Textiles and Gender in Antiquity: From the Orient to the Mediterranean 1350141496, 9781350141490

This volume looks at how the issues of textiles and gender intertwine across three millennia in antiquity and examines c

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Textiles and Gender in Antiquity: From the Orient to the Mediterranean
 1350141496, 9781350141490

Table of contents :
Cover page
Halftitle page
Series page
Title page
Copyright page
1.1 Research on ancient textiles
1.2 Gendered textile terminologies
1.3 Gendered textile activities
1.4 Gendered wardrobes
1.5 Concluding thoughts
2.1 Garments of women in cultic contexts: the case of the high priestess of Baal
2.2 Garments in dowries
2.3 A Middle Babylonian list of clothes for the wedding ceremony
2.4 Conclusion
3.1 A letter of the king’s son
3.2 What is the garment called kusıˉtu (Sumerian: túg-bar-dul 5)?
3.3 The causes of displacement
3.4 Modes of travel: the ‘boat of the kusıˉtu’ (eleppu ša kusıˉti)
3.5 Conclusion and hypothesis
Appendix: Transliteration of YOS 6, 71/72
4.1 Gender and textile production
4.2 Women and clothing
4.3 Offerings in the ritual texts
4.4 Women warriors
4.5 Conclusion
5.1 Middle Bronze Age Crete and the evidence for engendering textile production
5.2 Textile production-related iconography of MBA seals from Crete
5.3 Human figures in the imagery of the MBA glyptic – towards recognizing their gender and potential professions
5.4 Quartier Mu, Malia, as a case study of a site-specific context for textile production and sealing practices
5.5 Concluding remarks
6.1 Iconographic documents
6.2 Second millennium literary sources
6.3 Documentary texts from Ramesside to Hellenistic period
6.4 Conclusion
7.1 Textile manufacture: workers and textiles
7.2 Concluding remarks
7.3 Excursus on the Linear B term o-nu-ke-ja (pl. f. onukheiai)3
8.1 Agamemnon’s offer
8.2 Collecting dues in Homeric epic: Dotinai and Themistes
8.3 Marriage and the practice of collecting dues
8.4 The practice of collecting dues in Archaic Greece
9.1 Wool-work and exemplary women of early Rome: Tanaquil and Lucretia
9.2 The dualism of lanificium and textile production
9.3 Feminine women, manly women and effeminate men
9.4 Conclusions on gender roles and textiles in Roman society
10.1 Locating domestic textile work
10.2 Daytime domestic textile work and its soft boundaries
10.3 Night-time domestic textile work: the paradigm of Lucretia
10.4 Ventriloquized speech, agency and the control of working space
10.5 Male fantasies of female space
10.6 Conclusions: boundaries reinforced
11.1 Textiles for men and textiles for women
11.2 Textiles given to girls as dowry on occasion of their marriage
11.3 Textiles for the great ritual
11.4 Textiles for dead and the tomb
11.5 Textiles given for the ceremony of purifi cation after a death
11.6 Textiles as gifts for gods and goddesses
11.7 Conclusion
12.1 Methodological issues
12.2 The shell inlays of Mari
12.3 Headdresses
12.4 Clothing
12.5 Pins and adornments
12.6 Function and identity?
13.1 Dressed like a man, dressed like a woman
13.2 Pins for women
13.3 Belts for men
13.4 Conclusion
14.1 What does a goddess’s garment look like?
14.2 Textiles as a communicative tool in romantic interactions
14.3 Garments and affective states
14.4 Conclusion
15.1 The terminology of garments and gender
15.2 Iconography: what distinguished male and female clothing?
15.3 Conclusion
16.1 Ancient sculptural polychromy
16.2 The colours of male and female garments in ancient sculpture
16.3 Colouring the moral compass
16.4 Conclusions
17.1 General context of the study
17.2 The graveyard and the graves
17.3 The textiles
17.4 Gendered or not?
17.5 Garments for potters?
18.1 Introduction: exploring female dress
18.2 Inherited attitudes towards female dress
18.3 Debating female dress in Tertullian: women
18.4 Debating female dress in Tertullian and Cyprian of Carthage: virgins
18.5 Male voices and criticism of female attire
18.6 Conclusion: fashioning the female in Christian Carthage
19.1 A change in dress for a changing climate
19.2 Conclusions

Citation preview






Edited by Mary Harlow, Cécile Michel and Louise Quillien


BLOOMSBURY ACADEMIC Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP, UK 1385 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, USA BLOOMSBURY, BLOOMSBURY ACADEMIC and the Diana logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published in Great Britain 2020 Copyright Mary Harlow, Cécile Michel and Louise Quillien & Contributors, 2020 Mary Harlow, Cécile Michel and Louise Quillien have asserted their right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Editors of this work. For legal purposes the Acknowledgements on p. xx constitute an extension of this copyright page. Cover design: Terry Woodley Cover image: Coloured drawing of a relief on gypsum representing King Assurbanipal and his wife banqueting in a garden (Ninive, seventh century BCE). Plate 19 of an unidentified book on ancient history assumed to be published in 1880. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. Bloomsbury Publishing Plc does not have any control over, or responsibility for, any third-party websites referred to or in this book. All internet addresses given in this book were correct at the time of going to press. The author and publisher regret any inconvenience caused if addresses have changed or sites have ceased to exist, but can accept no responsibility for any such changes. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Harlow, Mary, editor. | Michel, Cécile, editor. | Quillien, Louise, editor. Title: Textiles and gender in antiquity : from the Orient to the Mediterranean / edited by Mary Harlow, Cécile Michell and Louise Quillien. Description: London ; New York, NY : Bloomsbury Academic, 2021. | Includes bibliographical references and index. | Summary: “This volume looks at how the issues of textiles and gender intertwine across three millennia in antiquity and examines continuities and differences across time and space – with surprising resonances for the modern world. The interplay of gender, identity, textile production and use is notable on many levels, from the question of who was involved in the transformation of raw materials into fabric at one end, to the wearing of garments and the construction of identity at the other. Textile production has often been considered to follow a linear trajectory from a domestic (female) activity to a more ‘commercial’ or ‘industrial’ (male-centred) mode of production. In reality, many modes of production co-existed and the making of textiles is not so easily grafted onto the labour of one sex or the other. Similarly, textiles once transformed into garments are often of ‘unisex’ shape but worn to express the gender of the wearer. As shown by the detailed textual source material and the rich illustrations in this volume, dress and gender are intimately linked in the visual and written records of antiquity. The contributors show how it is common practice in both art and literature not only to use particular garments to characterize one sex or the other, but also to undermine characterizations by suggesting that they display features usually associated with the opposite gender”—Provided by publisher. Identifiers: LCCN 2020023401 (print) | LCCN 2020023402 (ebook) | ISBN 9781350141490 (hardback) | ISBN 9781350141506 (ebook) | ISBN 9781350141513 (epub) Subjects: LCSH: Clothing and dress—History—To 500. | Women's clothing—History—To 1500. | Textile fabrics—History—To 1500. | Sex role—History—To 1500. Classification: LCC GT530 .T49 2021 (print) | LCC GT530 (ebook) | DDC 391.009—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020023401 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020023402 ISBN:

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To Marie-Louise Nosch, who has inspired research into ancient textiles for the past fifteen years

Leicester and Nanterre, 27 January 2020




List of Plates List of Figures List of Tables Notes on Contributors Acknowledgements 1

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity: An Introduction Mary Harlow, Cécile Michel and Louise Quillien

ix xi xv xvi xx 1

Part 1 Gendered Textile Terminologies 2

Textiles and Gender During the Middle Babylonian Period (c. 1500–1000 bce): Texts from Syria and Babylonia Philippe Abrahami and Brigitte Lion



The Goddess Nanaja’s New Clothes Francis Joannès



Textiles and Gender at Ugarit Valérie Matoïan and Juan-Pablo Vita



Towards Engendering Textile Production in Middle Bronze Age Crete Agata Ulanowska


Part 2 Gendered Textile Activities 6 7 8 9

A Man’s Business? Washing the Clothes in Ancient Egypt (Second and First Millennia bce) Damien Agut-Labordère


Women, Men, Girls and Boys: Gendered Textile Work at Late Bronze Age Knossos Hedvig Landenius Enegren


Female Dues and the Production of Textiles in Ancient Greece Beate Wagner-Hasel


Gender and Textile Production in Roman Society and Politics Lena Larsson Lovén


10 Work Gendering Space? Roman Gender, Textile Work and Time in Shared Domestic Space Magdalena Öhrman Part 3


Gendered Wardrobes

11 Some Remarks on Textiles and Gender in the Ebla Texts of the Third Millennium bce Maria Giovanna Biga

153 vii


12 A Visual Investigation of Feminine Garments at Mari During the Early Bronze Age Barbara Couturaud


13 Belts and Pins as Gendered Elements of Clothing in Third and Second Millennia Mesopotamia Cécile Michel


14 ‘I Made You Put on Garments, I Made You Dress in Linen’: Gender Performance and Garments in Sumerian Literature Anne-Caroline Rendu Loisel


15 The Gender of Garments in First Millennium bce Mesopotamia: An Inquiry Through Texts and Iconography Louise Quillien


16 White Men and Rainbow Women: Gendered Colour Coding in Roman Dress Cecilie Brøns and Mary Harlow


17 Garments for Potters? Textiles, Gender and Funerary Practices in Les Martres-de-Veyre, France (Roman Period) Catherine Breniquet, Marie Beche-Wittmann, Christine Bouilloc, Camille Gaumat and Marion Veschambre


18 Fashioning the Female in the Early North African Church Amy Place


19 Climate Change and Clothing Changes in Late Antique Male Dress Nikki K. Rollason


Part 4 Afterwords 20 A Note on Gender and French ‘Haute Couture’ in 1970: ‘Les Sumériennes’ by Jacques Estérel Brigitte Lion


21 Concluding Remarks Eva Andersson Strand


Index of Names General Index

301 303



1 2 3 4 5





10 11 12


Detail from the Tomb of Ipuy. Wall no. 2. The ‘laundry scene’. © IFAO. (Chapter 6) Hand-woven fringe by the weaver Carolina from Uggiano la Chiesa in the Salento area of Apulia. (Chapter 7) Gold toggle pins from Kültepe. Ankara Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi. (Chapter 13) Silver toggle pins from Kültepe. Ankara Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi. (Chapter 13) Belted nude hero on a marble cylinder seal from Tello, period of Akkade, middle of the third millennium bce . (MNB1344). Photo M. Esline, with the kind permission of the Louvre. (Chapter 13) a: The Sciarra amazon. Mid-second century ce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. 1568. b: VIL-image illustrating the use of Egyptian blue for the border of her chitoniskos. Photos: M. L. Sargent. (Chapter 16) Detail of the group of Artemis and Iphigenia, illustrating the incised border, indicating to the painter how to render the polychromy. Second–first century bce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. IN 481–482. (Chapter 16) Three reconstructions of the statue of Caligula depicting the Emperor wearing three different types of togas. From left to right: Toga praetexta, toga purpurea, toga picta. The model was made by Direct Dimensions and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, University of Virginia. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Direct Dimensions and the Virtual World Heritage, Laboratory, University of Virginia. (Chapter 16) Headless statue of an emperor dressed in red mantle. First half of the first century ce . Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth, no. T 389. Photo: Petros Dellatolas. American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Corinth Excavations. (Chapter 16) Statue of the goddess Kybele, c. 60 bce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. IN 480. (Chapter 16) VIL-image illustrating the use of Egyptian blue for the vertical border along the hemline of her tunic of the goddess Kybele. Photo: S. B. Hedegaard. (Chapter 16) Microscope image illustrating some of the different colours of the tunic of Kybele. Here superimposed stripes of blue, purple and pink. Photo: S. B. Hedegaard. (Chapter 16) Reconstruction of the polychrome painting of a Delian cloaked statue of the Small Herculaneum woman type, Athens, National Archaeological Museum. Reproduction printed with kind permission of Clarissa Blume. (Chapter 16)



14 Attributed to Malibu Painter (Romano-Egyptian, active 75–100 ce ) Mummy Portrait, 75–100 ce , Encaustic wax technique on lime wood panel. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California. (Chapter 16) 15 Unknown. Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman, about 170–200 ce , tempera on wood. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California. (Chapter 16) 16 Panel painting of a woman in the blue mantle, 54–68 ce Roman period, from Egypt. Medium: Encaustic on wood. Director’s Fund, 2013. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Accession Number: 2013.438. (Chapter 16) 17 The complete tunic from Les Martres-de-Veyre, France © F. Giffard, Musée Bargoin. (Chapter 17) 18 Box with bones and textiles mixed from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © Musée Bargoin (Chapter 17) 19 Leather shoes from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © Musée Bargoin. (Chapter 17) 20 Wooden shoes from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © M. Veschambre, Musée Bargoin. (Chapter 17) 21 Slippers with cork soles from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © C. Gaumat, Musée Bargoin. (Chapter 17) 22 Leggings from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © F. Giffard, Musée Bargoin. (Chapter 17) 23 Socks from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © M. Veschambre, Musée Bargoin. (Chapter 17)



1.1 1.2 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4

5.5 5.6

5.7 6.1 6.2


Participants of Textiles & Gender conference, Nanterre, 4 October 2018. Participants of Textiles & Gender conference, Nanterre, 5 October 2018. Tablet RS 19.99, Ugarit. Ivory bed from the Royal Palace (RS 16.056+): the royal couple, Ras Shamra – Ugarit. Ivory figurine from the ‘Résidence de la Reine-mère’ (RS 9.282), Ras Shamra – Ugarit. Cylinder seal of Ushra-Samu (TM.07.G.200), Royal Palace G, Ebla. Cylinder seal from the ‘Acropolis’ (RS 6.158), Ras Shamra – Ugarit. Cylinder seal (RS 3.041), Minet el-Beida. Cylinder seal (RS 3.226), Minet el-Beida. Cylinder seal from the ‘Acropolis’ (RS 7.181), Ras Shamra – Ugarit. Semantic network of potential real-world referents to textile production in the imagery of MBA seals from Crete. Depictions of women in MBA glyptic art from Crete: a) CMS VI 92a; b) P.TSK05/29; c) CMS VI 34a; d) XII 80a; e) II, 5 324. Combination of a human figure with ‘woolly animals’: a) CMS III 213c; b) VI 36b; c) VI 60b; d) II, 8 33; and spiders: e) III 173b; f) XI 7c. Weavers with loom weights motif: a) CMS II, 2 214a; b) II, 2 224a; c) VS3 21b; d) III 173c; e) VI 60a; f) XI 298a; g) II, 2 306c; h) VS3 16a; i) Anastasiadou 2011: Cat. No. 597a. ‘Combers’ with a comb motif: a) CMS VS1A 325a; b) VII 15a; c) II, 2 102a; d) VII 3c; e) II, 2 304c; f) II, 2 159b. Combination of a human figure with a ‘spindle with whorl’ and ‘weft-beater’ motifs: a) CMS II, 2 302a: both motifs; b) II, 2 309a: ‘spindle with whorl’; c) XII 46c: ‘spindle with whorl’; d) VII 11c: ‘weft-beater’. Spool-like tool from Quartier Mu, Malia (Inv. No. 69/E 32) impressed by a three-sided prism bearing the depiction of two spiders. Tomb of Khnumhotep at Beni Hassan (BH3). Drawing of the west wall. Tomb of Khnumhotep at Beni Hassan (BH3). Drawing of the West Wall, from Kanawati, N., & Evans, L. (2014). Beni Hassan: Vol. I: The tomb of Khnumhotep II. (Australian Centre for Egyptology Reports; Vol. 36). Oxford: Aris and Phillips, pl. 120 (detail). Tomb of Amenemhat at Beni Hassan (BH 2). Drawing of the west wall (north side), from Kanawati, N., & Evans, L. (2016). Benmi Hassan:

8 8 47 48 49 50 50 51 51 53 65 66 68

69 70

71 73 84




Vol. IIII: The tomb of Amenemhat. (Australian Centre for Egyptology Reports; Vol. 36). Oxford: Aris and Phillips. 6.4 Tomb of Khnumhotep at Beni Hassan (BH3). Drawing of the west wall. Detail of the ‘weaving scene’. 6.5a Tomb of Ipuy. Drawing of the wall no. 2. 6.5b Detail from the Tomb of Ipuy. Wall no. 2. The ‘laundry scene’. 7.1 Tablet LN 1568. From CoMIK II. 7.2 and 7.3 Macramé-type fringes on hand-woven textiles. 7.4 Weaver Carolina from Uggiano la Chiesa in the Salento area of Apulia teaching the author how to make a fringe with the macramé method. 7.5 Hand-woven textiles made by Carolina. 7.6 Hand-woven textiles made by Carolina. 12.1 Examples of the two types of headdresses figured on the inlays of Mari. 12.2 Examples of the two headdresses from the statues of Mari. 12.3 Inlays picturing women wearing a polos. 12.4 Headless statue from Mari wearing a shawl on the shoulders. 12.5 Women wearing a shawl on an imprint. 12.6 Inlays picturing a possible feminine garment. 12.7 Women wearing a polos on statues of Mari. 12.8 Inlays depicting women in a weaving scene. 13.1 The Uruk vase and its restitution, c. 3000 bce , The Iraq Museum in Baghdad. 13.2a–c Mari mosaics from the middle of the third millennium bce presenting the three types of toggle pins and the different ways to wear them. 13.3a–b a) Gold and b) silver toggle pins from Kültepe. Ankara Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi. 13.4 Statue of Darius the Great dating between 495 and 486 bce , Susa. National Museum of Iran, Teheran. 13.5 Belted nude hero on a marble cylinder seal from Tello, period of Akkade, middle of the third millennium bce . 15.1 Detail of the kudurru of Meli-šipak, 1186–1172 bce , Louvre. 15.2 Drawing of the banquet of Assurbanipal, relief of Nineveh, 668–c. 631/627 bce , British Museum. 15.3 Drawing of a relief of Khorsabad, Musée du Louvre. 15.4 Drawing of the libation scene of Assurbanipal lion hunt, Nineveh, 668–c. 631/627 bce , British Museum. 15.5 Deportees from Elam, after the military campaign of Assurbanipal, Nineveh, c. 645 bce , Louvre. 16.1 a: The Sciarra amazon. Mid-second century ce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. b: VIL-image illustrating the use of Egyptian blue for the border of her chitoniskos. Photos: M. L. Sargent. xii

85 86 86 87 98 103

104 104 105 165 166 166 168 168 169 170 174 180

183 185 186 187 210 212 212 213 214



16.2 Detail of the group of Artemis and Iphigenia, illustrating the incised border, indicating to the painter how to render the polychromy. Second–first century bce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. IN 481–482. 16.3 Three reconstructions of the statue of Caligula depicting the Emperor wearing three different types of togas. From left to right: Toga praetexta, toga purpurea, toga picta. The model was made by Direct Dimensions and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, University of Virginia. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Direct Dimensions and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, University of Virginia. 16.4 Headless statue of an emperor dressed in red mantle. First half of the first century ce . Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth. no. T 389. Photo: Petros Dellatolas. American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Corinth Excavations. 16.5a Statue of the goddess Kybele, c. 60 bce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. IN 480. 16.5b VIL-image illustrating the use of Egyptian blue for the vertical border along the hemline of her tunic. Photo: S. B. Hedegaard. 16.5c Microscope image illustrating some of the different colours of her tunic. Here superimposed stripes of blue, purple and pink. Photo: S. B. Hedegaard. 16.6 Reconstruction of the polychrome painting of a Delian cloaked statue of the Small Herculaneum woman type, Athens, National Archaeological Museum. Reproduction printed with kind permission of Clarissa Blume. 16.7 Attributed to Malibu Painter (Romano-Egyptian, active 75–100). Mummy Portrait, 75–100 ce , encaustic wax technique on lime wood. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California. 16.8 Unknown. Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman, about 170–200 ce , tempera on wood. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California. 16.9 Panel painting of a woman in the blue mantle, 54–68 ce Roman period, from Egypt. Medium: Encaustic on wood. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. 17.1 The complete tunic from Les Martres-de-Veyre. © F. Giffard, Musee Bargoin. 17.2 Box with bones and textiles mixed nb 997.5.1 (26) © Musee Bargoin. 17.3 Grave 1 as discovered in the field by Audollent in 1922, after opening the coffin. © Musee Bargoin. 17.4 The tunic on a model. © Musee Bargoin. 17.5a Leather shoes. © M. Veschambre, Musee Bargoin. 17.5b Wooden shoes © M. Veschambre, Musee Bargoin. 17.5c Slippers with cork soles. (987.23.33). © C. Gaumat, Musee Bargoin. 17.6a Leggings. © F. Giffard, Musee Bargoin. 17.6b Socks © M. Veschambre, Musee Bargoin.



223 224 225 225




235 241 243 245 247 248 248 249 250 250 xiii


17.7 17.8 19.1 19.2

Textiles with folds. © Musee Bargoin. Samian vase with strophion. © Musee Bargoin. Justinian and retinue mosaic, Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna. Details of scene depicting Gallic prisoner on triumphal arch of Glanum (Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France), first century bce /ce . 19.3 Consular diptych of Boethius, western consul 487 ce ; ivory. Museo di Santa Giulia, Brescia. 19.4a Consular diptych of Areobindus, eastern consul 506; ivory. Musée de Cluny, Paris. 19.4b and 19.4c Detail from consular diptych of Areobindus, eastern consul 506; ivory. Musée de Cluny, Paris. 19.5 Detail from ‘Great Hunt’ mosaic, Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily.


251 252 276 281 285 286 286 287


2.1 2.2 3.1 5.1 6.1

Textiles in Two Dowry Lists from Qatna. Clothing Items Offered to Men and Women on the Occasion of a Wedding Ceremony. Comparison of Some Kusītu Weights. Textile Production-Related Motifs on Middle Bronze Age Seals from Crete and Their Combinations with Human Figures. List of the Names of the Buyers Mentioned in Receipts Relative to the Payment of the νιτρική (Natron Tax).

