Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Tudors? Hardly the only red-haired royal house!

As you probably know, there are many articles on the internet dedicated to the Tudors and their red hair. In these articles, the authors enumerate Tudors with red hair and try to understand where they got this hair colour from (for example, I recently came across this video and there is also this article).
However, if you follow our partner blog Famous Redheads in History, you will have noticed that the royal house Tudor is hardly the only one that has had members with red hair. On the contrary, red hair was the norm among royals and aristocrats in the past. So, I decided to do a little experiment, namely to count the members of the most important royal and aristocratic families on the blog, and I'm sure the result will surprise you!
Of course, keep in mind that this work has no scientific pretensions, not least because we cannot be 100% sure that every person on the blog actually had red hair: for some we only have one portrait, or a single written description. On the other hand, these are just the people found so far, but maybe we will find more in the future.
Before we begin, a couple of methodological premises:
1) some of the queens are mentioned twice, once in the royal house they belonged to by birth and once in the royal house they entered by marriage;
2) in addition to the royal houses, I have also included some aristocratic families, such as the Spencers, the Medicis, the Sforzas, etc.

Reigning imperial house of Russia from 1613 to 1917. They achieved prominence after the Tsarina, Anastasia Romanova, was married to the First Tsar of Russia, Ivan the Terrible.
Grand Duke Michael Pavlovich of Russia; Catherine II of Russia; Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia; Alexandra Feodorovna; Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia; Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia; Peter the Great of Russia; Alexander I of Russia; Paul I of Russia.
(total: 9 people)

The Jagiellons reigned in several Central European countries between the 14th and 16th centuries. Members of the dynasty were Kings of Poland (1386–1572), Grand Dukes of Lithuania (1377–1392 and 1440–1572), Kings of Hungary (1440–1444 and 1490–1526), and Kings of Bohemia and imperial electors (1471–1526). The Polish "Golden Age", the period of the reigns of Sigismund I and Sigismund II, the last two Jagiellonian kings, or more generally the 16th century, is most often identified with the rise of the culture of Polish Renaissance.
Isabella Jagiellon; Hedwig Jagiellon; Sigismund II Augustus; Elizabeth Jagiellon; Anna Jagiellon; Sophia Jagiellon of Poland; Louis II of Hungary; Anna of Bohemia and Hungary.
(total: 8 people)

Royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The family held the English throne from 1154 (with the accession of Henry II at the end of the Anarchy) to 1485, when Richard III died in battle.
Henry V of England; Henry IV of England; Richard I, king of England; John, King of England; Henry II of England; Geoffrey V Plantagenet; Joan of England; Henry, the Young King.
(total: 9 people)


The Ottoman dynasty consisted of the members of the imperial House of Osman, also known as the Ottomans. The Ottoman dynasty, named after Osman I, ruled the Ottoman Empire from c. 1299 to 1922.
Abdulmejid I; Bezmiâlem Sultan; Dürrüşehvar Sultan; Nazikeda Kadin; Selim II.
(total: 5 people)

Last Muslim dynasty in the Iberian Peninsula, ruling the Emirate of Granada from 1230 until 1492.
Muhammad I of Granada; Muhammed VI.
(total: 2 people)

The Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, ruled by a younger branch of the House of Hesse. It was formed in 1567 following the division of the Landgraviate of Hesse between the four sons of Landgrave Philip I.
The residence of the landgraves was in Darmstadt, hence the name. As a result of the Napoleonic Wars, the landgraviate was elevated to the Grand Duchy of Hesse following the Empire's dissolution in 1806.

Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine; Alexandra Feodorovna.
(total: 2 people)

Prominent French noble family, that was involved heavily in the French Wars of Religion. The senior line, that of the Dukes of Guise became extinct in 1688. The vast estates and title were disputed and diverted by various relatives although several junior branches of the family (Dukes of Mayenne, Dukes of Elbeuf etc.) perpetuated the male line until 1825.
Antoinette de Bourbon; Mary of Guise; Mary, Queen of Scots.
(total: 3 people)

Ernestine, Thuringian duchy ruled by a branch of the House of Wettin, consisting of territories in the present-day states of Thuringia and Bavaria in Germany. It lasted from 1826 to 1918.
Maud of Wales; Marie of Romania; Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; Carlota of Mexico; Louise, Princess Royal and Duchess of Fife.
(total: 5 people)

