Hadrian was the first Roman emperor to wear a full beard. This is usually attributed to his love of Greek culture (although some claim he wore a beard to hide blemishes on his face). Prior to Hadrian the clean-shaven look was considered more Roman. In any event, Hadrian’s love of Greece and his beard earned him the nickname graeculus, or “Greekling.” So in addition to the simple fact that beards are growths of hair on a person’s face, they also signify. But what? The masculinity of the lumberjack, the irony of the hipster, the emperor’s love of Greece? I’ve got about three weeks growth of facial hair, which is starting to look like a beard. In my current circumstances, it mainly says, “I’m between jobs.” But as we prepare to move to Africa, I wonder what a beard means there. And, in my case, I wonder what a grey beard means in Africa. Love to hear from anyone who knows.