

he dismissed the bulgarians as too smelly. he threw out the Muslims because they told him he should abstain from drinking. he threw out the catholics because hed have to abstain from sex. he threw out the jews because their god had been driven from their own home. he finally adopted the greek orthodox church, which in turn became the russian orthodox church and gave birth to russia.

probably apochraphyl but a great story nonetheless :-)

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sat October 16th, 2010, 8:03 am

[quote=""Michy""]Some of these people probably were actually redheads (not just depicted as such), according to paintings and/or contemporary sources. i.e. Thomas Jefferson, Queen Elizabeth I and Vincent Van Gogh. You forgot to mention George Washington! ;) Going by paintings of him in his younger years and/or without unpowdered hair, he appears to have been redheaded, too.

As for King David, of course we don't know what his hair color was. However, the Bible describes him as being "ruddy", so that is often interpreted as being ruddy complexioned and/or red headed.

As for the human height issue -- we got into a discussion of this under the For the King thread. It's either under Book Buddies or Book Reviews, I can't remember which.......[/quote]

sure. I just didnt want to declare anyone unquestionably a red-head or not. none of us were around to take note of say, Alexanders redness, and also peoples interpretations of what constitutes "ginger" certainly vary from person to person. Even paintings can be off on the colours. To state a personage definately had or didnt have redhair would be irresponsible.

annis
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Post by annis » Sat October 16th, 2010, 9:01 am

A translation of Aelian, Varia Historia 12.14 says

"They say that Alexander, son of Philip, enjoyed natural good looks, with curly, fair hair, but they add that there was something in his appearance that aroused fear --"

However, I'm wondering if Aelian also used "xanthos", the Greek word open to several interpretations that Cassius Dio used to describe Boudica's hair.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Sat October 16th, 2010, 2:28 pm

[quote=""SGM""]It doesn't look red to me -- it looks sandy -- but then I've never met him and you may be right.[/quote]

I've never met him either ;) so can only go by TV footage and pics in the press, I think he is a bit darker now but was redder as a young child, from what I remember!

MLE's point about Jewish red-heads is interesting, I'm Jewish and have the fair Ashkenazi colouring, however thinking about Jewish redheads I remember how surprised we all were when an old schoolfriend had a baby with red hair when we knew that her parents were both fair skinned but had darkish hair, but she explained that her paternal grandfather was a redhead, so it looks like that recessive gene has struck again! Trying to think of any other red-headed Jews that I know of....
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Michy
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Post by Michy » Sat October 16th, 2010, 4:51 pm

Is there really a preponderance of redheads/gingers/auburns in HF? Or do you think they just stand out and are more memorable to us because they are more rare and thereby "special?" I think probably in romantic HF there is a disproportionate number of redheaded heroines, because everyone knows they're more feisty! ;)

[quote=""Kveto from Prague""]
PS its still me, Keny, despite the name change :-) [/quote]

Just a guess -- is Kveto your real Czech name, and is Keny the Anglicized version? And is that a picture of your wife in your avatar?

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Michy
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Post by Michy » Sat October 16th, 2010, 5:03 pm

[quote=""annis""]I think there might be red hair in the Spencer family as well. In fact during the televised funeral of Princess Diana, I noticed a Spencer cousin who looked the spitting image of Prince Harry![/quote]

Aren't both of Diana's sisters redheads? And in pictures of her as a young girl, her hair looked definitely reddish, also.

Of course, thanks to Clairol anyone can be a redhead nowadays! ;)

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Kveto from Prague
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Post by Kveto from Prague » Sat October 16th, 2010, 7:13 pm

[quote=""Michy""]Is there really a preponderance of redheads/gingers/auburns in HF? Or do you think they just stand out and are more memorable to us because they are more rare and thereby "special?" I think probably in romantic HF there is a disproportionate number of redheaded heroines, because everyone knows they're more feisty! ;)

that could be a reason. Its just a feeling, I dont have any numbers to back it up :-)



Just a guess -- is Kveto your real Czech name, and is Keny the Anglicized version? And is that a picture of your wife in your avatar?[/quote]

more or less. Kveto(slav) is what I answer to in Czech. Keny is what I answer to in English. (And Carlo in Italian :-)

Yeah, that's Mrs Keny. She's in Rome right now visiting the rellies, making me jealous, since I have to stay home and work. So I put up a picture of her for my avatar to "reward" her :-) bonus points if you can make out where that pic was taken. its a pretty famous place.

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Sat October 16th, 2010, 8:25 pm

When I was a very young child, my hair was a coppery tone, then it darkened to a very deep brown. But my father was a red-head and so is one of my half-sisters, so it does happen.

Keny, I'd say that was the Coliseum in Rome.

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Madeleine
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Post by Madeleine » Sun October 17th, 2010, 11:29 am

[quote=""Michy""]Aren't both of Diana's sisters redheads? And in pictures of her as a young girl, her hair looked definitely reddish, also.

Of course, thanks to Clairol anyone can be a redhead nowadays! ;) [/quote]

Her brother is reddish too, although I think he's at the darker end of the red spectrum.
Currently reading: "Fear on the Phantom Special" by Edward Marston.

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