The Ancient Library

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On this page: Clocks – Clothing



t> inches by the accumulation of filth and rubbish. The drainage system of Rome was considerably extended, especially by Agrippa in the Augustan age.

The duty of keeping the sewers of Rome in repair fell originally to the Censors. Dur­ing the imperial age it was transferred to a special board, the curatores cloacCLrum. Citizens who wished to establish a con­nexion between their property and the city drains had to pay a special tax to the State, called cloacarlum.

Clocks were known to the ancients only under the form of sun-dials (see gnomon) and water-clocks (see clepsydra).

Clothing. The dresses of the Greeks and Romans consisted of under garments or shirts, and upper garments or mantles. The Greek chiton and the Latin tunica, common to both men and women, belong to the first class; so does the stola of the Roman matron, worn over the tunica. The Jilma-ti&n was an upper garment, worn in Greece both by men and women. The Greek chldmys and Mbon and peplds were upper garments, the chlamys and tribon confined to men, and the peplos to women. The upper dress worn in public life by a Roman citizen was the tdgd ; thepalla was peculiar to married ladies. There were other dresses of the same kind commonly in use among the Romans, for instance the Idcerna, Icena, peenula, and synthesis: the sagum and l>(Uud&mentum were confined to military service. (See, for further details, the articles on the words in question.) Trousers (Latin br&cce, Greek anaxyrfdes) were only known as worn by the Orientals and by the barbarians of the North. Among the Romans no one wore them but the soldiers stationed in the northern districts. In works of art, accordingly, trousers and the long-sleeved chiton are an indication of barbarian costume. The custom of wrapping up the calf and thigh as a protection against the cold was deemed excusable in sickly and elderly people, but was thought effemi­nate in others. The wool of the sheep was at all times the staple material for cloth stuffs. Linen, though known to the Greeks of the Homeric age, was worn chiefly by the lonians, and less so by the inhabitants of Greece Proper. Among the Romans, the use of linen was mostly confined to the girdle, though common among the Italian tribes. Both sexes wore a linen girdle (subllg&culum) and women a linen breast-band. Women were the first to exchange wool for linen, and this during the re-

mblican age. Linen garments for men io not appear until later, when the fine Egyptian and Spanish linen-stuffs became a special article of luxury. The toga was always made of wool. Cotton-stuffs, too, were known to the ancients, as well as the serica, a material made wholly or partly of silk; but these were not commonly used until the imperial times (see weaving). Country folk in Greece, and especially shepherds, clothe themselves in the skins of animals. Pelisses, apparently, did not come into fashion until the Empire.

The colour of dresses among the Greeks and Romans was mostly, but by no means exclusively, white. For practical reasons the working c-ssses used to wear stuffs of dark colour, either natural or artificial. Dark clothes were worn among the upper classes in Rome only in time of mourning, or by a person accused before the courts of law. Coloured dresses were put on by men in Greece mainly on festal occasions, and by the Romans not at all. Gay-coloured materials were at all times worn by Greek ladies, and often, too, by Roman ladies as early as the 1st century b.c. Strong colours do not appear to have been liked by the ancients. They were familiar with stripes, plaids, and other patterns, as well as with ornaments of needlework and all kinds of embroidery. With regard to the fitting of dresses, it should be observed that it was mostly the custom to weave them according to measure, and there was there­fore no necessity, as in modern times, for artistic cutting. The art of sewing was quite subordinate, and confined mostly to stitching leaves together for garlands; though sleeved garments, no doubt, required rather more care. Hence the fact that there was no such thing in antiquity as a separate tailoring trade. The necessary sewing was done by the ladies of the house, or by their slaves, and sometimes by the fullers, whose business it was to measure the pieces of cloth, to sell ready-made garments, and to clean clothes. (See fullers.)

Shoes, The Greeks usually went bare­foot, except when out of the house; but they did not think it necessary to wear shoes, even in the street. On entering a house, whether one's own or not, it was customary to uncover the feet. The simplest form of covering for the feet was a sole fastened by straps (hypodema.) This is to be distinguished from the sandal (sandalon, sandaltorf), which was worn originally by men and afterwards by women.

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