15 18 33 62 91



Philippe Abrahami is an Assyriologist and Professor of History and Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at the University of Lille, France (CNRS HALMA, UMR 8164). His research area covers various topics based on the study of Akkadian and Sumerian documentation. He specializes in ancient warfare, a field that he has developed since his thesis on the military organization of the Mari kingdom during the Old Babylonian period. For his habilitation thesis, he started to work on the cuneiform corpus of Nuzi, a provincial city of the kingdom of Arraphe during the fifteenth–fourteenth centuries bce . Damien Agut-Labordère is a researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, ArScAn—HAROC, Nanterre, France). As a historian, his works focus on two themes: the economic and social history of Egypt during the first millennium bce (with a focus on villages and rural communities) and the political history of the Achaemenid Persian period in Egypt (sixth–fourth centuries bce ). He is also a Demoticist involved in several archaeological missions in the Western Desert of Egypt (Kharga Oasis). Eva Andersson Strand is an associate professor in Textile Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen, and has through the past thirty years gained a broad experience with materials, cultures regions and time periods such as the Viking Age and Bronze Aegean and Ancient Near East. She is the Director of a research centre of excellence, CTR (Centre for Textile Research), at Copenhagen University, and is, together with the CTR team, developing new methods and setting the standards for future research. Maria Giovanna Biga is Professor of History of the Ancient Near East at Sapienza Università di Roma in the Department of Sciences of Antiquity. Her research interests focus on political, social and religious history of the third millennium bce Syria, Eblaite language and culture. She has published editions of Ebla texts and several articles on different aspects of the history of Syria in the third millennium bce . Her most recent article is ‘Too many horns in the temple of the god Hadad of Aleppo at the time of the Ebla archives’ (2019). Catherine Breniquet is Professor of Ancient History of Art and Archaeology at the Université Clermont Auvergne (France). Her main fields of research are the archaeology of Mesopotamia and textile archaeology. Since 2017, she has been the head of an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional programme on the study of the Roman collections from the Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-Dôme, France), kept in the Musée Bargoin of Clermont Métropole. Textiles are part of this programme. Her co-authors, and members of the research team, are Christine Bouilloc, Director of the Bargoin Museum; Marie Bèche-Wittmann, Associate Director; and Camille Gaumat and Marion Veschambre, in charge of collections. xvi


Cecilie Brøns is Senior Researcher at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen. She is also director of the museum’s polychromy project, which carries out interdisciplinary investigations of the original paint of the museum’s ancient artefacts. Her research focus on ancient colours, particularly the polychromy of Graeco-Roman art and architecture, as well as ancient textiles. She has published widely on the religious aspects of textile consumption in ancient Greece and on the polychromy of ancient art. Barbara Couturaud is an archaeologist, now Researcher at IFPO (Institut Français du Proche-Orient) and head of the Erbil branch. Her research focuses on Mesopotamian archaeology and iconography during the Early Bronze Age (third millennium bce ). During her PhD, she studied the corpus of inlays discovered in Mari, now published (2019). Since then, she has also worked on the figuration of the military elites and feminine garments. She has worked on many archaeological excavations in Syria, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq and France. She is now the Director of the Excavations in Amyan (Kurdistan Regional Government). Mary Harlow is Associate Professor of Ancient History at the University of Leicester and was Guest Professor at the Centre for Textile Research, Copenhagen (2011–13, 2020). Her research interests include the study of dress and appearance, and the history of families, age and ageing, and gender in the Roman world. She has published extensively, including contributions to and editing of Greek and Roman Textiles and Dress (with M.L. Nosch) (2014), A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion in Antiquity (2017) and A Cultural History of Hair in Antiquity (2019). Francis Joannès is Professor Emeritus of Ancient History at the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne. His current research focuses on the first millennium bce Mesopotamia during the Neo-Babylonian period. He is especially interested in private archives in the social context of the Neo-Babylonian cities and the administrative archives of the temples of southern Babylonia. He also studies the transmission of cultural and religious tradition in Babylonia in the scholars’ circles. He has collaborated, since its creation in 2000, in the achemenet.com programme, where he manages the online edition of the cuneiform texts from Babylonia. Hedvig Landenius Enegren is affiliated with the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History at Uppsala University, Sweden and the Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome. She held a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellowship at the Centre for Textile Research (CTR), University of Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2012–14. Her research interests span from Aegean Late Bronze Age epigraphy (Linear B) to ancient textile and textile tool technology. Her current research project involves the textile tool material from the Swedish Institute in Rome excavations at the Etruscan sites of San Giovenale and Acquarossa. Lena Larsson Lovén is Professor in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Gothenburg. Her research interests focus on textiles and dress, visual cultures, social history and aspects of gender especially in Roman society. She initiated the network ARACHNE – on gender studies in antiquity. Among her recent publications



are studies of the role of Roman dress and visual communication (2017), male and female economy and work identities (2013, 2016, 2019). Brigitte Lion is Professor at Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne University in the Department of History. Her research interests focus on cuneiform archives, especially from the second millennium bce , social history and gender studies. With D. Stein, she has published two volumes of Nuzi private archives dating to the fourteenth century bce (2001 and 2016) and co-edited (with C. Michel) The Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ancient Near East (2016). Valérie Matoïan is an archaeologist, Researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (UMR 7192 Proclac, CNRS – Collège de France) and HDR. Her research interests focus on Near Eastern archaeology (Bronze and Iron Age), Ugaritic civilization and cultural interactions in the Eastern Mediterranean. With Juan-Pablo Vita, she has published several articles on textiles in Ugarit. As French head of the Mission Archéologique Syro-française de Ras Shamra – Ougarit, she recently edited two volumes of the series Ras Shamra – Ougarit (2017 and 2019) and co-edited the proceedings of the international colloquium Société et religion à Ougarit (2019). Cécile Michel is Senior Researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, ArScAn–HAROC, Nanterre, France) and Professor at Hamburg University (Germany). As an Assyriologist, working on cuneiform archives of Upper Mesopotamia and Anatolia during the second millennium, she has published and edited books on economy, history of mathematics, family, gender and women, and material culture, including textiles: two books on Textile Terminologies (2010, with M.-L. Nosch and 2017 with M.-L. Nosch and S. Gaspa), Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean (2014, with C. Breniquet) and Prehistoric, Ancient Near Eastern and Aegean Textiles and Dress (2014, with M. Harlow and M.-L. Nosch). Magdalena Öhrman is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter. Having previously published on Latin poetry and mythology, her current research focuses on Roman textile production in Latin literary sources, where she is interested in weaving technology, literary reflections of the sensory experience of textile work, and the place of textile work in the Roman household. Recent articles include ‘Textile Work in Shared Domestic Spaces in the Roman House: The Evidence from Latin Poetry’ (2018) and ‘A Warped Version: Manipulating Roman Looms for Metaphorical Effect – Potamius of Lisbon’s Espistula de Substantia 5-9’ (2018). Amy Place recently completed her PhD at the University of Leicester with a thesis exploring dress behaviours in late Roman North Africa (c. 200–500 ce ). Her research investigates the role of dress codes in the construction and expression of identity in the late Roman world and she is particularly interested in combining textual, visual and archaeological sources. She is currently preparing articles examining the use of clothing in mosaic iconography in late Roman North Africa.



Louise Quillien is Researcher at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS, ArScAn–HAROC, Nanterre, France). She specializes in Assyriology and studies cuneiform archives from first millennium bce Babylonia. Her main research interests are material culture, craftsmanship and economic history. She defended a PhD on Textiles in Mesopotamia, 1st Millennium bce: Manufacturing Techniques, Trade and Uses in 2016 (publication forthcoming), and she has taught Ancient History at Paris I PanthéonSorbonne University. Anne-Caroline Rendu Loisel is Maîtresse de Conférences in Assyriology at the University of Strasbourg (France). Her main research interests focus on religious practices and beliefs in cuneiform sources, and on cultural and religious anthropology, with a special focus on sensory phenomena. She published a monograph on soundscape in Ancient Mesopotamia, Les chants du monde: Le paysage sonore de l’ancienne Mésopotamie (2016). Nikki K. Rollason is a teaching fellow at the University of Leicester. Her research interests focus on dress in late antiquity, particularly with regard to authority, early Christianity and the interaction between literary representations and cultural performances. She has published on the rhetorical function of clothing gifts in late antique texts with her most recent book Gifts of Clothing in Late Antique Literature (2016). Current research focuses on the influence of climate change on clothing and textiles in the Roman Empire. Agata Ulanowska is Assistant Professor in the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw. Her research interests focus on the Bronze Age Aegean, textile technology, experimental archaeology, and Aegean seals and sealing practices in relation to textiles and textile production. Her most recent publications include ‘Textiles in Cross-Craft Interactions: Tracing the Impact of Textile Technology on the Bronze Age Aegean Art’ (2018) and ‘But How Were They Made? More about Patterned Textiles in the Aegean Bronze Age’ (2018). Juan-Pablo Vita is Senior Researcher in the Instituto de Lenguas y Culturas del Mediterráneo y Oriente Próximo (ILC) of the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas – CSIC) in Madrid. His main lines of research focus on the study of Northwest Semitic languages (especially Ugaritic) and Akkadian (in particular, peripheral Akkadian dialects), as well as the socio-economic history of Syria-Palestine (and especially Ugarit) in the second millennium bce . With Valérie Matoïan, he has published several articles on textiles in Ugarit. He is also a member of the Mission Archéologique Syro-française de Ras Shamra–Ougarit. Beate Wagner-Hasel was Professor of Ancient History at Leibniz University Hannover until 2018. Her research focuses on the cultural, social and economic history of the ancient world. She has published studies on (textile) gifts in Early Greece, Der Stoff der Gaben (2000) = The Fabric of Gifts (forthcoming); on age, Alter in der Antike (2012); and on the roots of the debate on the character of the ancient economy, Der Nationalökonom Karl Bücher (2011). Her most recent book is an overview, from a gendered perspective, of the ancient world, Antike Welten (2017). xix


The editors sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers of the manuscript and the amount of time they put into assisting with the copy editing. We are immensely grateful for their hard work, attention to detail and supportive criticisms. All remaining errors are our own.



From the moment a researcher dips their pen into the field of textile studies they are confronted with the issue of gender. Gender and textiles interweave in myriad ways. The most obvious, and most well documented in modern gender and dress studies, is the manner in which, across space and time, gender identity is expressed through dress. Gender, however, also plays a part in the production of textiles from the growing/rearing of original raw materials to the final wardrobe product. The aim of the conference at which most of these chapters had their first airing was to examine and question some of the gendered activities associated with the chaîne opératoire of textile production, as well as to look at ways in which dress has acted as a marker of femininity and masculinity across time. The conference also marked the end of a major international research programme: Ancient Textiles from the Orient to the Mediterranean (ATOM), a collaboration between CNRS (Archéologie et Sciences de l’Antiquité, Nanterre), CTR (Centre for Textile Research, University of Copenhagen) and the University of Leicester. The volume is divided into four parts for ease of reading but there are many interconnections between chapters. These connections highlight the cultural depth of attitudes which define femininity and masculinity and the roles deemed suitable for particular genders in different societies across time, and the ways in which textiles interweave with them all.

1.1 Research on ancient textiles Research into ancient textiles represents an interdisciplinary and international field of study, but, sadly, often remains marginal in academic disciplines. Some explanation for this marginality may be found in the scarcity of textile remains found in excavations, the difficulty of their conservation and the absence of a real tradition of research for the oldest periods. Moreover, until the Industrial Revolution, in contemporary Western societies textile production was often under-valued, as it was perceived as part of a domestic economy and limited to the female sphere. Coincidentally, in the field of textile studies, a great majority of researchers are women, as reflected in this volume to which four men and twenty-one women have contributed. Since the late twentieth century, several European research initiatives have totally renewed and revised our knowledge of ancient textiles. To mention only a few: since 2005 the Centre for Textile Research (CTR, Copenhagen, co-founded by Marie-Louise 1

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

Nosch, to whom this volume is dedicated, Eva Andersson Strand, Copenhagen University, and Ulla Mannering of the National Museum of Denmark) has attracted a whole generation of young researchers with European fellowships, and produced more than thirty volumes dedicated to textiles throughout the world from prehistory to modern times (Ancient Textiles Series, Oxford). More specialized programmes, such as EU-funded DressID (2007–12) dedicated to Roman textiles and dress, or CNRS– DNRF-funded TexOrMed (2010–14, which was a collaboration between the CTR and the CNRS joint research unit Archéologies et Sciences de l’Antiquité) dedicated to eastern Mediterranean antique textiles, have brought together specialists of antiquity and created a community of researchers to further explore the topic. This last project gave birth in 2015 to the International Research Network Ancient Textiles from the Orient to the Mediterranean (ATOM, 2015–18) which linked together the CTR, several CNRS research teams in France and the University of Leicester Ancient History department.1 The ATOM research programme aimed at defining both the impact of textile production on agriculture, husbandry and environment generally speaking, its role in handicrafts, in trade, and more generally in the economy, but also the uses of textiles in the construction of gender and individual and collective identities. The project intended to promote interdisciplinary studies on textiles, involving many disciplines: archaeology, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, bioarchaeology, environmental studies, experimental archaeology, ethno-archaeology, history, philology, anthropology, and so on. It has been the driving force behind many initiatives aimed at a comprehensive picture of the economic and cultural impact of textiles and textile manufacturing on society through a systematic approach to the ancient craft of textiles, via archaeology, texts and iconography. Textiles and gender was one of ATOM’s main research axes. It concerned the areas of the chaîne opératoire that have traditionally been assigned either to women or to men in the production and trade of textiles, and the gendered aspects of dress. These approaches are developed in the twenty chapters of this volume which cover a large geographical area including Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, Greece, Crete, Italy, France and North Africa, and range chronologically from the early third millennium bce to the first centuries of our era, with a late echo in the 1970s. The editors would like to take this opportunity to thank Professor Eva Andersson Strand for her constant support and engagement with the ATOM project, and her conclusion to this collection of essays. As the first ever Professor of Textile Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen (and in the world, as far as we know), with many years’ experience in working with textiles, experimental archaeology and a vast knowledge of several textile cultures, she is ideally placed to undertake this task and her comments here are as perspicacious as we have come to expect from her publications.

1.2 Gendered textile terminologies Since the earliest texts from Mesopotamia, the development of textile terminologies has been intrinsically linked to technical discoveries, innovations, fashion and trade 2


networks (Michel and Nosch 2010; Gaspa, Michel and Nosch 2017). There is a wide vocabulary referring to textiles, their material, weaving techniques or uses, most of the references found in administrative and literary texts being linked first to fabrics rather than specific types of dress (see the contributions by Abrahami and Lion, Biga, Matoïan and Vita, Michel, Quillien). Indeed, the garments mentioned are usually generic and seem to be common to both genders, with the exception of footwear and headdresses (Abrahami and Lion, Matoïan and Vita, Michel). This may be explained by the different size of female and male feet, on the one hand, and on specific and symbolic use of headgear by women, on the other hand (Michel, Couturaud). For instance, in a MedioBabylonian list of garments intended for a wedding, presented by Philippe Abrahami and Brigitte Lion, the terminology of garments is common to men and women, with the exception of headdresses and shoes. At Ugarit, according to Valérie Matoïan and Juan-Pablo Vita, apart from some items like veils and shawls, the terminology of the garments is not gender-marked. While the terminology of clothes does not, a priori, make it possible to determine the gender of the person wearing them, some items of dress were presumably worn more by one sex or the other. The content of dowries, which includes garments for women, or lists of gifts made to men and women allow, for example, the identification of certain particularities of female dress, such as its colour or decoration (Abrahami and Lion, Quillien and see also Brøns and Harlow). In the Medio-Babylonian text quoted above, despite a common terminology, the vivid colours of the bride’s garments contrasted with the whiteness of the groom’s outfit. However, rich adornments on some dresses could also reflect the context in which these were worn or the social status of those wearing them. For example, on the occasion of her marriage a woman would wear rich decorated and colourful garments (Abrahami and Lion, Biga), including jewellery and cosmetics (Matoïan and Vita). The queen could be dressed in specific items (Matoïan and Vita). Texts regularly document the clothes of wealthy people, a social group in which the distinction between male and female garments could have been highlighted. The dress of a goddess, i.e. of her statue, could moreover have a very particular and symbolic meaning. Such garments may be depicted as luminous, brilliant or bright, referring to the powers of the goddess (Michel, Rendu Loisel). These powers could lie in the dress, as the kusītu garment of the goddess Nanaja at Uruk, studied by Francis Joannès, which, like the mantle of the Madonna in Catholic communities, symbolised the goddess. Visual material is clearly a key source of evidence, just as the wearing of dress on the clothed body of an individual is a form of non-verbal communication, so iconography conveys a visual terminology of dress and textile production. Visual language is, like text, defined by context and media. Iconography not only provides a visual account of how people chose to be represented, or how those who commissioned the art chose to represent them, it allows us insight into gendered assumptions about the mode of production. It also provokes questions about these assumptions. Agata Ulanowska suggests a new reading of Middle Bronze Age prismatic seals to reflect the changes in textile technology happening in Crete and known from other types of evidence. Close 3

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

examination of the imagery of Middle Bronze Age glyptic art has revealed potential weavers, ‘combers’ and spinners. Human figures are schematically rendered making their gender hard to define, unless it is defined by an accompanying motif (a human figure with loom weights and comb; human figure with loom weights and ‘spindle with whorl’; or with ‘weft beater’). Tradition may assume the figures are male given the lack of the long skirt that usually identifies women in such seals: this raises questions about the gendering of textile activities (spinning, for instance, is predominantly associated with women in almost all ancient cultures) but also about the nature of glyptic iconography. Visual and textual vocabularies alert us to both the subtleties and ambiguities of the language of textiles, dress and gender which reflect both ideological positions but also normative practices. The tension between the images the sources provide and lived social reality is apparent for most of the issues raised but is particularly complex when we come to examine the chaîne opératoire.

1.3 Gendered textile activities Textile work is one of the few areas of social and economic life where women are highly visible – this might influence how we conceptualize the gendered division of labour. Indeed, textile production in antiquity has often been considered to follow a linear trajectory from a female domestic activity to a more institutional male-governed mode of production once outside agencies become involved. In reality, many modes of production probably existed side-by-side and the making of textiles is not so easily grafted onto the labour of one sex or another. In some instances, it might be possible to identify crosscultural variation in the allotment of tasks in the chaîne opératoire. The analysis of the context of production should indicate if this division of labour follows a specific hierarchy. The production of textiles can inform us about the relationship between gender, labour, economics and, in some cases, the potential for the prosperity of a family. From ancient Mesopotamia to the late Roman period, the role of one sex or another might have predominated in the manufacture of textiles and their transformation into dress, or only in particular stages of production. Some roles, such as female spinners, were constant over time and space in antiquity; however, male spinners are attested in texts from second millennium Nuzi (Abrahami 2014). At the other end of the production, the person in charge of washing finished clothes is regularly a man in Mesopotamia, as well as in ancient Egypt (Agut). At times weaving was women’s work, as for example in the Middle Assyrian sources, but in other places it was the prerogative of men, as for instance in the Middle Babylonian texts (Abrahami and Lion, Matoïan and Vita). Various factors may influence a gendered division of labour but these need to be further explored. One of them may be the working conditions, as suggested by Damien Agut for the Egyptian washermen: the task of washing the clothes might have become a men’s work when it was taken outside the family sphere. In private contexts, textile production is regularly viewed as part of a female world (Michel 2016). In institutional contexts, it could be more inclusive in terms of population, 4


even though large textile workshops of the third and early second millennia Mesopotamia include hundreds of women (Quillien and Sarri 2020). Late Bronze Age Linear B texts from Knossos record hundreds of male and female textile workers including both girls and boys, according to Hedvig Landenius Enegren. At Knossos, women, as well as men, seem to have been entrusted with supervisory positions. Skills might have been learnt from an early age, but there is no indication of whether these skills were gendered from that early age. The presence of young boys in textile workshops suggests that male adults were also working there, even though they are less documented in written sources. The textile activities of women in many ancient societies were part of the construction of femininity. Young girls prepared their trousseau (Larsson Lovén) and, once adult, women from the upper society would go on spinning and weaving, producing highquality textiles as real pieces of art (Biga). In Roman society, according to Lena Larsson Lovén, the rites of passage in a woman’s life are linked to wool work: the young bride herself weaving the tunica recta of her wedding outfit. The question of how, when and where domestic textile production took place is intriguing. We have rare moments of the discovery of sets of textile tools which might define place (e.g. Cahill 2002) but these give little sense of the social dynamics which control the activities. Texts provide sneaking insights into these relationships and expose potential diachronic links between the wives of merchants writing to their husbands about production rates (Michel in press) with Homer’s women weaving for their warring menfolk (Wagner-Hasel), with Romano-Egyptian women writing to ask why particular threads have not been delivered (e.g. Gällnö 2013). The world of Homer reflects the power of royal women to command groups of females to produce cloth and clothing, often in a convivial setting. According to Beate Wagner-Hasel, the honour, authority and agency of these women is expressed in their right to expect female textile labour so domestic production forms part of the social hierarchy in the household. At Rome, as in other ancient societies, female virtue is closely associated with the idea of textile working, particularly with wool which came to exemplify the virtuous wife in inscriptions (Larsson Lovén, Öhrman, Place). Lena Larsson Lovén and Magdalena Öhrman mention Lucretia, presented by Roman authors as the exempla of the virtuous woman committed to wool work, especially at night, to distract herself from her husband’s absence. This image of female morality came to form part of the history of Rome, entrenching gendered behaviour and giving it legitimacy. This ideological stress on the association of wool working and the female world, meant that (upper-class) men who engaged in such activities might find their masculinity suspect (Larsson Lovén). In the private Roman household, identifying either space that is delineated for textile work or areas that are gender specific is difficult, suggesting that while there might be a potential for conflict, on the whole spaces for domestic textile work were shared areas, and the place of women within in these spaces so self-evident it passed without comment (Öhrman). The processes of textile production remain remarkably similar across our period. Raw materials were converted into workable fleece or flax which could then be dyed, spun and prepared for the loom. As garments were simple or made-to-shape on the 5

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

loom, the end product would probably be in mind from the outset of the process: did a fleece need to be dyed a particular colour, were coloured threads needed, was the final garment to be thick and hardwearing or a softer fabric, was to it be for a man or a woman? All these questions were probably decided at the outset so that the flax or fleece could be spun to the correct hardness/looseness and the right amount prepared for a particular garment. Textile workers were skilled in their particular craft area of the chaîne opératoire and, depending on their working context, might have expertise in more than one area. One defining diachronic element of the period covered here is that it was important for women and men to look different.

1.4 Gendered wardrobes Textiles transformed into garments express the gender of the wearer. Despite the fact that clothing shapes were simple and often generic to both women and men, each sex looked very different. This difference was socially and culturally important and could be expressed in the type of textile used, the length of garment, the manner in which it was decorated or undecorated, belted or unbelted, and in the shape of draping, or fastening. Dress and gender are intimately linked in the visual and textual records of antiquity; it is common practice in both art and literature to use particular garments to characterize one sex or the other, and to undermine literary characterizations by suggesting that they display features usually associated with the opposite gender. Indeed, in ancient societies, it was important to dress according to the social rules of one’s sex – men had to look like men and women like women – but the basic garments, simple tunics and wrapped mantles shared close similarities across genders, time and space (Breniquet, Michel, Quillien). This can explain the difficulty in identifying the gender aspects of the costume in funerary contexts, as demonstrated by Catherine Breniquet et al. for the Roman tombs of Les Martres-de-Veyre. Male and female garments are often not distinguished in texts, but accessories could make the difference. For instance, in the first half of the second millennium bce in Mesopotamia, Cécile Michel demonstrates that toggle pins were female attributes and belts, male ones, revealing different ways to arrange dress according to the gender. It echoes the dowry texts from the palace of Ebla (third millennium bce ), studied by Maria Giovanna Biga, where zara-dress and brooches or toggle pins were mostly given to women whereas decorated waistbands were destined for men. Crossdressing was, indeed, often used for comic purpose in drama and for character assassination in forensic court speeches (Michel in this volume; Harlow 2017). The clear message, across the cultures of antiquity, was that men should dress like men, and women like women. Images show a remarkable diversity across time and space in the way draped clothes are worn, are decorated, and dictate the body language of the wearer (Brøns and Harlow). Texts and visual representations are often normative (Biga, Place), since they reflect social values or ideological discourse, and one must be careful in interpreting the information they provide. According to Barbara Couturaud, the shell inlays of Mari 6


(third millennium bce ), display a gender dress code but we do not know if it reflected reality. The Neo-Babylonian and Neo-Assyrian iconography (first millennium bce ), studied by Louise Quillien, reveals the importance of gendered dress codes as well as their variations according to the temporal and social context. Dressing to suit one’s gender also leads to questions of dress as a means of social control – a very moot point in our world at the moment – but of equal interest to historians of the ancient past. For instance, the appropriate clothing of virgins and married women was a topic of concern for the male Patristic writers in early Christian communities of North Africa. According to Amy Place, women’s garments crystalized social norms and the religious and moral ideals of the community. Dressing was therefore a form of self-expression for the women. Dress, as a second skin, was intimately linked to the wearer’s identity, expressing gender, age, ethnicity, religion, social status and emotions. Ceremonial clothes have received much attention (Abrahami and Lion, Biga, Matoïan and Vita, Michel, Rendu Loisel, Joannès) compared, for example, with textiles used for the dead in funerary practices (Couturaud, Brøns and Harlow, Breniquet), or those expressing some affective change, as garments worn by women in mourning contexts (Michel, Rendu Loisel). Discussions of textile type and quality tend to focus on the role of luxury and social status (or the assumption/usurpation of status) rather than gender, although gender is often implicit in any discussion. Indeed, less consideration has also been given to the notion that certain textiles and colours were considered more suitable to either men or women. Middle Babylonian texts and Graeco-Roman art and literature suggest that colours had a role in the non-verbal language of costumes, being less acceptable in the male wardrobe than in the female (Abrahami and Lion, Brøns and Harlow, Rendu Loisel). The meticulous observations of Roman statues by visible induced luminescence (VIL) imaging technique presented by Cecilie Brøns and Mary Harlow reveals the vivid colours that adorned female garments. In the world of gods and goddesses, garments were a way to express and perform a gender identity. According to Anne-Caroline Rendu Loisel, in Sumerian literature garments were a dynamic and fluid tool in gender interaction and in seductive games. In Mesopotamia, the goddess Ištar had the power of swapping roles by means of crossdressing (Michel). The nature of our evidence means that while changing fashions are evident, they are often hard to track. Iconography, while normative, often stresses ethnicity through dress and it is possible to see that elements of ‘the other’ become normative dress over time (Rollason). Other motivators in changing styles of dress are changes in technology (the shift from the warp-weighted loom to the two-beam loom in the Roman empire, for instance) which allow for different garment structures and decoration; availability of new raw materials or dyes; changes in dominant personnel who bring their own clothing styles with them; and changes in the environment which might make warmer clothes more attractive/acceptable, like the passage to the longer-sleeved, heavily layered garments in the sixth century ce Roman empire, an outfit previously considered ‘feminine’ or ‘barbarian’ according to Nikki Rollason, but which became standard for the male wardrobe. 7

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

Figure 1.1 Participants of Textiles & Gender conference, Nanterre, 4 October 2018.

