Monday, December 8, 2014

Ahenobarbus - Bronze Beard

The following comes from the pen of the Roman historian Suetonius;
The AEnobarbi derive both their extraction and their cognomen from one Lucius Domitius, of whom we have this tradition: -- As he was returning out of the country to Rome, he was met by two young men of a most august appearance, who desired him to announce to the senate and people a victory, of which no certain intelligence had yet reached the city. To prove that they were more than mortals, they stroked his cheeks, and thus changed his hair, which was black, to a bright colour, resembling that of brass; which mark of distinction descended to his posterity, for they had generally red beards. 
The Ahenobarbus were a family line in ancient Rome noted for their red beards. The name translates as "bronze beard".

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