), a short mantle.
This term, being Greek, denoted an article of the AMICTUS
or outer raiment, which was in general
characteristic of the Greeks, and of the Oriental races with which they were
connected, although both in its form and in its application it approached
very near to the LACERNA
Romans, and was itself to some extent adopted by the Romans under the
emperors. It was for the most part [p. 1.416]
woollen; and it
differed from the ἱμάτιον,
amictus of the male sex, in these respects, that it was much smaller; also
finer, thinner, more variegated in colour, and more susceptible of ornament.
It moreover differed in being oblong instead of square, its length being
generally about twice its breadth. (Plut. Alex.
; Plin. Nat. 5.62
The chlamys came originally from Macedonia and Thessaly (Ammon. p. 146; Plin.
; Poll. 7.46, 10.124). It was the dress of
hunters, of travellers, especially on horseback (Xen. An.
7.4.4; Plaut. Poen.
3.3, 6, 31), and of
soldiers (Aelian, Ael. VH 14.10
2.4, 45; Epid.
3.3, 55). It seems
to have been part of the usual dress of a Spartan (Aristoph. Lys. 988
; Juv. 8.101
), and was worn at Athens by the ephebi from about
seventeen to twenty years of age. (Philemon, p. 367, ed. Meineke; ephebica chlamyde,
p. 253; Pollux, 10.164; λαβεῖν τὸ χλαμύδιον,
c). In the frieze
of the Parthenon representing the Panathenaic procession, several of the
riders have the chlamys. It does not appear to have been much worn by
children, although one was given with its brooch to Tiberius Caesar in his
infancy (Suet. Tib. 6
The chlamys as worn by youths, by soldiers, and by hunters, differed in
colour and fineness, according to its destination, and the age and rank of
the wearer. The χλαμὺς ἐφηβικὴ
probably yellow-or saffron-coloured; and the χλαμὺς
scarlet. On the other hand, the hunter commonly
went out in a mantle of a dull unconspicuous colour, as best adapted to
escape the notice of wild animals (Poll. 5.18). The more ornamental mantles,
being designed for females, were tastefully decorated with a border
Verg. A. 4.137
5.251); and those worn by Phoenicians, Trojans, Phrygians,
and other Asiatics, were also embroidered, or interwoven with gold (Verg.
3.483-4, 11.775; Ovid. Met.
5.51; V. Fl. 6.228
). Actors had their chlamys
ornamented with gold (Poll. 4.116).
The usual mode of wearing the mantle was to pass one of its shorter sides
round the neck, and to fasten it by means of a brooch (πόρπη,
), either over the breast, in which case
it hung down the back, reaching to the calves of the legs; or over the right
shoulder, so as to cover the left arm, as is seen in the cut under CAUSIA
and in the well-known
example of the Belvedere Apollo. In other instances, it was made to depend
gracefully from the left shoulder, of which the bronze Apollo in the British
Museum (see right-hand figure) presents an example; or it was thrown lightly
behind the back, and passed over either one arm or shoulder, or over both
(as in left-hand figure, taken from Hamilton's Vases, 1.2); or, lastly, it
was laid upon the throat, carried behind the neck, and crossed so as to hang
down the back, as in the figure of Achilles under BALTEUS
and sometimes its extremities were again
brought forward over the arms or shoulders. In short, the remains of ancient
art of every description show in how high a degree the mantle contributed,
by its endless diversity of arrangement, to the display of the human form in
its greatest beauty; and Ovid has told us how sensible the ephebi were of
its advantages in the account of the care bestowed upon this part of his
attire by Mercury (Met.
2.735). The aptitude of the mantle to
be turned in every
Chlamys. (The figure on the left from a painting on a vase; that
on the right from the Brit. Mus.)
possible form around the body made it useful even for defence. The
hunter used to wrap his chlamys about his left arm when pursuing wild
animals, and preparing to fight with them (Poll. 5.18; Xen. Cyneg. 6.1. 7
Alcibiades died fighting with his mantle rolled round his left hand instead
of a shield. The annexed woodcut exhibits a figure of Poseidon armed with
the trident in his right hand, and having a chlamys to protect the left. It
is taken from a medal which was struck in commemoration of a naval victory
obtained by Demetrius Poliorcetes, and was evidently designed to express his
sense of Poseidon's succour in the conflict. When Artemis goes to the chase,
as she does not require her mantle for purposes of defence, she draws it
from behind over her shoulders, and twists it round her waist, so that the
Chlamys. (Poseidon from a coin, and Artemis from a statue in the
her quiver passes across it, as shown in the statues of this
goddess in the Vatican (see woodcut).
It appears from the bas-reliefs on marble vases that dancers took hold of one
another by the chlamys, as the modern Greeks still do by their scarves or
handkerchiefs, instead of taking one another's hands.
Among the Romans the chlamys came more into use under the emperors. Caligula
wore one enriched with gold (Suet. Calig.
19). [p. 1.417]
Alexander Severus, when he was in the country or
on an expedition, wore one dyed with the coccus (chlamyde
40 ; of. Matt. 26.28, 31).