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Palla

Outerwear

When the Roman lady went out of doors she put on a third garment: the palla. The palla , which completed a woman's formal dress, was identical with the Greek himation and was draped in the same way. It was usually made of wool, in different weights.

In early times this resembled the male toga, but at a later time both the shape and the material of it were altered. It was very voluminous, and might be either square or oblong. It had sometimes the shape of a very wide paenula, and sometimes it looked like two large plaids joined on the shoulders with clasps and fastened round the waist by a girdle.

The full dress of a Roman lady was incomplete without a veil. In early days it was called the flammeum; the later name of it was ricinium. It was attached in various ways at the back of the head, and hung down over the back and shoulders.

The paenula, or cloak, was donned by women travelers as well as men, for protection against the elements.

A veil of exquisite quality, called palliolum by the Romans, was a favorite headdress. It was arranged over the hair, held in place by bands or wreaths, and fell to the shoulders. There are numerous references in Roman literature to the theristrion , which was a transparent mantle sometimes taking the place of the veil.

VILLA > PERSONAL APPEARANCE > WOMEN > OUTERWEAR
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