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p665 Lacerna

Unsigned article on p665 of

William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.:
A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875.

LACERNA (μανδύας), (μανδύη), a cloak worn by the Romans over the toga, whence it is called by Juvenal (IX.28) "munimentum togae." It differed from the paenula in being an open garment like the Greek pallium, and fastened on the right shoulder by means of a buckle (fibula), whereas the paenula was what is called a vestimentum clausum with an opening for the head [Paenula.] The Lacerna appears to have been commonly used in the army (Vell. Pat. II.70, 80; Ovid, Fast. II.746; Prop. IV.3.18), but in the time of Cicero was not usually worn in the city (Cic. Philip. II.30). It soon afterwards, however, became quite common at Rome, as we learn from Suetonius, who says (Aug. 40) that Augustus, seeing one day a great number of citizens before his tribunal dressed in the lacerna, which was commonly of a dark color (pullati), repeated with indignation the line of Virgil,

"Romanos rerum dominos, gentemque togatam,"

and gave orders that the Aediles should henceforth allow no one to be in the forum or circus in that dress.

Most persons seem to have carried a lacerna or paenula with them, when they attended the public games, to protect them from the cold or rain (Dion Cass. LVII.13); and thus we are told that the equites used to stand up at the entrance of Claudius and lay aside their lacernae (Suet. Claud. 6).

The lacerna was usually, as already remarked, of a dark colour (fusci colores, Mart. I.96.9)º, and was frequently made of the dark wool of the Baetic sheep (Baeticae lacernae, XIV.133). It was, however, sometimes dyed with the Tyrian purple, and with other colours (Juv. I.27; Mart. I.96º). Martial (VIII.10) speaks of lacernae of the former kind, which cost as much as 10,000 sesterces. When the emperor was expected at the public games, it was the practice to wear white lacernae only (Mart. IV.2, XIV.137).

The lacerna was sometimes thrown over the head for the purpose of concealment (Hor. Sat. II.7.55); but a cucullus or cowl was generally used for that purpose, which appears to have been frequently attached to the lacernae, and to have formed a part of the dress (Mart. XIV.139, 132). See Becker, Gallus, vol. II p95, &c. [Cucullus.]

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