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CARACALLA was an outer garment used in Gaul, and not unlike the Roman lacerna. [LACERNA] It was first introduced at Rome by the Emperor Aurelius Antoninus Bassianus, who compelled the plebeians who came to court to wear it, and thence obtained the surname of Caracalla. (Aurel. Vict. Epit. 21.) The caracalla, as worn in Gaul, was a close-fitting garment with long sleeves, and slit before and behind like a modern overcoat (Strab. 4.4.3). In its original shape it reached only to the knee, but the emperor lengthened it so as to reach the ankle. It afterwards became common among the Romans, and garments of this kind were called caracallae Antoninianae, to distinguish them from the Gallic caracallae. (Aurel. Vict. de Caes. 21; Spartian. Sev. 21, Anton. Car. 9, with Salmasius' note.) In its longer form it came to be worn by the clergy, and is retained almost unaltered under the name of cassock (sottana, soutane). Like the lacerna, it was furnished with a cucullus or cowl for the protection of the head: hence Jerome, speaking of the Jewish ephod, calls it palliolum mirae pulchritudinis in modum caracallarum sed absque cucullis. (Ep. 64, ad Fabiolam.

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