Also known as the House of Austria is one of the most prominent and important dynasties in European history.
The house takes its name from Habsburg Castle, a fortress built in the 1020s in present-day Switzerland by Radbot of Klettgau, who named his fortress Habsburg. His grandson Otto II was the first to take the fortress name as his own, adding "Count of Habsburg" to his title. The throne of the Holy Roman Empire was continuously occupied by the Habsburgs from 1440 until their extinction in the male line in 1740 and, after the death of Francis I, from 1765 until its dissolution in 1806. The house also produced kings of Bohemia, Hungary, Croatia, Spain, Portugal and Galicia-Lodomeria, with their respective colonies; rulers of several principalities in the Low Countries and Italy; and in the 19th century, emperors of Austria and of Austria-Hungary as well as one emperor of Mexico. The family split several times into parallel branches, most consequentially in the mid-16th century between its Spanish and Austrian branches following the abdication of Charles V. Although they ruled distinct territories, the different branches nevertheless maintained close relations and frequently intermarried. The cadet branch of Habsburg-Lorraine still exists today.

Philip II of Spain; Cecilia Renata of Austria; Anne of Austria, Queen of Poland; Archduchess Magdalena of Austria; Anna of Austria, Queen of Spain; Elisabeth of Austria; Charles II of Spain; Mary of Hungary (governor of the Netherlands); Catherine of Austria; Isabella of Austria; Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor; Eleanor of Austria; Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor,; Philip I of Castile; Isabella Clara Eugenia; Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor; Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor; Philip IV of Spain; Maria Anna of Spain; Anne of Austria; Ladislaus the Posthumous; Catherine of Austria; Maria Leopoldine of Austria-Tyrol.
(total: 23 people)

The House of Habsburg-Lorraine (German: Haus Habsburg-Lothringen) originated from the marriage in 1736 of Francis III, Duke of Lorraine and Bar, and Maria Theresa of Austria, later successively Queen of Bohemia, Queen of Hungary, Queen of Croatia and Archduchess of Austria. Its members are the legitimate surviving line of both the House of Habsburg and the House of Lorraine, inheriting their patrimonial possessions and vocation to the Empire from their female ancestress of the House of Habsburg and from the male line of the House of Lorraine. The House of Habsburg-Lorraine still exists today and the current head of the family is Karl von Habsburg.
Marie Antoinette of France; Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria.
(total: 2 people)

Royal dynasty which first ruled in the Crown of Castile and then expanded to the Crown of Aragon in the late middle ages to the early modern period. The dynasty was replaced by the House of Habsburg upon the effective enthronement of Charles V as king of Castile and Aragon in 1516, even though his mentally incompetent and secluded mother Joanna lived until 1555.
Isabella of Aragon; Eleanor of Naples, Duchess of Ferrara; Maria of Aragon; Joanna of Castile; Isabella I of Castile; Isabella, Princess of Asturias; Catherine of Aragon; Henry IV of Castile; Eleanor, Countess of Alburquerque.
(total: 9 people)

The House of Tudor was a royal house of largely Welsh origin that held the English throne from 1485 to 1603. They descended from the Tudors of Penmynydd and Catherine of France. They succeeded the House of Plantagenet as rulers of the Kingdom of England, and were succeeded by the House of Stuart.
Margaret Douglas, Countess of Lennox; Margaret Tudor; Mary Tudor, Queen of France; Mary I, Queen of England; Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Richmond and Somerset; Elizabeth of York; Edward VI of England; Catherine Parr; Arthur Tudor; Catherine Howard; Catherine of Aragon,; Henry VIII of England; Queen Elizabeth I.
(total: 13 people)

Cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet (or "Direct Capetians") to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon.
Charles, Count of Angoulême; John II of France; Margaret of Valois; Louis XII of France; Charlotte of France; Henry II of France; Claude of France; Madeleine of Valois.
(total: 8 people)

Ruling family of the Caliphate between 661 and 750 and later of Al-Andalus between 756 and 1031.
Hisham I of Cordoba; Abd-ar-Rahman I; Abd-ar-Rahman III.
(total: 3 people)

European dynasty of French origin, a branch of the Capetian dynasty, the royal House of France. Bourbon kings first ruled France and Navarre in the 16th century. By the 18th century, members of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty held thrones in Spain, Naples, Sicily, and Parma. Spain and Luxembourg have monarchs of the House of Bourbon.
The royal Bourbons originated in 1272, when the youngest son of King Louis IX married the heiress of the lordship of Bourbon. All legitimate, living members of the House of Bourbon, including its cadet branches, are direct agnatic descendants of Henry IV through his son Louis XIII of France. The current King of Spain, Felipe VI, and the current Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Henri, belong to this house.

