I realize that I haven’t posted a blog in a little while. I’ve been off on a jolly and far too busy enjoying myself to write stuff. I also have an assignment to submit (don’t ask) and having to go back to work is always a less then scintillating experience 😦 .
I’ve got something in the pipeline for once I’ve fully recovered from all the fun, but just to whet your appetite, here are three rather cool, related artifacts from the Landesmuseum in Trier.
Many people picturing Romans draw on memories of Sir John Gielgud, Brian Blessed and Richard Burton. All togas and sandals. This is one image of the people of the Roman empire, but there are so many others. Many ‘Romans’ never saw Rome, never travelled outside the tribal areas of their ancestors, and wouldn’t have been caught dead in a toga.
In northern Europe, where it’s cold and wet, warm clothes were the order of the day. Trousers, boots and hoodies. Ok, not actually hoodies, a kind of hooded cape called a cucullus.
This fragments of painted wall plaster shows a scene of rural domesticity; the villa, happy slaves merrily tending the garden, and one figure, on the left, wearing the cucullus.
Grouped with this wall painting is this delightful little bronze figure. It’s perfect 🙂 .
You can see how warmly he’s dressed. Tunic, trousers, boots and hoodie. Much more practical for northern climes than the unwieldy togas we see in the swords’n’sandals blockbusters at the movies. He looks like he was originally holding something in his left hand (and possibly also in his right hand), but that’s gone. Nevertheless, this is a lovely and beautifully detailed artifact.
The third in this triumvirate of woolly outerwear? This fragment of stone relief.
This fellow looks pretty intent, in a hurry, but wrapped up well against the northern European cold.
Examples of this kind of garment can be found in other chilly places such as at some of the forts along Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland and Cumbria, which possibly suggests elements of shared culture.
Or perhaps it was just bloomin’ cold.