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DALMA´TICA or DELMATICA (δαλματική, δελματική), a tunic furnished with long sleeves, full and flowing, introduced from Dalmatia (Isid. Or. 19.22). The name does not occur till the close of the 2nd century of the empire. This use of sleeves extending to the wrists was considered effeminate during the republic [TUNICA], and even under the empire attracted attention in the instance of Heliogabalus ( “dalmaticatus in publico post cenam saepe visus est, Gurgitem Fabium et Scipionem se appellans, quod cum ea veste esset, cum qua Fabius et Cornelius a parentibus ad corrigendos mores adulescentes in publicum essent producti,” Lamprid. Heliog. 26). In this use of the dalmatic Heliogabalus was following the example of Commodus (Lamprid. Comm. 8; Capitol. Pertinax, 8, “chiridotas Dalmatarum.” The singiliones Dalmatarum in Treb. Poll. Claud. 17 may denote the same garment). From Diocletian's edict of A.D. 301 fixing the maximum (16-17), we learn that the dalmatic was then worn both by men and by women; that it was made both with and without purple stripes [CLAVUS LATUS, ANGUSTUS]; sometimes it was woven with triple thread (τρίμιτος), sometimes of wool retaining the nap, sometimes of silk, sometimes of linen of various qualities and from various countries. In this edict and some other passages (Epiphan. Haer. 1.15, and later ecclesiastical writers), it appears to be identified with the colobion, which, however, was a sleeveless tunic (Serv. ad Verg. 9.616; Sozomen, 3.14), the dalmatic, on the contrary, having long sleeves. But, according to Waddington, the edict is here fixing the prices, not of the garments, but of the pieces of stuff from which they were made, and the same stuffs would naturally be used in making dalmatics and colobia.

For representations and a precise description of the garment we must turn to Christian sources. An illustration from a mosaic in the church of St. Vitalis at Ravenna has been given under CLAVUS (p. 455 b); and for a fuller account of the dalmatic as a church vestment, see Marriott (Vestiarium Christianum, p. lix) and Dict. of Christ. Ant. s. v.


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