Beardo meets Mr. Hatebeard

Apr 27th 2016

Beardo meets Mr. Hatebeard

In the 16th century a French writer — and we're honestly not making this up — named Antoine Hotman wrote a dialogue between characters named Beardo and Mr. Hatebeard. But he wrote in Latin and used Greek names, so Beardo was actually Pogonias and Mr. Hatebeard was called Misopogon (pogon meaning beard, and miso- meaning hate).

Now, let's say this part again: the author's name was Hotman. And if you're a bearded guy, you know you've been called that yourself. We couldn't find a picture of Antoine Hotman, but we did find his brother Francois sporting a trim beard and dreaming of a future world with Beard Saver:

It was the swingin' 16th century, right in the middle of the Renaissance in France, when people were learning all kinds of cool stuff about the ancient world and trying to master it themselves. This wasn't limited to art and literature, but all around questions of how to live your life and be a man. And Hotman picked a pretty unique subject here.

Beardo and Mr. Hatebeard go back and forth, quoting ancient Greek and Roman writers for and against beards, but in the end the whole thing turns into an attack on shaving, and Mr. Hatebeard concedes, so we know where the author stood.

It's kind of long, and written in Latin, so we're not going to translate it for you. But the arguments in favor run the gamut from poets calling beards the natural clothing of the jaws, or saying that they trust a man with a beard, to the examples of the great philosophers, who were all bearded. I mean check these guys out:

Who wouldn't want an epic beard like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle? So, yeah, you're in pretty good company, from the greatest of the ancient philosophers, to a Renaissance write with a sense of humor who pull out a few dozen quotations to back up his argument.