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Long-sleeved tunics - when?
#1
When did Roman soldiers first start wearing long-sleeved tunics and full-length breeches?

It's a style usually associated with the mid 3rd century - as shown on the Dura Europos frescoes and numerous tombstone images - through into the 4th. But recently I've seen reconstructions of Severan and even Antonine troops dressed in this way.

Is there any way of estimating approximately when the old sleeveless or short-sleeved tunics of the 1st century might have changed to this new style? What's the earliest dateable evidence for the change?
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#2
According to Graham Sumner's Roman military dress, the first evidence of Romans wearing long-sleeved Tunics occurs in the middle of the 2nd century AD.
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#3
(02-12-2017, 09:37 PM)Flavivs Aetivs Wrote: According to Graham Sumner's Roman military dress

Aha! Thanks - it's been a while since I read that one.

What evidence does he use, and does it suggest a widespread adoption at that point or a gradual shift in style?
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#4
Artistic and physical evidence, citing several examples from the Levant and Egypt. I don't have it with me but I will check when I get home.
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#5
I had a look through some images from the Column of Marcus Aurelius, searching for Romans in sleeves and trousers - seems the official view of the army was still resolutely 'traditional' at that point! The Roman soldiers still wear short sleeves and (sometimes) 3/4 length breeches, while while the barbarians wear long sleeves and tight full-length trousers.

The 'eastern' auxiliary archers on the column also wear long sleeves, with shorter-sleeved tunics over the top, it looks like, and tight breeches (unlike those on Trajan's Column, who wear the famous 'robes'!)

   
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#6
I recaal that even JC wore a longsleeved tunic in Gaul.
AgrimensorLVCIVS FLAVIVS SINISTER
aka Jos Cremers
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ESTE NIX PAX CRISTE NIX
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#7
(02-16-2017, 10:51 AM)agrimensor Wrote: I recaal that even JC wore a longsleeved tunic in Gaul.

Yes, with fringed sleeves, apparently! Although I've heard suggestions that it might have been a very baggy 'sleeveless' type that hung down further than usual on the arms...

But doubtless various Romans did wear 'barbarian' clothing on occasion, throughout the centuries. I was wondering when this difference in style became the norm - I haven't find any actual evidence so far to suggest that Roman soldiers were habitually wearing long sleeves and breeches before the early 3rd century, and I don't know of any ideas about why the change happened. Could be something to do with the Antonine Constitution, maybe?
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#8
First century auxiliary cavalry tombstones show tunics with long sleeves and cuffs. The cavalrymen on Trajan's column however do not wear them.

The tombstone of Aurelius Iustinus from legio II Italica wears a long loose sleeved tunic on his tombstone now in the Regional museum at Celje Slovenia.

Early third century Severan sculpture still shows the traditional legionary look but whether that reflected reality or not we cannot say for certain. By the mid third century the tunic with long tight fitting sleeves is almost universal.

The JC reference is when he disguised himself as a Gaul to pass through enemy lines. I think that was a different occasion to when he was seen wearing a loose fitting tunic with fringed sleeves in his youth.

Graham.
"Is all that we see or seem but a dream within a dream" Edgar Allan Poe.

"Every brush-stroke is torn from my body" The Rebel, Tony Hancock.

"..I sweated in that damn dirty armor....TWENTY YEARS!', Charlton Heston, The Warlord.
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#9
(02-18-2017, 11:11 PM)Graham Sumner Wrote: The tombstone of Aurelius Iustinus from legio II Italica wears a long loose sleeved tunic on his tombstone now in the Regional museum at Celje Slovenia.

So he does. Thanks. And the text reads (obito) in exp(editione) / Daccisca - which 'Dacian expedition' might that have been? The 'Aurelius' name would put it post-212 I suppose, and the oval shield and hairstyle look rather third century too - maybe Aurelianic? No earlier than the Dura Europos paintings anyway, I wouldn't think.


[Image: Aurelius_g.jpg]

So it looks like we still don't have any real evidence for the regular use of long sleeved tunics before the early decades of the third century - I would guess the Apamea tombstones might be the earliest? Do you know what Evan was referring to above, from your book, Graham?
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#10
(02-18-2017, 11:45 PM)Nathan Ross Wrote:
(02-18-2017, 11:11 PM)Graham Sumner Wrote: The tombstone of Aurelius Iustinus from legio II Italica wears a long loose sleeved tunic on his tombstone now in the Regional museum at Celje Slovenia.

So he does. Thanks. And the text reads (obito) in exp(editione) / Daccisca - which 'Dacian expedition' might that have been? The 'Aurelius' name would put it post-212 I suppose, and the oval shield and hairstyle look rather third century too - maybe Aurelianic? No earlier than the Dura Europos paintings anyway, I wouldn't think.

So it looks like we still don't have any real evidence for the regular use of long sleeved tunics before the early decades of the third century - I would guess the Apamea tombstones might be the earliest? Do you know what Evan was referring to above, from your book, Graham?

If it helps although its not a military context the school scene from Neumagen has a figure wearing such a tunic usually refered to as the Gallic Coat a common form of clothing at the time at least in civilian contexts, dating is I believe 180s though even without this it could be dated on the shoe styles to 200AD +/- 20 years.

   
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#11
(02-19-2017, 08:33 AM)Crispianus Wrote: school scene from Neumagen

Ah yes - thanks! The hairstyles in this one do look rather Antonine - although beards and 'big hair' go through into the Severan era, and may have lasted longer in the provinces... But it could indeed be later 2nd century.
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