Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Shoes and Underwear YAY!

So there is not a lot of knowledge of what exactly the Greeks and Romans wore underneath their clothes but after my research I did find some answers as to what was underneath it all.  In most cases both men and women wore a small wrapped loincloth called Subligar which means "little binding underneath."  The laborers wore the underwear wear when working and the upper class men wore them when they worked out. Women also wore underwear that they called " strophium or mamillare" and were a band of cloth they wrapped around themselves.  Women also sometimes wore a band of leather around their breasts for support.  Here is an example of the women's underwear. female athlete

Most of the time men and women would wear sandals called " soleae, sandalia" when they were indoors and out of the elements. There were many different style some more practical than others and some more elegant to show status.  Shoes that had closed toes where definitely made to be worn outside and always paired with a toga. It was considered proper to remove the shoes before entering someones home especially the upper class and slip on a pair of sandals while the slaves held onto their shoes.  Some of the more expensive shoes were made of real leather and did not differentiate much between male and female shoes.  Although upper class males did have a certain pair of shoes that
marked their status so everyone knew they were important.

Here is an article the was posted on National Geographic's website on October 10, 2011 about an amazing discovery of Roman shoes in Scotland.
James Owen
Published October 10, 2011
About 60 pairs of sandals and shoes that once belonged to Roman soldiers have been unearthed at a supermarket construction site in Camelon, Scotland (see map), archaeologists say.
The 2,000-year-old leather footwear was discovered along with Roman jewelry, coins, pottery, and animal bones at the site, which is located at the northern frontier of the Roman Empire.
The cache of Roman shoes and sandals—one of the largest ever found in Scotland—was uncovered recently in a ditch at the gateway to a second century A.D. fort built along the Antonine Wall. The wall is a massive defensive barrier that the Romans built across central Scotland during their brief occupation of the region.
The find likely represents the accumulated throwaways of Roman centurions and soldiers garrisoned at the fort, said dig coordinator Martin Cook, an archaeologist with AOC Archaeology Group, an independent contractor in Britain.
"I think they dumped the shoes over the side of the road leading into the fort," he said.
"Subsequently the ditch silted up with organic material, which preserved the shoes."
Despite being discards, the hobnailed shoes are in relatively good condition, Cook added.
Roman shoes.The hobnailed shoes are in relatively good condition. Photograph courtesy Martin Cook
Archaeology picture: A Roman fort.
The site of an ancient fort contains a cache of discarded Roman footwear, archaeologists say.
Very Very cool in my opinion.

Ok now I would like to go ahead and show you how much Greek and Roman shoes have influenced the different styles of shoes both men and women are wearing today. I also personally love the styles and have many shoes in my own closet that I can definitely say are inspired by Greek and Roman shoes ... so cool!
This is a women's shoe sold at Macy's for $25.00 and shows us the open toe and if I were a Greek or Roman I would most likely be wearing them indoors.  They also have metal along the top and a lot of women's shoes from that time had metal embellishments to show status.  So back then a very wealthy male or female would be wearing these shoes, but today they are considered to be relatively inexpensive.
Ok now this is a sandal made by Cham and Jack and costs $45.00.  This sandal would be worn by Greek and Roman men and women and also probably would be for the upper class if it was made of leather like it is today.  This sandal does not have any embellishments on it so we could say that it would not be to impress but more of an everyday shoe for them.

And i will finish up with just a few images of some sandals that I particularly like.

 I had to ;)

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