Women's Costume and Feminine Civic Morality in Augustan Rome

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Abstract:

Augustus claimed that the moral decay of the Roman Republic was especially due to Roman women who had forsaken their traditional role of custos domi (`preserver of the house/hold'). In reforming feminine morality, Augustus created a new pictorial language that troped the feminine body as a `moral sign' of civic morality and authorized a distinctive costume for women. Sebesta investigates the relationship between women's garments, the female body and the Roman concept of feminine civic morality.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of South Dakota (USA)

Publication date: November 1, 1997

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