Byzantine babe attire

This is totally not my thing (personally I don’t think it’s really the Roman empire by this point*) but it’s in the books on my shelves and someone asked, so…

Women’s clothing in Italy in the 5th century:

From Sebesta & Bonfante “The World of Roman Costume” come these images:

IMG_20160406_205121474.jpgIMG_20160406_205039482_HDR.jpg   IMG_20160406_205149719.jpgIMG_20160406_205211270_HDR.jpg

These last two are during Justinian’s reign, so they are a little later but the styles are similar.

From Alexandria Croom’s “Roman Clothing and Fashion” there are these:

IMG_20160406_205821898.jpgMaterials choice (ahem, giant glued fake gems on a plastic belt) is just one of the reasons I am suspicious of this book, and particularly the “recreation” section. Take with a pinch of salt.


The caption on the last one reads “Serena and her son Eucharius, late 4th century ivory diptych.”


* You know that old thought experiment about a red sock? It gets a hole in it, and is darned with blue yarn. This happens repeatedly until the entire sock is blue. Is it the same sock?

I argue that 4th century onwards, the Byzantine Empire isn’t really Roman. They considered and called themselves Roman, but… different capital, different government, different religion, different clothing… seems like a pretty blue sock to me. Even the money looks different.

About Sharon Rose, LAc, MSAOM

Acupuncturist, medical massage therapist, historian, scientist, road-tripper, geek, LARP & board gamer, food fan, Roman fanatic, belly-laugher.
This entry was posted in Clothing, Jewelry, Recreating history. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Byzantine babe attire

  1. Lewke verch Gwilim says:

    Personally, I get a kick out of the World of Roman Costume (Sebesta), where the plates have a man in his lovely recreated ensemble, completed by boat shoes. The boat shoes just make it.


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