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STOLA The stola was a garment peculiar to the Roman matron, and was worn as a badge of lawful marriage (cf. V. Max. 6.1; Hor. Sat. 1.2, 94). It was a tunica put on over the shift or tunica interior, and reached down to the ankles. There is reason to believe that it was identical with the tunica recta or regilla, which the bride wore at the marriage ceremony (cf. Becker-Göll, Gallus, 2.27). It was bordered below with a flounce or hem called instita (Hor. Sat. 1.2, 29), and seems from certain monuments to have also had a purple stripe as a border round the neck. This has been identified with the patagium, perhaps correctly, though the passages in which it is mentioned speak of the patagium as being of gold (Nonius, p. 540, 4; Tert. de Pallio, 3; TOGA), not purple. It had sleeves, reaching down to the elbows, fastened with a row of clasps, and not sewn. If, however, the tunica interior had sleeves, the stola was without them, as in the wellknown statue. of Livia, shown in the accompanying cut.

Statue of Livia.

Like the corresponding Greek garment, the stola was girded (cf. Ennius, ap. Non. p. 198, “et quis illaec est lugubri succincta stola;” though this is not conclusive, as is shown below) generally high above the waist, forming a cluster of folds (cf. Martial, 3.93, 4). This, too, is shown by the monuments on which it appears. The word stola, as derived from the Greek στολή, had originally a quite general meaning (Nonius, p. 537, 24: “Stolam veteres non honestam vestem solum sed etiam omnem quae corpus tegeret” ), and in Ennius it is used of men's as well as women's clothes (Frag. ed. Ribbeck, vv. 285, 287, 345). There is no record of the date at which it was adopted by the Roman women, but one cannot be wrong in connecting the change with the transformation which the PALLA had undergone. That is to say, when the palla, which was originally worn like the Doric shift, was used as a shawl or mantle, another undergarment besides the tunica interior became necessary, and that adopted by the matrons was the stola. The disuse of the TOGA which was in the earliest times worn by women as well as men, is probably not unconnected with this change. However this may be, the longa vestis is mentioned as early as the Second Punic War as the privilege of married women (Macrob. Saturn. 1.6, 13; cf. C. I. L. 1.1194, “ita leibertate illei me, hie me decora[r]at stola” ). It remained in use as the garb of the matronae (Cic. Phil. 2.18, 44;--Varro, L. L. 8, 28; 9, 48; 10, 27) until the time of Tiberius, when it ceased to be fashionable. References to it in literature are, however, none the less frequent in post-Augustan writers (Mart. 1.35, 8, &c.), and in Ulpian it is one of the muliebria vestimenta: “quae matris familiae [p. 2.717]causa sunt comparata” (Dig. 34, 2, 23, 2). Under the Empire, as its use in actual life became less common, it was apparently given a symbolic meaning, and bestowed on matrons who had the jus liberorum. Such at least is the most probable explanation of the title stolata femina, which occurs as a name of honour on inscriptions, chiefly of the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. (Orelli-Henzen, 3030, 7190, note 2; C. I. L. 3.5225, 5283, 6155, p. 998: cf. Hübner, Hermes, 1878, xiii. p. 425 seq., and Comm. phil. in hon. Thes. Mommsenii, p. 104 seq.). Such a stola was doubtless distinguished in some way from that in ordinary use. (Marquardt, Privatleben, pp. 60, 573-575, 581; Iwan Miller, Handbuch, pp. 803, 876-77; Becker-Göll, Gallus, 2.27, 3.253; Baumeister, Denkmäler, art. Toga, p. 1841.)


hide References (7 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (7):
    • Cicero, Philippics, 2.18
    • Cicero, Philippics, 2.44
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 1.35
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 1.8
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 3.4
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 3.93
    • Valerius Maximus, Facta et Dicta Memorabilia, 6.1
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