Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Provincial campfollower (prostitute) kit
#1
one of my friends (don't worry, its a woman) wants to do this impression, what kit would be necessary?, she wants to portray somebody of gallic origins. Thanks.
aka., John Shook
Reply
#2
I can't prove this, but going by the study by Bettina Stumpp ("Prostitution in der römischen Antike, Berlin 2001 - a very worthwhile book for anyone going that route) there was no particular distinguishing dress for prostitutes in Rome. That makes it very unlikely anything like this existed in the provinces.

If we assume a freeborn, low-end prostitute she will probably wear locally made articles of clothing, possibly also man's clothing that became available (any textile item was valuable in its own right, and an itinerant prostitute is so far down the socioeconomic food chain she'll have to take whatever she can get). Gallic dress was researcherd by J.P Wild 'Clothing in the North-West provinces of the Roman Empire' (Bonner Jahrbücher 168 (1986) pp. 166-240). The article is old by now, but it's still a good starting point with illustrations and drawings. If you can find them, the Les-Martres-de-Veyre finds might also help you, but good luck getting your hands on the publication. I would eschew any clothing that presupposes fibulae or other jewelry at this level.

Most prostitutes were slaves, which would mean she wears whatever her owner gives her. A camp follower would probably wear sturdy, good-quality but simple locally made clothing because she would spend most of her time travelling and camping. A sedentary prostitute might go in for a more 'refined' dress of brightly coloured, finer cloth if she makes enough money. Most authors agree that prostitutes in Rome often wore very short dresses or went barebreasted, but I doubt that that would be an option for reenactment.

Given the prices of these articles, it is unlikely any but the most expensive prostitutes would wear luxurious silk and the sheer, see-though 'Coan' dresses so beloved of filmmakers. However, an oupper-class prostitute might well aford these and finely woven, brightly dyed and embroidered clothes in the Greek style, gap-sleeved tunics and richly draped mantles. For reasons of style it would be a good idea to not wear a stola (the attribute of respectable Roman matronhood), though there is no evidence this was actually forbidden.

Make-up would also have played a role. White for the face, either lead-based - a good substitute for lead white is a 50/50 mix pof titanium dioxide and talc - or tin oxide based, in a fat salve including starch. A fortuitous surviving sample from London consisted of animal fat, starch, and tin oxide. Surviving later recipes involve oil as well as animal fat, beeswax, and lead white. The cheapest make-up was probably simple starch powder. Red for the cheeks could be made from red ochre or kermes, though I have as yet no sources for how it was actually applied. eyebrows could be lined with black pigment in an oil or fat suspension, simple lampblack, special lampblack made from frankincense, or various combinations involving antimnoy.

Perfumes would also have been popular for all prostitutres who could afford to use them. In Antiquity, the most common scent-bearewr was not alcohol as today, but oil. Such perfumes are relatively easy to make, but much weaker than our modern versions and unpleasant to wear for moders (unless you like pomaded hair). Interestingly enough, Theophrastus recommends floral scents for men and earthy, spicy fragrances for women in his treatise 'On Odours'. That book and Dioscurides' Materia Medica make good starting points if you want to explore cosmetics further, and I also recommend Sally Pointer's 'The Artifice of Beauty'. The author is active in romano-Britiosh reenacting and works at the Welsh Nat'l Musaeum, and while the book covers everything from egypt to the twentieth century, I have yet to see a more knowledgeable introduction to ancient cosmetics anywhere.

I would assume, though, that the bigger challenge in reenacting a prostitute is not the clothing - that would not differ that much that of respectabnle women in similar social and economic positions - but the demeanour.
Der Kessel ist voll Bärks!

Volker Bach
Reply
#3
thank you very much, I will pass this on to her. I will also get her to join the forum.
aka., John Shook
Reply
#4
I dont know if this book can help her a little? I have the first book, perhaps this can aport something to your knowledge?...It shows a lot of Pompeii's frescoes & sex ittems that it's not show to the general public in Pompeii...

It talks about few Roman concept of Love or sex etc., perhaps talks about prostitutes too....one of the contents have:

59 Sex in Whorehouses, Sex on Stage

115 Laughing at Taboo Sex in the Suburban Baths...

I only reed untill page 43, but I have to start over again! :wink:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/081094 ... e&n=283155
  
Remarks by Philip on the Athenian Leaders:
Philip said that the Athenians were like the bust of Hermes: all mouth and dick. 
Reply
#5
Greetings,
I believe blond hair was at one time the mark of a 'lady of the night' until it became fashionable amongst the upper stratems of society.
It seems that if they could afford footwear it had to be sandals, in Rome, at least. If a woman wore a toga, she was a slave or a prostitue...
Somebody told me that wearing a yellow cloak would mark me as a camp follower, although this was for the late Roman era....
regrds
Arthes
Cristina
The Hoplite Association
[url:n2diviuq]http://www.hoplites.org[/url]
The enemy is less likely to get wind of an advance of cavalry, if the orders for march were passed from mouth to mouth rather than announced by voice of herald, or public notice. Xenophon
-
Reply
#6
Quote:It seems that if they could afford footwear it had to be sandals, in Rome, at least. If a woman wore a toga, she was a slave or a prostitue...
Somebody told me that wearing a yellow cloak would mark me as a camp follower, although this was for the late Roman era....

