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and consist of the crucifixion in the upper part and the visit to the tomb in the lower. Christ is represented as clothed only by a loin-cloth, his head bent to the right and with long hair. In one or two of the earlier instances Christ is without a beard, but more generally he wears one (Vetust. Mon., vi. 10).
In Winchester Cathedral Saxon sculptures, which are said to belong to the seventh century and to exhibit incidents in the life of Berinus, as well as others probably later which may refer to Christ, give beards and moustaches to the faces of all the men (Vetust. Mon., ii.).
In ecclesiastical art of Irish origin the human face is often delineated. A chalice of the eighth century of "white bronze," typically Irish, in the monastery of Richenau, on the lake of Constance, gives to Christ's head both beard and moustache. The Evangelia Quatuor of the ninth century, or the Irish illuminated gospels of Lindau, also on Lake Constance, has a cover on which Christ's head is represented four times and the crucifixion once, but in no case has he either moustache or beard. The Book of Kells and that of Durrow have similar representations, but a hairy face is given to the Father Almighty, and to prophets and evangelists.
It is very rare in early Christian art to find a thick heavy moustache on an otherwise beardless face, and it is especially uncommon in Ireland where, perhaps, the only example occurs at Monasterboice, the monastery of Buite or Boetius. Here, nineteen feet high, stands the sculptured cross of Muiredach. Its stem is divided into a number of panels, and in each of three of them are represented three persons, all of whom wear a heavy moustache, but are without a beard, and present a highly exotic aspect, fig. 1. The cross is assigned to the year 922. What foreign influences were then at work?
Monasterboice is not far from the river Boyne, which was one of the best known approaches to the interior of the island (Healy, Jour. R.S. Antiq. of Ireland, iii. 6).
The Four Masters tell us that there were sixty ships of Norsemen on the Boyne in 836, and another fleet in 841. About that time the Scandinavians, under Thorgils and Frode, established themselves near Dublin; and subsequently, Danes and Norwegians plundering there too eagerly, contended with each other until, in 852, Olaf the White came to Ireland, when all the invaders submitted to him, and tribute was exacted from the Irish.
In 918 Kells, not far from Monasterboice, was plundered and the stone church demolished; and, in 919, Godfrey was chief of the Norsemen who were established at Ath-Claith or Dublin.
Sir James Ware, in 1662, relates in his Antiquitates Hibernica, under the year 948, that about this time Hibernicised Ostmanni, or Scandinavians, were converted to the Christian religion, and there were some, near Dublin, who in that very year celebrated the festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Irish language, too, as shown in the Book of Lismore, was beginning to assimilate Norse phrases, such as nef-gildi, or "nose tax;" and as regards art, we learn from Giraldus that "the Irish carry heavy battle-axes of iron, exceeding well wrought and tempered, which they imitated from the Norwegians and Ostmen," or Danes.
That Scandinavians wore such a moustache as those carved on the Muiredach cross can be proved by documentary evidence from pagan times. The heavy
moustache on a beardless face can be seen on a beltbuckle of bronze and silver-gilt, of the earlier Iron Age, found in Norway, fig. 2 (Hildebrand's Scandinavian Art, p. 47); on a Norwegian fibula, fig. 3 (ibid, p. 96); on a
bronze belt-ornament of the fifth century, which represents the god Tý binding Fenris-wolf, found in Sweden, fig. 4 (Catalogue Stockholm Museum, p. 79); on a silver-gilt buckle of the pagan period, found in Denmark, fig. 5 Catalogue, 1854, Nord. Oldsager, Kjöbenhavn, p. 102); and on a vehicle which is represented in the frontispiece of the second volume of Du Chaillu's Viking Age, fig. 6.
Du Chaillu calls it a wagon of the people. It was found in the Deibjerg bog, Jutland. "The wheels had tires of iron, and the pole and body of the wagon were richly ornamented with bronze, and had on each side representations of two human heads with heavy moustaches and of the triskele and other mystic signs.'