Luisa Carlotta of Naples and Sicily; Infanta Isabel Fernanda of Spain; Isabella II of Spain; Antoinette de Bourbon; Elisabeth of France (1602–1644); the 6 children of Francis I of the Two Sicilies; Francis I of the Two Sicilies; Marie-Caroline of Bourbon-Two Sicilies, Duchess of Berry; Infante Francisco de Paula of Spain; Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain; Henry IV of France; Maria de' Medici.
(total: 17 people)

Italian banking family and political dynasty that first began to gather prominence under Cosimo de' Medici, in the Republic of Florence during the first half of the 15th century. The family originated in the Mugello region of Tuscany, and prospered gradually until it was able to fund the Medici Bank. This bank was the largest in Europe during the 15th century and facilitated the Medicis' rise to political power in Florence, although they officially remained citizens rather than monarchs until the 16th century. A cadet branch of the family (the Princes of Ottajano) still exists today.
Elisabeth of France (1602–1644); Eleonora di Garzia di Toledo; Pietro de' Medici; Maria de' Medici; Catherine de' Medici; Eleonora Gonzaga the Younger; Giovanni di Pierfrancesco de' Medici; Lodovico de' Medici; Lucrezia de' Medici; Lucrezia Maria Romola de' Medici; Luisa di Lorenzo de' Medici; Clarice Orsini; Piero di Lorenzo de' Medici; Joanna of Austria, Grand Duchess of Tuscany; Bianca Cappello; Isabella Romola de' Medici; Antonio de' Medici.
(total: 17 people)

European dynasty of North Italian origin whose members ruled parts of Italy and Germany for many centuries. The original House of Este's elder branch, which is known as the House of Welf, included dukes of Bavaria and of Brunswick. This branch produced Britain's Hanoverian monarchs, as well as one Emperor of Russia (Ivan VI) and one Holy Roman Emperor (Otto IV). The original House of Este's younger branch, which is simply called the House of Este, included rulers of Ferrara (1240–1597), and of Modena (–1859) and Reggio (1288–1796). This branch's male line became extinct with the death of Ercole III in 1803.
Beatrice d'Este; Eleanor of Naples, Duchess of Ferrara; Lucrezia de' Medici; Isabella d'Este; Leonello d'Este.
(total: 5 people)

Royal dynasty that was established in 1003 in the historical Savoy region. Through gradual expansion, the family grew in power from ruling a small Alpine county north-west of Italy to absolute rule of the Kingdom of Sicily from 1713 to 1720, when they were handed the island of Sardinia, over which they would exercise direct rule from then onward.
Through its junior branch of Savoy-Carignano, the House of Savoy led the Italian unification in 1860 and ruled the Kingdom of Italy until 1946; they also briefly ruled the Kingdom of Spain in the 19th century. The Savoyard kings of Italy were Victor Emmanuel II, Umberto I, Victor Emmanuel III, and Umberto II. The last monarch reigned for a few weeks before being deposed following the institutional referendum of 1946, after which the Italian Republic was proclaimed
Marie-Louise, Princess de Lamballe; Maria Pia of Savoy; Infanta Beatrice of Portugal, Duchess of Savoy; Bona of Savoy, Duchess of Milan.
(total: 4 people)

Italian princely family that ruled Mantua in Lombardy, northern Italy from 1328 to 1708 (first as a captaincy-general, then margraviate, and finally duchy). They also ruled Monferrato in Piedmont and Nevers in France, as well as many other lesser fiefs throughout Europe. The family includes a saint, twelve cardinals and fourteen bishops. Two Gonzaga descendants became empresses of the Holy Roman Empire (Eleonora Gonzaga and Eleonora Gonzaga-Nevers), and one became queen of Poland (Marie Louise Gonzaga).
Eleonora Gonzaga the Elder; Margherita Gonzaga, Duchess of Ferrara; Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua; Eleonora Gonzaga the Younger; Margaret of Bavaria, Marchioness of Mantua; Francesco II Gonzaga; Federico II of Gonzaga.
(total: 7 people)

The Visconti of Milan are a noble Italian family. They rose to power in Milan during the Middle Ages where they ruled from 1277 to 1447, initially as lords then as dukes, and several collateral branches still exist. The effective founder of the Visconti lordship of Milan was the archbishop Ottone, who wrested control of the city from the rival Della Torre family in 1277. The cadet branch Visconti di Modrone still exists today. The famous film director Luchino Visconti belonged to it.
 Gian Galeazzo Visconti; Bianca Maria Visconti.
(total: 2 people)

