Ancient Beauty I
I decided I’ll regularly be posting images or excerpts describing ancient beauty rituals, as it is of great interest to me, and one of the main motivations behind Bath Sabbath.
Vikings, to some, have the reputation of being a filthy people, and this myth persists despite the evidence of fairly strict hygiene rituals. You can probably recall the scene in “13th Warrior" where a communal basin is passed around and vikings proceed to wash their faces in the phlegm of their brethren. This scene, is fucking gross, but is in fact taken from history, albeit a pretty biased one.
It is directly taken from the accounts of Ahmad Ibn Fadlan, an Arab traveller and ambassador who spent some time with the Rus, better known as the Varangians (11th century Vikings who occupied the medieval state of Rus). His description of their morning ritual is as follows:
"Every day they must wash their face and heads and this they do in the dirtiest and filthiest fashion possible: to wit, every morning a girl servant brings a great basin of water; she offers this to her master and he washes his hands and face and his hair- he washes it and combs it out with a comb in the water; then he blows his nose and spits into the basin. When he has finished, the servant carries the basin to the next person, who does likewise. She carries the basin thus to all the household in turn, and each blows his nose, spits and washes his face and hair in it.”
Ibn Fadlan, being a Muslim, was accustomed to arguably some of the most thorough hygienic practices in the early Medieval world, so naturally he would see the Viking’s practices as somewhat vulgar. Most likely the basin was refilled before passing it along, but to Ibn Fadlan, it could still be seen as contaminated due to it’s communal use. It’s also interesting to note that the Persian traveller Ahmad Ibn Rustah spent time with the Rus, and differed with Ibn Fadlan on many points, he also often commented on their cleanliness.
The more you know. I don’t care if you liked it or not, I’ll be doing this regularly. LET THE UNFOLLOWS BEGIN. <3