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Awful Ancient Positions in Life IV
Posted In: Ancient Civilizations  5/28/12
By: Yona Williams

Throughout ancient times, there have been people that have sold and bought others. A slaver was a gentleman who sold slaves that were used for work purposes or pleasure. In this article, you will learn what a slaver, ornatrix and gymnasiarch did during ancient times.


A slave made a life out of following the armies in battle so that he could collect the losers to sell to rich Greeks as slaves. If you've ever seen the movie, 'Gladiator,' you would see an example of this – it is what happened to Maximus before he was turned into a gladiator. His body was picked up by a slaver. It was also the job of a slaver to purchase handsome young boys from parents that could not afford or did not want their sons – a less desirable method of adoption for ancient families. The slaver would castrate the youths and sell them as lovers to wealthy Greek men. Leading the life of a slaver was not always the safest thing to be – they had to stay protected from the people that did not approve of their position selling young boys.

Cleaning Up the Gym

During ancient Greek times, athletics was an important aspect of the people's lives, and for some wealthy residents, they didn’t mind getting a little dirty to participate in the upkeep of athletes. A gymnasiarch was a dirty job that involved rubbing oil on the bodies of athletes and scraping it off when needed. They also had the duty to clean up after wrestling matches, as well as make sure the gym conditions were maintained and suitable for athletes. Members of the rich class in society were especially interested in the job because it was considered one of the best ways to complete philanthropic duties. In order to qualify for the position, they had to possess a large net worth and be between the ages of 30 and 60. Some gymnasiarchs didn’t mind getting dirty in the process of monitoring the gym because they were given a stick to carry around that they could use to beat unruly youths that caused a ruckus in the gym.

Making Hair Miracles Work

During ancient times, an ornatrix was someone that took on the same duties as a hairdresser. They were expected to work beauty miracles in a day that did not have curling irons, dyes and other helpful chemicals that changed the color and style of hair. There were no wigs to cure a balding queen or hair extensions to make her locks flow. The ornatrix had to come up with different ways to achieve the desired looks of royalty. If a fair-haired queen wanted dark hair, the ornatrix would most likely use a combination of bile, rotten leeches and squid ink. If a dark-haired queen wanted blonde hair, pigeon feces and ashes was thought to create a chemical reaction that stripped the color from hair. Urinating on hair to set the color was also a method of the times. The ornatrix would also cut the long hair of slave girls to make wigs for wealthy women.


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