Ruling family of Renaissance Italy, based in Milan. They acquired the Duchy of Milan following the extinction of the Visconti family in the mid-15th century, Sforza rule ending in Milan with the death of the last member of the family's main branch in 1535.
Isabella of Aragon; Bona Sforza d'Aragona; Beatrice d'Este; Anna Maria Sforza; Maximilan Sforza; Bianca Maria Sforza; Ippolita Maria Sforza; Bianca Maria Visconti; Galeazzo Maria Sforza; Gian Galeazzo Sforza; Bona of Savoy, Duchess of Milan; Caterina Sforza; Bianca Bentivoglio; Lodovico de' Medici (son of Caterina Sforza); Laura Bentivoglio; Bianca Riario.
(total: 16 people)

First historical ruling dynasty of Poland. The first documented Polish monarch was Duke Mieszko I (c. 930–992). The Piasts' royal rule in Poland ended in 1370 with the death of king Casimir III the Great.
Branches of the Piast dynasty continued to rule in the Duchy of Masovia and in the Duchies of Silesia until the last male Silesian Piast died in 1675. The Piasts intermarried with several noble lines of Europe, and possessed numerous titles, some within the Holy Roman Empire. The Jagiellonian kings after John I Albert were also descended in the female line from Casimir III's daughter.

Stanisław of Masovia; Anna of Masovia.
(total: 2 people)

Aristocratic family in the United Kingdom. From the 16th century, its members have held numerous titles including the dukedom of Marlborough, the earldoms of Sunderland and Spencer, and the Churchill barony. Two prominent members of the family during the 20th century were Sir Winston Churchill and Diana, Princess of Wales. The House was founded in the 15th century by Henry Spencer (died c. 1478), from whom all members descend.
John Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer; John Poyntz Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer; Winston Churchill (full name Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill); George John Spencer, 2nd Earl Spencer; Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire.
(total: 5 people)

The House of Stuart, originally spelt Stewart, was a royal house of Scotland, England, Ireland and later Great Britain. The family name comes from the office of High Steward of Scotland, which had been held by the family progenitor Walter fitz Alan (c. 1150). The name Stewart and variations had become established as a family name by the time of his grandson Walter Stewart. The first monarch of the Stewart line was Robert II, whose male-line descendants were kings and queens in Scotland from 1371, and of England and Great Britain from 1603, until 1714.
James Francis Edward Stuart; Charles Edward Stuart; James II of Scotland; Arbella Stuart; Mary of Guise; James IV of Scotland; Mary, Queen of Scots; James V of Scotland; James VI and I of England; Anne of Denmark; Elizabeth Stuart; Charles I of England; Elizabeth Stuart.
(total: 12 people)

European royal house of German origin that ruled Hanover, Great Britain, and Ireland at various times during the 17th to 20th centuries. The house originated in 1635 as a cadet branch of the House of Brunswick-Lüneburg, growing in prestige until Hanover became an Electorate in 1692. George I became the first Hanoverian monarch of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714. At Queen Victoria's death in 1901, the throne of the United Kingdom passed to her eldest son Edward VII, a member of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. The last reigning members of the House lost the Duchy of Brunswick in 1918 when Germany became a republic. The House of Hanover is now the only surviving branch of the House of Welf, which is the senior branch of the House of Este. The current head of the House of Hanover is Ernst August, Prince of Hanover.
Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales; George III of the United Kingdom.
(total: 2 people)

The House of Aviz, also known as the Joanine Dynasty (Dinastia Joanina), was a dynasty of Portuguese origin which flourished during the Renaissance and the period of the Portuguese discoveries, when Portugal expanded its power globally. The Aviz ruled Portugal from 1385 until 1580, when the Philippine Dynasty succeeded to the throne following the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580.
Isabella of Portugal; Sebastian of Portugal; Infanta Beatrice of Portugal, Duchess of Savoy.
(total: 3 people)

Thus, we have shown not only that the Tudors were not the only royal family with red hair, but that the reddest of all were the Habsburgs!

Habsburg "ancient" coat of arms of the Counts of Habsburg

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Russian proverbs about redheads and a decree from Peter the Great

Here are some Russian proverbs about redheads. Keep in mind I'm not Russian mothertongue and, although I studied Russian language at the university, I don't have a deep knowledge of Russian traditions. For this reason, I double-checked the proverbs below, just to be sure they were actual proverbs (and not, for example, quotations from books or songs). However, should you find any mistake, please let us know!