There can be little doubt, however, that this vehicle was a carriage for the effigy of some divinity, like that mentioned in the Flateybók, which describes a portable ark or shrine drawn round the country amidst joy and feastings. The same chronicle relates how "King Eirek made a feast at Uppsalir, and had a wagon driven to the place where he sacrificed to the god Lýtir. The wagon stood there for two nights, but its god came not. the king made much greater sacrifices, and the third morning he knew that the god had come, for the wagon was so heavy that the horses fell dead from exhaustion ere they could drag it to the hall.”
A similar shrine-car is mentioned by Tacitus as drawn about through the territories of seven tribes, including the Angli, grouped along the southern shore of the Baltic. He speaks of a sacred grove where was a consecrated wagon covered by a veil or tilt, "dicatum vehiculum, veste contectum." On this wagon the mother-goddess is wheeled through the country by heifers, "bubus feminis." The priest knows the goddess to be within, and walks reverently by her side, until, the journey over, he restores
the divinity to her temple, when the car and its covering are cleansed in the waters of a lake (Germ., xl.). And we read in the Ynglinga saga of one Alf who slew the priest or warden of the holy tabernacle, "vé tiallz" (Corpus Boreale, i. 246).
At a time that corresponds to the date of Muiredach's cross the Anglo-Saxons seem to have closely shaven, though old men allowed the hair of the face to grow. But in the mingling of races fashions changed, and when the Normans conquered this country the English had adopted the Scandinavian custom and had heavy moustaches, whilst their invaders wore no hair on their faces at all. This is very clearly shown by the Bayeux tapestry. Old King Edward has both beard and moustache; Harold has no beard, but appears with a long moustache in every representation of him but one, when the omission must have been inadvertent; William, Odo, Guy count of Ponthieu, and Robert of Mortain have no moustache. And in the scene of the stockaded hill, where the last fight was lost and won, the Englishmen who defend it wear long moustaches, whilst the Normans who assail it are all shaven. Afterwards the heavy moustache is to be seen on the effigies of Edward III., of the Black Prince, of Richard II., of Henry IV., and of others.
A similar change of fashion occurred in Ireland. The Scandinavian habit of cultivating a heavy moustache, that began in Dublin and reveals itself at Monasterboice, seems to have gradually spread through the island, though it had not in the days of Giraldus become general, until at length the Irish were regarded as alone entitled to wear one. In 1295 an Act of the Great Council of Ireland ordered fine and imprisonment upon any Englishman who should conform to the Irish custom of
having his head half shaven, and nourishing and elongating his locks behind."
In 1367 the Statutes of Kilkenny directed that no English settler in Ireland should marry an Irish wife, nor give his child an Irish name, nor trade with the Irish, nor speak Irish, nor grow a beard above his mouth. And in 1447, in the twenty-fifth year of Henry VI., it was enacted at Trim, and the statute was not repealed till 1635, that "whereas there is no diversity of habit between the English marchers and Irish enemies, by colour of which the Irish enemies come into the English counties as English marchers, and rob and pillage on the highway, and destroy the common people by lodging on them by nights, and slay the husbandmen and take their goods; he that will be taken for an Englishman shall have no hairs upon his upper lip alone, and the said lip shall be shaved at least in every two weeks, the offender to be treated as an Irish enemy."
It seems, then, to be a fair inference that in the early days of Christian England and Ireland the wearing of a heavy moustache was the result of Norse or Danish influence. There is a mural painting of the beginning of the eleventh century, in Kempley Church, near Ross in Gloucestershire, in which, whilst several figures appear with beard and moustache, two wear a heavy moustache but no beard (Arch., xlvi. 187). On the font at Castle Froome, Herefordshire, both Christ and the Baptist are beardless, with a heavy moustache. At Daglingworth. in Gloucestershire, there is a so-called Saxon sculpture of the crucifixion (fig. 7) in which Christ and the two soldiers are similarly endowed. On a pre-Norman stone from Forteviot in Perthshire some monks have the same appearance. And all these localities are known to have been subject to Scandinavian influence.