Sunday, March 25, 2012

Did Domitian Wear a Wig?

In his biography of the emperor, Suetonius claimed that Domitian was bald - and very, very sensitive on the subject:

In later life he had the further disfigurement of baldness . . ..  He was so sensitive about his baldness, that he regarded it as a personal insult if anyone else was twitted with that defect in jest or in earnest . . ..

And yet every sculpture I can find of Domitian - including those that appear to portray him later in life (he was only 45 years of age when he died) - show him with a full head of hair.

So, did he wear a wig?  Or is that a comb-over?

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