[An inscription (Gruter, 646, 5), GN. COSSVTIVS PAENVLARIVS, shows that this is the
correct spelling. The derivation of the word is unknown; it certainly is not
which only occurs in late
writers, as a translation of the Latin; μανδύη
being also used.] The paenula was a sleeveless cloak of
thick cloth, worn by the Romans as a protection against rain and cold: hence
Horace takes a “paenula solstitio,” an overcoat, during the
dog-days as a telling instance of discomfort. It is frequently mentioned in
the literature of all periods, from Plautus down to the Fathers of the Latin
Church. The paenula was worn by country-folk who did not wear the TOGA
over their tunics, and,
although not so fashionable as the LACERNA
was used by all classes when on a journey. (Cic. pro Mil. 10
, § 20;
87.) It was also part of the dress of slaves (Plaut.
4.2, 74), and at times did them good
service in warding off awkward blows (Plaut. loc.
). Under the Empire we hear of sedan-chairmen (lecticarii
) clad in what seems to have been a livery of it
Suet. Nero 30
; Sen. de
A paenula mulionica
is mentioned by Cicero, and we
know from other authors that it was occasionally used by soldiers (Sen.
5.24, 1; Suet. Galba,
6). In Imperial times its use seems to have been much
extended, and it was worn in Rome as a protection against the rain (Juv.
5.79). Tribunes (Spart.
3), orators (Tac. Dial.
), and grammarians even went so far as to adopt it as their special
garb in cold weather, though it was considered below the dignity of the
higher magistrates to wear it at all. Spectators at the games, especially no
doubt those who could not afford the more expensive LACERNA
found it convenient (D. C. 72.21
), and Tertullian takes this as its original use,
accusing the Lacedaemonians of inventing it to satisfy their desire for
theatrical performances in the winter. Women wore it no less than men, for
Ulpian (Dig. 34
) speaks of it as a
and that this fashion
goes back as far as Cicero's time is shown by a jest of his, recorded by
Quintilian (8.3, 54). These paenulae matronales
(Trebellius, de quieto Tyr.
14, 4; cf. Suet.
52) were probably of a special cut. The material used
in its manufacture was thick woollen stuff; that from Tarentum and Canuslum
and, after its introduction, GAUSAPE
being preferred (cf. Plin. Nat.
; Mart. 14.145
). Leather, or
more probably fur (for scortea
either), was also used (Mart. l.c.
4.6, 21). Its colour was dark
), as one [p. 2.309]
would expect a cloak for
bad weather to be, and it was perhaps on account of its dingy appearance
that it was worn at funerals and formed part of the munera funebria
, 30; D. C. 72.21
. 27; Suet. Tib.
The notices in literature do not give any very definite information about its
shape, or the manner of wearing it, except that it was sleeveless, fitted
closely to the body, was drawn over the head, and was sometimes provided
with a hood (Plin. Nat. 24.88
woodcut under CUCULLUS
Christian times it was adopted as a vestment, but in this use is better
known as the casula
or chasuble (see
Dict. Christ. Antiqq.
s. v. “Casula” ).
The paenula occurs but seldom on monuments,
Paenula. (From statuette in British Museum.)
chiefly no doubt because its shape does not admit of an artistic
arrangement of folds, but also because it is not a garment characteristic of
any calling or mode of life. The monuments representing it were first
collected by Bartholinus in his admirable Commentarius de
and comparatively few examples have been since added
to his list (see, however, Hübner in Program zum
Berlin, 1866). All agree in showing a cloak
coming down to the knees, very like a long cape, except that it is closed
all round, the head passing through a slit in the centre, exactly in the
same way as in the poncho
of Spanish-America. The
Figure wearing Paenula. (From Trajan's Column.)
shape is very considerable, the cloak appearing sometimes square,
sometimes round, and sometimes of a bell-shape. In most cases a tuckered
seam runs down the centre in front, enabling the wearer to hitch up one side
over his shoulder, and to keep his arm free. However, even so, it is plain
that the paenula could not be worn when free movement of the arms was
necessary; and this is the point which Cicero makes in Milo's favour, when
he pleads that he was paenulatus,
assumes really meant paenula irretitus.
explains why it is that out of the numerous figures of soldiers on Roman
reliefs so very few wear this cloak. One of these few is the cippus
of L. Duccius Rufinus Signifer of the Ninth
Legion, found and preserved at York. (Wellbeloved, Eboracum,
plate xiii. fig. 1.) There is no monumental
evidence for Marquardt's theory that Cicero's expression scindere paenulam
l.c.) refers to a
custom by which the host unbuttoned his guest's cloak on his arrival; none
of the representations show anything like buttons. (Besides Bartholinus'
work, above mentioned, the best edition of which is that contained in
tom. vi., see Marquardt,
ed. 2, pp. 564 f.; and Becker-Göll,
iii. p. 125 f.)