The History of the Red Carpet

Red-CarpetThe Oscars are The Beauty Bug’s Superbowl. The dresses, the makeup, the red carpet.

But, why do the celebs walk down a red carpet?  The origin of the carpet doesn’t exude the glitz or glamor that today’s does, however it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to some good ol’ juicy scandal and deception.  The tradition dates all the way back to ancient Greece  (458 BC) and the play Agamemnon. A character in the play himself, Agamemnon, King of Mycenae or Argos, is welcomed home from warfare (victory at Troy) by his wife, Clytemnestra. She greets him passionately and surprises him with a grand reception complete with a deep reddish/purple carpet, the color of the gods. She tells him:

“Now my beloved, step down from your chariot, and let not your foot, my lord, touch the Earth. Servants, let there be spread before the house he never expected to see, where Justice leads him in, a crimson path.”

Agamemnon, though an arrogant SOB, is confused. He credits the Gods for the win at Troy and knows that only gods walk on such luxury. He responds with hesitancy:

“I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendors without fear thrown in my path.”

As most women always do, Clytemnestra gets her way. She wins by flattering him and convinces Agamemnon to walk across the red carpet, leading him through palace doors. She then murders him, emerging victoriously with a bloody axe. If The Beauty Bug has learned anything from her 48 Hours addiction, it’s always the wife/husband/signifigicant other, right?  In Clytemnestra’s eyes, she has finally avenged her daughter’s death. Prior to going to war, Agamemnon sent their daughter down the aisle to be married. Instead of meeting her husband, she met her maker -her throat was slain at the alter as a sacrifice to Artemis, who Agamemnon had previously pissed off. An unforgiving, venomous wife and a father who set-up his virgin daughter.  Really, a Dateline mystery in the making.

And from that bloody soap opera, the tradition of rolling out the red carpet for royalty was born.

1 Response to The History of the Red Carpet

  1. Bree

    I never really thought about why they walk down the carpet but now it does seem like a superior thing to do! I feel like these days it’s all about the paparazzi getting the opportunity to photograph celebrities and journalists asking them what they’re wearing so probably not very glamorous for the celebs anymore.

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