The origin of the wig on the judge’s head: it was originally due to lice and venereal disease

Back then, Britain, as the sun never setting empire, brought many of its own traditions to various Commonwealth countries and British colonies, including the tradition of wearing wigs in court. The tradition of wearing wigs in European countries can be traced back to the ancient Egyptian era.

The ancient Egyptians liked to shave their hair very short, but the local sun was very hot and the bright scalp was easily damaged by the sun, so the ancient Egyptians wore wigs and fixed them to their heads with beeswax or resin. The rich also use animal fats to shape their wigs and add spices to the wigs. The smell is very sour and refreshing.

Statue of a couple wearing wigs in ancient Egypt

The wig trend of ancient Egyptians slowly began to become popular. Assyrians, Jews, and Phoenicians successively contracted stinky diseases and began to wear wigs on their heads. It didn’t take long for the wig trend to spread to ancient Greece, and the ancient Romans who were fashionable to learn Greece learned the skills of ancient Greek wigs.

Soon, the trend of wearing wigs became popular in ancient Rome, and wigs became the fashion vane of ancient Rome. In the upper class of Rome, almost everyone has a wig with instant noodles. It doesn’t matter whether you are losing your hair or not, as long as you wear a wig, you will be a trendy person in ancient Rome.

Statue of a woman with a wig in ancient Rome

However, with the demise of the Western Roman Empire, the trend of wigs fell silent immediately. Europeans no longer wear wigs, no matter how ugly the scalp is, no one uses wigs to cover up. The wig became a yellow flower in the past, hiding in a corner silently and no one cared about it, so it was silent for more than a thousand years.

In the 16th century, the wig was finally reborn, once again dominating Europe. The reason why wigs can make a comeback is actually only one reason: unsanitary. Due to the growing population, poor sanitary conditions in European society have caused two serious problems.

The first one is that people can’t get rid of the harassment of lice on their heads. This little bug hides in the dirty, nutritious European hair, sucking nutrients and thriving. People’s heads are itchy and they have to shave their heads off. Hair, but the bald head is really not elegant enough, so people began to seek the help of wigs.

Elizabeth I an orange wig

Another problem brought about by poor sanitation is the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases, especially among the nobles, who generally live more luxuriously and corruptly, and are more likely to be favored by sexually transmitted diseases. Some venereal diseases can cause hair loss, and many European aristocrats have become bald due to improper life. In order to hide their ugly side, some nobles began to decorate their foreheads with wigs.

Wigs at that time were made with horse mane as raw materials, and the craftsmanship was cumbersome, so they were expensive. Only royals and nobles used such wigs, so wigs became popular in the upper-class European circles. I originally wore a wig to cover my shame, but now it’s done, it turned out to be a status symbol.

At that time, the United Kingdom was not the country where wigs were the most popular, but France was. From the king of France to the noble elites of France, almost everyone has a wig, and they wear it every day without too much heat. As the European fashion center, France soon introduced this trend to Britain, and British aristocrats also began to wear wigs.

King Louis XIV with a wig

Back to the courts, the British judges were originally composed of elites from the upper class. They were almost all consumers of wigs. Starting in the 17th century, the courts in Britain were all judges and lawyers wearing white wigs. I am proud of this and ignore the origin of the wig at all. It is actually very unbearable.

Of course, things like fashion are often a gust of wind. After being popular in Europe for about 300 years, wigs have returned to peace. But the British courts have stubbornly retained this tradition. In their opinion, wearing a wig can be more majestic and distinctive. In order to show individuality, the British courts even left a weird tradition that every lawyer or judge can only wear one wig for a lifetime. Even if the wig is no longer worn, it must be repaired and worn for life.

Australian lawyer Margarita Barty wearing a wig

This trend was brought to the courts of British colonies around the world with the colonization of the United Kingdom on a global scale. So from India to Hong Kong, from the United States to Australia, wigs swept all the courts of the Commonwealth countries and colonies and became a standard. match.

However, so far, many of the Commonwealth countries have abandoned the tradition of using wigs in courts, including the United Kingdom, which also stipulates that judges wear wigs only in criminal courts, and other courts have abandoned the use of wigs.

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