Thursday, July 06, 2006

de te fabula

Beards are in fashion among scholars today. It is amusing that they were also in fashion among the Stoic street-preachers of ancient Rome. According to the poet Horace, Roman boys enjoyed annoying these wise men by pulling on their beards. Imagine now giving a tug to the facial hair that belonged to a tenured professor at Harvard. Do you think, even if he taught the works of Horace in his classes and encouraged his students to laugh at the self-importance of the philsophers being mocked, that he would be capable of seeing himself in the mirror that Horace was holding up for him?

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