Stumpp addresses the first two assumptions, but finds little evidenbce that there was any kind of regulation. Her assumption is that the prostitutes wore what would be referred to as a 'toga pulla', a garment that had very little in common with the toga as we know and hate it. Basically, a wraparound blanket. This would have been the garment of the lower classes and thus set them apart from respectable (upper class) wives wearing the stola - hence the use of those two garments in poetry to contrast the matron and the whore. Sandals were considered signs of a dissolute lifestyle because they were worn only indoors and for social functions, never outdoors and for business (by the Roman upper class). So again, the sandal-wwearing prostitute is a stereotype.

The yellow cloak is interesting. I know this from some late medieval ordinances, but would be thrilled to see evidence of it going back that far. Do you happen to recall where you heard it?

BTW, there is a Roman law in existence (Dig 29.1.41.1) that states that the right of the soldier to bequeath his peculium castrense did not extend to 'immoral women', so apparently some soldiers were close enough to prostitutes to name them in their wills.
Der Kessel ist voll Bärks!

Volker Bach
Reply
#7
Is there anyone else who actually does this impression???, would be interesting.

She is now thinking more along the lines of if there was any type of concubine/campfollower that might have been 'owned', or attached to a few particular soldiers. any evidence for this type of arrangement?
aka., John Shook
Reply
#8
Quote:She is now thinking more along the lines of if there was any type of concubine/campfollower that might have been 'owned', or attached to a few particular soldiers. any evidence for this type of arrangement?

Soldiers owned slaves quite regularly, and joint ownership of slaves was common enough in Roman times to have given rise to a body of law regarding naming rights and liability division. So yes, that is perfectly feasible. We don't know much about the slaves of soldiers (not the same as the calones, slaves owned by the unit for support services), but it's likely they weren't permanently living in barracks. By the time units made it to permanent garrisons (and by far the majority of our evidence for slaveholding soldiers comes from then), I suspect would have lived in the civilian settlements outside the camp. Slaves living away from their owners was something much more normal in Roman times than later, too. Roman slaves didn't require that much permanent supervision. Some people even had their slaves set up a business and pocketed the profits, minus the slave's living expenses.

In terms of general kit, a personal slave is probably less interesting than a prostitute - wearing much the same as poorer people do in the area and not having much reason to put on make-up.
Der Kessel ist voll Bärks!

Volker Bach
Reply
#9
what she means is a prostitute who is particularly close to a group of men, but not just limited to them. i.e. maybe constantly following their unit, and being dependant more on them.
aka., John Shook
Reply
#10
Well, if soldiers left bequests to prostitutes often enough for someone to see the need to forbid it, there must have been some personal attachments. And we are obviously not talking about 'common-law wives' as these relationships were treated by the law as very similar to legitimate marriages. And that prostitutes travelled witrh their units is likely because the demand that a military unit represented could not always be catered for locally, and its absence would make the local sex economy at the old base collapse. Work follows jobs. The complaints by some ancient authors how Rome was 'full of prostitutes' when the severan frontier armies entered the city probably reflects that (though the mind boggles trying to imagine how ancient Rome could be more full of prostitutes than it would have been ordinarily)
Der Kessel ist voll Bärks!

Volker Bach
Reply
#11
so other than the makeup, and the slightly more revealing/low class or poor clothing, is there anything else they would have had peculiar to the trade?
aka., John Shook
Reply
#12
I have read that yellow or orange coloured clothes was only weared by prostitutes.

I have to remember where i have readed so :oops:
Reply
#13
Quote:so other than the makeup, and the slightly more revealing/low class or poor clothing, is there anything else they would have had peculiar to the trade?

That depends on the clientele she served. Antiquity was quite - ah - inventive when it came to sex. It is particularly Greek painted pottery that holds a lot of evidence, but there is nothing to suggest the Romans were less refined. The thing is, though, that, like the high-class pottery, these items were most likely lim6ed to the upper classes and the prostitutes serving them. A prostitute of that class might own decorative items (such as orgy depictions on tableware or lamps), costumes for various mythological roles (though this is conjectural) and olisboi, leather phalluses for use as dildos (these would be hell to reconstruct - I've been working on a hardening technique that stands up to warmth and moisture). Other sex toys may also have existed - penis rings for example - but it appears the Romans were not into dominance games or bondage (with the possible exception of Nero).

Not all sexual pictures were for titillation, of course, but it is likely some of the more blatant ones were basically brothel decor.

The there would be contraceptives. It has been theorised that prostitutes in the ancient world practiced anal inrercourse by preference for this reason, but it is unlikely this was ever universal practice. Pharmaceutical contraceptives and abortifacients exisated and were available legally and aboveboard. They were not very reliable, though they did at least skew probabilities. It is also probable that a prostitute would carry some kind of documentation of her license and taxes paid. We know this was done in Egypt, at least.
Der Kessel ist voll Bärks!

Volker Bach
Reply
#14
Here's a page on a modern woman being made up into a Roman woman. May be of some use for makeup, etc?
[url:8fqvt3bv]http://www.geocities.com/sallypointer/makeover/[/url]
TARBICvS/Jim Bowers
A A A DESEDO DESEDO!
Reply
#15
The Roman Makeover is great! It's by the author of 'The Artifice of Beauty', BTW.
Der Kessel ist voll Bärks!

Volker Bach
Reply


Forum Jump: