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Classical Walking-Sticks Help
#1
I decided that this inquiry might deserve a thread of its own.

As my own health is weak (mild cerebral palsy, so clumsy, lurching and with a gammy right arm -- hence my long standing affection for Clau- Clau- Claudius the cripple) I have decided to work this in to my Roman dress rather than only picturing myself sitting down with the toga draped over my arm.,

Obvious ideas are replacing a sparse tunic with a longer one, maybe even the ''effeminate'' talaris, wearing two tunics and adding a laena and petasus outdoors and fasciae around the legs, chest and throat (closely following Suetonius' Augustus). I have commissioned a Senecan lens, a globular bottle filled with water (see his Quaestiones Naturales)

I mention this not to curry pity but to encourage any passer by with a disability to make the best of it in reenactment, remembering that the past was not wholly stocked by people built on the lines of Ajax or with the beauty of a Helen.

Obviously, as it was the very antithesis of DIGNITAS and VIRTUS, I have never seen a Roman depiction of a walking cane. My modern veneered one would look absurd.

Presumably old men used something of the sort -- indeed, the only ancient depiction of a cane specifically carried by a frail man I know of is from a Greek piece of figural pottery, a Type B amphora, by the Syriskos Painter depicting an old man with a little African slave-boy kept at the National Museum in Copenhagen, c. 470-460 B.C.E.:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=BmmW...&q&f=false

p. 139 of the attached book.

There are extremely small glimpses of an ornate walking stick used by Sian Phillips in the BBC drama ''I Claudius'', episode 5, but not all theatrical props are copied from originals. If anyone can help me I should be tremendously grateful.
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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#2
I myself have not come across a depiction of a Roman walking stick, other than the Vitvs. However thy are a few excellent Egyptian examples and I found another on a  Greek vase. The Egytian examples would Grace any country fare stick competition  Wink
                     
I think you should push the boat out and use a emerald far more classic than a Senecan lens Cool
Thinking a little more you may just have to use what evidence is available and have a best guess, but judging by what is around you could have something very nice or just plain.  Good luck in your choice and do share.
Regards Brennivs  Big Grin
Woe Ye The Vanquished
                     Brennvs 390 BC
When you have all this why do you envy our mud huts
                     Caratacvs
Centvrio Brennivs COH I Dacorivm (Roma Antiqvia)
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#3
Most useful indeed - regrettably I cannot carve wood but it so happens that the husband of my best friend (a dear lady and a fellow invalid -- we meet up to ''talk shop'') is a fine carpenter and carver so the credit will be his. I have been ''best guessing'' and have settled on a dark wooden stick (as near to sham-ebony as possible), tall, with a carved papyriform head and brass, copper or NuGold fittings -- a collar below the head, one in the middle and a long ferrule, to be treated as an Egyptian ''antique''. Another excuse to discuss the changes in Roman society, links with the East (e.g. the Iseum at Pompeii is a fascinating compound of Roman and Aegyptian elements) and particularly the paradox of increasing quasi-Oriental luxury in the Imperial period and also reverence for the Republican past. I would actually be fascinated to see someone doing an extremely vulgar impression of the ''nouveau riche'', the jumped up freedman, the Trimalchio, ignorant, boastful ruddy-faced and weighed down with ''bling'', clad in a gaudy synthesis.

I shall certainly post pictures as I put together a Roman costume.


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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.
Reply
#4
(01-25-2018, 12:23 AM)Clavdivs Wrote: Most useful indeed - regrettably I cannot carve wood but it so happens that the husband of my best friend (a dear lady and a fellow invalid -- we meet up to ''talk shop'') is a fine carpenter and carver so the credit will be his. I have been ''best guessing'' and have settled on a dark wooden stick (as near to sham-ebony as possible), tall, with a carved papyriform head and brass, copper or NuGold fittings -- a collar below the head, one in the middle and a long ferrule, to be treated as an Egyptian ''antique''. Another excuse to discuss the changes in Roman society, links with the East (e.g. the Iseum at Pompeii is a fascinating compound of Roman and Aegyptian elements) and particularly the paradox of increasing quasi-Oriental luxury in the Imperial period and also reverence for the Republican past. I would actually be fascinated to see someone doing an extremely vulgar impression of the ''nouveau riche'', the jumped up freedman, the Trimalchio, ignorant, boastful ruddy-faced and weighed down with ''bling'', clad in a gaudy synthesis.

I shall certainly post pictures as I put together a Roman costume.

Sounds splendid!  Look forward to seeing pictures.
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#5
Thank you very much. An honour from you.

I don't think I have ever come across a Roman invalid reconstruction -- there are many statuesque figures, so this will be a bit of a shock. I have taught myself the Old Roman Cursive, as my left hand shakes too badly to manage Rustic Capitals (they look more like the work of a spider drunk on Falernian wine -- writing on wax is easier than on paper, but my handwriting is getting better and papyrus is actually easier than paper as it ''bites'' more) and devote myself to scholarly and religious living history -- I have just bought a gilt-bronze ewer, a replica from the nineteenth century Grand Tour period for libations.

I know that a Belgian reenactor also possesses a Senecan lens but unless I stage a daring bank heist, Nero's lens is beyond me!

Interestingly, Beckmann, in a note on Bostock and Riley's translation of the Naturalis Historia, suggests that green fluorspar, green jasper and green glass may have been included in the ancient conception of smaragdus. If I can obtain a slice of polished transparent green fluorspar I might take the liberty of using it, based on the interpretation of Nero's ''lens'' as a sort of mirror: it would serve an identical purpose to the neutral density filter glasses I wear for my weak eyes (good grief, I am a wreck!)
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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