Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture

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Jonathan Edmondson, Alison Keith
University of Toronto Press, Nov 21, 2009 - History - 440 pages

Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture investigates the social symbolism and cultural poetics of dress in the ancient Roman world in the period from 200 BCE-400 CE. Editors Jonathan Edmondson and Alison Keith and the contributors to this volume explore the diffusion of Roman dress protocols at Rome and in the Roman imperial context by looking at Rome's North African provinces in particular, a focus that previous studies have overlooked or dealt with only in passing. Another unique aspect of this collection is that it goes beyond the male elite to address a wider spectrum of Roman society. Chapters deal with such topics as masculine attire, strategies for self-expression for Roman women within a dress code prescribed by a patriarchal culture, and the complex dynamics of dress in imperial Roman culture, both literary and artistic. This volume further investigates the literary, legal, and iconographic evidence to provide anthropologically-informed readings of Roman clothing.

This collection of original essays employs a range of methodological approaches - historical, literary critical, philological, art historical, sociological and anthropological - to offer a thorough discussion of one of the most central issues in Roman culture.


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The Representation of Womens Toiletries on Funerary Monuments in Roman Italy
9Sartorial Elegance and Poetic Finesse in the Sulpician Corpus
PART IIIThe Cultural Poetics of Dress
The Peplos in Ciris 941
Consular Robes and Propaganda in the Panegyrics of Claudian
Apuleius on Display
13Tertullians De Pallio and Roman Dress in North Africa
14Prudery and Chic in Late Antique Clothing

Costumes and Their Symbolism at Rome
4The Dark Side of the Toga
Viewing the Retiarius
PART IIFashioning the Female
6The Appearance of the Young Roman Girl
Ritual and Gender

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About the author (2009)

Jonathan Edmondson is professor of History and Classical Studies in the Department of History at York University.

Alison Keith is a professor in the Departments of Classics and Women’s Studies and the director of the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto.

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