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PALLA The palla and its Greek counterpart, the πέπλος, were identical in shape with the pallium or ἱμάτιον, being square or rectangular shawls or plaids; but while the pallium was worn by both sexes, the palla was, originally at any rate, confined to women. It was worn as it came from the loom, generally with the addition of embroidery, but without any alteration in shape at the hands of tailor or sempstress. It is usual to divide the modes of wearing such garments into two great divisions: first, those in which they are loosely thrown round the body [AMICTUS]; and, secondly, those in which they are fastened more closely and securely by means of pins and brooches [FIBULA], and at times a girdle [ZONA]. To the latter class is given, with somewhat questionable correctness, the name indumenta. It is unwise to press this division too far, and the failure to perceive that the same garment might be worn either way has led to much needless controversy as to the use of words. The actual modes of wearing dictated by fashion, or suggested by the needs of life, were truly endless, as were also the differences in size, material, and pattern required to suit the wants of woman and girl, matron and maid, rich and poor, mourner and reveller, in all the varied pursuits and on all the many occasions which demand a special dress. These manifold uses are reflected in language, but the difficulty in determining what they were is increased by the fact that, as fashions changed and life became more complex, old words became obsolete or changed their meaning, while new words were applied to garments known formerly by other names. In no case is it so truly necessary to bear this in mind as in that of the πέπλος. Its derivation is uncertain, but Studniczka's conjecture that it is a reduplicated form of the root seen in palla, pallium, and pellis, is at once plausible and satisfactory.

In Homer it is used of the chief dress of women, which is also called ἑανός (Il. 3.385; 14.178; 21.507) or εἱανός (Il. 16.9); but from their use in other passages these would seem to be merely epithets (Il. 5.734; 8.385; 18.352, 613; 23.254), πέπλος being the distinctive name. It was worn next the skin, for Hera on leaving her bath put it on first (Il. 14.178); and Athene, when she dons the shirt (χιτὼν) and armour of Zeus, has first to loose the brooch at her shoulder and let the πέπλος fall from her (Il. 5.734). The latter passage shows that the garment was not a sewn one, like the shirt which the men wore (χιτών), but one which could be thrown off in an instant (κατέχευεν). Everything in fact goes to show that it was worn in the same way as the Doric shift [TUNICA], but fastened below the shoulder just above the breast (cf. χρυσείῃς δ᾽ἐνετῇσι κατὰ στῆθος περονᾶτο, Il. 14.180); mode of wearing which is admirably illustrated by the figures on many early Greek vases (v. infra). This method of wearing a dress, as heavy as one's chief garment must be, has the obvious defect that it throws the whole weight on the shoulders. This was met by the use of the girdle [ZONA], which had the further advantage of keeping the open side of the πέπλος in some degree closed. The girdle was worn universally, and is always mentioned when details of the toilet are given. Even such apparent exceptions as in the case of [p. 2.315]Athena (Il. 5.734; 8.385) do not imply that it was not worn; nor is it necessary to suppose that when Aphrodite protected Aeneas from the Greek darts with the πτύγμα of her gown that she necessarily was without a girdle (Il. 5.315), for πτύγμα may well have a different meaning (v. infra). In many cases the open side was no doubt held together by a row of brooches, for it is impossible to assume that the twelve golden περόναι that accompanied the πέπλος which Antinous presented to Penelope had any other use (Od. 18.292). Whether the πέπλος still further resembled the Doric shift in being doubled at the top, into a fold falling over the breast, is not clear, though this is very possibly the meaning of πτύγμα in the passage quoted above.

