Recreating the hairstyle of a Vestal Virgin

9 Jan

I love fancy hairstyles. I can’t do them, but I love them. I also love Rome, a cancelled-too-early HBO/BBC show set in, you guessed it, ancient Rome. It featured some pretty fabulous hairstyles, notably those of HBIC Atia of the Julii. So I was intrigued by this really neat breakdown of the hairstyle of Vestal Virgins (which isn’t at all related to Atia, who was neither vestal nor virgin, but go with me on this):

I can’t speak to the scholarship, as I know next to nothing about the period, but it’s easy to follow (even for the hair-stupid like me) and leaves lots of room to either adapt the style or follow it to the letter. For such a complex-looking style, it seems fairly simple, if time-consuming.

Also, “suffibulum” is an amazing word and I think we should use it more often.

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4 Responses to “Recreating the hairstyle of a Vestal Virgin”

  1. Kat aka Radclyffe January 9, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    Way cool! Thanks for sharing! I found her last musings on the ‘backward twisting hair’ echoing through time very intriguing! Adds another layer of subtext in Elizabeth I’s wearing of rats (which in a way ARE a structural vitta) where the hair is twisted backward away from the face around the rats… a conscious reflection of her own virginity perhaps? It would be interesting to research how that style came to England at that time, most likely from Italian fashions that trickled up? And if so, as educated as Elizabeth was did she know and enjoy the underlying significance of that hairstyle?

    • Kat aka Radclyffe January 10, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

      also on a much less scholarly note… “seni crenis” makes me giggle… it just sounds so…inappropriate

      • stonebiscuit January 16, 2013 at 10:46 am #

        AGREED. Latin words are hilarious and dirty even when they’re not dirty.

    • stonebiscuit January 16, 2013 at 10:46 am #

      I hadn’t thought about that, but what an interesting connection! I can absolutely see that being the case. What a neat way to reinforce both the perception of virginity and holiness/chosen-by-Godness (Godness?).

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