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CYCLAS

CYCLAS (κυκλάς), a luxurious robe, of a circular form, worn by Roman women, to the bottom of which a border was affixed, inlaid with gold. (Serv. ad Verg. A. 1.286; Prop. iv. (v.) 7, 40.) It was made of some thin material, perhaps muslin (tenui in cyclade, Juv. 6.259). Alexander Severus, in his other attempts to restrain the luxury of his age, enacted that women should possess only one cyclas each, and that it should not be adorned with more than six unciae of gold (Lampr. Alex. Sever. 41). It continued to be a dress of ceremony in the fifth century (Sidon. Apoll. Ep. 1.5). It was not used exclusively by women. It is related, among other instances of Caligula's effeminacy, that he sometimes went into public in a garment of this description (cycladatus, Suet. Cal. 52); and Saturninus, when he determined to accept the empire, put on the cyclas of his wife as a kind of imperial garment (Vopisc. Saturn. 9). The statue of Rome, figured under CLAVUS LATUS (see p. 455), probably wears a robe of this kind, with the clavus latus down the centre, and an ornamented border at the bottom. (Daremberg and Saglio, s. v.)

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hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 1.286
    • Suetonius, Caligula, 52
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