Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Italy Blog #76: Ancient Roman Clothing (and Gladiators of course)

L to R: Tunic, Toga and Toga
In this last blog about Rome from our (May 2016) Italy trip, we'll explore the clothing worn by the ancient Romans. There were several types of clothing worn by different people.

According to http://www.romae-vitam.com, there was the tunica, the toga and two different types of footwear.

TUNICA - (we get the word "Tunic" from this) The tunica was a rectangle that was pinned around the shoulders and sewn at the edges to form a tubular shape. It was the basic garment of both men and women worn under a toga.

TOGA - The toga was a cloth made of (thick) wool and wrapped around the body. It was usually 6 meters (20 feet) in length. The toga originated from the Etruscans and was introduced by Numa Pompilius the second king of Rome.

WOMEN'S TOGAS AND SHOES - were usually in bright colors and women's shoes were in various colors.

FOOTWEAR - Romans also wore sandals called sandalia and shoes called calcei.

CLOTHING AND SOCIAL STATUS - Commoners wore a tunic that was usually a dark color and made of cheap material or thin wool felt. Aristocrats were usually found in white tunics made of expensive linen or fine wool or even (rare) silk.

ODD FACT - Togas were also worn by women until the 2nd century B.C.. From the 2nd century B.C. onwards, a woman wearing a toga was branded a prostitute.

Working with stuntmen, illustrating the use of the short sword.
The Real Gladiators, March 2004.
SPECIAL CLOTHING - Senators, Magistrates and Generals all had special clothing. Romae-vitam.com explained:  Senators would wear tunics with purple stripes called tunica laticlavi, noting that purple was also an expensive color. Magistrates wore another kind of tunic called the tunica angusticlavi. Generals would wear the toga palmata which had a gold border in order to celebrate their triumps. Emperors wore the trabea which was an entirely purple toga.

GLADIATORS -Of course, we had to toss in gladiators, because they also had their own types of clothing. Usually helmets, shields, and weapons. 
They  often went shirtless or wore a tunica. 
They wore a canvas loin cloth, called a subligaculum, which was worn in a variety of colors.
On their feet- were sandals or they went barefoot.
According to TribunesandTruimphs.org, here are some specifics:
  • The Manicae  - wraps of leather and cloth for arm and wrist padding
  • The balteus - a sword belt
  • The Cingulum -wide leather belt which was to protect the gladiators waistline from being injured. The Cingulum was often strengthened with metal plates
  • Fascia - protective leg padding. A band of material, or skin, or leather
  • The Galerus - distinctive metal shoulder guard of the gladiator
  • Subarmallis - padded linen worn under armor to prevent chaffing and provided extra protection. Often filled with straw
  • An ocrea - metal leg guard, that ran from the knee, or thigh, to below the shin protecting the front of the leg
NEXT: How the Ancient Romans Named Months of the Year   

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next