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The book concerns female dress in Roman life and literature. The main focus is on female Roman dress as it may have been worn in daily life in Rome and in a social environment influenced by Roman culture in the time from the beginnings of the Republic until the end of the 2nd century AD. There is, however, a certain surplus as to its contents because many Latin texts also talk about mythical Greek dress and the largely fictional early Roman dress. Altogether, large parts of the history of Roman dress are only known to us through what scholars thought about it in Classical and Late Antiquity. For this reason, this book is not only about real female Roman dress, but also about the ancient pseudo-discourse on early female Roman dress, which has been taken too seriously by modern scholarship. This pseudo-discourse has been mixed together with real facts to produce an ahistorical fabric. It therefore appeared necessary to break with this old tradition and to take a completely new path. The detailed analysis of many texts on female Roman dress is the basis of this new handbook meant for philologists, historians, and archaeologists alike.
Jan Radicke, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany.
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