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SU´PPARUS

SU´PPARUS The supparus, which by writers of the Silver age was also called supparum (cf. Studniczka, Beiträge, p. 90, note 68), was a linen garment worn at Rome in the early days of the Republic. It was apparently used by both sexes, though it was a woman's rather than a man's garment (cf. Afranius, Epist. p. 180, ed. Ribbeck, “tace, puella non sum supparo si induta sum” ). The passage which throws most light on its shape is that of Lucan, where speaking of Marcia, Cato's wife, he says:
Humerisque haerentia primis
Suppara nudatos cingunt angusta lacertos.

This seems to show that the supparus was a form of mantle, not a long apron, as a passage in Nonius (p. 540, 8), which is probably corrupt, tells us. Unfortunately it has not yet been recognised on any monument.

From a derivation from the Oscan, which Varro mentions but rejects (L. L. 5, 131), it has been thought that it was borrowed from the people of that name. However this may be, there seems little doubt that it is connected with siparum) and σίφαρος (a sail), and through them with φᾶρος. This derivation is corroborated borated by the fact that they are all of linen, and by the curious coincidence that (φᾶρος also was a name both for mantles, sails, and linen cloth generally. (Studniczka, p. 90 f.; Iwan Müller, Handbuch, pp. 876, 927; Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 484.)

[W.C.F.A]

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