Roman Clothing and Adornment.docx

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Western University
Classical Studies
Classical Studies 1000
Kelly Olson

R OMAN C LOTHING AND A DORNMENT Reading: Angela pp. 45-62, 346-347. Roman Clothing • The romans attached great importance to distinctions in dress. • Important to visualize the social hierchy The Tunic (Tunica) • Men of all ages and ranks wear this • Simple short-sleeved underdress. • Tunics with long sleeves were considered effeminate. • The toga is a public display garment. • The tunic was much more comfortable. • Fabric of the tunic depended on one’s financial means • Wealthy men: soft wool or expensive linen. • Poor men and slaves: whatever fabric was available. • Cloth was expensive in a way unknown today • Secondhand clothing dealers existed The Toga • Cumbersome garment of wool • Could use up to 10 yeards of material • Different togas for different situations and statuses • Only male citizens could wear them Senator • Lati clavi: • Two wide purple stripes on the shoulders of the tunic • Toga praetexta (if you are a senator holding office) • Purple border on the upper edge of the toga • Calcei: black or red shoeboots. Equites • Narrow stripes on the tunic • Toga • Gold ring Free Men • Toga (perhaps short or scanty if they were poor) • Symbol of Roman citizenship • But also of peace, the civilian life, the toil of the city • Togas were expensive; poor men may not have owned them • But without the toga - ? one could look like a slave. Slaves • Wore a tunic • They might wear shabby clothing appropriate to their station • Or might be fancily dressed and showily ornamented Free Citizen Boys • Tunic • Toga praetexta (purple stripe) wards off ill chance and accident • Lets people know they are unavailable for sexual purposes. • Bulla: bubble-shaped pendant, as an apotropaic device and to indicate he is a citizen • There was no LEGAL hierarchy of clothing in antiquity • But there was an unofficial system of signs which was understood and acknowledged. • But clothing also indic
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