What little knowledge we have of the fashions of the ladies of Epic times, and the way in which they wore their gowns most becomingly, is given by the epithets which the bard applies to fair women. We learn, for instance, that even though their robes were long and swept the ground (ἑλκεσιπέπλοι, Il. 2.442; 10.185), they did not hide the charms of a neat ankle (εὔσφυρος, Hesiod. Theogn. 254, 961; Scut. Herc. 16, 86;--καλλίσφυρος, Il. 9.557, 560, 14.319; Od. 5.333, 11.603, &c.;--and τανύσφυρος, Hymn. in Cer. 2, 77) any more than those of their snow-white arms (λευκώλενος, passim). Epithets referring to the nice adjustment of the girdle are common, but are, with the exception of εὔζωνος and καλλίζωνος, very obscure, and those cannot be said to give us any very definite information. Βαθύζωνοι is difficult to explain, though it certainly cannot mean that the Homeric ladies wore their gowns with thick folds, hanging over a low-girt girdle, in the style of a later age (best seen in the Parthenon marbles). It very probably refers to slimness of waist, which was beyond any doubt looked on as beautiful. (This is possibly the point of the comparison of the waist of Agamemnon to that of Ares, Il. 2.479.) Neither does βαθύκολπος refer to the fashion mentioned above, as seen in the Pheidiac statues, but rather expresses the poet's admiration for a well-moulded bust (Il. 18.122; 24.315, &c.). The πέπλος was sometimes richly embroidered (Il. 6.294; Od. 15.107); indeed, to judge by the frequency of the epithets ποίκιλος and παμποίκιλος, it was seldom without this kind of ornament. The cloth from which it was made seems to have been of the brightest colours,--saffron (Ἠὼς κροκόπεπλος, Il. 8.1 et passim), purple (Hymn. in Cer. 182, 360; Hesiod. Theogn. 406), and flaming red (if we may trust the description of Aphrodite's robe, φαεινότερος πυρὸς αὐγῆς, Hymn. in Ven. 86). The material cannot have been anything else but wool, for no other stuff would be sufficiently warm for such an important garment, neither is it likely that linen would be embroidered as the πέπλος was. Besides, if we may take the goddesses Calypso and Circe as examples of the fashions of the time, the linen mantle (φᾶρος), which the men of Epic times wore as an over-garment, was used as a dress girded round the waist, and probably was also pinned at the shoulders in the same fashion as the πέπλος (Od. 5.230, 10.543; cf. Hesiod, Op. 198). Even if this passage does not allow us to argue that the women of the time wore the (φᾶρος, we have the account of the dancing maidens on the shield of Achilles (Il. 18.597), who wore linen raiment, though we are not told in what way.

Besides being a lady's garment, the πέπλος appears in the Homeric poems as a covering for chariots (Il. 5.193) and seats (Od. 7.96), and also as the purple pall in which the golden urn that contained the ashes of Hector was wrapped (Il. 24.795). It was for these reasons and for the richness of their ornament that the πέπλοι form such a large part of the treasures of the household, and that they were acceptable presents (Od. 17.292; cf. Il. 14.178), forming part of Hector's ransom (Il. 24.229), and being the choicest gift that could be offered by the Trojan women to the patron goddess of the town (Il. 6.90, 271). [DONARIA]

Of the changes which Greek dress underwent during the ages which followed that of the Epic, we can learn but little from literature. We gather from the occasional protests of the lyric poets and the rigorous measures of the lawgivers that the influence of Oriental luxury was ever on the increase. It is not, however, until this luxury had given way to the healthy reaction which followed the Persian wars that we can get contemporary information about the costume of the times. Then we find that the πέπλος was no longer an every-day garment, but the characteristic robe of hero and god on the stage, or in poetry. It occurs very frequently in the Attic tragedians, but always with an indefinite meaning, as indeed we might gather from the frequency with which the plural and the word πέπλωμα are used. In Aeschylus, for instance, we find that not only is a woman's robe, be it woollen or linen (Choeph. 25; Suppl. 111; Pers. 125), called πέπλος, but that men's clothing also bears the name. Sophocles uses the word with equal laxity, while Euripides makes it a word for clothes in general, using it for the over-not less than the undergarments of both men and women. In all literature subsequent to the tragedians the word occurs in the same loose way, with one very important exception; that of the πέπλος which was each year carried in the Panathenaic procession on a mast to the Parthenon, where it was solemnly presented to Athena Parthenos. [ARRHEPHORIA; PANATHENAEA.] This robe was embroidered with scenes from the battles between the gods and the giants, in which Athena took a prominent part (Eur. Hec. 466-474, cf. Ion, 184 ff.). There can be no doubt whatever that this robe, as is usual in the case of such ancient cults, went back as regards texture to very early ages, in fact in all probability prior to the Homeric.

By a fortunate coincidence we are able to date approximately the disappearance of the πέπλος at Athens. Herodotus (5.87, 88) tells us that the women of Athens gave up the archaic dress of Greece, which resembled the Doric, and adopted the Ionian, in order to be able to dispense with the use of the fibula. The occurrence which brought this change about was the murder of the only man who returned from the disastrous expedition against Aegina; and as this took place in the first half of the sixth century B.C., we have an approximate date for the change in question, even if we discard the story as a fiction. This rough date is moreover [p. 2.316]borne out by the monuments. As to the monuments: it has so far been impossible to recognise the πέπλος in any of the objects found at Hissarlik, Mycenae, Archomenos, and Tiryns; but this does not preclude the possibility of its having been worn at that age, for the objects are in most cases of a foreign origin. The fact, however, that no fibulae were among the numerous ornaments found in the graves at Mycenae would seem to cast a doubt on it.

