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Toga


A garment of clan-ruling matronae in pre-patriarchal Rome. Then the toga became a loose garment made of a single, semicircular piece of undyed wool worn by Roman men over the tunic, or under garment. The toga praetexia, with a wide purple border, was worn by magistrates, persons engaged in religious ceremonies, and later by the emperors. Another form of the toga was the toga picta, or embroidered toga, which was worn by generals during ceremonies known as triumph, on days which they celebrated a victory, and by other officials on various occasions.

Roman women who continued wearing togas were considered promiscuous priestesses of the Goddess. Soon the custom was to call a prostitute a "toga-wearer." A.G.H.


Sources: 1 Costume, Roman Garments, 7, 83-85, 56.