 -    Pыжий да красный — человек опасный
Red-haired and red: a dangerous person (In Russian, the adjective pыжий is used to refer to hair colour, or to animals' coat colour, while красный is used in all the other cases)

-    C чёрным баню не топи, с рыжим дружбу не води
 Don’t go to the bathouse with a black-haired person, don’t make friends with a red-haired person

-    Рыжи да плешивы – все люди фальшивы (спесивые)
 The red-haired and the bald are false (arrogant) people

-    Рыжих и во святых нет
There are no red-haired saints

-    Избави нас, Боже, от лыса, коса, рыжа и кривоноса
Here I'm not sure about the meaning of koca. The first meaning is braid, plait, but it also means spit or schyte. Anyway, the translation is: God save us from baldness, from the plaits (?), from the redheads and from those wuth a crooked nose 

-    С черным в лес не ходи, рыжему пальца в рот не клади, лысому не верь, а с курчавым не вяжись.
Don’t go to the forest with a black-haired man, don’t put a finger into the redhead’s mouth, don’t believe a bald, stay away from curly-haired people

-    Рыжего Зырянина создал Бог, рыжего татарина – черт
Red-haired Zyryans have been created by God, red-haired Tatars by the devil (Today the Zyryans are called Komi

-    Упрям, как рыжий Зырянин
Stubborn like a red-haired Zyaryn

-    У рыжей лисы не чернобровые щенята
The red fox does not have black-browed puppies

-    А я что, рыжий, что ли?
What am I, a redhead? (Meaning: what am I, a stupid?)

As for Peter the Great, as you probably know he issued many decrees, which reformed and modernised life in Russia. Some of them are quite curious. For example, he imposed a tax on beards. Anyone who wanted to preserve his beard had to pay a certain amount annually to the treasury. For the nobility, it was six hundred rubles a year, for merchants - one hundred, townships cost sixty, and servants and others - thirty (which were very serious amounts for those times). Only the peasants were exempt from this annual tax, but for the entrance to the city they had to pay a penny for their beard. Another decree was "On cleanliness in Moscow". He punished all people who didn't clean the debris on the pavements and in yards. "If you find it, take it out of town and dig it into the ground." As for redheads, Peter the Great issued a decree forbidding them to hold any public office, testifying in courts and working on ships, because, he said, "God marks the rascal!" This is quite strange, since, according to our research, Peter the Great was a redhead himself. 

Sources: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Sunday, December 11, 2022

German legend about Frederick Barbarossa

Frederick Barbarossa is the subject of a so-called king asleep in mountain legend. According to it, he didn't die drowning on 10 June 1190 in the Calycadnus River in Asia Minor during the Third Crusade, but was bewitched in a cave underneath the Kyffhäuser Mountains. There he sleeps on his throne, his faithful servants at his side, awaiting his awakening.


The Kyffhäuser hills and the Kyffhäuser Monument

His head rests in his hands and his red beard grows around the stone table. Every one hundred years he wakes up and sends one of his servants to look whether the ravens still circle the mountain. If so, the emperor goes back to sleep. The ravens represent discord and misfortune and will be cast out by an eagle at the end. According to the legend, his beard needs to grow around the table once – in other versions three times – to disenchant the spell. As in the similar legend of King Arthur, Barbarossa supposedly awaits Germany's hour of greatest need, when he will emerge once again from under the hill. Similar rapture legends refer to Emperor Frederick II or to Charlemagne sleeping in the Untersberg near Salzburg.

The Barbarossa myth was first documented in the late 17th century and later popularized by the Brothers Grimm and a poem written in 1817 by Friedrich Rückert. Frequently taken up by Romantic authors, and satirized in Germany. A Winter's Tale by Heinrich Heine, it became the expression of the desire for the Old Empire's re-emergence as a German nation state. When the Kyffhäuser Monument was built at the ruins of the Imperial Castle in 1890–1896, with a statue of Frederick Barbarossa and an Emperor William monument, the German Emperor William I was thought to have "laid to rest" Barbarossa by the 1871 unification of Germany.

The Kyffhäuser Monument was designed by architect Bruno Schmitz (1858–1916) and it is the third-largest monument in Germany.

Central tower and equestrian statue of Emperor William I

A little scenic stone quarry surrounded by terraces on the east side of the monument forms the backdrop for the emperor Frederick Barbarossa sandstone sculpture created by Nikolaus Geiger (1849–1897). The 6.5 m (21 ft) high figure was fashioned on site from several sandstone blocks. At its feet linger knights, mythical creatures and members of his court, with whom the old emperor is lying in wait for resurrection in his underground dungeon. The emperor himself is depicted as one might imagine an ancient powerful monarch in poems and legends at the very moment of awakening. This moment has been highlighted by the crawling movement of the left hand, that rests in the bottom-long beard and a slightly recessed leg that is not covered by the coat. Sculptor Nikolaus Geiger decorated the emperor's red beard with the imperial crown, as its original is on display in the Vienna Hofburg.