Figure 1.2 Participants of Textiles & Gender conference, Nanterre, 5 October 2018.

1.5 Concluding thoughts The study of textiles and dress thrives on interdisciplinarity, and here in this single volume we have anthropologists, prehistorians, ancient historians, linguists, archaeologists, art historians, classicists, Egyptologists, specialists in ancient Western Asia – we work with texts, with iconography, with material culture and, despite our apparently disparate subject areas, we are brought together by the study of cloth and 8


clothing which gives us a language to share. This is not a secret or arcane academic language; it is one with many resonances in the modern world. In this volume, a short chapter highlights the work of Jacques Estérel, a French fashion designer, who in 1970 presented a collection of clothing that he called ‘unisex’, that is suitable for both women and men. In this collection, ‘the Sumerians’ (in French: ‘les Sumériennes’), long dresses were worn by men and women alike (Lion). Even if the term ‘gender’ was not used at that time, it is clear from his interviews that it was one of the fundamentals of Estérel’s work. However, in European culture, despite the social acceptance of transsexuality and crossdressing in many countries, men in dresses still often risk ridicule. A more or less obvious nod to the influences of ancient clothing can be seen across time from the Empire lines of the early nineteenth century through to today (e.g. https://www.fibre2fashion.com/ industry-article/6251/enduring-fashion-inspiration). We hope this volume will alert readers to the resonances of the past that can be found in present attitudes to gender and to dress.

Note 1 The International Research Network Ancient Textiles from the Orient to the Mediterranean linked together three CNRS joint research units (Archéologies et Sciences de l’Antiquité at Nanterre, Archéorient at Lyon and Centre de Recherches Historiques at Paris), four Universities in France (Universités Paris 1 Panthéon – Sorbonne, Paris Nanterre, Lumière Lyon 2, Blaise-Pascal Clermont-Ferrand 2), the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and the Ministry of Culture together with the University of Copenhagen and the University of Leicester; it was coordinated by Cécile Michel.

References Abrahami, P. (2014), ‘Wool in Nuzi Texts’, in C. Breniquet and C. Michel (eds), Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East, 283–309, Oxbow Books: Oxford. Cahill, N. (2002), Household and City Organisation at Olynthus, New Haven: Yale University Press. Gällnö, S. (2013), ‘(In)visible Spinners in the Documentary Papyri from Roman Egypt’, in M. Gleba and J. Pásztókai-Szeöke (eds), Making Textiles in Pre-Roman and Roman Times, 161–70, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Gaspa, S., Michel, M. and Nosch, M.-L. (2017), Textile Terminologies from the Orient to the Mediterranean and Europe, 1000 BC to 1000 AD, Lincoln: Zea Books. Harlow, M. (2017) ‘Literary Representations’, in M. Harlow (ed.), A Cultural History of Dress and Fashion in Antiquity, 155–66, London: Bloomsbury. Michel, C. (2016), ‘Estimating an Old Assyrian Household Textile Production with the Help of Experimental Archaeology: Feasibility and Limitations’, in C. Ebert, M. Harlow, E. Andersson Strand and L. Bjerregaard (eds), Traditional Textile Craft – an Intangible Cultural Heritage?, 118–30, Copenhagen (New Edition 2018): Centre for Textile Research. Michel, C. (2020), Women of Aššur and Kaneš: Texts from the Archives of Assyrian Merchants, Writings from the Ancient World, Baltimore: Society for Biblical Literature.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Michel, C. and Nosch, M.-L. (2010), Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennia BC, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Quillien, L. and K. Sarri eds (2020), Textile Workers: Skills, Labour and Status of Textile Carftspeople between the Prehistoric Aegean and the Ancient Near East. Proceedings of the Workshop held at the 10th ICAANE in Vienna, April 2016, OREA 13, Vienna: Austrian Academy of Science Press.






This chapter presents evidence concerning the gendering of clothing according to textual sources originating from various sites from Babylonia and Syria (Ugarit, Qatna and Emar) during the Middle Babylonian period. The documentation mainly consists of two types of text: inventories and lists of fabrics linked to lists of persons. The lists are often records of work assignments related to weavers (male and female); however, the gender of the workforce is an issue outside the scope of the present essay. Neither inventories nor work assignments offer any opportunity of knowing whether these textiles were used by women, by men, or both sexes. The El-Amarna dowry inventories and Nuzi administrative texts, however, do record specific garments worn by women (túg-munus, ‘women’s clothes’).1 Unfortunately here, this generic definition hides the precise type of garment. Where we can recognize clothes worn by women, we still have to consider whether they are peculiar to women and to identify the exact nature of the garment. This is a complex task, and it is often difficult to obtain clear-cut results. In addition, numerous names of textiles are given but the terminology is not always clear; for example, in Qatna, many Hurrian names are included in the texts. In order to address the topic of the gender of clothes, we consider three main contextual settings: first, the cultic context of dressing a priestess; second, dowries where a number of such documents which, although not numerous, list textiles and clothing and where we might expect items could be identified as garments worn by women; third, an exceptional document from Babylonia which records clothes given on the occasion of a wedding ceremony to the bride, the groom and their relatives presents an opportunity to compare gifts made to men and women in this particular family.

2.1 Garments of women in cultic contexts: the case of the high priestess of Baal The Emar ritual text describing the installation of a high priestess of Baal gives an indication of her apparel at certain important stages of the ceremony.2 Although we lack a full description due to the nature of the text the information is noteworthy. The ritual


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

mentions a red paršīgu-scarf (túg bar-sig) tied on the high priestess’s head on the day of her installation while she is seated on her chair: ‘they tie on her head a red-tabarru paršīgu-scarf ’ (sag-du-ša ta túg bar-sig síg hé-me-da irakkasū). On the seventh day, the last day of the installation rite, there is an imprecise indication that a ‘good garment’ is given to her as a gift ‘for her dressing’ by the elders of the town (túg sig5 ana lubušīša). On the same day, the ritual depicts her as she leaves her father’s house wearing ‘a multicoloured scarf ’ (íb-lá birmi) which covers her head (ukattamu) like a bride (é-gi4-a). Each of these headdresses reflects a particular aspect of her relationship with the Storm God: the red one (paršīgu) is an attribute related to her function as a high priestess, while the multi-coloured scarf (íb-lá) is related to her marital status as the god’s wife. The analogy of her installation with a wedding ceremony may give a hint that the íb-lá-scarf was also worn by women of more ordinary status during the wedding ceremony.3

2.2 Garments in dowries Lists of dowry gifts tend to refer to clothes with the generic word túg,4 but there are cases where specific garments are mentioned. Four of these texts from Ugarit, Qatna and Nippur are analysed here. 2.2.1 Dowry list of Ahat-milku, queen of Ugarit In Ugarit, the textiles in the dowry (unūtu) of queen Ahat-milku include garments which were probably part of her wardrobe.5 Some of the items, comprising two sets of clothing, are described as being of Hurrian and Amorite style: twenty ‘fine’ (sal-la = raqqatu) túgme (akk. nalbašu), generally identified as a luxurious cloak worn by kings and gods,6 and twenty šabattu-strips which, according to Neo-Babylonian texts, might have been tied onto a piece of cloth (CAD Š/1: 8), here perhaps on the nalbašu-cloak. The list also includes ten linen garments (túg-gada-meš) and ten linen nahlaptu-wraps (túggu2-é gada), which might have made up an outfit since that they appear in equal numbers.7 Another type of strip (túgsig4-za = i’lu) is also mentioned, some of which are lapis coloured and probably used as decoration for chairs.8 2.2.2 Two dowry lists from Qatna Among the texts from the Palace of Qatna, two inventory tablets list various kinds of fabric among other items that belonged to two women, probably members of the royal family (TT12 and TT 13, Richter and Lange 2012: xxii and 83–9). The key word unūtu (‘possession/property’), which characterizes both lists, suggests that they might record dowries (Justel 2008: 50). The textile items include upholstery, carpet, covers and clothing, most of them not clearly identified, but in certain cases specific characteristics are noted: e.g. luxurious features in material (linen), or the type of garment (nalbašu), or its finishing (polished/shiny) or a particular style (from Tuttub). 14

The Middle Babylonian Period

Table 2.1 Textiles in Two Dowry Lists from Qatna. TT 12


10 túg gu-za (l. 11)

2 túg gu-za-meš (l. 7) Upholstery

5 túg níg-sa5-meš (l. 11) 2 túg ittinu (l. 12)


Red fabric/garment 1 túg //9 ittini (l. 8)

‘A garment’ (connected to the Hurrian verbal root: to clothe, cf. Richter 2012: 111)

2 túg sag-meš (l. 12)

First quality fabric/garment

1 túg // mardatu (l. 13)


11 túg // hubalgi (l. 13)

Hapax undetermined (Richter and Lange 2012: 86)

8 túg sub ̣ ātu // tuttubena (l. 14) 2 tapal túg // tuttuwe (l. 25)

5 túg-me // tuttubi (l. ‘Nalbašu-coat from Tuttub’ (Durand 2009: 3) 111) ‘A garment of a specific form or colour’ (Richter and Lange 2012: 86); ‘a woollen fabric’ (Richter 2012: 479)

6 túg-me-meš ša ramāni lugal (l. 15)

‘Nalbašu – cloak of the king himself (?)’

6 túg-me-meš // peruzzina (l. 16)

‘Nalbašu peruzzina’: A textile also documented at Nuzi and Alalakh (Richter 2012: 316 and CAD P: 327)

3 túg-gada-meš (l. 16)

2 túg-me gada (l. 4)

1 túg // hušuhhu (l. 35)

Linen fabric/garment A type of belt (Richter 2012: 174)

4 túg-me // pe-lu-li-zi Hapax but probably connected to the Hurrian (l. 5) root pil- ‘to spin’ (Richter 2012: 89) 2 túg za-kum-meš (l. 7) 1 túg // pahantarri (l. 9)

‘Two shiny/polished fabric/garments’ (Durand 2009: 138) A blanket or cover also documented in Emar and Nuzi texts (Richter 2012: 287; CAD P: 20; Durand 2009: 77)

2.2.3 A Nippur dowry list A Nippur text dating to the fifth year of Kurigalzu II (1332–1308 bce ) gives a list of garments which were offered to a woman as bridal gifts (nidittu, Sassmannshausen 2001: 406 no. 365, 17’–19’). Its first part consists, in the following order, of at least three different išhenabe, two adīlu and one hullānu. The last part of the list includes two different types of items. The first are four tudittu, two of which are made of ivory (šinni) and the other two of gold. This piece of jewellery is otherwise well attested as worn on the breast by 15

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

goddesses and women. As in the present context, it is also often given to the bride at the wedding (CAD D: 169; Michel in the present volume). The last item is a comb made of boxwood (gišga-ríg gištúg).10 The large amount (40 units) is somewhat surprising unless we consider that it may refer to a type of clasp holding the hair. The following remarks relate to the possible identification and gendered use of the garments. Išhenabe-garments are, in the present text, described as thick (šapûtu), short (lugúdda), white and of Tukriš style.11 This garment – also named with a by-form išhanabe – remains unidentified and, so far, is only attested in MA, MB and NB sources.12 A possible connexion with the NA/NB word išhu with additional Hurrian morphemes does not help much (Gaspa 2017: 74). Descriptions in administrative texts show that it is sometimes a coloured fabric. Išhenabe with/without red decoration (šippu) are also mentioned. The MB text CUSAS 30 no. 364: 2 is of some importance here: it gives evidence that the išhenabe has two sleeves, in that case decorated in red (1 túgiš-ha-na-be 2 a-hu ši-pu).13 The trim (úr = sūnu) or edges (KA = appu) of the išhenabe are often mentioned, being white or multi-coloured. Threadbare/napless (qalpu) išhenabe are also referred to.14 In the archive of Bābu-aha-iddina, garments of this type are manufactured for export to the west, and a Dūr-Katlimmu text gives evidence of a heavy išhenabe: 10 mina of wool (5 kg) are needed to produce a single item.15 There are also several textual references where išhenabe is followed by the word ‘sizkur’; whether it was intended as votive offering or to be worn on a festive occasion is difficult to assess (van Soldt 2015: 446 no. 365: 5, 447, no. 366: 1, 451, no. 370: 2 and 453, no. 372: 2). The frequent position of the išhenabe as the first item in a list may give a hint of its high quality or its shape.16 More significantly, in the context of the present essay is that the išhenabe, just as the hullānu, is not gender marked. Here, as a bridal gift it is supposed that it is worn by the bride. However, the MB administrative text CBS 3235, which lists disbursements of textiles and food stuffs, records a set of garments, including a hullānu, which starts with a ‘napless (qalpu) išhenabe without red decoration (lā šippu)’ given to the king’s messenger (van Soldt 1997: 97). Other evidence of išhenabe allocated to men are found in the MB texts CUSAS 30 364: 2; CUSAS 30 365: 5; CUSAS 30 372: 2–3. A MA text, MARV 3 12: 1–3 (Freydank 1994: 31) shows that a clothing ensemble consisting of one nahlaptu, one išhenabe and one kubšu cap is allocated as a gift (kī rīmūte) to a Hittite male interpreter.17 The adīlu is so far only attested in MB and NB texts (CAD A/1: 125). The MB reference is a purchase contract dealing with a young girl, BE 14 128a, whose price consists of one bán of oil, together with one adīlu, one heavy garment (túg kab-rum) and two new nahlaptu, each of these clothes sharing the same value of 2 shekels of silver. The NB occurrences studied by Zawadzki (2006: 133) offer other indications as to the colour (blue and red purple), the products used for its dyeing (alum, qanû-reeds and inzahurētu), and the weight of the wool delivered for its manufacture (30 shekels and 12 shekels). Its use is only documented for deities (male and female). The CAD identification of a ‘tassel’ is based on the fact that it is attested exclusively in the plural form and associated to the kusītu-garment.18 The general translation of the CAD as ‘part 16

The Middle Babylonian Period

of garment’ does not fit both MB references where it seems to correspond to an item of clothing by itself. The hullānu is certainly an outer garment, usually identified as a type of cloak or wrap, with or without sleeves.19 In the Bābu-Aha-Iddina archive, hullānu are decorated with plant and animal motifs, suggesting that some items might have been of a high value type (Postgate 2014: 418). Nuzi documentation also provides evidence of a luxury variety of this garment. HSS 5 6 and HSS 13 18 are two contracts for making a decorated (birmu) hullānu. In some other contracts the high wage paid to the weaver (at least 1 anše of barley) suggests its sophisticated nature. The hullānu is also associated with the costly kusītu-garment decorated with trim woven of different colours in the manufacturing contract JEN 314 (Abrahami and Lion 2018). MB texts show that it was also worn by men, see for instance CBS 3235: 11.20 Its use for women is documented in NA period (Gaspa 2018: 247).

2.3 A Middle Babylonian list of clothes for the wedding ceremony Among the texts published by Aro (1970), HS 157 (copy in Bernhardt 1976, pl. XXXIX– LX, no. 44) offers a rare opportunity to compare sets of clothes worn by men and women in special circumstances. This text dates from the second year of king Marduk-nādinahhê (1100–1083 bce ) with a complementary section from the fifth year of the same king, and records a distribution of items of clothing, headgear and shoes which occurred on the occasion of a wedding ceremony (hadašūtu) as stated in the summary clause:21 Total: 158 woollen fabrics (túg-síg) (to) the city of Nūr-Eru’a, that Napsamenni,22 the diviner, nešakkû-priest of Enlil, has brought from Babylon in the month of Nisannû in the 2nd year of Marduk-nādin-ahhê, the king of the universe, at the setting of the wedding ceremony of Eru’a-ilat, daughter of Bēl-nīti, daughter-inlaw of Nabium-kudurrī-usur, ̣ the tigû-player of Marduk. Col. iv: 99–109 2.3.1 The couple and the relatives All together nine persons, some of them presumably related to the families of the bride and groom, are concerned with the distribution referred to in the heading by the key expression ‘túg-ba’.23 The number of items received is ten for the men and eleven for the women, not including the groom, his father and the bride. Five men are listed first, among them the groom and at least three men belonging to his family:24 m

Martukea: 33 items. He might be the bridegroom according to Aro (1970: 17). His status may be referred to by the otherwise not attested expression dumu.diri, written after his name. 17


Table 2.2 Clothing Items Offered to Men and Women (in Grey Background) on the Occasion of a Wedding Ceremony (HS 157, Aro 1970: 13–18). f

. . .erib


Eru’a-ilat (year 2) bride

Eru’a-ilat (year 5) bride

1 ‘white’ 1 ‘white’ 1 ‘white’ fashioned? fashioned? ordinary

[1] its edge is of dark red-tabarru pattern

- 1 its edge (at) the neckline is of Tukriš style - 1 its edge is of multi-colored pattern

- 1 (with) blue-purpletakiltu LU hu which ‘hand’ is attached on the right

4‘white’ 4 ‘white’ 4 ‘white’ fashioned? fashioned? ordinary

- [1] with a pointed edge -3 ‘white’ fashioned?

- 1 its edge (at) the neckline is of Tukriš style - 1 its edge is of multi-colored pattern - 2 their edge (at) the LU hu is dark red-tabarru - 1 with breast-piece, its edge is redtabarru - 1 with breast-piece, its edge is of lapis color -1 its edge (at) the LU hu is red-tabarru - 2 ‘white’ fashioned?

- 1 (with) blue-purpletakiltu LU hu which ‘hand’ is attached on the right - 1 (gán-ba) its edge (at) the LU hu is blue-hašmānu - 1 (gán-ba) its edge (at) the LU hu is dark red-tabarru - 1 its edge is red-tabarru pattern

Martukea Nabû[x] bridegroom kudurrī-usur ̣ father of the bridegroom

Mudammiqu Šušranni brother of the bridegroom

túg nāmaru ‘shiny’

2 ‘white’ fashioned?

1 ‘white’ fashioned?

1 ‘white’ fashioned?

1 ‘white’ fashioned?

túg gú-zu

14 ‘white’ fashioned?

6 ‘white’ fashioned?

4 ‘white’ fashioned?

4 ‘white’ fashioned?

Daughter of Dabibi mother of the bride

Ana-Nabûtaklāku chief of the singer house


túg sagšu cap

2 ‘white’ fashioned?

1 fashioned? 1 fashioned?

1 ordinary

túg sagxlum cap

2 ‘white’ fashioned?

[1] fashioned?

1 ordinary

1 fashioned?

túg du-nizu cap?

1 fashioned?

1 fashioned?

túg sag-bur cap?

1 fashioned?

1 fashioned?

túg ziqqi ‘crested’

2 ‘white’ fashioned?

1 fashioned? [1] fashioned?

1 fashioned?

1 1 1 ordinary fashioned? fashioned? 1 fashioned?

túg nargītum headdress

1 fashioned? 2 white fashioned? 1 fashioned? 2 fashioned?

túg úr-du10 loin?-strip

2 ‘white’ fashioned?

1 fashioned? [1] fashioned?

1 fashioned?

1 1 1 ordinary fashioned? fashioned?

1 fashioned?

túg úr-šu hand-strip

2 ‘white’ fashioned?

1 fashioned? [1] fashioned?

1 fashioned?

1 1 1 ordinary fashioned? fashioned?

1 fashioned?

túg úr-me-lal ‘pointed strip’

7 ‘white’ fashioned?

7 fashioned?


(Continued) 19


Table 2.2 Clothing Items Offered to Men and Women (in Grey Background) on the Occasion of a Wedding Ceremony (HS 157, Aro 1970: 13–18). [x] Martukea Nabûbridegroom kudurrī-usur ̣ father of the bridegroom

Mudammiqu Šušranni brother of the bridegroom

Daughter of Dabibi mother of the bride

Ana-Nabûtaklāku chief of the singer house


. . .erib

f Eru’a-ilat (year 2) bride

túg man-dul blanket

6 their edge is of a red-tabarru pattern

túg an-ta-dul blanket

2 with red-tabarru LU hu

f Eru’a-ilat (year 5) bride

mešēn ú-bi-gal pointed shoes




mešēn kaballim shoes with legging 33 Total number of items: 158











44 [21]


The Middle Babylonian Period

Nabium-kudurrī-usur: ̣ nineteen items. He is the father-in-law. He is mentioned in the closing formula in col. iv 103 with his title and as the recipient, he is referred to as the ‘father of the dumu-diri, the son-in-law (!)’.25 m [ X: ten items; ‘. . . of] the dumu-diri’.26 m Mudammiqu: ten items; he is ‘the brother of the dumu-diri’. m Šušranni: ten items; no other designation. m

Then follow four other persons, three women and a man; the first one being the bride’s mother and the last the bride herself, so they might all belong to the bride’s family. The absence of Bēl-nīti, the bride’s father, among the beneficiaries, is rather surprising, we can perhaps assume he is no longer be alive. The daughter of mDabibi: eleven items, including two pairs of different types of shoes. She is designated as the ušbar, the mother of the bride. m Ana-Nabû-taklāku: ten items. He has the title ‘Chief of the singer house.’27 f X-erib: eleven items, including the same footwear as the mother of the bride. She has no specific title. f Eru’a-ilat: forty-four items, of which only twenty-three are known because of a break at the beginning of col. iv.28 She is referred to as the bride in the closing formula. The final part of the text indicates that she received a supplementary set of eight items including footwear, three years later, when she came to Nippur (denlilki illikam ilqe).29 This text allows us to compare items received by men and women attending this festive occasion.

2.3.2 Garments common to men and women Five garments are common to both genders. Three of them – the crest decorated garment (túg ziqqi),30 the túg úr-du10 (loin?-strip) and the túr úr-šu (hand-strip)31 – do not present any particular difference in relation to those to whom they were allocated. The situation is more complex for the other two items the ‘shiny’-garment (túg nāmaru)32 and the túg gú-zu.33 In terms of the former, a ‘white’ (babbar) one is given to each man and two to the groom. Among the women, only the mother of the bride receives a white one. By contrast, fX-erib and fEru’a-ilat, the bride, are allocated nāmaru characterized as adorned with edges (ka = CAD appu B: 188 f) of different colours: dark red-tabarru and multicoloured;34 blue-purple,35 of a Tukriš style.36 Concerning the túg gú-zu, all the parties received ‘white’ ones. However, fX-erib was given a supplementary one ‘with a pointed edge’ and Eru’a-ilat, the bride, was assigned eleven of these garments with much more elaborate designs composed of similar features of coloured edges as the nāmaru-garment.37 21

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

It is clear, then, that both garments are unisex but gender marked by their decoration and colours. 2.3.3 Textiles and garments that are gender marked There are specific items of clothing which are allocated to women only: A headdress (túg nargītum)38 which corresponds to the kubšu-cap (sag-šu) distributed to the men. Items which are specifically distributed to the bride: two types of decorated blankets39 and two túg gú-zu used for the breast with coloured edges (one red-tabarru and the other blue-lapis), a description that may be interpreted as an item that adorns the front part of the garment.40 Shoes of two types: the mēšen ú-bi-gal, identified as boots with big holes (‘Stiefel mit grossem Loch’) by Salonen (1969: 58 and 62), but may better refer to ‘pointed’ footwear, if we take ú as ‘horn’ (qarnu); and the mēšen kaballim, which has leggings connected to the shoes, often decorated with multi-coloured trim. The three women receive one pair of each, but the bride seems to have a supplementary set.41 Five items are only distributed to men: The túg úr-me-lal, allocated to the bridegroom and his father, might be a textile strip (see above úr = sūnu) perhaps with pointed ends (lal = nahsu).42 All the men receive either a cap (túg sagšu, Akkadian kubšu) and a túg sagxlum, or a túg du-ni-zu and a túg sag-bur. The last three items are not clearly identified. The use of the sag sign in their designation suggests headwear or a part of it connected to the kubšu-cap or to the túg du-ni-zu which might therefore also be considered as a type of head cover.43 The main points that can be drawn from this text are as follows. In the context of a wedding ceremony (or maybe an agreement for a future wedding, the gift to the bride proceeds in two stages), the inner circle of the bride and bridegroom’s relatives received a large quantity of woollen fabrics which are unfortunately not always clearly identified. Most of the items are common to both genders (the bright-nāmaru garment, the gúzu, the crested clothes and the band textiles úr-du10/šu). Concerning two of these garments, nāmaru and gú-zu, the coloured and adorned ones are related to the bride and another woman whose status is not specified. The bride’s mother receives ‘white’ ones, as do the men. This might be due to her age or to the fact that she could be a widow. If we imagine the bride and the bridegroom sitting side by side, dressed in their festive garments, the striking difference would have been – beside the cap – the colour. The sets of garments of the bridegroom are consistently defined as ‘white’ and 22

The Middle Babylonian Period

therefore one-coloured; by contrast the clothes of the bride are nearly all multicoloured. A clear difference between men and women concerns the headdress: kubšu – sagxlum or túg du-ni-zu – túg sag-bur for the men, as against nargītu for the women.

