Full Version: Funny Question about Caligae
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Naalbinding has been around in Europe since 6K BC.......?
Caius Fabius:3oh2mq0c Wrote:Sure the Romans had the ingredients for gunpowder, and the Chinese made gunpowder rockets from the same stuff, so then the Romans had gunpowder rockets, but we just haven't found it yet...... :roll: :? evil:
That's not a fair comparison. The Chinese never showed the Romans how to use the ingredients and make gunpowder. In fact, it's pretty sure the Romans never even saw gunpowder made up, let alone explode, so they wouldn't even ask.

Are you suggesting that the Romans never saw naalbinded socks until late on in Egypt, or even how they were made?

Do we have any proof that Romans did learn to naalbind? (Do we have proof that Romans never saw Chinese rockets?) We do have proof that Romans used woven socks. Until we have proof that Romans used knitted or naalbinded socks, is it not more authentic to wear woven socks?
( naalbinded a word>?) :roll:
Knitted pattern on a sock, from Vindolanda on a razor handle.

[Image: romansocklong.jpg]

Quote:(Do we have proof that Romans never saw Chinese rockets?)
Now you're saying it takes evidence of absence to prove something didn't exist. Make your mind up.

(my turn) :roll:
On a different note, there are other socks called udones cilicii. ... icium.html

Then we have mention in this Google Books extract from A manual of Roman antiquities by William Wardlaw Ramsay.

Just put it here for note.
Tarbicus wrote:-
Quote:Knitted pattern on a sock, from Vindolanda on a razor handle
...I guess this just emphasises the difficulties of interpretation, Jim, but to my eyes that 'socks' texture gives the appearance of normal 'herring-bone' weave, such as is seen in Tunics and is tempting to suggest that some 'socks' might be made up from worn-out garments and blankets etc......isn't it frustrating ( yet again) to be working with so little evidence, and that inconclusive ? :wink: :wink:
It is frustrating, but it is definately not unreasonable to believe that. If you spent 200 hours of work spinning, dyeing, and sewing I doubt you would throw something away just when it got a little frayed. We think a little more disposably in today's society. It might not be a good tunic anymore, but would make a great pair of socks, wickelbander / leg wraps, subarmalis, etc. Hey even when it was too worn for these it could be used for rags or field toilet paper (yes I knew they used a sponge, but did they always). There are a lot of uses that a used garment could be turned into once it outlived its use.
Thanks, Neuraleanus. That is a great tutorial. I hope to try it myself in the near future.
Of course it is. There are even denominations...the red tunicate, and white tunicate, and (some say) heretical blue tunicates! These factions occasionally war amongst themselves, and there's rumors of some kind of Crusade in the works by one of them, to eradicate the followers of one of the others. Confusedhock:

Doesn't the Red faction have the largest following ? :roll:
I'm kind of surprised more people are not following Graham Sumner's view on the issue and are still sticking on one vs. the other standard issue all the time view. It really made the most sense to me of all the arguments I've seen.
To Paullus and Ironhand; if the only thing necessary for socks was old material, why would soldiers be asking family to send them socks in the first place? You can include underpants and other such things in that as well.
Yep, thats pretty much what I have been going by concerning recycled material.

No family members sending socks? Then what did they get for Christmas? Next you'll tell me they didn't receive bad ties or sweaters either. :wink:
I don't think you understand me.... or I don't understand you :wink: I got the impression you thought tunics were recycled and made into socks.

I don't believe tunics, etc, were recycled and cut up to make socks. The reason for that is because socks were sent to them by family members. In other words, the lad's mother, sister, whoever, made them for him and sent them, just like today, wanted or not.

I also don't believe in this supposed scarcity of textile that keeps cropping up. Almost every household in the ancient world had the capability of making textiles (therefore entire garments in one go in the Roman world). Where we do see a scarcity is in forts because.... it's full of men.
I posted a bit too hasty. I do not think soldiers are good examples of this for the most part. They probably do not have much for sewing skills to begin with so this would not be the type of work they would do personally. Just because they had to write home does not really prove anything from my point of view. The socks and other smaller clothing articles received might very well be recycled material. We are not talking about wasteful societies for the most part. It doesn't mean they were walking around in rags either don't get me wrong, but sometimes when the usefullness of one article of clothing expires it can still serve a purpose. I don't think textiles were scarce, but one still has to realize the magnitude of the labor involved in the process. The wealthy might not care, but we are talking about a lot of hours of work for one article of clothing. I cannot picture someone wasting time to comb, spin, and possibly dye wool for a smaller article when there is an older piece that can be reworked into a equally exceptable piece with a considerably less amount of time and effort. Time and effort which could be used on the new tunic might I add. I wonder if there is a personal nature to underclothes much like in Scandinavia where undergarments were only made by certain relations. I think it is fairly excepted in Roman circles that the subarmalis was typically older material such as recycled tunics, why not other items?

In modern terms think of it this way. Today clothes are cheap and mass produced. My shirt gets a whole in it I throw it away or use it for a rag for polishing my car. If I had to pluck the cotton, turn it into thread, and dye it would I throw it away when I got a tiny hole in the armpit or a stain on the front? Probably not. If my mother went through that much labor I doubt she would be too pleased if I did either since she probably has the skill to do something with it. It would be a bit disrespectful to throw away something like that and ask her to start from scratch when it was not necessary.

Maybe its too much coffee and not enough sleep but that is how the matter seems with me.
Good point Jim !...obviously socks were not just recycled garments, and the letters you refer to are proof enough that custom made items were not just made, but considered of sufficient status/value to make them worth shipping from "home"......
I think what I'm suggesting is that I don't see any difference between the importance of appearance between then and now. In fact, I'd be up for a bet that it was more important then. Repairs, okay, as a temporary stopgap. But it would be interesting to know the ratio of people making garments then as compared to today. A Roman's appearance really mattered as did status. Does anyone know how long it might take someone who had been learning how to weave since early adolescence, or even before, to make an average tunic?
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