In the Kyffhäuser Hills there is also the Barbarossa Cave, a cave with large caverns, grottos and lakes. It was discovered in 1865 as a gallery was being driven during prospecting works. Its location in the Kyffhäuser Hills gave rise to its link with the Barbarossa Legend and its proximity to the Kyffhäuser Monument led to it being renamed the Barbarossa Cave at the end of the 19th century. Of interest to visitors are the underground lakes whose gypsum content gives them an iridescent green colour, and a human made stone construction, known as Barbarossa's Table and Chair.

Barbarossa's Table and Chair.


Additional source

More on red-haired giants

Dr. Michael Salla is considered a pioneer of the so-called exopolitics, the political study of the key actors, institutions and processes associated with extraterrestrial life. He wrote many books on the subject, which you can find here

In this article, Salla mentions red-haired giants:

Giants that have been in hibernation in “stasis chambers” for thousands of years are awakening, and are being sought out by elite military forces, according to several independent sources. After being located, awakened giants are allegedly being captured and held hostage by powerful global elite groups that do not want the rest of humanity to learn the truth.

Secret space program whistleblower, Corey Goode, was among the first to publicly disclose the existence of “stasis chambers” that were holding perfectly preserved giants for thousands of years. In an August 4, 2015 interview on the popular show, Cosmic Disclosure, Goode discussed how he had accessed information on “smart-glass pads” during his covert service about these sleeping giants and the technology of the stasis chambers that were preserving them. [...]

Goode described the size of the beings found in the stasis chambers when they were first discovered in the 19th century, all over the planet:

And to look down in, they saw these very tall beings, or very large giant humans with reddish beards…. these tall, red-headed, red beard groups were in Europe and South and North America. And apparently, at one time, before the last Ice Age apparently, they had a very large area that they ruled.

The article also mentions the red-haired giant of Kandahar, we have already talked about here.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

German book about redheads

The book is Die Rothaarigen: Die Logik des Widersprüchlichen. Versuch einer Deutung der rothaarigen und der keltischen Menschen (which can be translated as Redheads: The Logic of the Contradictory. Attempt at an interpretation of the red-haired and the Celtic people), published in 1960 and written by author Hans Bernhard Schiff (born Wolfgang Geyse, 1915 - 1996). 

Unfortunately, the book is available only in German, so, if you know the language, you can easily find it second-hand (for example here). Should you read it, let us know what it is about!

Friday, December 9, 2022

More ancient proverbs about red hair

John Mitchell Kemble (2 April 1807 – 26 March 1857) was an English scholar and historian. He was the eldest son of the actor Charles Kemble (belonging to a prominent theatre family) and the actress and singer Maria Theresa Kemble. He is known for his major contribution to the history of the Anglo-Saxons and philology of the Old English language, including one of the first translations of Beowulf.

The Dialogue of Salomon and Saturn is one of his minor works. 


It is made up of the Old English Saturn and Solomon texts in prose and verse, with translation and accompanying commentary, plus other related texts, such as proverbs of AElfred and other proverbs.
I quote from page 248: “It is probable that this is derived from a Saxon original, and AElfred here appears in the traditional character of a teacher; for that there ever was a meeting at Seaford, in which he really delivered the counsels here attributed to him, appears quite out of the question.
The proverbs which are thus put into Alfred's mouth are important from their antiquity, and of the more value to us because some of them correspond to proverbs already alluded to in this introduction. Such of these as I have observed I shall now proceed to note; others of them, again, are found at a later period in other languages of Europe

Unfortunately, Kemble doesn't provide English translations of Latin and Old German proverbs (who knows why) and I managed to translate only the Latin ones and a couple of those in Old German. Should any of you be able to translate the proverbs in Old German, please let us know!

Page 247:

Thus quoth Alfred:
Dear son of mine,
choose never for thy mate
a little man, or long, or red,
if thou wilt do after my rede.

Page 248

The red man is a rogue,
for he will advise thee ill ;
he is quarrelsome, a thief and whoreling,
a scold, of mischief he is king.
I do not say for all that
 that many are not gentlemen.
Through this lore and gentility
he amended a great company.

Page 254

The advice of Alfred to his son, to take neither a short man, a tall man, nor a red-haired man for his friend, because the first will be ambitious and proud, the second without wit or courage, and the third a traitor, is paralleled by a passage in Freidank, p. 85:
Kurzer man demuete
unt roter mit guete,
unt langer man wise,
der lop sol man prise.