2.4 Conclusion We can draw some conclusions based on the textual data we have collected so far. First, most of the fabrics and garments seem to be common to both genders, thus the texts do not insist on the gendering of clothes. Second, despite this, some differentiation and coding of dress by gender did exist; for instance, the use of particular headdresses and footwear characterizes one sex or the other. At the level of external appearance, the use of colour and elaborate design plays an important role in identifying fabrics or garments intended for women. This also implies that social data should be taken into account: these are certainly the clothes of wealthy people, and the distinctions between men’s and women’s clothes were probably themselves different depending on the social level.

Abbreviations OA: Old Assyrian (c. 1970–1700 bce ) OB: Old Babylonian (c. 1900–1600 bce ) MA: Middle Assyrian (c. 1400–1000 bce ) MB: Middle Babylonian (c. 1400–1000 bce ) NA: Neo Assyrian (c. 911–612 bce ) NB: Neo Babylonian (c. 626–539 bce ) TT: Qatna tablets published by Richter and Lange (2012)

Notes 1 The Nuzi documentation was left aside because of lack of space and will be dealt elsewhere by Abrahami and Lion, in a paper entitled ‘Textiles and Gender at Nuzi’. 2 For a more general appreciation of textile use in ritual at Emar, see Abrahami (2019). For a recent analysis of this ritual see Masetti-Rouault (2014: 50–4). 3 Information regarding the clothing of the high priestess during the Late Bronze Age are scanty. The gift of Nebuchadnezzar I (1126–1105) to an entu-priestess, recorded on a stela found by king Nabonidus, (556–539) consists of her appurtenance (simtu), her wardrobe (lubuštu) and jewellery (tiqnu): YOS 1 45: 32–3 (Schaudig 2001: 374). Jewels were also offered


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity by the Assyrian king Ninurta-apil-Ekur (1192–1180) to his daughter, an entu-priestess: MARV 53 (Jakob 2003: 514). Kassite documentation does not seem to give any information on this issue (Sassmannshausen 2001: 62–4). For cloth allocated to the entu in Nuzi documentation, see the forthcoming paper ‘Textiles and Gender at Nuzi’. 4 For instance, in Emar documentation TBR 28: 19 (Arnaud 1991: 61 and Justel 2008: 59 n. 136) and BL 13: 12’–13’ (Westenholz 2000: 36): [. . .] textiles (túg-meš), 2 beds, [. . .] pahatt[arru]-blanket, [. . .] as the bridewealth (munus-ú[s-sá. . .]) 5 RS 16.146+161, 10–13: 20 túg-me-meš sal-la-meš ša kurhur-ri 20 túg-me-meš sal-la ša kur mar-tuki, 20 túgša-bat-tu4 ša kurhur-ri 20 túgša-bat-tu4 ša kurmar-tuki, 50 túgsig4-za-meš 10 túg-gada-meš 10 túggú-è gada, 50 túgsig4-za-meš ša giš-gu-za ša síg-za-gìn (Nougayrol 1955: 182–4 and Lackenbacher 2002: 290). 6 CAD N/1: 200. For the reading túg-me = nalbašu see Volk (1995: 145 n. 606) with previous references. At Mari, although it is part of the king’s wardrobe, it seems a less luxurious garment (Durand 2009: 73 and 141, sub zirum). Raqqatu is a common adjective qualifying textile in OA and OB corpus (CAD R: 168). Qatnu (= sig) ‘thin’, ‘fine’ (CAD Q: 174) is also used for textiles; For OA references see Michel and Veenhof 2010: 228, 239–40, 254 (raqqatum), and 254 (qatnum). 7 Linen cloths are also listed among the items of the šulmanu-gift offered to the queen in Nougayrol (1970: 115–16). 8 Lackenbacher (2002: 290) reads túgguz-za, ‘shaggy material’ (instead of túgsig4-za-meš), but this does not fit the context. For i’lu in NA texts identified as a strip for binding head coverings, see Gaspa (2018: 306). According to Durand (2009: 35), in Mari documentation the word refers to a tight weave (‘trame serrée’). sig4-za and šabattu are also found in RS 16.61, a fragmentary dowry list, see Nougayrol (1955: 39) and Justel (2008: 59). 9 The two parallel slashes in the table (//) correspond to the GAM sign used before Hurrian words. 10 For small utensils and luxury furnishings made of this wood see CAD T: 281–2. Boxwood combs are not attested in the occurrences collected there. 11 For the location of Tukriš as a component of the ‘Oxus Civilization’ during the Ancient and Middle Bronze Ages, see Steinkeller (2014: 701–4). Archi (2016: 30–2) discusses the textual references of this toponym which points to the Iranian mountain lands. The phonetical analogy between Durugasu in Ebla texts and Tukriš is doubtful since Durugasu, probably to be identified with Egypt, is a lapis lazuli importing country and Tukriš is known as a source of it (Biga 2016: 707 n. 23). In OB Mari texts, according to Guichard (2012: 25–9), Tukriš refers to a different region localized in south Turkey; for the possibility that Tukriš might allude to Egyptians present in the Levant, see Durand (2014: 4–7). For other occurrences to tukrišû garments (only in MB texts) see CAD T: 459–50. 12 CAD I: 241. A plural form išhanabeāte is attested in Postgate (1979: 2) (MAH 15854, 7’). For NB occurrences, see Beaulieu (2003: 15), where it is used for the statues of the goddesses Ištar and Bēlet-ša-Rēs. Supplementary MB occurrences are found in Aro (1970: 25), and in van Soldt (2015: no. 364–66; no. 368–72). MA evidence is discussed in Postgate (2014: 418). 13 See also van Soldt (2015: 450 no. 369, 13’: 2 túgiš-he-na-be a-hi). 14 CAD I: 241 and van Soldt (1997: 97), CBS 3235, 10 (qalpu lā šippu). 15 Postgate (2014: 418). Texts of Bābu-aha-iddina’s archive which refer to work assignment for the manufacturing of išhenabe (with white trim) are conveniently reedited by Faist (2001: 95–6, 103–4). 16 As noted by the CAD I. It is also the case in van Soldt (2015) texts and in the present bridal gift. 24

The Middle Babylonian Period 17 L. 3 ‘the women of the city [. . .]’ are probably the female weavers and not the beneficiaries of this set of clothing. Nahlaptu and išhenabe garments are often recorded together whether allocated (CUSAS 30 no. 364: 2–3; CUSAS 30 no. 372: 2–3, see van Soldt 2015: 445 and 453) or in the context of work assignments (see KAJ 231 in Freydank and Saporetti 1989: 14 and 56 and CUSAS 30 no. 366: 2–5 and CUSAS 30 no. 369: 13–14, in van Soldt 2015: 447 and 450). 18 Zawadzki (2006: 134) agrees with this hypothesis and suggests a possible link with the representation of the hem of Gula’s mantle on a seal from the British Museum; see also Gaspa (2018: 209). The AHw: 13 gives a general translation ‘ein Festgewand’. For the kusītu (túg bar-dul3/5), see CAD K: 586 ‘an elaborate garment’. For the fourth millennium bce references, see Molina (2014: 75) ‘a sort of full-body garment’ with previous bibliography. In the OA documentation, it is a costly cloth which is worth 7 shekels of silver (Michel and Veenhof 2010: 234). For the kusītu in Nuzi, see Abrahami and Lion (2018: 27–8). For first millennium documentation see Gaspa (2017: 53), ‘This textile designation has been interpreted as referring to a long garment falling straight to the ground, probably as a sort of tunic’, and also Gaspa (2018: 248–50). 19 Postgate (2013: 219 n. 47) and most recently Gaspa (2018: 246–7). See also van Soldt (1997: 99) who understand hullān ahi as ‘sleeved wrap’. 20 van Soldt (1997: 97). In Nuzi, hullānu together with nahlaptu-wrap were given to men and messengers, see the forthcoming paper ‘Textiles and gender at Nuzi’. 21 šu-nigín 1 me 1 šu 2 lá túg-síg nu-ur-e4-ru6ki, ša i-na ša-kan ha-da-šu-ti, ša fdE4-ru6-i-lat, dumu-munus mden-ni-ti, kal-lat mdna-bi-um-ku-dur-ru-u-sur ̣ , ti-gi-i ša damar-utu, mnap-salú d iti d me-en-ni hal nu-èš ninnu, i-na bára ša mu 2-kam, amar-utu-na-di-in-ah-hi, lugal šár, i-na šu-an-naki ú-še-sụ ú. 22 Napsamenni is also known from an inscribed duck weight found in Nippur, as ‘overseer of the diviners, nešakku-priest of the god Enlil, servant of Marduk-sāpik-zēri, king of Babylon’; see Frame (1995: 48–9) (Marduk-šāpik-zēri B.2.7.2001). 23 The full heading (col. i, 1) is as follows: túg-ba kud mu á. mu corresponds to the name of the items, túg-ba kud corresponds to their quantity. Under the heading á (ahu: sleeve?), the indication ‘tag’ is most often found, linked to all types of clothes. However, the nāmaru and gú-zu garments characterized by their adorned edge (ka) or by the word lu?-hu are not described as such. In one of the sets distributed (col. ii, 52–58), the same clothes otherwise described as tag are qualified as ús (i.e. standard/ordinary quality). The suggested meaning ‘first quality’ for tag (Aro 1970: 33) as opposed to ús is otherwise not attested and does not fit the context. The CAD N/1: 352 (sub nargītu) understands tag as ‘fashioned,’ probably linking it to its common corresponding Akkadian verb lapātu and its meaning in El-Amarna texts ‘to fashion an object’ (CAD L: 87). 24 The texts published by Gurney (1949: 133–6, no. 4 and no. 5) record the transfer of gifts (barley, sheep, meat and garments) from the father of the bride to the bridegroom, these gifts are actually received by several individuals whose relationship to the groom is not stated (see Gurney comments and CAD Z: 162–3 for an analysis of both texts). In light of HS 157, these individuals might have been members of the bridegroom’s family. Another parallel with HS 157 is the fact that, according to no. 4, the transfer occurs over a period of several years (from ‘year 3 of Nazi-Maruttaš’ (1307–1282 bce ) to the ‘year 4 of Kadašman-Turgu’ (1281–1264 bce ), ‘altogether 7 years,’ ll. 46–7). 25 Col i, 19–20: ad dumu-diri e-mu-um sa-ah-rum ̣ (i.e. ‘son-in-law’, instead of the expected emum rabûm, ‘father-in-law’). 26 Col. i: 28, Aro has read: [pab 10 m. . .] tum ni 2? bal? dumu-diri. The set of fabrics that this person receives includes the specific male caps (túg sag-šu en túg sagxlum) – see below.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Between the father (l. 20) and the brother of the groom (col. ii, 26), one expects an elder brother, or a brother of the father. The number of items is based on subtracting the subtotals of each beneficiary from the total of 158 items disbursed. 27 sag é lúnar é (?). According to the copy, the last sign does not look like an uš, as against Aro’s reading. 28 In iv 98, the reading of the broken sign (transliterated x by Aro) between the number 44 and the munus determinative before the name of Eru’a-ilat remains unclear. 29 This set of eight items is not included in the sum of the 158 items disbursed. 30 túg ziqqi: the word ziqqu refers to the upper part of a wall and its battlements but it is mostly documented as an ornament in this shape for jewellery and garments, see CAD Z: 128. This type of pattern might be compared to the staircase design adorning king Aššurnasirpal ̣ II’s tunic figured in one of the bas-reliefs from the North-Western palace in Kalhu, see Bartl (2014: 29 and plate Ia). Clothing of this type are distributed to a messenger of the king in CBS 3235: 11 (van Soldt 1997: 97). It is also given to one of the men listed in the bridal gift list published by Gurney (1949: 134 no. 4: 41). 31 Taken as a garment, úr (sūnu) is translated as ‘loincloth’ on the basis that the word is also used as a euphemism for sexual parts. However, the CAD separates the two entries and views them as homonyms: sūnu A (‘lap, crotch, sexual parts’, CAD S: 386) and sūnu B (‘a piece of clothing or part thereof ’, CAD S: 388). Durand (2009: 94–5) interprets sūnu when it refers to a garment as a hem or an ornamental braid and links it to a different root (su’num). As suggested by Gaspa (2018: 204 and 302–3), the piece of clothing indicates various ‘band-like textiles of different uses’. See also Wasserman (2019: 1135). In túg úr-du10 and túg úr-šu, the interchanging du10/šu (‘hand’) suggests for the former term the reading du10 = birku (another euphemism for sexual parts) taking into consideration that the other possible reading tậ bu (‘good’) is rarely used to describe a textile (CAD Ṭ: 24). 32 Based on the main meaning of the root, Aro considered that it describes ‘a shiny fabric’. This garment is already attested in the Old Akkadian period, and, for later periods, only in the present text, according to the CAD N/1: 220. However, the word may be connected to the namru garment, rarely attested in OB texts (CAD N/1: 241), and also found in the list of gifts of Tušratta in EA 22 iii 24 beside a ‘túg-gú of Hurrian (style)’ and a ‘city túg-gú.’ The identification of the túg-gú to the nahlaptu-wrap (túg-gú-è-a) is subject to doubt; see Michel and Veenhof (2010: 228). 33 Aro (1970: 23) related the túg gú-zu as a pseudo-sumerogram for the kusītu (see n. 18 above) or the nahlaptu-wrap (túg gú-è-a), see Gaspa (2018: 255–8). Another possibility, phonetically closer, would be to consider an abbreviated logographic writing of the NB túg guz-guz (guzguzu), a heavy and decorated coat (Quillien 2013). In that case, it would be the earliest reference to this kind of garment. However, this assumption, unlike the other reading, does not fit the fact that the word behind this logogram is feminine (see for example col. iii, 78: ka-ši-na). The túg gú-zu is certainly worn on the upper part of the body as it is provided with breast-pieces (gaba). 34 ‘Its edge is of a dark red-tabarru/multicolored pattern (?)’ (ka-šu éš-gàr síg hé-me-da gi6, col. iii, 61–2; ka-šu éš-gàr im-gùn-a, col. iii, 73). Aro (1970: 25) assumes here for éš-gàr the meaning šipru. 35 ‘(With) blue-purple lu-hu, which ‘hand’ is attached on the right’ (lu?-hu ta-kil-tu ša šu ana zag lá, col. iv, 110). There is no satisfactory meaning for lu?-hu, see Aro (1970: 27). Note that lu appears as a technical term associated to the kusītu-tunic in NA documentation, see Gaspa (2018: 414). The ‘hand’ might be a decorative braid tied to the edge. 36 ‘Its edge (at) the neckline is of a Tukriš style’ (ka-šu tukriš āsị̄ tu, col iii, 70–1. For āsị̄ tu as neckline, see the lexical entries a-si-it ̣ ki-ša-di = nahlaptu et šá si-i ̣ [t ki-ša-di], CAD A/2: 355. 26

The Middle Babylonian Period 37 ‘(With) a pointed edge’ (ka-ša sukud-da, Col. iii, 63); ka-ša tukriš āsị̄ tu (74–75); ka-ša éš-gàr im-gùn-a (76–7); ka-šina lu?-hu síg hé-me-da gi6 (78–79); ka-ša síg hé-me-da (81–2) ; ka-ša lu?-hu síg hé-me-da (84–5) and col. iv, 112–18: 1 túg gú-zu lu?-hu takiltu, ša šu ana zag lá, 1 gán-ba túg gú-zu ka-ša lu?-hu hašmanu, 1 min túg gú-zu ka-ša lu?-hu, síg hé-me-da gi6, 1 min túg gú-zu ka-ša éš-gàr síg hé-me-da. The meaning of gán-ba, understood as ‘Gegenwert’ (Aro 1970: 23) remains unclear in this context. 38 Col. iii, 88. So far, the word seems to occur only in the present text and in an OB receipt from Suse (MDP 18 94, 7) dealing with garments and various bronze and plated vessels (CAD N/1: 352). Its identification as a headdress is established on the basis of the lexical equivalents to other Akkadian words corresponding to this type of clothing: paskārum (CAD P: 221, only Nuzi and EA) and paršīku (Gaspa 2018: 315). The corresponding Sumerian word (túg gu-lá) ‘hanged/attached thread (or string)’ is an interesting feature: it may correspond to a specific fastening or decoration. The hanging thread could have also shaped a kind of veil. 39 ‘6 man-dul blankets, their edges are of a red-tabarru pattern, 2 an-ta-dul blankets with red-tabarru lu?-hu’ (col iii, 89–91: 6 túg man-dul-meš ka-ši-na, éš-gar síg hé-me-da, 2 túg an-ta-dul lu?-hu / ˹hé-me-da˺). Aro read the last three signs on the edge, at the end of l. 91, as il-x. The proposed reading ( ˹hé-me-da˺) is parallel to ll. 84–5 where the lu?-hu feature presents the same colour. Both textiles, in the same order, are found in a MB receipt (Sassmannshausen 2001: 409 no. 372) in which the textile has a multi-coloured edge (ka-gùn). The an-ta-dul-blanket (Akkadian taktīmu, CAD T: 89) is described has ši-bu/pu, a word which is interpreted differently in the dictionaries: grey (šību, see AHw 1228b A); a red decoration (šippu, CAD Š/3: 72). Šīpu C ‘discoloration’ does not fit the context (CAD Š/3: 94). The same word characterizes this type of blanket in the gift list no. 4, 9 (Gurney 1949: 134). The man-dul is probably also a cover as suggested by the Sumerian word dul and its association with the taktīmu-blanket. Its Akkadian cognate does not seem to be attested. 40 Túg gú-zu gaba ka-ša, síg hé-me-da, túg gú-zu gaba ka-ša za-gìn-kur-ra (col. iii, 80–3). 41 The footwear is listed at the end of each set. It is indicated vertically on the lateral edge of the tablet: col. ii, 50a–b and col. iii, 68ab. Col. iv, 107a–b (on the left edge of the tablet, not transliterated by Aro) may be read, according to the copy: 2 mé-[šen ú-bi-gal], 1 mé-[šen ka-ba-lim]. One may consider that this footwear is part of the set given to the third man in the list ([x], col. i, 28) as it is noted next to the items that he receives, but this is less possible. As in the other cases, the record of the footwear faces the set subtotal, which here corresponds to the one related to the bride. This analysis fits better with the fact that no other man receives shoes. 42 CAD N/1: 141, lal = nahsu ‘pointed (?)’. This word describes garments in MB texts but the meaning remains uncertain. However, the meaning ‘thin’ (see Aro 1970: 28) fits the context of PBS 2/2 94, 5 (p. 141 under §3) where a number of túg nahsūtum are listed just before thick (kabrūtum) garments. One ‘thick’ garment and two paršīku are given to the father of the bride in the bridal gift published by Gurney (1949: 134 no. 4: 32–3), the former worth one-half shekel of gold and the latter half of this value. In HS 157, the túg úr-me-lal is attributed solely to the bridegroom who receives a ‘white’ one and to his father who receives one without colour indication. 43 See already Aro (1970: 23). For the kubšu cap, see Gaspa (2018: 308–12) who also considers Mari and MA texts with reference to the possible visual documentation from the Assyrian palace reliefs. More MA evidence can be found in Llop (2016: 201–2). Kubšu is written u+sag. In lexical texts kubšu is given as equivalent with other words probably borrowed from Sumerian with the component word sag (head), such as sagdû, sagkû or sagdullum, see CAD K: 485. Aro (1970: 30) links the sagxlum to the MB unidentified textile qulqullum (CAD Q: 301) without further explanation, but he may have thought of a graphic play linking


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity sag to gulgullu ‘skull’. As for sagbur (p. 31), he proposed ‘Ein Kopfbedeckung?’ and connected it to the sak burîm in the Mari texts for which see now Durand (2009: 92), ‘tissage (serré) pour un matelas’.

References Abrahami, P. (2019), ‘Cultic Uses of Wool and Textiles at Emar’, in S. Gaspa and M. Vigo (eds), Textiles in Ritual and Cultic Practices in the Ancient Near East from the Third to the First Millennium BC. Proceedings of an International Workshop in Copenhagen (6th to 7th October 2015), 79–98, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 431, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Abrahami, P. and B. Lion (2018), ‘Quelques contrats de commandes d’étoffes à Nuzi’, in P. Attinger, A. Cavigneaux, C. Mittermayer and M. Novák (eds), Text and Image. Proceedings of the 61e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Geneva and Bern, 22–26 June 2015, 21–31, Leuven: Peeters. Archi, A. (2016), ‘Egypt or Iran in the Ebla Texts?’, Orientalia, 85: 1–49. Arnaud, D. (1991), Textes syriens de l’âge du Bronze Récent, Aula Orientalis Supplementa 1, Sabadell: Ausa. Aro, J. (1970), Mittelbabylonische Kelidertexte der Hilprecht-Sammlung Jena, Berlin: AkademieVerlag. Bartl, P. V. (2014), Die Ritzverzierungen auf den Relieforthostaten Assurnasirpals ̣ II. Aus Kalhu, Bagdhader Forschungen 25, Darmstadt: Philipp von Zabern. Beaulieu, P.-A. (2003), The Pantheon of Uruk During the Neo-Babylonian Period, Cuneiform Monographs 23, Leiden, Boston: Brill, Styx. Bernhardt, I. (1976), Sozialökonomische Texte und Rechtsurkunden aus Nippur zur Kassitenzeit, Texte und Materialien der Frau Professor Hilprecht Collection Neue Folge 5, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag. Biga, M. G. (2016), ‘La Syrie et l’Égypte au IIIe millénaire av. J.-C. d’après les archives d’Ébla’, Comptes rendus de l’Académie des Inscriptions & Belles-Lettres II (avril–juin): 691–711. Durand, J.-M. (2009), La nomenclature des habits et des textiles dans les textes de Mari, Archives Royales de Mari 30, Paris: CNRS Editions. Durand, J.-M. (2014), ‘Les plus anciennes attestations de la côte occidentale du Proche-Orient d’Ebla à Mari (XXIVe-XVIIIe av. J.-C.’, in A. Lemaire (ed.), Phéniciens d’Orient et d’Occident. Mélanges Josette Elayi, 1–12, Cahiers de l’Institut du Proche-Orient ancien du Collège de France II, Paris: Jean Maisonneuve. Faist, B. (2001), Der Fernhandel des assyrischen Reiches, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 265, Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Frame, G. (1995), Rulers of Babylonia. From the Second Dynasty of Isin to the End of Assyrian Domination (1157–612 BC), Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Freydank, H. (1994), ‘Gewänder für einen Dolmetscher’, Altorientalische Forschungen, 21: 31–3. Freydank, H. and C. Saporetti (1989), Babu-aha-iddina: die Texte, Roma: Analisi elettronica del cuneiforme. Gaspa, S. (2017), ‘Garments, Parts of Garments, and Textile Techniques in the Assyrian Terminology : The Neo-Assyrian Textile Lexicon in the 1st-Millennium BC Linguistic Context’, in S. Gaspa, C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies from the Orient to the Mediterranean and Europe, 1000 BC to 1000 AD, 47–90, Lincoln: Zea Books. Gaspa, S. (2018), Textiles in the Neo-Assyrian Empire: A Study of Terminology, Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 19, Boston, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Guichard, M. (2012), ‘Relations entre Carkémish et Mari: nouveaux fragments’, Semitica, 54: 19–32. 28

