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Bill Thayer

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 p240  Caracalla

Unsigned article on p240 of

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

CARACALLA was an outer garment used in Gaul, and not unlike the Roman lacerna [Lacerna.] It was first introduced at Rome by the emperor Aurelius Antoninus Bassianus, who compelled all the people who came to court to wear it, whence he obtained the surname of Caracalla (Aurel. Vict. Epit. 21).​a This garment, as worn in Gaul, does not appear to have reached lower than the knee, but Caracalla lengthened it so as to reach the ankle. It afterwards became common among the Romans, and garments of this kind were called caracallae Antonianae, to distinguish them from the Gallic caracallae (Aurel. Vict. De Caes. 21; Spartian. Sev. 21, Anton. Car. 9). It usually had a hood to it, and came to be worn by the clergy. Jerome (Ep. 128) speaks of palliolum mirae pulchritudinis in modum caracallarum sed absque cucullis.º

Thayer's Note:

a Aurel. Victor, Spartianus . . . : a much better reference than these late and unreliable sources is that of a historian who was an eyewitness, Cassius Dio (79.3.3); see also (navigation bar below) the longer and better article in Daremberg & Saglio's Dictionnaire des Antiquités Grecques et Romaines, with a woodcut.

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Page updated: 12 May 22