We’re used to seeing movie stars and royalty receiving the “red carpet treatment” but where does the “red carpet treatment” originate?

The earliest reference to the red carpet is in the ancient Greek play of “Agamemnon” written by Aeschylus in 458 BC. When Agamemnon returns home to his wife she invites him to walk on the red carpet as sign of his greatness:

“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 refuses to walk on the carpet, as he believes only Gods should be given this privilege.

Centuries later, in the Renaissance period, red and purple carpets can be found in paintings depicting thrones of great kings. The red carpet in these paintings marks royalty and divinity.

In 1902, the New York Central Railroad used plush crimson carpets to direct people as they boarded their train. This, it seems, is the origin of the phrase “red-carpet treatment” that is used so often in Hollywood and, especially, at the Oscars.

Let’s hope we all receive the red carpet treatment, at least once in our lives…

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