Monday, August 29, 2005

Is This Historically Accurate?

Watched the initial episode of Rome last night on HBO. The period piece is their follow-up to the late, lamented Six Feet Under, and takes its place with their other Sunday night in-house flagship pieces.

The initial episode seemed OK, albeit understandably heavy on the backstory and exposition. Clearly the most interesting and controversial character is going to be Polly Walker's Atia, a B.C. desperate housewife of the most Machiavellian sort. Already in the first episode she's used her children to play both ends of the impending showdown between Pompey and Julius Caesar, took a literal bloodbath, rode Timon the horse-trader very hard (in front of the help, no less), and invited her precocious son Octavian to gawk an eyeful of mommy's goods.

Speaking of which, while the show has nowhere near the level of profanity that makes Deadwood what it is, there is a fair amount of full frontal nudity in the show. Female full frontal, that is. Nicely trimmed female full frontal, that is. It does make you wonder (OK, OK, makes me wonder) if the nice grooming is historically accurate? I mean, I know that clippers weren't invented yet, but were scissors even invented at the time?

Using Wikipedia to answer my own question, looks like scissors were not yet invented at the time when this show is set (~ 50 B.C.):
Modern cross-bladed scissors were invented by Romans around AD 100.
Which begs the question, from whence comes the well-coiffed ... er, areas in question?


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