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Civilian Dress of the early 1st century, help sought
At present, living in darkest Caledon, my assembling of Roman costume is a private endeavour, partly religious, partly academic (living history for one's own benefit -- I wear full ''Downton Abbey'' dinner jacket, waistcoat, boiled collar, cardboard stiff shirt front and cuffs  on the sole occasion yearly that justifies it!) , but I covet accuracy. I have chosen the Julio-Claudian period, loosely CE 1 - 68 as my own great interest.

Please forgive the voluminous length and poor prose style.

TOGA: The Ara Pacis type seems best on account of its apparent (certainly treated as such by Wilson) occurrence in the Pompeii lararium in the House of the Vettii (c. 68-72). Wilson suggests that the full Augustan toga was not worn outside of full ceremonial dress by e.g. the God Augustus himself. Advice sought. 

The reliefs of the Ara Pacis, and Wilson's reconstructions, seem to possess a loop and a (leaden?) weight at the extreme ends of the toga both front and back, an interesting and rather controversial feature I am keen to include in any toga I might try to have made (I can neither sew nor cut well). I am working out of books and all my work reeks of the lamp (LVCERNAM OLEAT!) Placing the weights on the diagram of the toga laid out seems rather puzzling if, like me, you find visual reasoning hard. I attach the Ara Pacis diagram less the rather confusing lines of other togae:

Wilson remarks that Aa and Bb are sometimes so cut that they describe an angle with FA and EB (i.e. Aa and Bb are optional prolongations of the meeting-point). As Aa represents the end of the toga hanging between the feet, am I correct in thinking that the weights should be placed a) where CB and EB and DA and DF meet, if Aa and Bb are not prolonged as in the diagram,  and b) halfway between Aa and Bb if they are so prolonged, c) at either A/a or B/b? Wilson's photographs seem to suggest it is at one end of the part hanging between the legs.

Of course, I could be altogether wrong and advice on where to place the weights is eagerly received.

TVINCA: This is not so difficult as it seems. I think the dimensions given by Wilson for the ''tunic of the best period'', her Fig. 51 A and B of the latter work, though this is Nerva-Antonine. The trend is for the tunic to lengthen as time passes and no  earlier dimensions are given, so a sparse form of that seems best.

GIRDLE OR CINCTVRA: Rather confusing.

Quintilian, a conservative late Flavian writer, gives us this passage in his Institutes of Oratory. 

''cui lati clavi ius non erit, ita cingatur ut tunicae prioribus oris infra genua paulum, posterioribus ad medios poplites usque perveniant: nam infra mulierum est, supra centurionum.'' 

 ''The speaker who has not the right to wear the broad stripe , will wear his girdle in such a way that the front edges of the tunic fall a little below his knees, while the edges in rear reach to the middle of his hams. For only women draw them lower and only centurions higher.''

Quintilian uses a verbal passive subjunctive construction that might be literally rendered ''then let him be girded so that''. We must then turn to the next passage to obtain cinctura, --ae. a girdle, a form Lewis and Short describe as v. rare.

The actual form of the girdle (is it a rope? a tape?) however, eludes me, still less how it is tied . Wilson's reproduction photographs hide the girdle, as we would expect, under the caught-up bosom of the tunic. There is a bronze statue of a boy extant that seems to show a bow. So far as my poor picture goes it looks more tape than rope-like, but I suppose a fine rope could be mistaken for a tape.

CALCEI et SOLEAE: The availability of the  lined, flesh-outer Mainz calcei from Rigorivalo, which are according to Goette a good replica of the calceus equester, makes an equestrian costume a good idea, I think, especially as, if I do reenact publicly it is an obvious way to discuss latus clavus, angustus clavus and the hierarchy of Rome. I am actually a practicing Roman pagan and a friend is kindly making a silver patera, after Martial and Pliny, and a certain rank is required to justify it if used as a teaching tool, I think. I have inquired about soleae as well. 

Wilson's first book:;seq=50

Wilson's second book;seq=3

Advice most welcome.
Patrick J. Gray

'' Now. Close your eyes. It's but a short step to the boat, a short pull across the river.''
''And then?''
''And then, I promise you, you'll dream a different story altogether''

From ''I, Claudius'', by J. Pulman after R. Graves.

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