The Middle Babylonian Period Gurney, O. R. (1949), ‘Texts from Dur-Kurigalzu’, Iraq, 11 (1): 131–49. Jakob, S. (2003), Mittelassyrische Verwaltung und Sozialstruktur. Untersuchungen, Cuneiform Monographs 29, Leiden: Brill. Justel, J. J. (2008), La posición juridical de la mujer en Siria durante el Bronce Final, Zaragoza: Instituto de Estudios Islámicos y del Oriente Próximo. Lackenbacher, S. (2002), Textes akkadiens d’Ugarit. Textes provenant des vingt-cinq premières campagnes, Littératures anciennes du Proche-Orient 20, Paris: Les Editions du Cerf. Llop, J. (2016), ‘The Weaponry of the Middle Assyrian Army According to the Written Sources’, in P. Abrahami and C. Wolff (eds), Kakkēka rukusma (“Ceins tes armes!”). 2e Rencontre d’Histoire militaire du Proche-Orient ancien (Lyon, 17–18 octobre 2013), 199–222, Revue Internationale d’Histoire Militaire Ancienne 3, Paris: Klincksieck. Masetti-Rouault, M. G. (2014), ‘Comment devient-on un autre – un héros, un sage, une épouse (divine)? Notes sur des possibles rites de passage dans la culture syro-mésopotamienne ancienne’, in A. Mouton and J. Patrier (eds), Vivre, grandir et mourir dans l’antiquité: rites de passage individuels au Proche-Orient ancien et ses environs. Life, Death, and Coming of Age in Antiquity: Individual Rites of Passage in the Ancient Near East and Adjacent Regions, 47–60, Publications de l’Institut historique-archéologique néerlandais de Stamboul 124, Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten. Michel, C. and K. R. Veenhof (2010), ‘The Textiles Traded by the Assyrians in Anatolia (19th– 18th centuries BC)’, in C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennia BC, 210–71, Ancient Textiles Series 8, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Molina, M. (2014), Sargonic Cuneiform Tablets in the Real Academia de la Historia: The Carl L. Lippmann Collection, Madrid: Real Academia de la Historia, Ministerio de cultura de la República de Iraq. Nougayrol, J. (1955), Textes accadiens et hourrites des archives Est, ouest et centrales, Palais royal d’Ugarit 3, MRS 6, Paris: Imprimerie nationale, Librairie C. Klincksieck. Nougayrol, J. (1970), Textes en cunéiformes babyloniens des archives du grand palais et du palais sud d’Ugarit, Palais royal d’Ugarit 6, MRS 12, Paris: Imprimerie nationale, Librairie C. Klincksieck. Postgate, J. N. (1979), ‘Assyrian Documents in the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva’, Assur, 2/4: 93–9. Postgate, J. N. (2013), Bronze Age Bureaucracy: Writing and the Practice of Government in Assyria, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Postgate, J. N. (2014), ‘Wool, Hair and Textiles in Assyria’, in C. Breniquet and C. Michel (eds), Wool economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean. From the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry, 401–27, Ancient Textiles Series 17, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Quillien, L. (2013), ‘túg-LUM-LUM = túg-guz-guz; a new interpretation of the “guzguzu” garment in first millennium BC Mesopotamia’, NABU 2013/4: 21–5. Richter, T. (2012), Bibliographisches Glossar des Hurritischen, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Richter, T. and S. Lange (2012), Das Archiv des Idadda. Die Keilschriftexte aus den deutschsyrischen Ausgrabungen 2001–2003 im Königspalast von Qatna ̣ . Qat na ̣ Studien 3, Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz. Salonen, A. (1969), Die Fussbekleidung der Alten Mesopotamier: Nach Sumerisch-Akkadischen Quellen, Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae, Ser. B, Tom. 157, Helsinki: Suomalaisen Tiedeakatemian Toimituksia. Sassmannshausen, L. (2001), Beiträge zur Verwaltung und Gesellschaft Babylonien in der Kassitenzeit, Baghdader Forschungen 21, Mainz: Philipp von Zabern. Schaudig, H. (2001), Die Inschriften Nabonids von Babylon und Kyros’ des Großen, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 256, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. 29

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity van Soldt, W. (1997), ‘Kassite Textiles for Enlil-Nērāru’s Messenger’, Altorientalische Forschungen 24 (1): 97–104. van Soldt, W. (2015), Middle Babylonian Texts in the Cornell University Collections/ I. The Later Kings, Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology 30, Bethesda, Maryland: CDL Press. Steinkeller, P. (2014), ‘Marhaši and Beyond: The Jiroft Civilization in a Historical Perspective’, in C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, B. Genito, and B. Cerasetti. (eds), ‘My Life is like the Summer Rose’: Maurizio Tosi e l’Archeologia come modo di vivere. Papers in Honour of Maurizio Tosi for His 70th Birthday, 691–707, BAR International Series 2690, Oxford: Archaeopress. Volk, K. (1995), Inanna und Šukaletuda, Zur historisch-politischen Deutung eines sumerisch Literaturwerkes, Santag - Arbeiten und Untersuchungen zur Keilschriftkunde 3, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Wasserman, N. (2019), ‘Mesopotamian Underwear and Undergarments’, in G. Chambon, M. Guichard and A.-I. Langlois (eds), De l’argile au numérique: Mélanges assyriologiques en l’honneur de Dominique Charpin, 1125–44, Leuven: Peeters. Westenholz, J. G. (2000), Cuneiform Inscriptions in the Collection of the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem: The Emar Tablets, Cuneiform Monographs 13, Groningen: Styx Publications. Zawadzki, S. (2006), Garments of the Gods: Studies on the Textile Industry and the Pantheon of Sippar according to the Texts from the Ebabbar Archive, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 218, Fribourg, Göttingen: Academic Press, Vandenhoeck Ruprecht.



The subject of this chapter is based on one of the most frequently studied texts among the Neo-Babylonian administrative archives of the Eanna, the temple of the goddess Ištar in Uruk. This document is known from two duplicates almost identical to each other (YOS 6 71 = 72) and was clearly one of the texts which the temple administration had archived for future consultations. It concerns a conflict that occurred over the ceremonial kusītu-garment that covered the cult statue of the goddess Ištar and the goddess Nanaja, the two major divinities of Eanna.

3.1 A letter of the king’s son The text includes a consultation by the king’s representative at the head of the temple administration, the ša reš šarri bēl piqitti of Eanna of sixteen people who constituted the temple college. They were thus responsible for deciding on a difficult case after the receipt of a letter sent by Bēl-šar-usur, ̣ the son of king Nabonidus to the temple authorities. Nabonidus himself was then in Arabia (in the sixth year of his reign), and so his son was administering Babylonia. The passage that concerns us here has been translated several times: by R. Dougherty (1929), L. Oppenheim (1949), P.-A. Beaulieu (1989), E. Matsushima (1992) and K. Kleber (2008). It was also partially cited by G. Frame (1991), M. Streck (1995) and J. Hackl and M. Jursa (2014). The King’s son sent a letter saying: ‘the two ceremonial kusītu-garments which are going down (from Borsippa) from Nanaja of Ezida, are going (towards Uruk) to the Lady of Uruk and Nanaja; according to what I have been told, once they have gone down, only one of the two has to be given to the Lady residing in Uruk (= the other garment shall go to the city of Bēltija). But now you’re delaying! Write to me about exactly why you’re delaying!’ Tell me (what to do) so I can answer to the King’s son! YOS 6, 71/72: 19–25, transliteration presented in appendix And here is the answer from the people of the temple college: There can be no question of giving the ceremonial kusītu-garment from Eanna to the city of Bēltija. Once, under the reign of Nebuchadnezzar (II), as Mušēzib31

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Marduk, the chief officer of the temples (šapir ekurrāte) had nevertheless given it, and as some resistance had been made (= by Eanna), thus Nebuchadnezzar learned of it, and he returned the garment (to Uruk). Another time, under the reign of Neriglissar, as the kusītu had also been given, as Neriglissar heard about it, he held it back (to Uruk). Finally, in the first regnal year of Nabonidus King of Babylon, after a citizen of Bēltiya had spoken about this in the city of Larsa to the King our lord, the King (even) struck the man who had spoken to him about it, and the King our lord never ordered: ‘Give it (= the kusītu)!’ YOS 6, 71/72: 26–36 The interpretation of this document is that two ceremonial garments travelled in a repetitive manner between two cities: first they came from Borsippa to Uruk (some precedents are cited under Nebuchadnezzar II, Neriglissar and the beginning of Nabonidus’ reign). In Uruk, the garments were put on the cult statues of Ištar (the Lady of Uruk), and, probably, of Nanaja, who is her alter ego. P.-A. Beaulieu remarked that if Ištar is the ‘Lady of Uruk’ (Belet Uruk), Nanaja is called ‘Queen of Uruk’ (Beaulieu 2003: 187). Bēl-šar-usur, ̣ in his letter, asked that Eanna use only one of the two kusītu: the other must go to the cult statue of an unidentified deity in a city called Bēltija. Bēltija is the name of the city, not the goddess. But the representative of Eanna certified that this is contrary to custom and that previous kings have always rejected it. This text therefore refers to several facts that deserve to be examined in a more detailed way: What were these kusītu-garments and what function did they have in the cult? Why did they travel, and which route did they follow? Why did the people of the city of Bēltija ask to have one of the two? In addition, what do we know about these journeys? I examine these points in this essay.

3.2 What is the garment called kusˉı tu (Sumerian: túg-bar-dul5)? Thanks to several recent studies, this is probably the easiest question to answer. I would refer here mainly to the work conducted by S. Zawadski (2006, 2013) and by L. Quillien (2016). The kusītu was a prestigious but secular garment during the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Elamite times, but had a religious function in Babylonia (it is mainly attested in the temples of Sippar and Uruk). In the Neo-Babylonian documentation, the kusītu is a garment characteristic of a deity, and it appears to be specific to female divinities, as established by Zawadzki and by Quillien. Concerning its manufacturing and weight, we know that the kusītu was an outer garment, a kind of coat or mantle. It was made of wool and was decorated with embroideries, trims, and, especially in Uruk, with precious metal ornaments called ‘sequins’ or ‘bracteates’. In Sippar, as studied by Zawadzki, the kusītu was worn by several goddesses, except Annunitu, and colour of the embroidery were used to identify the deities: embroidery in purple-blue wool for Šarrat Sippar, but in redpurple wool with blue trim for Aya and for the Daughters of the Ebabbar. The kusītu was 32

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Table 3.1 Comparison of Some Kusītu Weights (Zawadzki 2006: 118). Reference



BM 79793+ rev. II 9


3.25 kg

CT 4 38a: 4


4 kg

Cyr 191: 7


4.7 kg

CT 44 73: 20


5.5 kg

Camb 229: 1(!) Dar 322: 2

Šarrat Sippar Šarrat Sippar

3.16 kg 3.25 kg

heavy: usually between three and five kilos, but its size remains hypothetical as we do not know the dimensions of the cult statues. Quillien has shown that, in Uruk, the deities wearing a kusītu were Ištar, Nanaja, Gula, Aḫ lama’itu and Antu. Finally, P.-A. Beaulieu established that the kusītu of the goddess Nanaja was decorated with two types of sequins: about 700 rosettes (ayaru) and 700 square plates (tenšiya?) and that it could be lent by Nanaja to Ištar (Beaulieu 2003: 203, NBC 4577). The function and value of the kusītu are linked to the fact that being covered with glittering sequins, it concretized the sovereignty of a deity by combining two elements: first, the use of a large coat, which meant prestige and protection; and, second, the radiance of the decorations (melammu). So, the kusītu appears to have been a symbol of power attached to a major female deity or to the paredra of a major god. In Uruk, the text YOS 6 71 clearly identifies the goddess Ištar, Lady of Uruk, as being in the forefront, as she is the one to whom the first kusītu is attributed. And next to her is the goddess Nanaja, who should be the recipient of the second kusītu, since there are two such garments which come from Borsippa. In addition, concerning Borsippa, we know that the goddess Nanaja was worshipped there as the paredra of the city-god Nabu, and, as such was the legitimate holder of the kusītu. Following the study of C. Waerzeggers (2010), Nanaja had the first rank in Borsippa during the Neo-Babylonian period, and she overtook the goddess Tašmetum, who was formerly known as Nabu’s paredra. Nanaja resided in the Ezida, the temple of Nabu, opposite to the cella of the god and she shared the offerings with him. But there was another Nanaja in Borsippa, Nanaja of the Ehuršaba (a temple different from the Ezida of Nabu), and this second Nanaja is known for having made individual journeys to Babylon, or to Kiš, with other cult statues. Nanaja was thus present under two forms in Borsippa: as a paredra of Nabu in the Ezida, and as an autonomous deity in the Ehuršaba. In this last temple, she was visited during the second month of the year by the god Nabu who came out from the Ezida and spent seven nights in the Ehuršaba with her. Thus, Nanaja was both the official wife of Nabu, as Nanaja of Ezida and his concubine, as Nanaja of Ehuršaba. It seems therefore likely that the two kusītus mentioned in YOS 6 71 were used for these two statues of Nanaja. 33

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However, following the interpretation proposed for YOS 6 71, these kusītus are not Borsippean but Urukean as they are ultimately the property of Uruk’s Eanna. These are not garments lent by Borsippa’s goddess to Uruk’s goddess, but the opposite. To understand why this movement took place, we must now consider the reason behind them.

3.3 The causes of displacement This brings us to the reason for the journeys of the gods, which sometimes concern the cult statues with their garments, and sometimes only the clothes. In YOS 6 71/72, we find the clothes moving, not the statues. In fact, it appears that we can reconstruct two types of circuits, which correspond to two types of religious events. The first circuit is undoubtedly linked to the performing of major cultic events in Babylonia. It is known that on the occasion of the New Year Festival (akītu), the great gods, in the form of their cult statues, came to Babylon in order to celebrate the glory of the head of the Babylonian pantheon, the god Marduk. On this occasion, the goddess Ištar of Uruk went to Babylon by boat with her dresses and her attributes and she participated in the ceremonies. The akītu festival is a complex ceremony in which Marduk’s divine son, the Borsippean god Nabu, also participates. Although there are no precise data on the journeys of the cult statues besides the akītu festival or with respect to the religious calendar specific to each great Babylonian city, I suppose that the attribution to the goddess Nanaja of Borsippa of the kusītu-garment of the Lady of Uruk stems from the special status that the god Nabu enjoyed inside the Babylonian pantheon as the eldest son of Marduk. This special status also affected his paredra, Nanaja. At the end of the New Year festival, the goddess Ištar returned to Uruk, as is attested by the letter YOS 3 86,1 but the kusītus of Ištar (or more precisely her kusītu and that of Nanaja of Uruk) remained in Borsippa where they were used by the local goddess Nanaja, before going back later, by boat, to Uruk. At this point a second circuit was set up, on a more restricted horizon. It is known that the great goddess of Uruk lent some of her cultic garments to deities of the neighbouring cities. This phenomenon, already reported by L. Oppenheim, has also been pointed up by K. Kleber in her study on the Eanna Temple in Uruk (Kleber 2008). The case of Larsa or of a small city in the Uruk vicinity has been observed by P.-A. Beaulieu, with the case of the letter YOS 3 62.2 As Beaulieu writes: This letter was sent from a cult centre partly dependent on Eanna for its offering system and religious ceremonies. This centre might be Larsa since the sender of the letter bears a theophoric name honouring Šamaš and mentions meeting with the šatammu of Eanna in that city. On the other hand, the letter mentions the god Bel-aliya ‘the Divine Mayor’. Such deities are attested in connection with several cities, but not with Larsa. According to the Nippur Compendium (§ 7.7) the god Pi/ 34

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Mesangunuk was the ‘Divine Mayor’ of Kullab. Therefore, the letter might have been sent from Kullab, which was perhaps the seat of the temple of Anu and Antu in the neo-Babylonian period. This, however, remains very hypothetical, and the probability that the deities mentioned in the letter were worshiped at Larsa seems more serious. Another letter from Uruk, BIN 1 10, shows that the goddess ‘Queen of Larsa’ (= Aja or another form of Ištar?) had her own kusītu, but that the Ebabbar temple in Larsa was dependent on the Eanna of Uruk for its maintenance.3 The phenomenon of the lending by the Uruk temple of one or two kusītu(s) to one or probably several small sanctuaries of the surrounding area at intervals of time that are not necessarily regular is probably the reason why the people of the city of Bēltija come to request from the King the disposal of the kusītu-garment of Ištar of Uruk or of Nanaja. But what is the city of Bēltija? According to R. Zadok (1985), followed by K. Kleber (2008: 193), this city was located in the Uruk region; the data concerning Bēltija have also been studied by E. Matsushima (1995b) specifically with respect to the question of the kusītu and she noted the presence in Bēltija of a royal palace. This palace was restored during the reign of Cambyses (year 4 or 5; YOS 7 166: see Tolini 2011: 86–94). We do not know what existed before, but it seems quite possible that since the period of the NeoBabylonian kings, the city of Bēltija had benefited of the presence of a royal establishment. This seems to be the main reason why its citizens were asking to benefit of Ištar’s kusītu for their local deity. As they were directly under the authority of the royal palace located in Bēltija, they did not address the Eanna authorities but went directly to the royal administration and to the administrator in charge of the temples, the šāpir ekurrāte, during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, then to the king himself at the beginning of the reign of Nabonidus. They were always rejected. We find then, in YOS 6 71/72, a context of authorities in rivalry, with on the one hand a prestigious sanctuary, the Eanna of Uruk, and on the other hand a small town but with a royal palace, Bēltiya. The people of Uruk therefore defended their prerogatives, while the people of Bēltija attempted to develop theirs.

3.4 Modes of travel: the ‘boat of the kusˉı tu’ (eleppu ša kusˉı ti) The Neo-Babylonian documentation of Uruk provides information on a specific ceremonial boat called the eleppu ša kusīti (‘the Boat of the kusītu’) which has been already studied by Matsushima (1992, 1993, 1994, 1995a, 1995b), Kleber (2008) and Quillien (2016). It is quite a special qualification, specific to Uruk and the single identified nautical transport for religious purposes during the Neo-Babylonian period, apart from the (Sumerian) names of the holy boats on which the great deities travel. We know of the giš má i7-hé-du7 of Nabu going from Borsippa to Babylon and the gišmá u8-tuš-a of Marduk navigating the Euphrates. These processional boats were used for the transportation of the statue of the god. B. Pongratz-Leisten (1994: 196–7) also mentions a boat of Sîn 35

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stored in a sacred warehouse during the reign of Nabonidus. This does not seem to be the case with the eleppu ša kusīti: when attested, it does not carry the statue of a deity but rather what we may call its paraphernalia. Its routes and its manager have been identified: this boat regularly travelled from Uruk to Babylon and the text YOS 7 71 shows that it also went down the Euphrates between Borsippa and Uruk. The dates of its attestations are grouped into two moments: in the month Du’ūzu, the fourth of the Babylonian calendar, (June–July) before a specific Nanaja religious festival in Uruk and during the month Šabātu, the eleventh month (January–February), before the time of the travel of the Lady of Uruk, Ištar, to Babylon for the New Year Festival. We know also that the boat was towed on the river.4 This mode of transport was under the responsibility of a man named Rēmūt, identified by Kleber as Rēmūt, son of Nādin, descendant of the Weaver. This Rēmūt is mentioned several times, including once in direct connection with the boat of the kusītu. First, he had to deal with the boat that carried the king’s shares of sacrifices from Uruk to Babylon.5 Then he supervised the transport of the statue of Ištar itself.6 Under the reign of Cyrus, Rēmūt was in charge of the boat of the kusītu.7 The other attestations of the boat of the kusītu show that it brought gold and precious products from the area of Babylon to Uruk. The boat was also used to transport letters addressed to the administration of the Eanna.8 However, the precious metal carried by this boat had a specific status: it is qualified as being an irbu, a term that often applies to offerings made to a temple by individuals or officials. The irbū ša eleppi ša kusīti are, as Kleber established, mentioned separately from other offerings, as it is shown by some examples.9 We also observe that one of the offerings in GC 1 404 was made of gold, a metal that is very rarely attested in daily transactions. These could be offerings that have been made to the goddess Ištar during her stay in Babylon for the New Year Festival. However, the chronological distribution of the events shows that the boat of the kusītu travelled also at other times of the year than during Ištar’s journey to the New Year Festival. It seems, then, that the boat, or more precisely the sacred object it carried, i.e. the kusītu-garment, generated these offerings, when it passed through the localities along the route between the Babylon-Borsippa region and the Uruk region. Actually, the journey followed by the kusītu-garment not only concerned the great cultural centres (the Eanna of Uruk, the Esagil of Babylon, the Ezida of Borsippa, perhaps also the Ebabbar of Larsa), but also included the territories crossed during the trip. We have here a kind of ‘ceremonial circulation’ in some areas of Babylonia of a particularly holy object, the sacred garment that covers one or more major female deities like Ištar in Uruk, but also Nanaja of Uruk as well of Borsippa.

3.5 Conclusion and hypothesis If we take up the elements presented from the text YOS 6 71/72, we can see the following facts. 36

The Goddess Nanaja’s New Clothes

During the Neo-Babylonian period, there existed a ceremonial garment that was used in religious ceremonies as an outer garment of the goddesses of the Babylonian pantheon cult statues which were located in the country’s major sanctuaries, but also in some secondary centres (such as the city of Bēltija). This garment, the kusītu, is a garment with a particularly rich and brilliant decoration, made of precious metal, but also embroideries of purple wool. This kusītu covered the statues of female deities on the occasion of the clothing rituals called lubuštu, but also during specific major ceremonies (e.g. the fifteenth of the month Du’uzu in Uruk for Nanaja). On some occasions, this garment travelled by boat, sometimes accompanying the statue of a female deity, sometimes alone, sometimes with precious products intended for worship. It could also travel because it was lent by a great sanctuary to small temples of the same region. There are also journeys of the kusītu between southern Babylonia and the Babylon-Borsippa area, and also smaller travels around Uruk. The passage of the boat of the kusītu seems to have generated offerings of precious metal, which were then brought to Uruk and registered by the temple administration. In this case, we may almost consider the boat of the kusītu as a kind of processional boat, as one that would wear the garment alone and not the statue of the deity. One final question arises as to why such interest was focused on the outer garment of the goddesses, and what power was attributed to it that justified its displacement and such enhancement? And, incidentally, can we find parallel examples? The answer to the first question is quite simple: throughout Mesopotamian history, the mantle of the god or the king was a symbol of prestige and power. In the texts of Mari in the eighteenth century, we find references to a garment of the king Zimrī-Lîm decorated with ostrich feathers; in Hellenistic times, when the Seleucid king Antiochus III visited the Esagil of Babylon, he was shown the coat of Nebuchadnezzar II still kept in the temple’s Treasury. And we know that in Neo-Assyrian times the king could be represented in some rituals by his mantle. As L. Oppenheim (1949) pointed out at the end of his article on the ‘Golden Garments’ of the gods, at all times, ‘grasping the king’s mantle’ was like asking for his assistance and protection. But each time, however, these examples concern male persons: the enhancement of a woman’s garment found here, associated with goddesses, is all the more remarkable. This case therefore evokes, with all the precautions of use, the very special status that the mantle of the Virgin, known as the ‘Mantle of Misericordia’, has in Christian Europe. This mantle protects populations against epidemics: see, for example, the Madonna della Misericordia by Benedetto Bonfigli,10 or the Polyptych of the Misericordia by Piero della Francesca.11 The Virgin Mary, like many Mesopotamian female deities, plays a wellknown role of intercessor between humankind and its God. Southern Europe has also maintained to the present day, the habit of regularly presenting the statue of the Virgin Mary covered with a richly decorated mantle, thanks to which her glory is manifested. While keeping in mind the fact that there is obviously no direct historical relationship between Nanaja of Borsippa or Ištar of Uruk and the Virgin of Le-Puy-en-Velay (France), Notre-Dame-of Guadalupe (Estramadure, Spain) or the Madonna-della-Bruna (Matera, 37

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

Italy), we can see that there are forms of a similar type of popular devotion, for which we are cruelly lacking data for ancient Mesopotamia. So perhaps we have here a system of circulation of a sacred object in the form of the kusītu-garment which was both a symbol of sovereignty and a symbol of protection. What is interesting is that we find here a kind of assistance and protection considered to be specific to women and assigned to several Mesopotamian goddesses. The means of this protection was a garment.

