Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Late Antique Mullet

The "business up front and party in the back" was not an invention of the 1980s, but evidently was the fashion of sixth-century Constantinople. From Procopius' Secret History:

...the partisans [the Blues under Justinian] changed the style of their hair to a quite novel fashion, having it cut very differently from other Romans. They did not touch moustache or beard at all, but were always anxious to let them grow as long as possible, like the Persians. But the hair on the front of the heart they cut right back to the temples, allowing the growth behind to hang down to its full length in a disorderly mass, like the Massagetae. That is what they sometimes called the Hunnish style. (Trans. G.A. Williamson)

It seems Procopius is blaming the Blues under Justinian for inflicting the worst hair fashion upon humanity in the sixth-century CE. But perhaps the Mullet existed even earlier, if it is the style of the Massagetae and the Huns.

1 comment:

Liam said...

I remember reading that and thinking exactly the same thing.