Of this one I managed to translate only the first three lines: The short man humble, the redhead good, the tall man wise. If "prise" has the same meaning as in English, probably it means a prize should be given to these three persons (since they are so rare).

From the same page:

The same assertion, with additional circumstances, is made in the MS. Harl. 3362, fol.33:
Raro breves humiles, longos vidi sapientes.
Albos audaces, rufos sine prodicione.
Cum fusco stabis, cum nigro tela parabis.

(Rarely I saw an humble short man, a wise tall man, a brave white-haired man, a faithful red-haired man. With the brown-haired man you can stay, with the black-haired man prepare your weapons.)

Page 255:

The faithlessness of red-haired men is known to have been a widely prevailing belief, and to have passed into the proverbs of many European countries: Judas, in the painted cloth, has red hair, allusions to which in the works of all our old dramatic writers are far too numerous to require specific reference. I shall content myself with calling attention to a few notices less commonly accessible in this country.
In rufa pelle vix est animus sine felle. (Gartner, Diet. Prov. 15.)

(In a red skin there is hardly a soul without poison/hate.)

Raro breves humiles uidi, longos sapientes,
albos audaces, nigros rufosque fideles.

(Rarely I saw short humble men, wise tall men, brave white-haired men, faithful black- and red-haired men.)

Die Kleinen Leuth haben höhen muth,
ein lang mann selten wunder thut,
ein bleicher mann hat weiber art,
hut dich vor schwartz und rot bart.
Rot bart nie gut ward, sprach Moses

(The short have great courage, the tall rarely do wonderful things, the pale have women's manners, beware of black and red beards. The red beard was never good, said Moses)

Per rubram barbam debes cognoscere nequam,
Multi non rubram sed habent cum crimine nigram.

(By the red beard you must know the wicked, many criminals are not red-haired, but black-haired)

Man spricht, Roterbart
selten gut ward.
Aber thue sie nicht allein so schelten,
schwarze Bart gerathen auch selten.

(One speaks, Redbeard is seldom good. But don't scold him alone, black beards are also rarely advisable.)

Des nemen bispel dar an:
und huete sich ein islich man,  
daz niemen ze vil truwen sol   
dem roten friunt, daz rat ich wol

(This one I couldn't translate)

So among the proverbs which we have already quoted from the Trin. MS. we find,
Rufus habet speciem post Sathanae faciem.
Xts plasmauit rufum Sathanamque vocauit,
Sic laus hic dixit seruus per secula sic sit.

(The kind/species of the redhead is behind Satan's face. Christ shaped the redhead and called him Satan, Thus the praise of this servant said, let it be so for ever.)

Im was der bart und daz har
beidiu rot und viurvar ;
von den selben horich sagen
das si valschiu herze tragen.

(More or less it says that men with either red beard or red hair or both, are said to have a false heart)

Quia rufus esset, quae species malignam naturam designaret,
iuxta hunc versum,
Raro breues humiles uidi, rufos que fideles.

(Because he was red-haired, which appearance denotes a malignant nature, according to this verse, seldom have I seen a humble short man, or a faithful red-haired man)

Per rubram barbam debes cognoscere nequam.
Multi non rubram sed habent cum crimine nigram.

 (By the red beard you must know the wicked, many criminals are not red-haired, but black-haired)

Raro breves humiles vidi, longos sapientes,
Albos audaces, rufoque colore fideles.

(Rarely I saw short humble men, wise tall men, brave white-haired men, and faithful red-haired men.)

The Spaniards have a proverb to the same effect :
Asno coxo, y hombre roxo, y el demonio, todo es uno.

(A lame ass, and a red-haired man, and the devil, are all one.)




Monday, December 5, 2022

European proverbs about red hair

In this old post we have seen Italian proverbs about red hair. Now, we will see proverbs from other countries. As you will see, French and Spanish proverbs are quite similar to Italian ones. German proverbs are different, but I could only find few of them.



