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Sagum, Paenula, Abolla, Pauldamentum, arrrgh!
#1
Howdy all.

I'm (obviously) new to this whole thing, and I've got one pressing question for this forum.

I'm having trouble distinguishing between all the different types of military cloaks the romans had. Don't worry though, I'll stop before I get to the Greek Chalmys and such. I've browsed through Osprey's Roman Military Clothing cook. The color plates in the book were great, but didn't have much description on the cloaks worn in them. I'm just trying to square away what each of these four types were, what they looked like, what they were made out of, and who wore them. If anyone has any solid pictures to clarify, that'd be way awesome too.

As I understand it now:
Sagum: square, worn by anyone in the military, fastened in middle, drapes over both shoulders
Abolla: worn by civilians, fastened over right shoulder
Paenula: hooded, worn by lower ranked military, fastened in middle, drapes over both shoulders
Pauldamentum: one shoulder (left?), military higher ups only wore

Please add to and correct my knowledge.

In addition, I've seen some sort of cloak tied onto the shoulders of certain armors in the Rome HBO series. Was this accurate at all? It looks cool, but is it legit? Two images in case no one knows what I'm talking about:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... Ep16_3.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/e ... public.jpg

Sorry in advance if this series is a hot rod for hate in the reenactment community, I was just curious.
Harris Hoffman
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#2
From what I understand, the sagum was made of wool and would have been a heavier wool since it doubled as a sleeping blanket of sorts. However, the heavier wool could be an indication of its use in colder climates. The legionary would simply wrap his body in it. Of the saga found, the dimensions were quite large.

In warmer climates, one could argue that the saga were a lighter wool but wool none the less.

One other feature of the sagum is that since it is wool and wool contains natural oils, it could have protected the legionary not only from the cold but also from the elements (rain, snow etc). If worn over the armor it would have protected that too.

I believe that the sagum is also pinned over the right shoulder not necessarily both.

NO Paludamenta have been found thus color and apprearence are up to you although I seem to recall in the Military Clothing Volume 1 some reference pointing to a red paludamentum???

In any case, as you mentioned, the paludamentum is seen being worn by the officers and the emperor himself. Here one could argue that it was made of a very fine wool or even a fine linen. It did not really lend to any military functionality only status. Therefore, one could imagine that it had to be very fine material that could be draped in such a manner to have many folds and evoke sophistication.
"You have to laugh at life or else what are you going to laugh at?" (Joseph Rosen)


Paolo
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#3
Thanks Doc

Does anyone have any images, either artistic or impressions, that could give a good representation of what these look like?
Harris Hoffman
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#4
Go to the reenactment/reconstruction link and then click on "Show here your roman soldier impression". There are many picutres that show a paludamentum, sagum, and paenula.

You can also look on the RAT imagebase at the tombstone sculptures where you can see these items as well.
"You have to laugh at life or else what are you going to laugh at?" (Joseph Rosen)


Paolo
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#5
The indispensable booklist for Roman clothing (take your pick):

Sumner, Graham (2002): Roman Military Clothing 1: 100 BC - AD 200, Osprey Men-at-Arms 374, (Osprey, Oxford).
Sumner, Graham (2003): Roman Military Clothing 2: AD 200 - 400, Osprey Men-at-Arms 390, (Osprey, Oxford).
Sumner, Graham and Raffaele D'Amato (2005): Roman Military Clothing 3: AD 400 - 640, Osprey Men-at-Arms 425, (Osprey, Oxford).
Robert Vermaat
MODERATOR
FECTIO Late Romans
THE CAUSE OF WAR MUST BE JUST
(Maurikios-Strategikon, book VIII.2: Maxim 12)
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#6
I would disagree on the paenula only being for lower ranks though.

Even high rankers would not turn their nose up on a hooded cloak I imagine.
ICBWT Smile
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#7
Quote:I would disagree on the paenula only being for lower ranks though.

Quite right Byron. Trajan's Column shows Trajan himself wearing a paenula, you can not get much higher rank than that! Praetorian guards too are often seen wearing the paenula. It was regarded as a 'traditional' Roman garment, unlike the Sagum which was said to have Gallic origins.

Quote:I'm having trouble distinguishing between all the different types of military cloaks the romans had. Don't worry though, I'll stop before I get to the Greek Chalmys and such. I've browsed through Osprey's Roman Military Clothing book. The color plates in the book were great, but didn't have much description on the cloaks worn in them.

There are lots of different terms for what are essentially the same or very similar garments and in the Greek speaking east the terms were naturally in Greek. There was not enough space in the Ospery books to go into lengthy descriptions of cloaks but although the plans which I had drawn were all edited out, dimensions of cloaks were still included. In my next book , 'Roman Military Dress', which is a much larger volume, paenula and sagum cloak plans are included.

Graham.

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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#8
Is that one available yet Graham? I would like to get a copy if it is!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#9
Should be available in a few weeks Byron. I will keep you posted.

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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#10
Thanks! Looking forward to it!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#11
Quote:Should be available in a few weeks Byron. I will keep you posted.

Sounds good. Have it in pre-order already for some time. Really looking forward to it!
________________________________________
Jvrjenivs Peregrinvs Magnvs / FEBRVARIVS
A.K.A. Jurjen Draaisma
CORBVLO and Fectio
ALA I BATAVORUM
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#12
Thanks for all the help and input guys!

I've finally got some time to start making one of these, and I think I've figured out all the stuff. I'm aiming for a Sagum. Materials and such are to be determined by what's available at the local fabric stores, as I don't have a overwhelming desire for super-historical accuracy.

I took a look at some of the dimensions listed in Roman Military Clothing 1 (a great book by the way). I'm probably shortening said dimensions by a fair amount, probably down to 2 meters or so. I've been testing out with other fabric, and anything longer touches the floor on me.

I'm still slightly puzzled on where to pin the cloak though. Right now I'm assuming that you can flip between shoulder and center and you'll be ok. My dilemma is this: I've seen cloaks labeled as sagum pinned in the middle, and the aforementioned book mostly depicts sagums pinned at the shoulder or at least off center. Any one answer, or am I right in assuming that either goes?

Thanks for the assistance and the neat forum to discuss all this in.
Harris Hoffman
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#13
Hello Harris

Quote:My dilemma is this: I've seen cloaks labeled as sagum pinned in the middle, and the aforementioned book mostly depicts sagums pinned at the shoulder or at least off center. Any one answer, or am I right in assuming that either goes?

That depends on what you have 'seen'! If you have seen a Roman monument showing the Sagum cloak pinned in the middle then that is OK. However if you have 'seen' modern reconstructions pinned that way, then I would say that is probably not right. Always go to the original source first.

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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#14
One thing about the sagum is it has a built-in hood anyway; Just pull it up over your head when it starts to rain :wink: If you look at the reconstruction of the Thorsbjerg cloak, it doubles over at the top. Especially good for pulling up as a hood.
http://home.arcor.de/aisling/geschichte/Thorsberg.jpg
http://home.arcor.de/aisling/geschichte/geschichte.html
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
A A A DESEDO DESEDO!
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#15
It's been a while since I read anything about the Thorsburg...is that reportedly a Roman sagum, or a Germano/Celtic one?
M. Demetrius Abicio
(David Wills)

Saepe veritas est dura.
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