Appendix: Transliteration of YOS 6, 71/72 Id

2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32


nà-lugal-uri3 lú sag lugal lú en pi-qit-ti é-an-na a-na Iden-din-it ̣ a-šú šá Igi-damar-utu a Išu-dna-na-a I I ba-la-t ụ a-šú šá šu-ma-a a Imu-dpap-sukkal Id Id amar-utu-mu-mu a-šú šá nà-šeš-meš-bul-lit ̣ a Iba-la-t ụ I níg-du-nu a-šú šá Imu-še-zib-den a Izalag2-d30 Id I d nà-sur-zi-meš a-šú šá ìr- en a Ie-gi-bi I I na-di-nu a-šú šá ap-la-a a Išeš-meš-ia-ú I d I d gi- amar-utu a-šú šá ìr- nà a lú sanga dnà Id nà-šur-zi-meš a-šú šá Iden-ba-šá a Iden-a-uri3 I d Id dù- XV a-šú šá nà-numun-gin a lú azalag Id in-nin-mu-uri3 a-šú šá Imu-dnà a Iki-din-damar-utu I a-hu-lap-ia a-šú šá Iden-mu a Iden-a-uri3 I en-šú-nu a-šú šá Idnà-šeš-meš-mu a Ie-gi-bi Id Id nà-dù-šeš a-šú šá nà-iq-bi a Id30-ti-ér Id I utu-mu-gin a-šú šá šu-la-a a lú man-di-di I ina-é-sag-íl-numun a-šú šá Išá-⎡x⎤-den a Ilú-dbe Id nà-mu-še-tíq-ud-da a-šú šá Iden-ri-man-ni a Ie-gi-bi ki ki lú tin-tir -meš lú unug -a-a lú igi-meš lú ku4-é u lú ki-na-al-tú šá é-an-na iq-bi um-ma dumu lugal ši-pil-ti il-tap-ra um-ma túg-bar-dul5-meš ši-na 2-ta šá ul-tu ugu dna-na-a šá é-zi-da ur-ra-da-nim-ma a-na ugu dgašan šá unugki u dna-na-a il-la-ka ki-i iq-bu-nu áš-šá it-tar-da-a-nu 1+et ina lìb-bi ši-na a-na dgašan a-šib-ti unugki ta-an-na-an-din ù en-na ka-la-a-ta ak-ka-a-’a-i ki-i ka-la-a-ta hur-sa-am-ma ̣ šup-ra qí-ba-a-nim-ma a-na dumu lugal lu-uš-pur lú tin-tirki-meš ù lú-unugki-a-a lú igi-meš lú ku4-é u lú ki-na-al- šá é-an-na a-na Idnà-lugal-uri3 lú sag lugal lú en pi-qit-ti é-an-na iq-bu-ú um-ma na-da-a-nu šá túg-bar-dul5 ul-tu 12 a-na uru dgašan-ia ia-a-nu al-la 1-šú ana tar-sị Idnà-níg-du-uri3 Ikar-damar-utu lú ugula é-kur-meš ki-i id-di-nu-uš te-er-du ina muh-hi ki-i iš-šak-nu Id nà-níg-du-uri3 iš-mu-ú ik-te-liš a-na tar-sị Idu-gur-lugal-uri3 1-šú ki-i ta-an-na-ad-nu Idu-gur-lugal-uri3 ki-i iš-mu-ú ik-te-liš ù ina mu 1-kam Idnà-ní-tuk lugal tin-tirki lú uru-dgašan-ia-a-a

The Goddess Nanaja’s New Clothes

34 [ina l]arsaki a-na lugal en-i-ni ki-i iq-bu-ú lugal en-a-ni [lú] šá a-na muh-hi iq-ba-áš-šú it -̣ t i-ru ̣ ù lugal en-a-ni I 36 [ú-ul iq]-bi um-ma in-na lú umbisag na-di-nu [a-šú šá] Iden-šeš-meš-ba-šá a Ie-gi-bi unugki iti apin 38 u4 23-kam mu 6-kam dnà-ní-tuk lugal tin-tirki

Notes 1 ‘Letter of Nabu-šumu-ukin to Iddinaia, my brother. May Nabu and Marduk bless my brother. The ship that Nabu-šumu-ibni has given you out of Borsippa, the Assembly (kiništu) of Esagil travelled onto it down to Uruk with Nanaja and the Lady of Uruk. The Assembly (kiništu) of Esagil has given the ship back to me in Borsippa.’ 2 Translation Beaulieu (2003: 310–11): ‘Letter of Šamaš-aḫ -iddin to the šatammu, my lord. Daily do I pray to Bel and Nabu for the health (and) longevity of my lord. Now, I have sent 500 pomegranates to my lord for the regular offerings of the Lady-of-Uruk. The kusītu garment shall come out of Eanna for Antu. I have not withdrawn the kusītu garment since the 13th year. I notified my lord concerning this question at Larsa. May the overseers and the scribes clarify this matter, (my) lord. Until I come I will pray to the gods on behalf of my lord. May (my) lord send me the aromatics of the house of the rab-bane and juniper cuttings for the regular offerings of Antu, Bēl-aliya, and Mar-bīti. Give orders on my behalf concerning their knobs and tarkullus of bronze for (the ceremony of) entering (the temple?) and send me 5 minas of honey from Eanna. In exchange let me send to Eanna (supplies for) whatever needs will arise. Let me hear a reply and news from my lord.’ 3 ‘Letter of Šamaš-idri and Itti-enši-Nabu to the šatammu and to Nabu-ah-iddin, our fathers. May Šamaš and Bunene decrete the health (and) longevity of our fathers. Itti-enši-Nabu says: “The kusītu-garment of the goddess Queen of Larsa is ripped. We also lack turbans of red-purple wool and blue-purple wool for our (religious) duties. In presence of Šamaš, do us a favor! May our lords make bring to us a kusītu garment and 2 turbans (embroidered) of red and blue-purple wool!” ’ 4 YOS 6, 229 (Nbn 11) l. 26: ‘Five gur of barley for people who are towing the boat of the kusītu, given(?) to Šamaš-aḫ ḫ ē [. . .].’ 5 NCBT, 207 (29.II.1 Ner): ‘Rimut, the bargeman of the boat that brought the King’s ration to Babylon’. 6 YOS 3, 145 (reign of Nabonidus) [translation Beaulieu, cf. also the remarks of Fried 2004, p. 27]: ‘Letter of Rimut to Nabu-mukin-zeri, šatammu of the Eanna and Nabu-ah-iddin, bel piqitti of the Eanna, my brothers. May Nabu and Marduk bless my brothers! Send me one leather mat and five inflatable goatskins for the boat concerning the Lady of the Eanna via the soldiers who will bring the boat parts (kanduru) to me, so that the Lady of the Eanna may go upstream to Babylon on the Euphrates.’ 7 TCL 13, 124 (1.V.1 Cyr): ‘Directors and notables in whose presence Remut, son of Nadin, descendant of the Weaver, made the following statement: ‘Concerning the first quality oil that I brought in the kusītu boat from Esagil to Eanna on the 3rd of the month of Du’uzu in year 1 of Cyrus, King of the countries, until it entered the Eanna, nobody got a hand on it’ (. . .)’ 8 YOS 21, 8 (a report on arms purchases in Babylon with silver sent by the Ištar Temple): ‘May I hear (soon) news from my fathers. I had Eanna-lipi-usur ̣ and Rēmūt carry (this) tablet by the boat of the kusītu to my fathers.’


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity 9 GC 1, 298: ‘20 shekels of silver, irbu-offering of the boat of the kusītu. On the 12th of the month Du’uzu, year 7 of Nabonidus, King of Babylon’; GC 1, 404: ‘1 mana 20 shekels of silver not refined and 1 shekel of gold: irbu-offering of the boat of the kusītu, 1/3 2 shekels of gold: irbu-offering at the (temple’s) gate since the 17th of the month Šabatu. On the 27th of the month Šabatu, year 10 of Nabonidus, King of Babylon.’ 10 1464, Housed in the National Gallery of Perugia, Italy. 11 1445. Housed in the Museo Civico di Sansepolcro, Italy. 12 Present in the duplicate.

References Beaulieu, P.-A. (1989), The Reign of Nabonidus, King of Babylon (556–539 B.C.), Yale Near Eastern Researches 10, New Haven: Yale University Press. Beaulieu, P.-A. (2003), The Pantheon of Uruk during the Neo-Babylonian Period, Cuneiform Monographs 23, Leiden: Brill. Dougherty, R. P. (1929), Nabonidus and Belshazzar, a Study of the Closing Events of the NeoBabylonian Empire, Yale Oriental Series Researches 15, New Haven: Yale University Press. Frame, G. (1991), ‘Nabonidus, Nabu-šarra-usur, ̣ and the Eanna temple’, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, 81: 37–86. Fried, L. S. (2004), The Priest and the Great King: Temple-Palace Relations in the Persian Empire, Biblical and Judaic Studies from the University of California, San Diego, vol. 10, Eisenbrauns: Winona Lake, Indiana. Hackl, J. and M. Jursa (2014), ‘Rhetorics, Politeness, Persuasion and Argumentation in Late Babylonian Epistolography: The Contrast Between Official Correspondence and Private Letters’, in S. Procházka et al. (eds), Official Epistolography and the Language(s) of Power, 141–56, Vienna: Austrian Academy of Sciences Press. Kleber, K. (2008), Tempel und Palast. Die Beziehungen zwischen dem König und dem Eanna-Tempel im spätbabylonischen Uruk, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 358, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Matsushima, E. (1992), ‘L’elippu sa kusīti (bateau du vêtement)’, Bulletin of the Middle Eastern Culture Center in Japan, 6: 1–21. Matsushima, E. (1993), ‘Divine Statues in Ancient Mesopotamia: their Fashioning and Clothing and their Interaction with Society’, in E. Matsushima (ed.), Official Cult and Popular Religion in the Ancient Near East, 209–19, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag C. Winter. Matsushima, E. (1994), ‘On the Material Related to the Clothing Ceremony – lubuštu in the Later Periods in Babylonia’, Acta Sumerologica, 16: 177–200. Matsushima, E. (1995a), ‘Some Remarks on the Divine Garments: kusītu and naḫ laptu’, Acta Sumerologica, 17: 233–49. Matsushima, E. (1995b), ‘Quelques problèmes supplémentaires de I’elippu sa kusīti’, Orient, 30–3: 171–81. Oppenheim, A. L. (1949), ‘The Golden Garments of the Gods’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 8: 172–93. Pongratz-Leisten, B. (1994), Ina šulmi īrub. Die kulttopographische und ideologische Programmatik der akītu-Prozession in Babylonien und Assyrien im 1. Jahrtausend v. Chr, Baghdader Forschungen, 16, Mainz Am Rhein: P. von Zabern. Quillien, L. (2016), Les textiles en Mésopotamie (750–500 av. J.-C.). Techniques de production, circuits d’échanges et significations sociales, PhD, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris. Streck, M. (1995), Zahl und Zeit. Grammatik der Numeralia und des Verbalsystems im Spätbabylonischen, Cuneiform Monographs 5, Groningen: Styx Publications. 40

The Goddess Nanaja’s New Clothes Tolini, G. (2011), La Babylonie et l’Iran: les relations d’une province avec le coeur de l’Empire achéménide (539–331 av. J.-C.), PhD, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris. Waerzeggers, C. (2010), The Ezida temple of Borsippa: priesthood, cult, archives, Achaemenid History vol. 15, Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten. Zadok, R. (1985), Geographical Names According to New- and Late-Babylonian Texts, Répertoire Géographique des Textes Cunéiformes 8, Wiesbaden: L. Reichert. Zawadzki, S. (2006), Garments of the Gods: Studies on the Textile Industry and the Pantheon of Sippar according to the Texts from the Ebabbar Archive, Orbis Biblicus Et Orientalis 218, Friburg: Academic Press. Zawadzki, S. (2013), Garments of the Gods. Volume 2: texts, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 260, Friburg: Academic Press.



CHAPTER 4 TEXTILES AND GENDER AT UGARIT Valérie Matoïan and Juan-Pablo Vita

Gender analysis constitutes a relatively recent approach in the field of Ugaritic studies, usually striving to understand the role women played at Ugarit, and giving preference to textual data. In 1989 Eleanor Amico presented a doctoral thesis entitled The Status of Women at Ugarit, analysing women’s role in religion and in family, economic and public life in which she dedicated an extensive chapter to the topic “Women at Work” (Amico 1989: 228–69). In 2003, Hennie Marsman published Women in Ugarit & Israel: Their Social Role and Religious Position in the Context of the Ancient Near East. The first part of this deals with the social position and the second part with the religious position of women. A subsection delves into ‘Professions and Domestic Activities’ (Marsman 2003: 404–37), one of its sections focusing specifically on Ugarit, based exclusively on literary texts (Marsman 2003: 419–24). This is complemented later with a subsection regarding administrative texts from Ugarit (Marsman 2003: 419–24). In 2008, Josué Justel published the monograph La posición jurídica de la mujer en Siria durante el Bronce Final. He analyses women’s legal status in matters of marriage, adoption, inheritance, lawsuits, trade and slavery in Late Bronze Age Syria. Ugarit is one of the main archives examined. The matter of gender has been attracting growing interest amongst scholars over the past decade. Recent analyses show its current relevance, such as the publication of Amico’s thesis (2013), Christine Neal Thomas’s thesis (2013)1 and Vanessa Juloux’s work related to the study of relationships between ‘animated entities’ (‘deities’) and their agency through the analysis of the Cycle of Ba‘lu and ‘Anatu.2 More selective studies, such as the three articles relating to Ugarit by Patrick Michel (2016), Marguerite Yon (2016) and Kevin McGeough (2016), in the volume edited by Stephanie Lynn Budin and Jean MacIntosh Turfa on Women in Antiquity, can be added to these monographs (see also Parker 2006). Up to the present the authors of this chapter have dedicated three studies related to textiles at Ugarit (Matoïan and Vita 2009; 2014; Vita and Matoïan 2019). The matter of textiles and gender we are now proposing is probably one of the most complex to analyse in the case of Ugarit. While women do feature in general texts and iconographic documents, men are much more prevalent. The best-documented women belong to the elite, especially queens. Some texts do document the queen’s interest in textiles, such as the so-called ‘trousseau’ of Queen Aḫ atumalki, daughter of the king of Amurru (RS 16.146+, Royal Palace), which mentions a relatively large quantity of textiles: (1) This tablet is (the tablet) of the belongings of Queen Aḫ atumalki . . . (10–13) 20 Hurri(-style) sheer gowns, 20 fine Amurru(-style) sheer gowns, 20 Hurri(-style)


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

šabattu-garments,3 20 Amurru(-style) šabattu-garments, 50 bolts of shaggy material, 10 linen cloths, 10 linen cloaks, 50 bolts of blue wool shaggy material for chairs.4 A further example among others comes from a letter addressed to the Queen Šar-elli (RS 12.33, Royal Palace): (1–4) Thus (says) [. . .]: speak to Šar-elli, lady of Ugarit: may all go well for you! . . . (9’) ‘Now, I have given a gold cup, a piece of linen, one hundred (shekels of) red wool and one hundred (shekels of) blue wool to Abimānu, for him to bring them to you.’5 However, most women remain practically anonymous and consequently hard to identify in available documents, since data on women and their relationship with textiles are very limited. In 1991, Wilfred van Soldt noticed that less than 5 per cent of the names are feminine (van Soldt 1991: 40), which according to Richard S. Hess, ‘attests to the masculine domination of the roles and responsibilities that are recorded in the texts’ (Hess 1999: 502). We will therefore endeavour to extract the maximum possible information from existing sources, using various types of texts (literary, administrative, ritual and letters) and bearing in mind the different media iconographic sources are presented in. The study of material culture relies on documentation with important gaps: the rarity of the textile remains (Matoïan and Vita 2014: 110) and the scarcity of anthropological data. The human remains found on site both at Ras Shamra and Minet el-Beida are mostly connected with funerary contexts. In spite of the importance of some discoveries, there are almost no anthropological studies (Marchegay 2008: 110). One particular case, dated to the beginning of the Middle Bronze Age and slightly outside the chronological framework of our study based on evidence from the Late Bronze Age, is worth mentioning for several reasons. It concerns the discovery of an individual burial, attributed by Claude Schaeffer to a population he named ‘Porteurs de torques’, containing the remains of a skeleton attributed to a woman, associated with adornments (but no weapons). On the basis of this single discovery, which is certainly very interesting, and with no mention of other anthropological identifications, Schaeffer generalizes by distinguishing tombs of women as marked by the presence of jewellery (pins, bracelets, beads made of cornelian, quartz, copper alloy, spirals of metal wire, sometimes with the addition of ‘torques’), while tombs of men are distinguished by the presence of weapons and in some cases by a ‘torque’ (Schaeffer-Forrer 1978: 475–6). As yet, a study of the archives of the excavation has yielded no other definite example showing any connection with specific jewellery for human remains identified as being those of a woman. Until now no archaeological evidence from Ugarit has allowed us to associate an object or a category of objects unequivocally with a man or a woman, or to state that these are objects worn by people (with maybe the exception of some inscribed rings or 44

Textiles and Gender at Ugarit

seals)6 or related to their activities in life (Matoïan 2009). As a result, commentaries are very vague on the matter of genre.7 As several studies have already stressed, study of the rich iconographic evidence provided by exploration of the sites of Ras Shamra, Minet el-Beida and Ras Ibn Hani is particularly complex. Due to the virtual absence of texts associated with images, the number of representations that are schematic and the coexistence of local production and imports that it is not always easy to distinguish, the identification of motifs and topics is often difficult and delicate. The interpretive approach therefore holds an important place, which makes it even more difficult to define the semantic field and the documentary value of these images. Male figures are much more numerous than female figures in the iconographic repertory, but distinguishing male from female figures is not always easy. This observation applies to representations whose rendering is poor, but not only these. For example, the famous ivory head RS 18.221 of the Royal Palace (Gachet-Bizollon 2007: cat. 408) sometimes is interpreted as a woman’s head, sometimes as a man’s head. The religious iconography and the royal iconography are well attested, while the scenes that can be interpreted, with relative safety, as the representation of activities of daily life (hunting, fishing, animal husbandry) are rare and none seems associated with textile production. There are very few detailed studies of the garments and jewellery worn by people depicted in Ugaritic images. Therefore, the study by Jacqueline Gachet-Bizollon (2001) of the decoration on the ivory bed (RS 16.056+) from the Royal Palace is particularly welcome, as it provides the basis for such an approach and opens up new perspectives. Similarly, very few equivalences between a particular term in Ugaritic and a type of garment shown in the iconography have been established. Noteworthy is the proposal by Pierre Bordreuil to identify the term ipd as a ‘sort of loincloth’ comparable to the one depicted on the stela of ‘Baal au foudre’ (Bordreuil 2013: 189) or else the suggestion by Nicolas Wyatt (2002: 251, note 6), recently followed by Robert Hawley (2016), to compare the garments Danilu wears (st,̣ mizrt) with the long robe with a rolled border worn by deities and kings represented in ritual scenes in Bronze Age Syria (Baccelli 2015).

4.1 Gender and textile production In her analysis of women at Ugarit, Amico concluded that, ‘The only allusions to women as artisans are in the myths’, therefore ‘there is little evidence for women in the trades and crafts represented in the middle-class guild economy of Ugarit’.8 Similarly, Marsman posited that in Ugarit the contribution of ordinary women ‘did not count, not even if they participated in the economic life of the kingdom. To a large extent, they were invisible.’9 Regarding the textile industry, Amico pointed out that ‘One area of manufacture where women are traditionally found, if anywhere, is that of spinning and weaving textiles . . . As for Ugarit, however, the words for “spinner” and “weaver” are masculine in 45

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gender’ (Amico 1989: 235 and, more generally, 231). Indeed, all the names for jobs connected with textiles refer to men, either individually or collectively (´gazilūma, ‘spinners’ DUL 324, maḫ isūma ̣ , ‘weavers’ DUL 535, kabisūma, ‘fullers, launderers’ DUL 42410). See, for instance, the following section of the alphabetic administrative text RS 11.721:III:5–9 (Palais royal), where all three fullers mentioned by their name are male: 5

kbśm bn . abḏ r bn . kpltn bn . prn Š U.NIG Í N K Ù.BABBAR.ME Š

4 4 4 12

Fullers: masc.-PN 4 masc.-PN 4 masc.-PN 4 Total: 12 shekels of silver

In his article on women’s work and their role in the economy of Ugarit (mentioned above), McGeough investigated the same idea, stating that: Lists of professions that have been found at the palace do not seem to identify women as involved in textile production or secondary food production (i.e. baking), activities that ancient historians typically assume to have been ‘women’s work’. The individuals associated with these jobs at the palace were men. This suggests that it is not safe to presume gender-based roles for different kinds of household work. McGeough 2016: 478 Nevertheless, McGeough pointed out an exception to this view: the logo-syllabic administrative text RS 19.99 (Southern Palace or ‘House of Yabninu’, PRU 6, no. 166), where females are listed alongside quantities of textiles; he concluded that ‘there is no indication, however, that these women were involved in the production of textiles’. But a closer reading of the text reveals two elements so far ignored (Fig. 4.1). On the one hand, the two lines on the left-hand margin of the tablet which provided a summary of the text contents are too damaged and it is impossible to identify to which product the figure ‘150’ on each line of the text refers. On the other hand, the text contains a few lines which may give it a new dimension. These consist of four lines vertically interspersed between the two columns of the text of the tablet, added there due to lack of space, which probably ended the text. Unlike all the other lines, which only contain women’s names (as the preceding determinatives indicate), these final lines show the figure ‘150’, followed by a man’s name, except for the last line, where the number is followed by the term lú?māḫ isụ , ‘weaver’, followed in turn by a term (ubru) of dubious meaning (as lú?māḫ isụ ubru) although the editor suggests translating it as ‘at home’ (Nougayrol, PRU 6, 150 : ‘tisseur à domicile?’). It is therefore possible that the men and women listed in this text are directly linked to textile industry and that this document is the only one in Ugarit specifying a direct connection between women and textile work.


Textiles and Gender at Ugarit

Figure 4.1 Tablet RS 19.99 (after Jean Nougayrol, Le palais royal d’Ugarit, vol. VI, Paris 1970, Planche LIII n. 166). 4.2 Women and clothing Ugaritic texts provide a large number of terms regarding textiles and clothing (Vita 2010: 323–37; Watson 2018: 353–90), although few garments, textiles or complements can be identified with any certainty as exclusively or preferentially used by women. In a recent analysis of terms for textiles, clothing, hides, wool and accessories in Ugaritic, Wilfred Watson concludes that from the point of view of lexicography at Ugarit ‘no differentiation is made between clothes for women or men’ (Watson 2018: 382), with a few possible exceptions such as ṯ prt, perhaps ‘female intimate garment’,11 or psm, ‘veil’. It could be added that in the letter RS 12.33 mentioned above, a queen of Ugarit receives as a present a kitû, a cloth made of linen, and that in another letter (RS 20.19, ‘House of Rapanu’, Ug 5, no. 48) a woman sends the queen a nēbeḫ u, ‘waist sash’, as a present.12 Part of the administrative text RS 17.354 (Royal Palace, RS 17.354:II:7–10, PRU 6, no. 149), which is considerably damaged, seems to register amounts of the same type of cloth for the queen: ______________________________ [ ] M Í .LUGAL [ ].ME Š 5 túgGADA 3 me-at sígZA.G Ì N ta-kíl-tu4 [ tú]gGADA 2 me-at na4ḫ i-li-ba x[ ]13 10.

[ a?]-na šul-ma-ni M Í .LUGAL -ti ______________________________


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

[ ] queen [ ] 5 (pieces of) linen fabric, 300 (shekels) of violet/blue purple,14 [ x (pieces of)] linen fabric, 200 ḫ ilibu-stones, [ a]s a present to the queen [ ] At least two texts, however, reveal that there was a clear differentiation between men’s and women’s garments. The sender of letter RS 94.2419 (‘Maison d’Urtenu’) announces to a prefect of Ugarit the dispatch of ‘a woman’s dress and a shawl’ (T Ú G ša SAL -ti ù T Ú G ma-aš-ši-ia-na). The term T Ú G maššiyannu, which is translated as ‘shawl’, could be a loan from Hittite.15 While it is particularly difficult to connect a specific term with a particular illustration, two similarities may be proposed with two items carved out of elephants’ tusks, where the style and technique reveal refined craftsmanship of very high quality. In fact, they are decorated with female figures wearing one-piece garments which could be compared to one of the Ugaritic terms discussed above. The first is the headboard of a bed from the Royal Palace (RS 16.056+) with decoration showing a queen of Ugarit dressed in a long robe with a very unusual type of belt (Fig. 4.2, Gachet-Bizollon 2001: Figs 9 and 11), not recorded in other documents. The ends of the belt, passed through a large circular buckle, drop down in a fan shape onto the woman’s belly.

