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p1073 Stola

Unsigned article on p1073 of

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


[image ALT: An engraving of an ancient Roman statue, representing a woman wearing a stola.]

STOLA, was a female dress worn over the tunic; it came as low as the ankles or feet (ad talos stola demissa, Hor. Sat. I.2.99), and was fastened round the body by a girdle, leaving above the breast broad folds (rugosiorem stola frontem, Mart. III.93.4). The tunic did not reach much below the knee, but the essential distinction between the tunic and the stola seems to have been, that the latter always had an Instita or flounce sewed to the bottom and reaching to the instep (Hor. Sat. I.2.29; Ovid, Ar. Amat. I.32). Over the Stola the Palla or Pallium was worn [Pallium], as we see in the cut annexed (Mus. Borbon. III. tav. 37).

The stola seems to have been usually fastened over the shoulder by a Fibula or clasp, and generally had sleeves, but not always.

The Stola was the characteristic dress of the Roman matrons as the toga was of the Roman men (Cic. Phil. II.18). Hence the meretrices were not allowed to wear it, but only a dark-coloured toga (Tibull. IV.10.3; Mart. I.36.8); and accordingly Horace (Sat. I.2.63) speaks of the matrona in contradistinction to the togata. For the same reason women, who had been divorced from their husbands on account of adultery, were not allowed to wear the Stola, but only the toga (Schol. ad Hor. l.c.): to which Martial alludes (II.39, VI.64.4). See Becker, Gallus, vol. I p321, &c.


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Page updated: 20 Aug 04