Saturday, May 11, 2013

when in rome

living history-type events are favorites with diana and me.  today we stepped back into ancient rome, courtesy of riversdale in maryland.

probably the highlight of our day was the series of demonstrations of ancient roman female hairstyles.  janet stephens, a hair stylist and archaeologist who was recently featured in the wall street journal, performed wonders of beauty with the hair of women and girls who lined up to watch, listen, and await their turn to be authentically coiffed.

diana, who has tended to shy away from opportunities to have her hair braided at other events, willingly volunteered her tresses to ms. stephens' ministrations.  when asked what style she most wanted, diana admitted that she very much liked ancient greece.  her wish was obliged.

did you know that hairstyles take into account the natural qualities of the people within that culture?  greeks apparently prized curly hair, which lent itself well to holding fast within this headband style.  diana's hair, being mostly straight, stayed in for a short time.

so, after learning how to work a drop spindle for spinning wool,

and grinding grain,

and imagining the destructive force delivered by these beautiful and cleverly designed lance tips,

we watched the soldiers work through some tactical formations and exercises,

and then went back for a hairstyle typical of a young roman girl.  yes, her hair is being braided and sewn here.

(i'm not particularly thrilled about the prospect of washing all the beeswax out of her hair tomorrow, but it does look good and smell good, too, as it is scented with almond oil.  oh, and when diana was getting ready for bed tonight, she asked if i could learn how to do this for the wedding we are attending next month.  i love that she has such faith in my ability to figure these things out and acquire mad skills in a short period of time.)

we also talked with a viking mercenary, learned about the craftsman skill and artistry that went inyo making armor and weaponry, and appreciated the feel of a real scythian bow.

while we were there, i wanted to peek inside the house, so we joined a tour group.  nothing to do with romans, but it was very much like exploring gibson house.  sooo pretty, especially the plaster work and other lovely details.

it took us a good hour to drive there, but the travel was well worth it for me and my girl.

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