lesbiassparrow: (ian romans)
[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
So in the course of research recently I came across these winners (mainly from Pliny the Elder, who was batty to an almost charming degree):

1. You can get freckles from drinking wine in which dead newts have been placed. But the intestines of a particular type of land crocodile are effective in getting rid of freckles. You mix them up into a face mask. Yummy!

2. It is often effective to have hair dyes mixed by a virgin and then put them on in the shade

3. When dying your hair you should have a mouth full of oil so that your teeth don't get stained. Given the horribly toxic nature of Roman dyes I suspect running for your life would be better advice

4. The teeth of dogs steeped in wine and honey or mice with honey and fennel make wonderful toothpaste.

5. Pliny the Elder suggests you use these ingredients in an unguent to get rid of hair: gall and liver of several types of sea fish, gall and liver of leeches and a frog, then mix the result with oil and vinegar. Mind you, as a sign that he hasn't gone totally round the bend, he then suggests tweezing your hair out before.

6. Mouse dung, mashed ants, vulture’s blood, bulls dung, and donkey urine taken at the rising of the Dog Star are effective ingredients in beauty treatments.

The Romans, now they were a interesting set of people

Date: 2006-11-30 04:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sucrelefey.livejournal.com
Ah, the good old days.
5) The bile(a base) from all that gall might do a weak version of Nair when mixed with the vinegar acid.

Date: 2006-11-30 04:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Really? That's interesting to know. Usually Pliny the Elder is so mad I don't take any of his recipes for anything seriously.

How is Dave? And how are you holding up?

Date: 2006-11-30 05:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sucrelefey.livejournal.com
Well some of those old ways may have had enough of a minor effect to make folks believe in them.
Dave. Still alive. On the road but slowly to better. As for me trying to the point of hurting myself not to jump into the social political fray. It all seems so familiar.

Date: 2006-11-30 05:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tinuvielberen.livejournal.com
Nice!

Actually, I used to troll post on fashion forums, and some of the the "health" and beauty treatments proposed there make these seem almost plausible...

Date: 2006-11-30 05:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
You know, one of these days I fully expect to see some book called 'the beauty treatments of the Romans' incorporating Pliny in all his madness. After all, the ingredients are almost impossible to find, which must mean they are really effective.

Date: 2006-11-30 10:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alexandral.livejournal.com
Oh gosh, so very disgusting. It makes one to be very happy that we live in our century :D But again, we don't REALLY know what our beauty treatments are made of .

Date: 2006-12-01 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
At least I don't think any of these ingredients would kill you, unlike some of the other stuff they used. I wonder what some of this stuff smelt like, though.

Date: 2006-11-30 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squishysquidgy.livejournal.com
*dumbfounded*

Did people actually *do* this? But then again, that's a stupid question because there are things like that around these days that make me think the same thing. (I had a Macedonian friend who was brought up by her grandmother. Her grandmother taught her that the blood on the bed sheets from losing her virginity on her wedding night will help cure her child - when she has one - when it is ill).

Date: 2006-12-01 12:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
That's so bizarre. Ah, folk remedies, how completely useless you often are.

I don't know if people did half this stuff or if they were being sold things which were horrifically expensive and told the reason why was that it had land crocodile intestines...

Date: 2006-11-30 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fubarite.livejournal.com
You mean there's people here who don't get virgins to mix their hair dye? There's one born every minute I guess, but it makes the colour stick for weeks - wouldn't do it any other way myself.

Hi. I'm polarbear at SF, and I am apparently ALL ABOUT the Roman beauty treatments *waves*

Date: 2006-12-01 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
The problem in Los Angeles would probably be finding a convenient virgin to do it... I suspect crocodile intestines are easier to come by.

*waves back* :)

Date: 2006-12-01 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] metalkpretty.livejournal.com
Hi! I've come from Snarkfest and am friending you.

Date: 2006-12-02 03:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Hello and welcome! Nice to meet so many more snarkers on LJ. :)

Date: 2006-12-01 06:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenthesixth.livejournal.com
QueenSix from Snarkfest here, friending you & saying hello. *waves*

Date: 2006-12-02 03:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
*waves back* If anything good came out of deletiongate, it's that I've met more snarkers! :)

Date: 2006-12-03 09:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caerbannog.livejournal.com
Very fascinating! I hope you don't mind if I friend you, I found your journal via Snarkfeset.

Date: 2006-12-03 09:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] caerbannog.livejournal.com
Doh! I mean, Snarkfest.

Date: 2006-12-03 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Of course I don't mind! Always lovely to know more snarkfesters on LJ. Deletiongate had some benefits, it seems. :)

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