Exhibition sheds light on fashion and power in ancient Rome

June 17 | Posted by Rokai Kolam | Fashion News Tags: ancient civilization, antique textiles, burial sites, european research institutes, garments, german city, hildesheim, kilograms, museum director, national garment, people in ancient rome, quality material, roemer, roman empire, romans, schulz, secondary concern, special occasions, tiny fragments, toga

The toga was the national garment of ancient Rome. As dress for a Roman primarily signified rank, status, office or authority, comfort was a matter of secondary concern.

The Roemer-Pelizaeus Museum, one of Germany’s top museums of ancient civilization, is currently offering a fascinating exhibition entitled ”The power of the toga – fashion in the Roman Empire.”

The exhibition in the northern German city of Hildesheim, which runs until September 8, is the result of over five years of research into antique textiles involving 120 scientists from 35 European research institutes.

The scholars and scientists investigated how people in ancient Rome dressed and how clothing was designed to reveal the social status of its wearer, using tiny fragments of material to reconstruct whole garments.

The research, using fragments of clothing found at burial sites where the remains had not completely decomposed, also revealed how the material was woven and dyed.

”A Roman identified himself as such by the fact he wore a toga, regardless of whether he was ethnically Spanish, Greek or Syrian,” said Michael Tellenbach, who coordinated the research project.

As a result, Romans invested significant sums in their attire but generally only only wore a toga on special occasions, not least because the garment weighed up to 12 kilograms and two dress slaves were needed to even put one on.

”Good quality material could cost a year’s salary,” explained museum director Regine Schulz. ”At home, the Romans usually lounged around in tunics.” (dpa)

Tags: ancient civilization, antique textiles, burial sites, european research institutes, garments, german city, hildesheim, kilograms, museum director, national garment, people in ancient rome, quality material, roemer, roman empire, romans, schulz, secondary concern, special occasions, tiny fragments, toga