In the graves of a later date, such as those of the Dipylon and Phaleron at Athens, and of Assarlik in. Caria, fibulae have been found in large quantities. Unfortunately the figures on the pottery of this age are too rude to give us any idea of the costume of the time in which they were used. It is in fact on the early “black-figured” ware from Athens and Corinth that we are first able to find a garment answering to the Homeric description. This is, perhaps, best seen on the figures of the famous François vase (now in Florence), which represent the women as wearing an archaic form of the Doric shift, which, in most cases, is their only garment. It is fastened not above, but below, the shoulder (κατὰ στῆθος) with a large fibula of archaic pattern. This is well shown

Moirae. (From François vase.)

by the representations of Moirae. Other vases prove that this garment was open down the side; for instance, a cylix of the vase-painter Xenocles, showing Polyxena as she flies from Achilles, with the whole leg displayed. The style of these vases proves that this costume was at least as old as the seventh century B.C., and it continues to appear in all the vase-paintings of the “black-figured” style. When this style was given up and the “red figure” was adopted, other forms of female garments are seen in the paintings, and this archaic πέπλος disappears. If the latest system of dating is correct, this change of style in vase-ornamentation took place not later than the middle of the sixth century B.C.; and as this agrees exactly with what Herodotus tells us, we may accept it as certain that it was then that the πέπλος, or archaic dress, was given up by the women of Athens. The statues of the latter half of the sixth century lately discovered on the Acropolis, and the vase-paintings of the same period, show clearly enough how the transition took place. The characteristic of all these statues and figures is that they wear over their linen chiton a mantle, which is pinned or fastened at one shoulder and passes under the left arm. It fits closely to the form, and the top is doubled over into a fold, so that it is nothing but a Doric shift, with the brooch at one shoulder loosened and the arm shoved out. It is in fact the πέπλος worn over the linen or Ionic shift, and without a girdle. The resemblance is made still greater by the fact that it is generally richly embroidered. However, in this form it has lost its old name, and was known as ἱμάτιον [PALLIUM]. It was noted above that the πέπλος of Athena was retained in the original meaning of the word throughout the whole of antiquity, and this is strikingly borne out by the artistic tradition seen in the statues of Athena. In nearly all the oldest representations (e. g. in the metope from the oldest temple at Selinus and on the Burgon vase) she is clothed in the garment described in Homer and shown on the vases. The same type was adopted by Pheidias for his Athene Parthenos, as we see by the numerous reproductions of it that have come to light. The best

Statuette of Athene Parthenos.

of these is the statuette found at the Varvakeion, near Athens, an accurate Roman copy of the great original. Even in Hellenistic art it is often retained as the characteristic garb of Athena (e. g. “Minerve au collier” in the Louvre).

[The view as to the nature of the πέπλος taken above is that first propounded by Franz Studniczka in his Beiträge zur Geschichte der altgriechischen Tracht, p. 92 seq. (Wien, 1885). It has been accepted by Helbig in Das Homerische Epos (Leipzig, 1887), and by Iwan Müller, Handbuch der klassischen Alterthumswissenschaft, IV. (Nordlingen,. 1887).]

Palla, though it denotes a genuinely Roman garment, is used as the translation of πέπλυς (Serv. ad Aen. 1.479), for peplus and peplum are artificial forms which were never naturalised. Used as a translation, it is par excellence the garb of heroic personages on the tragic stage (cf. Hor. A. P. 279, “personae pallaeque repertor honestae;” Aeschylus; and Milton, Il Penseroso, “Tragedy in sceptred pall” ). Closely connected with this is its use in poetry, where [p. 2.317]it is worn not only by gods and goddesses, but by mythical figures in general. In both cases its meaning is quite as vague as that of πέπλος in Attic tragedy (v. supra). The garment itself was a rectangular piece of cloth (Isidor. 19.25), which could be worn either as a dress or a shawl, which at times served the purposes of a curtain (Sen. de Ira, 22, 2).