Figure 4.2 Ivory bed from the Royal Palace (RS 16.056+): the royal couple, Ras Shamra – Ugarit. © Mission de Ras Shamra. 48

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The second is an incomplete statuette (RS 9.283) (Fig. 4.3), brought to light after the excavation of the building known as the ‘Résidence of the Queen Mother’;16 it is of a seated woman, clothed in a piece of fabric covering her hair. We should stress that this figure is exceptional in the Levant and that the closest parallels are depictions of females (who feature in a religious or royal context) known in Anatolia since 1600 bce approximately (vases from Inandık and Bitik, Symington 1996: 111–38, pl. 28–33; Bryce 2016: 309), which take us into the Hittite world some centuries before the letter RS 94.2419 was written (contra Yon 2016: 457). On the other hand, in a passage in the Aqhatu Legend, where Pūg´atu, the sister of Aqhatu, prepares to avenge her brother’s death: ‘she puts on the outfit of a warrior, she put [a knife in] her N Š G, a sword she put in [her] sheath; Then over (these) she put on women’s garb’ (t[ht] ̣ tlbš . nps ̣ . ġzr . . . w ‘l . tlbš . nps ̣ . aṯ t, Pardee 1997: 355), where nps ̣ is a generic term, apparently denoting a combination of garments and equipment.17 This is the only instance where Ugaritic texts show clear male/female differentiation regarding clothing, that is, where clothing possesses a distinctive gender sign. Pūg´atu’s garment must have been longer than a soldier’s. As the Ugaritian corpus of clothes, headdresses and jewellery for depictions of females has not yet been compiled, an approach from iconography provides a different perspective of research. An initial investigation already allows some motifs to be recognized, the study of which merits all our attention, such as triple headdresses/hairstyles, hairstyles featuring ‘kiss curls’ or even a peculiar skirt with two series of strips, placed obliquely and going in opposite directions worn by a few female figures, mainly documented by glyptic.

Figure 4.3 Ivory figurine from the ‘Résidence de la Reine-mère’ (RS 9.282), Ras Shamra – Ugarit. © Mission de Ras Shamra.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

These last mentioned could be the heirs of a figure invented in the Early Syrian royal workshops of Ebla Royal Palace G, identified by Paolo Matthiae (2010) as the goddess Išḫ ara. In Ebla, her image, fully frontal, testifies to a close connection with wild life and kingship, fertility and herd animals (Fig. 4.4). In Ugarit, the illustrations show several female figures – wearing garments that have oblique lines forming chevrons – facing forward (in a frontal position) while their heads are in profile, with several iconographic variants, each probably corresponding to different figures of goddesses (Išḫ ara? ‘Anatu?). On the cylinder-seal RS 6.158 (Amiet 1992: no. 139, see Fig. 4.5), the goddess is

Figure 4.4 Cylinder seal of Ushra-Samu (TM.07.G.200), Royal Palace G, Ebla. © MAIS, Sapienza Université de Rome, after Matthiae (2010).

Figure 4.5 Cylinder seal from the ‘Acropolis’ (RS 6.158), Ras Shamra – Ugarit. © Mission de Ras Shamra.


Textiles and Gender at Ugarit

associated with a scorpion, symbol of the goddess Išḫ ara (Matoïan 2019), and is opposite a male deity associated with a serpent, while on the cylinder-seal RS 3.041 (Amiet 1992: no. 92; Fig. 4.6), one can see an armed goddess alongside a royal figure, the iconography of which draws on the imagery of Pharaoh bending his bow, and wild animals. On a cylinder-seal from Minet el-Beida (RS 3.226; Amiet 1992: no. 455; Fig. 4.7), classified as part of the corpus of Cypriot imports, there is the motif of submissive animals as in the imagery of the glyptic from Ebla. A detailed analysis of all the depictions known at Ugarit (on other media) and more generally in the Levant and the Eastern Mediterranean, examining in particular a possible connection with female divine figures wearing a flounced skirt and often associated with animals, needs to be made.

Figure 4.6 Cylinder seal (RS 3.041), Minet el-Beida. © Mission de Ras Shamra.

Figure 4.7 Cylinder seal (RS 3.226), Minet el-Beida. © Mission de Ras Shamra. 51

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4.3 Offerings in the ritual texts Among the offerings mentioned in the ritual texts from Ugarit there are various kinds of textiles intended for a female deity.18 In fact, Ugaritic rituals, from the so-called House of the High Priest and from the epigraphic finds in the Sud-acropole sector, record the delivery of several types of garments as offerings to the goddess ‘Aṯ tartu. The first section of RS 1.005 records the entry ritual into the royal palace of goddess ‘Aṯ tartu-Ḫ urri. The goddess receives garments as offerings: When ‘Aṯ tartu-Ḫ urri enters the ‘mound’(-room) of the palace: put on a banquet in the temple of the Star Gods. As a tarūmatu-offering: a garment and a tunic, an ušp´gt-garment, three shekels of gold (in the form of) a portable weighing scale. A ram, a bull, and three sheep/goats as a šlmm-sacrifice: seven times for the (Star?) gods, seven times for Kôṯ aru. Pardee 2002: 71; Vita and Matoïan 2019: 100–3 The fourth section of the ritual RS 24.643 records a new entry of the goddess ‘Aṯ tartu into the royal palace, this time under the name ‘Aṯ tartu-Šadî. Once again, the goddess receives several garments as offerings: When ‘Aṯ tartu-Šadî enters the royal palace: [. . .] two sk-garments, seven mšltgarments, four ḫ pn-garments [. . .], fifty-three RKB (of?) RTN, three hundred (shekels) of w[ool . . .], a lg-measure of perfumed oil, two/some Š R‘, two ušp´gtgarments, PL[. . .], a kṯ -measure of gum, a kṯ -measure of liquid honey. And you will reci[te . . .]. Pardee 2002: 48; Vita and Matoïan 2019: 101–3 The ritual RS 24.261 also records a sacrifice in honour of the goddess ‘Aṯ tartu. The text does not specify which type of offerings must be presented, though the first section records a highly significant element in the matter of textiles in Ugaritic cult: ‘sacrifice: Šawuška veils her face’ (aṯ ḫ lm . ṯ ủ ṯ k tı̉ zr pnm). But apart from the probable case of the veils and the shawl, it may not be claimed that the use of the garments recorded in the aforementioned letters, administrative texts and rituals referred exclusively to women. In the ritual texts, one cannot help noticing the very low number of deities, including some goddesses (’Ilatu, Ba‘latu Bâtīma Rāmīna), who are said to own a temple (bt, ‘a house’) in Ugarit (Pardee 2000: 929, and appendix 1 F). While RS 1.005 and RS 24.643 specify that the rituals take place within the Royal Palace, in the case of RS 24.261, the only mention of bt, ‘house’ does not tell us whether the place of sacrifice is in the Royal Palace or in the temple of the goddess. Archaeological and iconographic data are very meagre for this topic, with the exception of a haematite cylinder seal (RS 7.181; Amiet 1992: no. 45; Schaeffer-Forrer 1983: 25–6) with an unusual decoration (Fig. 4.8), belonging to a period (seventeenth– 52

Textiles and Gender at Ugarit

Figure 4.8 Cylinder seal from the ‘Acropolis’ (RS 7.181), Ras Shamra – Ugarit. © Mission de Ras Shamra.

sixteenth centuries bce ) that is earlier than the one documented by the texts from Ugarit. In one of the illustrations engraved on this seal there is the only depiction of a female with her face covered by a veil (cf. Collon in Porada and Collon 2016: 35, CLS 11) known in Ugarit. She could be a priestess, possibly connected with the cult of Šawuška or Ḫ ebat.19

4.4 Women warriors Finally, two literary passages refer to women’s cosmetics. In the aforementioned episode involving Pūg´atu, before dressing up as a warrior and covering herself in a woman’s dress, the text states that Aqhatu’s sister ‘rouged herself with sea snails’20 (tadm . tidm . b ´glp ym), that is, with a product extracted from murex. A passage in the Ba‘lu myth might in fact refer to this type of cosmetic. The text recounts that goddess ‘Anatu washes and grooms herself after having fought a hard battle. The passage ttpp anhb[m] in RS 2.[014+]:III:1 has often been interpreted in the sense that the goddess ‘anointed herself with (essence of) sea snails’,21 that she anointed herself with essence extracted from molluscs.22 However, the idea of a mollusc-extracted perfume seems rather odd and its feasibility should be demonstrated.23 On the other hand, as Manfried Dietrich has pointed out, the Semitic root ’DM also conveys the notion of ‘painting in red’; therefore the translation in the sense that the goddess ‘adorns herself with (the product extracted from a) mollusc’ (Dietrich 2010: 43) – quite probably 53

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murex – is plausible,24 but taking also into account that anhb could be in fact the name of a plant.25 Consequently, both Pūg´atu and ‘Anatu might have made themselves up in red in a context of combat: the former prior to taking her revenge, the latter just after the battle. However, it must be pointed out that archaeology has not yet provided any evidence of cosmetic products, although some categories of containers have been associated with the use of cosmetics. The iconographic documentation is not much richer. The depictions of females whose features are made up are rare and none is painted in red.

4.5 Conclusion The available documentation sheds limited light on the topic of textiles and gender in Ugarit, especially as only rarely do the textual sources mention women explicitly. In the near future, specialized research will ideally provide more detail than the general description given here. Several studies could specifically engage with the iconographic sources, as yet somewhat neglected, in an approach that is both trans-regional and diachronic. The way in which women belonging to the elite are portrayed needs to be considered, and another profitable area of study might be how clothing and jewellery showing connections with Egyptian iconography are depicted, for which there is a larger number of examples, with a greater variety, for males.

Acknowledgements This study forms part of two programmes of research in which the two authors are involved: The IRN Ancient Textiles from the Orient to the Mediterranean (ATOM), and Bureaucracy and Administrative Procedures in the Syrian Kingdom of Ugarit (14th to 12th centuries BC) (FFI2015–67357–P, MINECO/FEDER, UE), funded by the Spanish Ministry for Economic Affairs and Competitiveness within the National Plan for Scientific Research, Development and Technological Innovation (I+D+I).

Notes 1 Neal Thomas (2013: 4–5): ‘I will show how relationships between royal women and men structured political life both within Ugarit and between Ugarit and its neighbours . . . to show how the political positions and self-identification of royal men were shaped by their relationships to royal women’; ibid. 8: ‘Rather than simply identifying women’s roles in a political system, this study will offer a reconception of the political system in light of women’s roles within it.’ 2 Doctoral thesis at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE). https://ephe.academia.edu/ VanessaJuloux. 3 A possible cognate is Modern South Arabian sebtét, ‘belt’ (p.c. from Wilfred Watson). 54

Textiles and Gender at Ugarit 4 Translation according to Izre’el (1991: 70). Lackenbacher (2002: 290), translates: (1) ‘Cette tablette (est celle) des biens meubles de la reine Ahat-milku . . . (10–13) 20 vêtements fins hourrites, 20 vêtements fins amorrites, 20 vêtements/tissus šabattu hourrites, 20 vêtements/ tissus šabattu amorrites, 50 (pièces d’étoffe) guzza, 10 pièces de lin, 10 capes de lin, 50 (pièces d’étoffe) guzza pour sièges de laine bleue.’ 5 Lackenbacher (2002: 293–94): (1–4) ‘Ainsi (parle) [. . .]: dis à Šar-elli, dame de l’Ugarit: que tout aille bien pour toi ! . . . (9’) “Voici qu’à présent, je donne une coupe d’or, une pièce de lin, cent (sicles de) laine rouge et cent (sicles de) laine bleue à Abimānu pour qu’il te l’apporte.’ 6 Only rarely do objects bearing an inscription that includes a personal name allow us to make a connection, even hypothetically, with a woman (see the gold ring RS 24.145, from the ‘tranchée Sud-acropole’, which belongs to a Hittite freewoman: Lebrun (2004: 106). See Matoïan (2009: 54–7). 7 Yon (2016: 459): ‘Domestic tools and instruments can also shed light on the daily lives of women. One must assume a priori the women of Ugarit had, like all women throughout the Ancient Near East, charge over domestic duties. They took charge of food storage and production, the tending of children and the family, as well as the family’s possessions and profession(s).’ 8 Amico (1989: 235), ‘The only allusions to women as artisans are in the myths’, although ‘even mythological references to women in the crafts are not very convincing’; ibid. 245: ‘there is very little evidence that women played a major part in remunerative work, especially in Ugarit’s guild system’; ibid. 260: ‘there is little evidence for women in the trades and crafts represented in the middle-class guild economy of Ugarit. This leads us to the conclusion that women of this class were either active in the trades under their husbands’ and fathers’ names in family enterprises, or that they were fully occupied with domestic work’; ibid. 535: ‘A reasonable conclusion may be that the guilds were listed in the name of the male but that the entire family participated in the work, as is so often the case in pre-industrial society. The implication of this conjecture, however, is that households were economic units headed by the males, and that any labour performed by the females, although it would benefit the woman as a member of the family, would officially be credited to her husband.’ 9 Marsman (2003: 679 and 686–7), following the conclusions of Amico (1989: 680), that the contribution of ordinary women ‘did not count, not even if they participated in the economic life of the kingdom. To a large extent, they were invisible’; ibid. 688: ‘it may be said that the administrative records confirm that the main activity of Ugaritic women was confined to managing the household, sometimes including the finances. Their contribution to the thriving Ugaritic society and economy was to a large extent invisible. Those whose role was recorded belonged to the upper classes of society.’ 10 See also ysḥ ,̣ ‘worker who prepares or sizes textiles’ // alt. ‘metal-worker, bronze-smith’ (DUL 971). 11 Watson (2007a: 113, 230); Watson (2018: 363). The suggestion, in DUL, 444, to understand kndpnṯ as meaning ‘woman’s underclothes(?)’ must be rejected, see Vita (2017: 545–9). 12 Although considerably damaged, see also the following letters: RS 20.151 (Ug 5 no. 50) and RS 20.227: Tr. 3–4 (Ug 5 no. 57). 13 Reading and translation of this sign by Nougayrol, PRU 6, 116: u[qnû(??)] “b[leuté (??)”. 14 Matoïan and Vita (2014: 320–1). 15 l. 7. TÚG maššiyannu : this term occurs in MA, El Amarna and Nuzi see DUL, 598; Vita 2010: 334. 16 Gachet-Bizollon (2007: no. 405, 197–8). Recently, V. Matoïan (in preparation) has re-examined the context of the discovery of this work, which had been connected with the


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity ‘Bâtiment aux piliers’ but must now be connected with the residence said to belong to the ‘Queen mother’. 17 Pardee (1997: 344, n. 11, 355, n. 132): ‘The word here and for women’s garb below is nps,̣ the same as designated the father’s outfit needing washing in the list of duties of the good son.’ del Olmo Lete (1998: 239–40): ‘debajo se vistió ropas del Prócer . . . y encima se vistió ropas de mujer.’ Caquot et al. (1974: 456–7): ‘elle revêt l’habit d’un héros’ . . . and, ‘par-dessus, elle revêt un habit de femme.’ See also Parker (2006: 563): ‘Un[derneath] she puts on the armaments of a warrior . . . And on the top, she puts on the clothes of a woman.’ 18 Note that RS 88.2158, a tablet connected with international correspondence, discovered in the ‘House of Urtenu’ and published by Lackenbacher (2001: 239–48), may document textiles intended for the temple of the Storm God. 19 A new study of this cylinder-seal, by V. Matoïan, is to be published soon. 20 DUL, 316–17. According to Watson (2007b: 670), ‘the word ´glp may also denote a plant’. 21 DUL, 76: ‘she anointed herself with (essence of) sea snails.’ Tropper (2012: 522)‚ ‘sie besprengte/parfümierte sich mit (der Essenz von) Meeresschnecken’; Parker (2006: 561): ‘She adorns herself with murex’, with a comment on anhbm; ibid. 558 n. 4. 22 Caquot et al. (1974: 162): ‘Elle se pare avec le (produit du) coquillage.’ 23 See already Wyatt (2002: 72, n. 16): ‘It is hard to imagine that the odour of murex (dead) was pleasant!’; the author translates, ibid. 76: ‘She made herself beautiful with murex.’ 24 However, see the reservations regarding this voiced by Pardee (1997: 355, n. 130); he suggests translating: ‘She rouged herself with “husk of the sea”.’ 25 According to Watson (2007b: 671), ‘it would seem that both these Ugaritic terms – anhb and ´glp – denote plants that were used as cosmetics and for personal adornment.’

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Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Neal Thomas, C. (2013), ‘Reconceiving the House of the Father: Royal Women at Ugarit’, PhD diss., Harvard University, Harvard. Pardee, D. (1997), ‘The ’Aqhatu Legend’, in W. W. Hallo (ed.), The Context of Scripture: Canonical Compositions, Monumental Inscriptions, and Archival Documents from the Biblical World, 343–56, Leiden: Brill. Pardee, D. (2000), Les textes rituels, Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations. Pardee, D. (2002), Ritual and Cult at Ugarit, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. Parker, J. F. (2006), ‘Women Warriors and Devoted Daughters: The Powerful Young Woman in Ugaritic Narrative Poetry’, Ugarit-Forschungen, 38: 557–75. Porada, E. and D. Collon (2016), Catalogue of the Western Asiatic Seals in the British Museum, Cylinder Seals IV, The Second Millennium BC, Beyond Babylon, London: The British Museum Press. Schaeffer-Forrer, C. F.-A. (1978), ‘Ex Occidente Ars’, in I. Schaeffer de Chalon and A. SchaefferBoehling (eds), Ugaritica VII, 475–551, Paris and Leiden: Paul Geuthner and E. J. Brill. Schaeffer-Forrer, C. F.-A. (1983), Corpus I des cylindres-sceaux de Ras Shamra-Ugarit et d’Enkomi-Alasia, Paris: Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations. Symington, D. (1996), ‘Hittite and Neo-Hittite Furniture’, in G. Herrmann (ed.), The Furniture of Western Asia Ancient and Traditional, 111–38, pl. 28–33, Mainz: Philipp von Zabern. Tropper, J. (2012), Ugaritische Grammatik. Zweite, stark überarbeitete Auflage, Münster: UgaritVerlag. van Soldt, W. H. (1991), Studies in the Akkadian of Ugarit: Dating and Grammar, NeukirchenVluyn: Neukirchener Verlag. Vita, J.-P. (2010), ‘Textile Terminology in the Ugaritic Texts’, in C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennia BC, 323–37, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Vita, J.-P. (2017), ‘A Note on kndwṯ /kindawaṯ ṯ u/ (a Garment)’, Ugarit-Forschungen, 48: 545–9. Vita, J.-P. and V. Matoïan (2019), ‘Textiles in Ritual and Cultic Practices in Ugarit (Second Millennium BC, Late Bronze Age)’, in S. Gaspa and S. Vigo (eds), Textiles in Ritual and Cultic Practices in the Ancient Near East from the Third to the First Millennium BC, 99–108, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Watson, W. G. E. (2007a), Lexical Studies in Ugaritic, Sabadell: Editorial Ausa. Watson, W. G. E. (2007b), ‘Making Sense of Ugaritic anhb and ġlp’, Ugarit-Forschungen, 39: 669–71. Watson, W. G. E. (2018), ‘Terms for Textiles, Clothing, Hides, Wool, and Accessories in Ugaritic: An Etymological Study’, Aula Orientalis, 36: 353–90. Wyatt, N. (2002), Religious Texts from Ugarit. The Words of Ilimilku and his Colleagues (2nd edition), Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press. Yon, M. (2016), ‘Women’s Daily Lives in Late Bronze Age Ugarit (2nd Millennium BCE)’, in S. L. Budin and J. MacIntosh Turfa (eds), Women in Antiquity: Real Women across the Ancient World, 453–64, London: Routledge.

Abbreviation Ug 5: J. Nougayrol, E. Laroche, Ch. Virolleaud, and C. F. A. Schaeffer, Ugaritica V, Paris 1968.



It is assumed that prehistoric textile production was always gendered and performed predominantly by women (Barber 1991, 1994). By being ‘women’s work’ (Barber 1994), the manufacturing of textiles has been put forward as an economically and socially important craft where women were not mere workers but also successful organizers, managers, distributors and, finally, consumers of textiles. Alongside this general view, the significant presence of women as a textile workforce was documented in the Linear B archives of the Mycenaean palaces (e.g. Chadwick 1976; Nosch 2003; Olsen 2014). However, much less is known about specific gender practices in the earlier periods. On the other hand, the complexity of textile technology and its time-consuming chaîne opératoire required the substantial involvement of all members of a society: men, women, children of both sexes and elders. Moreover, patterns for gendered division of textile work might differ, according to economically, socially and culturally specific choices (cf. Costin 2013). Indeed, in Mycenaean Greece, gender practices documented in the Linear B script were already a variable, site-specific institution, where the incorporation of women in the state’s economies differed considerably between Knossos and Pylos (Olsen 2014). In this contribution, the iconography of Minoan seals is discussed as a potential source of knowledge about gendered practices in textile production in Middle Bronze Age Crete (MBA, c. 2100/2050–1700/1650 bce , Manning 2010: Table 2.2). In order to obtain a site-specific picture, possible depictions of textile workers on MBA seals from Crete are analysed with regard to textile production and sealing practices in Quartier Mu, Malia, taken as a case study.

5.1 Middle Bronze Age Crete and the evidence for engendering textile production The MBA in Crete witnessed the development of the first centralized polities, conventionally described by Aegean archaeologists as palaces (Hägg and Marinatos 1987; Driessen, Schoep and Laffineur 2002). This was also the age of dynamic changes in textile production and its organization. The economic importance of wool and the scale of production increased (Militello 2014; Nosch 2014, 2015). The same period saw the 59

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dispersion of several technical innovations, such as a new type of discoid loom weight and a technique of purple-dyeing (Burke 2010; Cutler 2012, 2016, 2019; Gorogianni, Cutler and Fitzsimons 2015; Kremer 2017; Vakirtzi 2019). Textile production became the subject of complex administrative practices, encompassing the weighing of wool, seal impressing and marking of textile tools, and writing (Militello 2007: 43; Burke 2010; Alberti 2017: 4–5; Karnava 2019; Nosch and Ulanowska, forthcoming). However, the evidence for engendering textile production in MBA Crete is indeed limited. No information of the social status and gender of textile producers can be recognized from inscriptions in the Cretan Hieroglyphic and Linear A scripts. In the archaeological record, no gender-specific burial offerings of textile tools can be observed in MBA Crete. Not only were spindles and loom weights rarely recorded as grave goods (e.g. Demargne 1945: 81), but also the long-used collective burial grounds, e.g. tholoi or house tombs, as well as the commonly observed practice of secondary burials, make an attribution of any grave goods to an individual difficult (Branigan 1970; Soles 1992; Legarra Herrero 2014). Neither do finds of loom weights imply a potentially gender-specific location of weaving. Large concentrations of loom weights were usually found in palaces and important town buildings, in storage facilities or as groups fallen from now unpreserved upper storeys where warp-weighted looms were situated (for an overview, cf. Andersson Strand and Nosch 2015; Ulanowska 2018: 59–60). However, a gendered division of space in Minoan palaces and houses has been considered possible, specifically with regard to the existence of gender-specific ritual places (for an overview and a recent discussion, cf. Driessen 2012). Thus, it cannot be excluded that the spatial organization of textile production might have been also subjected to gender-specific division of public and domestic spheres, as yet unrecognized. Gender-specific practices have been recognized, however, as lying behind the pattern of transmission of discoid weights and technical innovations that accompanied this transfer (Cutler 2012, 2016, 2019; Gorogianni, Cutler and Fitzsimons 2015). Since a small number of discoid loom weights found in the Southern Aegean, e.g. at Miletos, Ayia Irini on Kea and Akrotiri on Thera were made of non-local, possibly Cretan clays, their transfer has been related to the mobility of weavers (Cutler 2012: 149–50; 2016; 2019; Gorogianni, Cutler and Fitzsimons 2015; Karnava 2019; Vakirtzi 2019). As first suggested by Joanne Cutler (2012), female weavers might have travelled from Crete (as brides, professional craftspeople, slaves, captives), with set(s) of loom weights, in order to have templates for making similar weights at a new place, and taking their tools as a part of their dowries (Cutler 2012: 150; 2016: 175, 2019; Gorogianni, Cutler and Fitzsimons 2015). In Minoan iconography, a notable number of depictions, especially on frescoes, show women occupying prominent spatial positions or positions of power. This is the basis for an assumption of Cretan women’s high status and their active participation in the cultic/ public sphere (Marinatos 1984; Kopaka 2009; Olsen 2014: 4–5). However, with the notable exception of the imagery of MBA seals that is the focus of this contribution, no clear depictions of crafts or production activities have been recognized in other arts for this period. 60

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5.2 Textile production-related iconography of MBA seals from Crete The most numerous examples of textile production related motifs have been identified on the faces of prismatic seals made of soft and, more rarely, hard stones (Ulanowska forthcoming; on three-sided prisms of soft stones, see Anastasiadou 2011). The steatite prisms are the best represented group of MBA seals, with more than 600 examples preserved (Krzyszkowska 2005: 92; Anastasiadou 2011: 1). They were produced and distributed in central-eastern and eastern Crete from c. MBA I to LBA IA, with a floruit in MM II (e.g. Yule 1981: 66–9, 212–14; Krzyszkowska 2005: 92–5; Anastasiadou 2011). One of the most important production centres of these seals, the Atelier de sceaux, has been recovered in Quartier Mu at Malia (Deturnay, Poursat and Vandenabeele 1980; van Effenterre 1980: 543–78; Poursat 1996). According to the methodological principles established for recognizing textile production-related motifs in the Aegean glyptic art (Ulanowska 2017; forthcoming), altogether eleven textile production-related motifs have been identified. These are: flax, ‘woolly animals’, comb, ‘spindle with whorl’, Murex shell, loom weights, warp-weighted loom, ‘loom with a rigid heddle’, ‘weft beater’, and textile with fringes and spider motifs. Single inverted commas in a name of the motif indicate that the suggested identification is problematic. However, given the schematic character of the depictions and our limits in understanding Minoan imagery, none of the newly suggested interpretations can be seen as definite. Yet all motifs that have been recognized as possibly related to textile production display distinct characteristics and features the functional importance of their potential real-world referents (see Table 5.1). Moreover, comparanda have been recognized in arts of other cultures, including analogies in the third millennium bce Mesopotamian glyptic (Ulanowska forthcoming). The recognized motifs seem to allude to the entire chaîne opératoire of textile production, comprising the following classes of references: 1. raw materials: flax and ‘woolly animals’ motifs; 2. processing of fibres: comb motif; 3. formation of yarns: ‘spindle with whorl’ motif; 4. dyeing: Murex shell motif; 5. weaving and cloth: loom weights, warp-weighted loom, ‘loom with a rigid heddle’, ‘weft beater’ and textile with fringes motifs; 6. and a symbolic reference represented by the spider motif (Fig. 5.1). (Ulanowska forthcoming) According to the ‘Textiles and Seals’ database,1 the most frequent textile productionrelated motifs in the imagery of MBA seals are the ‘woolly animals’ spiders (eighty examples); (eighty-five examples),2 loom weights (eighty examples); flax (forty-eight examples) and combs (forty-six examples) (see Table 1). They are especially well represented on the three-sided prisms of soft stones (loom weights – seventy-two examples; spiders – sixty-eight; ‘woolly animals’ – sixty-nine; combs – thirty-four; see 61


Table 5.1 Textile Production-Related Motifs on Middle Bronze Age Seals from Crete and Their Combinations with Human Figures. Motif and combinations with a human figure on a single seal face

Number of MBA seals with a given motif, including three-sided steatite prisms

Pre-existing identifications Distinct characteristics of the real-world referents to the motif, features of functional importance, possible technical gestures. Possible combinations of the motif(after Evans 1909; 1958; CMS; CHIC; with other textile production-related motifs on a single seal face Jasink 2009; Anastasiadou 2011; Jasink and Bombardieri 2018)

Interaction between a human figure and the motif on a single seal face


48 (2)

Unspecific plant, shamrock

High stem with narrow, lanceolate leaves (from two to eleven), crowned by three twigs ended by small blobs or circles that resemble a bundle of seed pods. The motif is a real-world referent for CHIC 031.