- Mujer de pelo bermejo, mala carne y peor pellejo (Woman with red hair, bad meat and worse skin)

- Dios nos libre de un cojo, de un rojo y de uno que le falta un ojo  (God save us from a lame man, from a red-haired man and from one who is missing an eye) 

- Pelirrojo, peor que un cojo (Redhead, worse than a cripple)

- Hombre rojo y el demuño, todo es uno  (Red-haired man and the devil are all one, which is similar to the proverb quoted in a previous post)

- Rubicondo era Judas el traidor: ni mujer, ni hombre, ni perro ni gato de aquella color  (Red was Judas the traitor: neither woman nor man, nor dog nor cat of that color)

- Home roig i gos pelut, primer mort que conegut (This is from Valencia. In current Spanish it is Hombre pelirrojo y perro peludo, primero muerto que conocido   Red-haired man and hairy dog, sooner dead than known)

- Español rojo y alemán moreno, ninguno es bueno   (Red-haired Spanish and brown-haired German, neither is good)

- Hombre rojo, ten con él mucho ojo   (Red-haired man, keep an eye on him)

- Rojo esparteño, mal pelo (Of this one I couldn't understand the meaning of esparteño)

- El pelo rojo cría piojos (Red hair breeds lice)

- Pelirrojo  de mal pelo, cabeza de cordero (Bad-haired redhead, lamb's head)

Sources 1 - 2 - 3



- Roux, tout bons ou tout méchants  (Redhead, all good or all bad)

- Avoir un poil de Judas  (To have Judas’ hair)

- Des cheveux roux, de la femme à barbe et du chien à queue coupée court, sauve qui peut  (From red hair, from the bearded woman and from the dog with the short bobtail, save who can)

- Dieu te garde de l'enfer et de la fille d'un homme roux  (God save you from hell and from a redheaded man's daughter)

- Homme roux est très sage ou très fou  (A red-haired man is very wise or very crazy)

- Homme roux et chien lainu [laineux] ou pelu [poilu], plus tost [plutôt] mort que cogneu [connu]  (Red-haired man and woolly or furry dog, sooner dead than known)

- Homme roux et chien poilu, mieux vaut mort que connu  (Red-haired man and hairy dog, better dead than known)

- Homme roux et chien velu n'ont jamais été plaints  (Red-haired man and furry dog have never been complained about)

- Homme roux et femme barbue jamais de près ne les salue  (Red-haired man and bearded woman, never greet them closely)

- Homme roux et femme barbue, de quatre lieux les salue, avec trois pierres au poing, pour t'en ayder s'il vient point  (Red-haired man and bearded woman, from four places greet them, with three stones in hand, to help you if he does not come... This is note very clear)

- Homme roux, femme barbue de bien bon coeur, personne ne salut (Red-haired man, bearded woman with a very good heart, no one greet them)

- Loucher, nez pointu et cheveux roux sont mauvais signes partout  (Squinting, pointy nose and red hair are bad signs everywhere)

- Peu de barbe et roux de couleur, soulz [sous] le ciel il n'y a pejeur  (Little beard and red in color, under the sky there's nothing worse)

- Roux françois, noir anglois et normant de toute taille ne t'y fie si tu es sage  (Red-haired French, black-haired English and Norman of all sizes, don't trust them if you're wise)

- Si les grands étaient vaillants, les petits étaient patients, les roux loyaux et bons, tout le monde serait pareil   (If the big ones were valiant, the little ones were patient, the redheads loyal and good, everyone would be the same)

- Soubs cheveul roux, souvent git un poulx (This is an old spelling and I don't understand it. Maybe it means: Under red hair often there is a pulse [a quick temper])

- Roux au mauvais poil, tête de mouton  (Bad-haired redhead, sheep's head)

- Barbe rouge et noirs cheveux, Guettes t'en, si tu peux (Red beard and black hair, Watch out, if you can)

Sources: 1 - 2


- Rote Haare reiß ich aus, mach mir einen Besen draus   (I pull out red hair, make a broom out of it)

- Rote Haare, Sommersprossen- sind des Teufels Artgenossen  (Red hair, freckles - are the devil's kind)

- Rote Haare, krauser Sinn, da steckt der Teufel drin  (Red hair, frizzy sense, there's the devil in it. Not very clear)

- Rotes Haar, nimm dich in acht, hat noch jedem Leid gebracht  (Red hair, beware, has brought suffering to everyone)

Schwarzer Kopf, rother Bart, bose Art (Black head, red beard, evil manner)

- Roter Bart, untreue Art (Red beard, unfaithful kind)

- Huet dich vor aim roten Walhen, weissen Franzosen, schwarzen Teutschen (Beware of the red Gauls, white Frenchmen, black Germans)

Sources: 1 - 23


Judeo-Spanish, aka Ladino (not to be confused with the Dolomitic Ladino) 

- Rozho de mal pelo, cavesa de codredo  (Bad-haired redhead, lamb's head) 

So, we have learnt that for the Spanish redheads have a lamb's head, while for the French they have a sheep's head. 😂

(PS: if you know proverbs about red hair in other languages, please let us know!)