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CRE´PIDA (κρηπίς), also called crepidula (Plaut. Pers. 4.2, 3), was a kind of shoe of the nature of sandals (Gel. 13.21, 5); but as it was different from the latter (Ath. 14.621 b; Hor. Sat. 1.3, 127), it is to be considered as occupying a middle position between a closed boot and plain sandals. Originally it appears to have been worn by peasants, having a high and strong sole, often studded with nails (Bekk. Anecd. 273, 18; cf. Plin. Nat. 36.127), sometimes fitted with leaden or brazen plates called Χῖαι κρηπῖδες (Hippoc. ap. Galen, xviii. A. p. 678, ed. Kuhn; Tert. de Pall. 4; Ael. VH 12.32), and we are told that Hagnon, one of the followers of Alexander, had gold or silver nails in his crepidae (Ath. 12.539 c; Ael. VH 9.3; Plut. Alex. 40). It sometimes had a low upper (cf. the story in Parthen. Erot. 8), with eyes (ansae) through which straps (obstragula, ἱμάντες), which were at times adorned with jewels (Plin. Nat. 9.114) or dyed with purple (Heliod. Aethiop. 3.3), were passed, fastening it over the instep: often it was closed at the back (this is probably the ὀπισθοκρηπὶς of Poll. 7.91): but generally the upper consisted of a series of large loops (also called ansoe), through which the fastening thong or thongs were passed. This kind of open network covering the instep explains the epithet πολυς χιδές (Lucian, Rhet. Praecept.

Crepida. (Foot of Hermes.)

15). Examples Crepida. (Foot of Hermes.) of crepidae are given among the Greek shoes under CALCEUS 3 and 4, and in the accompanying cut of the [p. 1.563]foot of the Hermes of Praxiteles. There appear to have been a definite number of ansae in special kinds of crepidae (see the story which led to the proverb ne sutor supra crepidam judicaret in Plin. Nat. 35.85). In some vase-paintings of ephebi the bands fastening the crepidae reach half-way up the calf (see Saglio, fig. 2057). The crepida would fit either foot (Isid. Orig. 19.34, 3). They were of course made of leather (Xen. Eq. 12, 10). Lamps made in the form of crepidae or caligae, with nails in the soles, have been found, and illustrations of them are given in Saglio (fig. 2059) and Baumeister (fig. 619).

The κρηπὶς was the national Greek shoe (Plut. Aemil. 34; Pers. 1.127; Suet. Dom. 4); hence at Rome a tragedy in Greek costume was called fabula crepidata. It is especially mentioned as a Macedonian military boot (Theocr. 15.6), while the Roman military boot with nails was called CALIGA We find the crepida frequently worn with the pallium (Liv. 29.19, 12; Suet. Tib. 13), and with the chlamys and causia (Cic. Rab. Post. 10, 27; Plut. Ant. 54; Herodian, 4.8, 2): in all these passages it is spoken of in pointed contrast to Roman costume.

As κρηπὶς sometimes (Ath. 12.522; Lucian, l.c.) appears as a soft shoe worn by women, we cannot suppose that this kind resembled the heavy κρηπὶς of peasants or soldiers otherwise than in shape. We are also told that Sophocles (Vit. Soph. p. 128, 30; ed. West.) introduced white κρηπῖδες for the choreutae and for actors who performed (Wieseler, Satyrspiel, p. 82) subordinate female parts or the parts of effeminate men. More probably, however, these κρηπῖδες were of the nature of the high-soled peasants' shoes mentioned above.

The word κρηπὶς was also used in the sense of a kind of pancake or cake made of dough with fruit inside it (Ath. 14.645; Poll. 6.77; Hesych. sub voce).

(Hermann-Blümner, Privatalterthümer, p. 182; Marquardt, Privatleben der Römer, p. 577; Becker-Göll, Charikles, 3.274-277; and Pottier, in D. & S.)


hide References (13 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (13):
    • Xenophon, On the Art of Horsemanship, 12
    • Plutarch, Alexander, 40
    • Cicero, For Rabirius Postumus, 10
    • Cicero, For Rabirius Postumus, 27
    • Suetonius, Domitianus, 4
    • Suetonius, Tiberius, 13
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 29, 12
    • Livy, The History of Rome, Book 29, 19
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 13.21
    • Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 13.5
    • Plutarch, Antonius, 54
    • Aelian, Varia Historia, 12.32
    • Aelian, Varia Historia, 9.3
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