View previous topic | View next topic

Togas in episode "France"

Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

PBee1601
488042.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:31 am Reply with quote

Can I just comment on the fact that when posed the question of "What did the romans like to wear?" Alan Davies stated "Togas" which obviously set the alarm buzzer off and prompted a big section discussing Togas

Where was the answer to the question? The way the sandals bit was mentioned seemed to be a throw away comment that, yes, they did wear sandals but not the true answer to the question. I don't mean to be picky but If you pose the question then at least give the answer rather than only discussing the wrong answer

 
MacGyverMagic
488051.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:42 am Reply with quote

They preferred wearing tunics. A lot less hassle than the enormous sized cloth called toga.

 
Flash
488058.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:44 am Reply with quote

While I understand the point you're making, PBee, I don't necessarily agree that we should always give an 'answer' as such. We aren't that kind of a quiz: in fact, we generally feel that if there is such a thing as a single, unambiguous answer, it can't be much of a question.

But point taken, nonetheless.

 
MacGyverMagic
488063.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:46 am Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
While I understand the point you're making, PBee, I don't necessarily agree that we should always give an 'answer' as such. We aren't that kind of a quiz: in fact, we generally feel that if there is such a thing as a single, unambiguous answer, it can't be much of a question.
Don't agree entirely, if there is a single unambiguous answer, but people get it wrong on a routine basis, then busting the urban myth from being spread any further makes it a perfectly useful, acceptable and strong question.

 
PBee1601
488068.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:52 am Reply with quote

Obviously there is not always a single answer and that's not what I'm asking for but in my opinion if you are going to have a discussion on how the answer is not what everyone thinks it is (i.e. Togas) then it immediately raises the question of "well what did they wear?" a simple half sentance somewhere in the Toga discussion of "they didn't like wearing togas, instead they would have worn some form of tunic"

takes less than 5 seconds to say so doesn't ruin your timings up too much and almost instantly placates those of us who have thought "well what do they wear then?"

 
soup
488085.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:14 am Reply with quote

There have been a couple of questions which didn't have an answer apart from the obviously wrong ones just posed to try and trap Alan.
The one I can remember was "What was special about Ceaser's birth"? There was nothing special about Ceasers birth but the programme was looking for Alan to say "that is where the phrase Ceasarian birth comes from".

 
Flash
488121.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:11 am Reply with quote

Just for you then, PBee, here's the note from the script:
Quote:
The toga is the Roman version of a kilt: a form of dress that started out as a practical garment but ended up a symbolic form of national dress and definitely not the kind of thing you’d wear at home.

The early togas were based on an Etruscan garment called the tabena, which was a rough oblong of wool which doubled as tunic and a cloak. They were very popular with farmers. By the 2nd century BC it had become a huge semi-circular garment involving 200 square feet (20 feet wide x 10 feet high) of thick wool, which was useless for doing anything other than standing around in and about as sexy as a hessian sack. Despite the plethora of ‘How to Wear a Toga’ websites, there is no agreement as to the ‘correct’ way to put one on.

What we do know is what they were for. Wearing a toga showed you were a Roman (Virgil refers to them as the ‘toga people’ in the Aeneid), a citizen and a man. Suetonius tells the story that when the first Emperor, Augustus Caesar, noticed a group of men wearing lightweight practical cloaks (the Roman equivalent of a shell suit) outside the Forum, he lost his temper and passed an edict making the toga compulsory in and around the Forum. A positive hindrance in battle, soldiers never wore them, so they also became a symbol of peace. Foreigners or slaves weren’t allowed to wear them, and finding a woman in a toga meant she was either a prostitute or an adulteress (honourable women wore a gown or robe called the stola).

Being a bloke’s uniform, of course, they came in various different models. There was the toga pulla (dark toga) for funerals; the toga praetaxta for magistrates; the very fancy toga picta (patterned toga) for generals; and the brilliant white toga candida (bright toga) worn by candidates for political office (it’s where we get the word ‘candidate’ from).

So, rather like a pinstriped suit or a tuxedo, togas were for business, fancy occasions, or getting buried in. Most of the time, Romans wore the far more practical combination of tunics and cloak.

 
mckeonj
488130.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:34 am Reply with quote

No kecks?

 
Ameena
488167.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:14 pm Reply with quote

We also got told, when I did Latin at school, that Roman senators wore togas with a purple stripe on them, and is why purple is a colour associated with higher classes now, or something.

 
Flash
488207.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:47 pm Reply with quote

Purple was Cleopatra's favourite colour, and was adopted by Julius Caesar and his successors. As an Imperial colour it was taken more seriously by some Emperors than others - at times there were severe penalties for wearing it, at others not. In the later, Byzantine, Empire, there was a purple chamber in which the Empresses gave birth, so members of the royal family who were born whilst their father was Emperor were called "porphyrogenitus" - born to the purple.

 
mckeonj
488236.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:48 pm Reply with quote

Togas are shown on some statues of dignitaries, not so much for added dignity as for a third leg at the back for support - like the shepherds.

 
Ion Zone
488262.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:39 pm Reply with quote

Romans started the socks-with-sandels thing when they arived here.

 
bobwilson
488318.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 3:56 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
There was nothing special about Ceasers birth


Ahem - there's something special about ANY birth ;)

Purple - the only way to obtain stable purple dyes in Roman times was by boiling sea snails, which were difficult and expensive to obtain. Hence the association of purple dyed clothing with wealth and status.

 
mckeonj
488335.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 4:59 pm Reply with quote

Is that why George III pissed purple?

 
exnihilo
488444.  Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:46 pm Reply with quote

Flash wrote:
Purple was Cleopatra's favourite colour, and was adopted by Julius Caesar and his successors. As an Imperial colour it was taken more seriously by some Emperors than others - at times there were severe penalties for wearing it, at others not. In the later, Byzantine, Empire, there was a purple chamber in which the Empresses gave birth, so members of the royal family who were born whilst their father was Emperor were called "porphyrogenitus" - born to the purple.


And not just then, for much of the history of our peculiar species there were sumptuary laws which dictated who could wear what colours and facbrics, and when. Porphyrogenitus ought to be rendered as born in the purple rather than to it, for precisely the reason you give. Even then it was no guarantee of succeeding as the Roman (and Byzantine) Empires were strictly not hereditary, so it was the custom to have one's heir crowned as co-emperor during one's own reign to ensure a smooth transition - at least in theory.

 

Page 1 of 2
Goto page 1, 2  Next

All times are GMT - 5 Hours


Display posts from previous:   

Search Search Forums

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group