The notices in literature give us but little satisfactory information as to the various ways in which it was worn, owing to the fact that in very many cases (e. g. in Plautus) it is impossible to say whether a Greek or a Roman garment is meant. This difficulty has given rise to a controversy which has raged since the time of Rubenius and Ferrarius, and cannot be said to have yet come to an end. That the original way of wearing it was practically the same as that of wearing the Doric shift, may be regarded as certain, for Varro includes it among the garments quae indutui sunt (L. L. 5.131), and there is good reason to believe that it took the place of an archaic garment of somewhat the same shape, but of a smaller size, which survived until classical times in a ceremonial dress called the RICINIUM Whether the palla continued to be worn as a shift after the introduction of the tunica, must, at the present state of our knowledge, remain undecided. Marquardt (Privatleben, p. 579) maintains that it did, supporting his view by an appeal to the phrases tunico-pallium, tunicae pallium, and tunica palliata, and to statues found at Herculaneum. The statues, however, are Greek, not Roman, while the phrases are only used by late commentators, and must be referred to pallium and not to palla. Even the palla picta which was sent by the senate cum amiculo purpureo (Liv. 27.4) does not prove that even at that time it was worn at Rome as an undergarment, for it is probable that it was a περονατρὶς of the style then so fashionable at Alexandria. However this may be, it is as a shawl, covering the stola, that we hear of it in classical times, when it took the same place in the dress of women as the toga did in that of men. When thus worn, it was thrown over the left shoulder, drawn across the back, brought either over or under the right shoulder, and tucked round the body. This manner of wearing it is well described by Apuleius (Met. 11.3): “Palla nigerrima splendescens atro nitore quae circumcirca remeans et sub dextrum latus ad umerum laevum recurrens, umbonis vicem dejecta parte laciniae multiplici contabulatione dependula ad ultimas oras nodulis fimbriarum decoriter confluebat.” Worn thus, it was practically identical with the ἱμάτιον [PALLIUM], and was the outdoor dress of all respectable women (Hor. Sat. 1.2, 97; Sen. Troad. 91: cf. Mart. 11.104, 7, where it is called pallium), as well as by girls (Tib. 4.2, 11). As a woman's shawl it seems to have, like the toga, become unfashionable under the Empire; and we find that, even in the time of Tiberius, Caecina inveighed against the change (Tertull. de Pall 4). In the third century it seems to have gone out of use entirely as a garment, for it is not mentioned by Ulpian, nor is it in the list given in the edict of Diocletian. The garments which supplanted it were more especially the dalmatica and the colobium. [DALMATICA] On the monuments of all kinds, especially the portrait statues of the Empire, it frequently appears used as a shawl, wrapped round the body as described above. Nowhere, however, do we find any support for the assumption that it was sometimes girded, which some base on the use of succincta in Hor. Sat. 1.8, 23; Verg. A. 6.555 On the monuments the palla is easily recognised in the mantle worn by Roman women, though, except in the case of certain portrait statues and reliefs, there must be always a doubt whether the garment is Greek or not.

Statue of Livia wearing the Palla.

The modes of wearing it are very numerous; but in all a third part is thrown over the left shoulder from behind, and the garment drawn round the body, covering or leaving free the right arm. Sometimes it is wrapped so tightly round the body that the end is thrown once more over the left shoulder from the front. Sometimes it is drawn over the head, to serve either as a veil or as a protection against the weather. In nearly all cases it is a rectangular piece of cloth, the dimensions varying very considerably. In some few instances, however, it resembles the toga in having one of its sides cut in a circular form.

Palla is also one of the names given to the χιτὼν ὀρθοστάδιος (tunica talaris), which with the χλαμὺς formed the conventional costume of the Citharoedus (cf. Auctor ad Herenn. 4.47, 60; Apuleius, Florid. 2, 15). This had no real connexion with the palla, being a long sleeved tunic girded high above the waist; it was also, known as stola and σύρμα. Statues and reliefs representing citharoedi (especially Apollo Citharoedus) are clad in this robe. The best known of these works is the statue of Apollo Citharoedus in the Vatican. Martial (1.93) mentions a gallica palla, but this is a short jacket ( “Dimidiasque nates gallica palla tegit” ), which seems to have been peculiar to Gaul, and is described [p. 2.318]by Strabo iv. p.196, (κέλται) ἀντὶ δὲ χιτώνων σχιστοὺς χειριδωτοὺς φέρουσι μεχρὶ αἰδοίων καὶ γλουτῶν.

Apollo Citharoedus. (From the Vatican.)

[References to the earlier literature will be found in Marquardt, Privatleben, p. 576 ff. A criticism of Marquardt is given in Göll's edition (1882) of Becker's Gallus, p. 258 ff The best account of palla = χίτων ὀρθοστάδιος is in Stephani, Compte-Rendu, 1875, pp. 102-153. For the monuments, see Müller in Baumeister's Denkmäler des klassischen Alterthums, s. v. Toga.]


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