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SUBLIGA´CULUM, A piece of cloth tied or wrapped round the waist and worn as an apron or loin-cloth is one of the most primitive of garments, and is found in some form or other all the world over. That it was worn in Greece in pre-historic times is shown by the hunters on the inlaid sword-blade from the fourth grave at Mycenae (cf. Schuchardt, Schliemann's Ausgrabungen, p. 263, fig. 227; Milchhoefer, Anfänge, p. 145) and other monuments of the same age. In later times it is found frequently on archaic bronzes, and on early black-figured vase-paintings, as the dress of smiths and other craftsmen, as well as of labourers (cf. the olive-gatherers on a black--figured vase, in Baumeister, Denkm. p. 1017). It was also worn by warriors below their armour, but only in early times, for in later times it was supplanted by the linen shirt or χιτών.

There is some difficulty in tracing the use of the garment in literature. In Homer, for instance, Euryalus the boxer in Il. 23.683 wears a ζῶμα, which is undoubtedly a loin-cloth, taking perhaps the shape of bathing drawers; but elsewhere the use of the word is not consistent (being sometimes evidently a kind of belt: cf. Studniczka, Beiträge, p. 67 foll.). The fact of the matter seems to be that, owing to the comparative severity of the Greek climate, it was never used, as in the East, as a man's sole garment, except where he was engaged in very violent exercise. Thus, in early times, διαζώματα were worn at the Olympic games (Thuc. 1.6). The custom, however, fell into disuse after Orsippos (Paus. 1.44, 1), who was victor in Ol. 15 (720 B.C.), had run without (cf. C. I. G. 1050). In classical times the apron is better known as the characteristic garb of cook (Hegesipp. Ἀδ. 1.7), the general name being περίζωμα or περιζώστρα (see LUCTATIO, and the woodcut on page 82 b).

At Rome, as in Greece, the apron or loin-cloth seems to have been an older undergarment than the shirt or TUNICA It was worn not only by men, but also by women (Mart. 3.87, 4), and was known as the subligaculum (Non. p. 29, 20), subligar, or campestre. In the Twelve Tables it goes by the name of licium (Gaius, 3.192, 193). Its use in imperial times was chiefly confined to servants (succicti linteo, Suet. Cat. 26), and it was indeed generally regarded as the characteristic garb of the early Republic. Thus Horace speaks of cinctuti Cethegi as models of heroic simplicity (A. P. 50; cf. Porphyrion ad loc.). So, too, candidates for election had it as part of their old-fashioned costume (Plut. Cor. 14; Quaest. Rom. 49, p. 340), while ascetics, like Cato the younger, adopted it as a protest against luxury (Plut. Cat. Mi. 6; V. Max. 3.6, 7). One form of the apron, the campestre (cf. Isid. Orig. 19.22, 5), was especially used by soldiers (= περίζωμα, Dionys.), though it was scarcely sufficient to compete with the tunica as a protection from cold (cf. Hor. Ep. 1.11, 6), and was doubtless soon given up for the shirt.

Of much the same shape were the drawers worn by actors (Cic. de Off. 1.3. 5, 129) and dancers, which were also used by bathers, especially ladies (Mart. l.c.). An illustration is given under SALTATIO p. 594. (Furtwängler, Archaeologische Zeitung, 1882, p. 329; 1884, p. 167;--Daremberg and Saglio, Dict. d'Ant., s. v. Cinctus, p. 1172; Marquardt, Privatleben, pp. 282, 484, 580; Iwan Müller, Handbuch, pp. 803, 927; Voigt, Zwölf Tafeln, § 169, 31.)


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