Toga





Toga - A species of garment so peculiarly in use amongst the Romans, that romanus and togatus became synonymous terms. it was made of woollen stuff, generally white, without sleeves, circular, or as some say, semi-circular in form, and of such dimensions that when thrown over the body it entirely covered it down to the feet, as appears from coins and statues. - Togae were of course different in colour and ornament, as well as in quality of material, according to the diversities of rank and age. it was large and fine and with ample folds for the rich man”s wear, whilst for the frugal and the poor it was scanty and coarse. Only Roman citizens were allowed to clothe themselves in the toga. It is said that King Tullus Hostillius invented that called praetexta, a robe bordered with purple, as a distinction for men of rank. - (see Praetexta) - In the first age of Rome the toga was a dress common to both sexes, but subsequently the women exchanged it for the palla or the stola.- Towards the decline of the republic, persons of high quality wore the toga lined with purple, and so adjusted on them that the front part fell a little below the knee. Statues, bas reliefs, and some medals serve to elucidate better than any verbal attempt at explanation what was the disposition and effect of the toga on the person. It was essentially the garb of peace, as contradistinguished from the paludamentum or military cloak. Hence to indicate a peaceful condition of public affairs, emperors were represented on their coins clothed in the toga praetexta. The expression cedunt arma togae clearly points to the difference between the warlike and the pacific habiliment. Nevertheless, it appears that there was what bore the name of Toga militaris, which was expressly for the use of the soldiery, and so made as to be easily girded round the waist and shoulders so as to leave the legs free and unencumbered. When on coins emperors are figured with a portion of the toga thrown over the head, such an appearance is meant to signify that the personage himself was of sacerdotal dignity.
Toga picta, properly called the vestis triumphalis, being part of the usual costume of the triumphers - although also worn by the Consuls, at their inaugural processus. It was covered with embroidery, and with figures of divers colours - and so far resembling the toga purpurea, which latter derived its name either from its being ornamented with large flowers of purple, or from its being dyed purple: it was the robe of the senators. - The toga picta, accompanying a legionary eagle, and a laurel crown, is exhibited on a denarius of Augustus. - See PARENS CONS. SVO. S. P. Q. R.

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