Yule Bears

The inimitable Kendryth started a campaign, recruiting people to dress teddy bears to give to kids at Yule. Although I haven’t been attending indoor events, I wanted to participate, and claimed two.

They are, of course, Roman bears: Ursus and Ursa. Yes, I’m that much of a dork.

I printed out the following text onto a “scroll” with a Roman font:

URSA

Ursa is the daughter of a wealthy family in the city of Rome in 50BCE. Gaius Julius Caesar is running the Republic.

She is wearing a long natural linen tunica with a top flap, a style worn by girls and virgin adults (goddesses and Vestal Virgins).

Her amber earrings are permanently installed, which was common in those times for children and slaves (if given them), who only had one set of earrings. Amber was considered to be a good luck charm!

Her necklace is a lunula, a common amulet worn by women and girls, to reflect their connection to the moon. Her belt is tied in an overhand knot, then the long ends are looped back to the waist.

Did you notice that she is paler than her brother Ursus? Men and boys were portrayed in frescos as darker-skinned, because they were expected to be active outside. The feminine half stayed inside more, and covered up with a palla (shawl) and used a parasol to protect their skin from the sun.

Clothing handsewn and jewelry handmade by Domina Tullia Saturnina (RomanaSum.com). Please feel free to contact me at TulliaSat@gmail.com with any questions!

URSUS

Ursus is the son of a wealthy family in the city of Rome in 50BCE. Gaius Julius Caesar is running the Republic.

Ursus is wearing a short indigo-dyed linen tunica. This style is called a Tunica Recta (“straight tunic”) and was worn by people of all ages and genders. Sometimes children and higher status men wore vertical stripes, called clavi, but Ursus got that tunic dirty while playing in the streets with his friends.

His necklace is called a Bulla. It rattles because there’s a good luck charm called a fascinius* inside! Boys wore these amulets for protection until the day they achieved manhood at 13 to 15 years old.

Did you notice that he is darker than his sister Ursa? Men and boys were portrayed in frescos as darker-skinned, because they were expected to be active outside. The feminine half stayed inside more, and covered up with a palla (shawl) and used a parasol to protect their skin from the sun.

Clothing handsewn and jewelry handmade by Domina Tullia Saturnina (RomanaSum.com). Please feel free to contact me at TulliaSat@gmail.com with any questions!

*Parents: You might want to google “fascinius”

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About Sharon Rose, LAc, MSAOM

Acupuncturist, medical massage therapist, historian, scientist, road-tripper, geek, LARP & board gamer, food fan, Roman fanatic, belly-laugher.
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