Ancient Egyptian female pharaoh Hatshepsut, who reigned in the 15th century BC, wore a fake beard during official ceremonies in order to express her equality with male rulers.
In ancient Greece, the beard symbolized masculinity and honor. Cutting off the beard was a form of punishment for cowardly soldiers in Sparta.
Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor (r. 962-973), always swore on his beard when he took something seriously.
In medieval Europe, touching other people’s beards was regarded as a serious offense. The insult against the facial hair, representing honor and virtue, often ended in a duel.
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