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Roman Trousers and Breeches

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History, Facts and Information about Roman Trousers and Breeches
The content of this article provides interesting history, facts and information about Roman Trousers and Breeches. Trousers were not items of clothing worn by the Romans. Trousers were seen as a badge of barbarians.

Roman Trousers the clothing of Barbarians
Trousers were favored by the tribes of Northern Europe where the weather was colder.

It was these tribes of 'barbarians that the Romans conquered. The basic clothing of a Roman man consisted of an inner garment called a tunic and an outer garment called a toga. Romans revered tradition, especially that of the toga. Only Roman citizens were allowed to wear the toga. There were many different types of togas which were worn by the Romans. Whilst the basic style of the toga was similar each type conveyed a specific purpose and symbolism. The Romans view of this article of clothing explains why trousers were seen as a badge of barbarians or savages, members of an uncivilized and uncultured people.

Roman Trousers and Breeches - Braccae
Braccae is the Latin term for trousers, a style of pants, made from wool, which became popular with soldiers in the colder climates of the Empire during the first century AD. Braccae, or feminalia, were fastened with a drawstring and were of varying lengths from just above the knee or to the ankles. It would appear that these trousers or breeches were first worn by Roman auxiliary soldiers. Auxiliary troops (auxilia) were composed of non-citizens, usually from the various Roman provinces. Their purpose was to supplement the legionary infantry. Over the course of time Roman Legionaries eventually adopted the practice of wearing the practical breeches and trousers, despite the prejudice attached to such items of clothing. The braccae trousers or breeches were usually of a dark red color.

Roman Trousers and Breeches - Leg Wrappings or Bindings
Roman soldiers also wore leg wrappings or leg bindings called puttees, which were strips of material wrapped from the ankle up to the calf of the leg. Roman Gladiators wore fascia which was protective leg padding worn below a greave. It consisted of a band of material, or skin, or leather.

Roman Trousers were Banned
Near the end of the Empire, the Emperor Honorius (d. 423) issued a decree prohibiting men from wearing "barbarian" trousers in Rome - this degree was enacted by Roman Sumptuary Laws. In Roman monuments prisoners of war are represented wearing trousers as a sign of their subjection.

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