Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture investigates the social symbolism and cultural poetics of dress in the ancient Roman world in the period from 200 BCE-400 CE. Editors Jonathan Edmondson and Alison Keith and the contributors to this volume explore the diffusion of Roman dress protocols at Rome and in the Roman imperial context by looking at Rome's North African provinces in particular, a focus that previous studies have overlooked or dealt with only in passing. Another unique aspect of this collection is that it goes beyond the male elite to address a wider spectrum of Roman society. Chapters deal with such topics as masculine attire, strategies for self-expression for Roman women within a dress code prescribed by a patriarchal culture, and the complex dynamics of dress in imperial Roman culture, both literary and artistic. This volume further investigates the literary, legal, and iconographic evidence to provide anthropologically-informed readings of Roman clothing.
This collection of original essays employs a range of methodological approaches - historical, literary critical, philological, art historical, sociological and anthropological - to offer a thorough discussion of one of the most central issues in Roman culture.
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