Who Did Not Wear Beards in Ancient Greece?

Throughout history, beards have been a symbol of masculinity and virility. Ancient Greece is no exception, where beards were considered an essential aspect of manhood.

However, not all men in ancient Greece wore beards. In this article, we will explore who did not wear beards in ancient Greece.

Ancient Greek Society and the Importance of Beards

In ancient Greek society, the beard was a symbol of masculinity and maturity. Men grew their beards long and often adorned them with oils and perfumes to keep them soft and shiny. Bearded men were considered more attractive to women and respected by other men.

The beard was so important in ancient Greece that there were even laws regarding its maintenance. For example, it was illegal for a man to shave his beard as a punishment for certain crimes.

Who Did Not Wear Beards?

Despite the importance of beards in ancient Greek society, there were certain groups of men who did not wear them. These included:


Athletes in ancient Greece typically shaved their entire bodies, including their faces. This was done to reduce drag during athletic competitions such as running or wrestling.

Young Men

Young men in ancient Greece did not grow beards until they reached adulthood. In fact, the first beard growth was often seen as a sign that a boy had become a man.


Slaves in ancient Greece were often required to shave their faces as a sign of servitude. This made it easier for their masters to identify them as slaves.


Philosophers in ancient Greece often chose not to wear beards as part of their rejection of material possessions. They believed that physical appearance should not define a person’s worth or intelligence.


In conclusion, while beards were an important aspect of manhood in ancient Greece, not all men wore them. Athletes, young men, slaves, and philosophers were among the groups of men who did not wear beards. Understanding who did not wear beards provides insight into the cultural norms and values of ancient Greek society.