‘Woolly animals’: sheep/goat/wild goat/agrimi


Goat, wild goat, agrimi, sheep, ram, bovine

Under examination. Sheep: long spiral horns curved downwards, head in profile with a bump, short tail down, fleece occasionally shown at the neck and chest (e.g. CMS VI 177; 330; XII 136). Goats, wild goats and agrimia: small beards, slightly curved horns, possibly with ridges or fluting and growing out from one spot, short tails up. Occasionally, an element that resembles the specific shape of goat’s udders and teats may be recognised (e.g. CMS II, 1 64c; II, 8 378). The head of a ‘woolly animal’ in profile is a real-world referent for the Cretan Hieroglyphic sign CHIC 016.

Shown together, Horns or head touched with one hand

Saw branch

Under examination. Depictions of a human figure holding a comb have provided the basis for the identification of the motif (e.g. CMS II, 2 102a; 119a; VS1A 325a; VII 15a). In combinations with a human figure, the comb is shown as an elongated and slightly convex object, or as a straight object with teeth on one side. Holding a comb with one hand and a standing position may allude to use of weaving combs. Triple combinations: Anastasiadou 2011: Cat. No. 597a, comb + loom weights + weaver; CMS II, 2 304c: comb + ‘spindle with whorl’+ ‘spinner/comber’.

Shown together, Comb held in one hand, Comb held in each hand, Comb held in two hands

Combinations with 6 a human figure


46 (35)

Combinations with 13 a human figure

‘Spindle with whorl’

Combinations with 5 a human figure

Lance or dart, peg, mace or sceptre, spear, ‘circle with outgoing element’, ‘dot with ongoing element’, ‘pin with a circle in the middle’, ‘pin with a circle on the top’

Under examination. An identification of the motif is based on a depiction Shown together, from CMS II, 8 86 (CHIC #141). ‘Spindle with whorl’ may be a real-world ‘Spindle with whorl’ held in one hand referent for the Cretan Hieroglyphic signs CHIC 063, 062, 065 and perhaps 050. Five depictions showing a human figure that holds a spear head downwards are identified as the ‘spindle with spinner’ motif. The gesture of holding the spindle with one hand does not correspond to the technical gesture of spinning. Triple combinations: CMS II, 2 302a: ‘spindle with whorl’ + ‘spinner’ + ‘weft-beater’; CMS II, 2 304c: comb + ‘spindle with whorl + ‘spinner/ comber’; CMS II, 2 306c: ‘spindle with whorl’ + weaver + loom weights.

Murex shell

6 (5)

Triton shell, murex shell

Sculptured shell with body whorls and spines


Loom weights

80 (3)

‘String vessels’, ‘pole slung with string vessels’

The schematic form of loom weights bears resemblance to different types of actual loom weights used on Crete. A combination with bar(s) or parallel lines may allude to a shed bar, heddle bar, warp threads and heddles. The manner of showing a loom weight with a V-shape above it resembles the visual effect of warp threads tensioned and hanging over a shed bar. In combinations with a human figure, the posture of a standing ‘weaver’ who holds the bar with loom weights corresponds briefly to the working position in weaving on the warp-weighted loom and action of the shed. Triple combinations: Anastasiadou 2011: Cat. No. 597a: comb + loom weights + weaver; CMS II,2 302b; VS3 16a: weaver + loom weights + ‘weft-beater’; CMS II,2 306c: ‘spindle with whorl’ + weaver + loom weights.

Shown together Bar with loom weights held in one hand

Chess board with conical pawns, a ladder with three steps, ending in two points recalling a lyre, or two dumbbell motifs

The schematic form of the warp-weighted loom resembles the general construction of the loom: a rectangular frame with loom weights. A heddling mechanism is possibly rendered on CMS II,2 288b.


26 (10)

In combination with 26 a human figure

Warp-weighted loom

3 (1)




Table 5.1 (Continued) Pre-existing identifications Distinct characteristics of the real-world referents to the motif, features of functional importance, possible technical gestures. Possible combinations of the motif(after Evans 1909; 1958; CMS; CHIC; with other textile production-related motifs on a single seal face Jasink 2009; Anastasiadou 2011; Jasink and Bombardieri 2018)

Interaction between a human figure and the motif on a single seal face

‘Loom with a rigid 57 (1) heddle’

Gate, fence, ladder

Its form resembles a loom with a rigid heddle. One of its sides may be shown longer which brings to mind a handle. The slats are shown both parallel and perpendicular to this potential handle. The motif is a real-world referent for CHIC 038



Dagger, wedge

Under examination. The schematic forms of a sword or dagger, and elongated pointed wedge or a slightly curved rod bear resemblance to bone or wooden tools used as weft-beaters. Triple combinations: CMS II,2 302a: ‘spindle with whorl’ + ‘spinner’ + ‘weft-beater’; CMS II,2 302b; VS3 no. 16a: weaver + loom weights +‘weft-beater’.

Shown together

Textile with fringes 9

Palace, banner sign, textile

The motif has the form of an elongated rectangle that ends on one shorter None side by a series of short parallel lines. Visually, this form resembles a piece of textile taken off the loom, with a border finished by fringes which may, in turn, suggest the warp-weighted loom technology. The motif is a real-world referent for CHIC 041



Under examination. All spiders have eight conjoined legs and a body divided into two segments: a cephalothorax with jaws, and an abdomen with one to four pairs of spinnerets. The depictions of spiders in glyptic art are very simplified. Two body segments are usually present. The legs are shown conjoined, yet the number of legs may vary. The jaws and spinnerets may occasionally be depicted.

Motif and combinations with a human figure on a single seal face

Number of MBA seals with a given motif, including three-sided steatite prisms


In combination with (3) a human figure

80 (8)

In combination with 2 a human figure

Shown together

Notes: The number of motifs included in the ‘Textiles and Seals’ database with an uncertain identification is given in brackets, e.g. ‘48 (2)’ means that 48 MBA seals with a flax motif depicted at least once on one of the seal faces are recorded, including two examples with uncertain identification. The number of motifs that are still under examination is given in italics. Single inverted commas in the name of the motif indicate that its identification is tentative or problematic. Signs of the Cretan Hieroglyphic script are referred to following CHIC.

Middle Bronze Age Crete

Figure 5.1 Semantic network of potential real-world referents to textile production in the imagery of MBA seals from Crete. By Agata Ulanowska.

Ulanowska forthcoming). Motifs recognized as flax, ‘spindle with whorl’, ‘loom with a rigid heddle’ are primarily used as the script signs in the Cretan Hieroglyphic script, although they may also appear as ornamental motifs separately from the inscriptions (see Table 5.1; Nosch and Ulanowska forthcoming; Ulanowska forthcoming). Given the overall number of the preserved seals (see Krzyszkowska 2005: 81, note 6), textile production may be seen as a distinct semantic and symbolic network of references in the imagery of the MBA glyptic, reflected by a series of motifs shown in various combinations and with different frequencies.

5.3 Human figures in the imagery of the MBA glyptic – towards recognizing their gender and potential professions The human figure is a well-attested motif in the MBA Cretan glyptic, especially on prisms. Depictions of human figures are generally classified either as men, women or human figures without a specified gender (cf. ‘Frau’, ‘Mann’ and ‘Mensch’ keywords in the CMS Arachne online database).3 The CMS Arachne database registers altogether 315 seal faces from MBA Crete with the ‘Mensch’ motif, including depictions of body parts, 65

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e.g. arms and legs that correspond to signs in the Cretan Hieroglyphic script: CHIC 006–009 and CHIC 010, respectively.4 Figures defined as ‘Mann’ (forty-two examples) and ‘Frau’ (seven examples) are fewer. These values should be supplemented by new discoveries of seals bearing depictions of human and grotesque figures, e.g. from Petras (Krzyszkowska 2012, 2017). According to M. Anastasiadou (2011: 166–71), human figures from the three-sided steatite prisms may be distinguished more specifically as: a ‘frontal man’ – twelve examples, ‘man in profile’ – 273 examples, ‘woman in profile’ – six examples, ‘man with semi-circular body’ – seventeen examples and ‘Gorgo woman’ – one example. Motifs recognized as depictions of women are the least numerous (Fig. 5.2). Females were rendered less schematically, with notable care to show features that allow their gender identification, such as hair worn in a bun (Fig. 5.2a–b, d) and long skirts plaited or patterned, occasionally shown with long waist bands ending in tassels (Fig. 5.2a–b). Naked breasts, a common sex characteristic in Minoan art, were not shown in these depictions. Women are shown single, occasionally with accessories such as a spear (Fig. 5.2a–b) or a pot (Fig. 5.2d), in a pair and with a whirl motif (Fig. 5.2c), and in a pair with a man (Fig. 5.2f). There are also a few naturalistic-looking depictions of men, especially

Figure 5.2 Depictions of women in MBA glyptic art from Crete: a) CMS VI 92a; b) P.TSK05/291; c) CMS VI 34a; d) XIII 80a; e) II,8 39 f II,5 324. Drawings, not to scale, enhanced by the author after the CMS Arachne database; Krzyszkowska 2012: Fig. 7a.


Middle Bronze Age Crete

heads in profile, that may show such sexual characteristics as a beard (for example, CMS II, 3 13a), but none of them come from the prisms. Most human figures, however, are depicted very schematically, being reduced to a geometrized form featuring head, neck, corpus, arms and legs, with no attempt at rendering sexual characteristics, costume or hairstyle (cf. Figs 5.3–5.6; Anastasiadou 2011: 297–99). However, by lacking the long skirt that is traditionally seen as a universal female accessory in Minoan art (see Jones 2015), these schematic figures could perhaps intend to show men rather than women. The figures of the ‘man with the semi-circular body’-type, possibly wear a costume that is not gender-specific (see Fig. 5.4d; Anastasiadou 2011: 169–71). 5.3.1 Professional occupations in the imagery of the three-sided steatite prisms? It has been already suggested that the images from three-sided steatite prisms might provide information on the identity and administrative responsibilities of the seal owner(s) (H. van Effenterre and M. van Effenterre 1974; for an overview of the discussion, see Anastasiadou 2011: 6–12). Indeed, several depictions of human figures are combined with objects, such as vase(s), fish, bow or a spear.5 These may potentially be seen as attributes indicating a profession or special social status, such as a potter (Militello 2018), fisherman, perhaps a hunter or a warrior, or, in the case of a spear, also a person of power or authority. Combinations of human figures with textile production-related motifs, such as loom weights (twenty-six examples), comb (thirteen examples), ‘spindle with whorl’ (five examples) and ‘weft beater’ (three examples), have also been attested on single seal faces of the prisms (Table 5.1, Figs 5.4–5.6, see Ulanowska forthcoming). People in these combinations have been provisionally termed ‘textile workers’: potential ‘weavers’, ‘combers’ and ‘spinners’ (Ulanowska forthcoming). The attested combinations of human figures with ‘woolly animals’ (six examples) and spiders (two examples), however, do not seem to offer a clue for explaining potential human–animal interrelations (Fig. 5.3). Although the criteria for recognizing species of the Caprinae family are still under examination (for previous identifications, see Anastasiadou 2011 and CMS Arachne database), some uniformity in rendering a ‘woolly animal’ together with a human has been observed. The human figure is repetitively shown sitting with head bent towards the animal and touching its head or horns with one hand (Fig. 5.3a–b; CMS II, 2 163b; Anastasiadou 2011: Cat. No. 222b). On CMS VI 60b, the human figure is shown standing/walking side-by-side with an animal rotated 180o (Fig. 5.3c). A unique depiction from a clay sealing from Knossos (CMS II, 8 33) shows a man sitting under a ram (Fig. 5.3d). Here, the horns curved down, head in profile with a bump, and perhaps a downwards tail (suggested by a photo of the impression but not visible on a drawing) seem quite clearly to indicate the species. In two combinations with the spiders, human figure(s) are shown together with three and two spiders respectively, rotated 90 degrees (Fig. 5.3e–f). There is no interaction between 67

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Figure 5.3 Combination of a human figure with ‘woolly animals’: a) CMS III 213c; b) VI 36b; c) VI 60b; d) II, 8 33; and spiders: e) III 173b; f) XI 7c. Drawings, not to scale, enhanced by the author after the CMS Arachne database.

humans and insects, moreover the human figures seem to be turned with their back to the spiders. In all combinations, the human figures are rendered schematically. Except for the sole example of the ‘man with semi-circular body’ (Fig. 5.4d), all other figures have been classified as ‘Mensch’, ‘Mann’ or ‘men in profile’. Humans were shown side by side with the textile production-related motifs, as well as being involved in an interaction with them. The interactions are expressed by a limited number of gestures, such as touching and holding the object with one or two hands (Table 5.1; Figs 5.4–5.6). However, the overall number of human poses and manner of combining figures with different motifs into one ‘iconographic unit’ were generally limited on the steatite prisms (Anastasiadou 2011: 299–302, 330–2, Plates 1–11). 5.3.2 Poses and gestures of ‘textile workers’ The combination of a weaver with loom weights (Fig. 5.4) is the most frequent (Burke 2010: 44–7; Ulanowska 2017, forthcoming; Militello 2018). The manner of rendering this combination can reflect an established convention. A single human figure is predominantly shown standing/walking and holding a bar with the loom weights in one hand. There are only two examples of a seated figure (Fig. 5.4d; CMS VI 70c), and one example where the figure is shown with bent knees (Anastasiadou 2011: Cat. No. 218a). Occasionally, the motif of loom weights was mirrored, flanking a single weaver (Fig. 5.4e) or mirrored with two weavers (Fig. 5.4f). Two figures were also shown on CMS VI 70c, but combinations with two human figures are rare. The standing/walking pose is prevalent and corresponds, in an abbreviated form, to the working position during 68

Middle Bronze Age Crete

Figure 5.4 Weavers with loom weights motif: a) CMS II,2 214a; b) II,2 224a; c) VS3 21b; d) III 173c; e) VI 60a; f) XI 298a; g) II,2 306c; h) VS3 16a; i) Anastasiadou 2011: Cat. No. 597a. Drawings, not to scale, enhanced by the author after the CMS Arachne database; Evans 1909: Fig. 71a.

weaving. However, given that the bar with loom weights may allude to the heddle bar and its moving to and fro during weaving, the gesture of touching the bar with one hand does not correspond to the technical gestures required by this task (Ulanowska 2017, forthcoming). Objects identified as potential combs (Ulanowska forthcoming) were shown in a greater variety (Fig. 5.5). In the combinations with human figures, a comb-like object may be held in two hands (Fig. 5.5a–b), in each hand (Anastasiadou 2011: Cat. No. 10c) or in one hand (Fig. 5.5c–d). It may also be shown together with a human but without a readable interaction (Fig. 5.5e; CMS XII 30b). The ‘combers’ may be shown standing/ walking, sitting, or reduced to a protome (Anastasiadou 2011: Cat. No. 10c). Two or three human figures may appear in this combination (Fig. 5.5f; CMS VI 70b). The standing/ walking body position and holding the comb in one hand may allude to the technical gesture of weft beating with a weaving comb (Fig. 5.4c–d). In these depictions, however, the shape of the comb, body position and gestures resemble the combination of a weaver with loom weights. Thus, it cannot be excluded that these ‘combs’ might as well be seen as a bar with threads (warps or heddles) shown analogously to the manner of depicting 69

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

Figure 5.5 ‘Combers’ with a comb motif: a) CMS VS1A 325a; b) VII 15a; c) II,2 102a; d) VII 3c; e) II,2 304c; f) II,2 159b. Drawings, not to scale, enhanced by the author after the CMS Arachne database.

the bar with loom weights (Fig. 5.4). Sitting with a comb in the hands may perhaps allude to wool combing, but the gesture of holding a comb in two hands cannot be easily explained in relation to the use of combs in wool processing. Two combs held in each hand might again refer to wool combing. Interestingly, the comb motif might also be a part of a triple combination: together with the loom weights (Fig. 5.4i) or the ‘spindle with whorl” motif (Fig. 5.5e; Table 5.1). The attested combinations of human figures with the ‘spindle with whorl’ and ‘weft beater’ are even more tentative (Fig. 5.6). The ‘spindle whorl’ has been possibly recognized in an object resembling a downwards spear head (Fig. 5.6a–c; Ulanowska forthcoming). This object may be held by a human figure with one hand (Fig. 5.6b–c) or shown sideby-side with it. In the last case, the ‘spindle with whorl’ motif may be placed in front of the human figure (Figs 5.5e, 5.6a), as well as behind it (Fig. 5.4g). In triple combinations, this motif is shown with the loom weights (Fig. 5.4g); with the comb (Fig. 5.5e); and the ‘weft-beater’ (Fig. 5.6a). The ‘weft-beater’ is possibly shown as held in one hand on CMS VII 11c (Fig. 5.6d). In a triple combination it may also be a part of the weaver with loom weights motifs (Fig. 5.4h; CMS II, 2 302b). The poses and gestures observed in these combinations do not correspond to the technical gestures required by spinning and beating weft threads during weaving. However, a similar manner of depicting spinners 70

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Figure 5.6 ‘Combination of a human figure with a ‘spindle with whorl’ and ‘weft-beater’ motifs: a) CMS II, 2 302a: both motifs; b) II,2 309a: ‘spindle with whorl’; c) XII 46c: ‘spindle with whorl’; d) VII 11c: ‘weft-beater’. Drawings, not to scale, enhanced by the author after the CMS Arachne database.

may be observed in Mesopotamian glyptic art (Breniquet 2008, 286–90, Figs 78–90; Ulanowska forthcoming).

5.4 Quartier Mu, Malia, as a case study of a site-specific context for textile production and sealing practices Evidence of textile production was discovered in several buildings in Quartier Mu at Malia, specifically in Buildings A, D and B where large concentrations of loom weights and pierced pebbles have been found. Altogether, over 600 loom weights and 134 pebbles, as well as bone textile tools and pieces of actual fabrics have been discovered, including 472 loom weights and 132 pebbles from MBA II contexts (Poursat 2012; Cutler et al. 71

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2013; Poursat et al. 2015: 48–52). Loom weights, mostly dated to the MBA III–LBA I, have also been recorded in the palace, specifically in sector XII (Chapouthier and Joly 1936: 7, 9, 37, pl. XVII). The most frequent form of loom weight was the spherical type (308 examples), yet other types, such as discoidal, pyramidal, cylindrical and torus weights have also been attested (Cutler, Andersson Strand and Nosch 2013: 98–102, Poursat et al. 2015: 229–30; Cutler and Andersson Strand 2018: 48–52). The distribution of tools of different types and functional parameters within particular buildings implies that fabrics of diverse appearance and qualities might have been produced in the specific workplaces (Cutler, Andersson Strand and Nosch 2013; Poursat et al. 2015; Cutler and Andersson Strand 2018: 53–4). The quantity and uniformity of loom weights, as well as the pattern of their distribution suggest large-scale production, perhaps administered by the local palatial authorities (Cutler and Andersson Strand 2018: 52). In Building B, a tablet inscribed in the Cretan Hieroglyphic script has been found in the doorway of Room IV 5, where it had possibly fallen from an upper floor (HM 1676: Godart and Poursat 1978: 70; Poursat 1990: 27, Cutler, Andersson Strand and Nosch 2013: 108; Poursat et al. 2015: 235). The inscription: CHIC #089b: 034–041–084/051–051–051–041 comprises two signs CHIC 041, each resembling a fabric with fringes (Militello 2007: 43; Burke 2010: 74; Del Freo, Nosch and Rougemont 2010: 351, note 55; Nosch 2012: 304–5) and CHIC 084 resembling a cloth. The graphic form of the latter has been associated with wool–LANA signs in later Linear A and B scripts (signs *361? and *145 respectively, Younger 2005). At Malia, only about 4 per cent of the entire bulk of loom weights were seal-impressed or marked by incised signs. Among the marked tools that were published from Quartier Mu, spherical loom weights were incised the most often (twelve out of thirteen examples, Godart and Poursat 1978: 100–5), with seven examples recovered in Building D. According to Poursat (2001: 28–9), the marked tools, being made of different clay than the plain loom weights that they were found with, might have denoted a set for the warpweighted loom. The seal-impressed loom weights were more dispersed spatially and chronologically, being also recorded in Quartier Nu, Theta, and in the palace (twelve examples, cf. CMS II, 6 nos. 175, 190, 192, 202–3, 207, 212–13, 217–18). Again, the spherical weights, all dated to MBA II, were the most frequently stamped tools (eight examples). Seals used for stamping were made of soft stones (CMS II, 6 175, 190, 192, 202–3, 207, 212–13, 217–18) or bone (CMS II, 6 175, 190), and had round and oval faces. Only one tool (Inv. No. 69/E 32) was impressed by a three-sided steatite prism that, interestingly, bore a depiction of two spiders (CMS II, 2 192) (Fig. 5.7). This spool-like tool, pierced vertically and weighing c. 105 g,6 might have been used both as a light loom weight or a heavy spindle whorl. This is the unique example of a textile tool being impressed with a depiction identified as a textile production-related motif. Several loom weights might have been stamped by the same seal, as is demonstrated by the example of three spherical loom weights found in the palace and one found in Building A. This seal was recorded as CMS II, 6 213 in a relation to the tools from the 72

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Figure 5.7 Spool-like tool from Quartier Mu, Malia (Inv. No. 69/E 32) impressed by a three-sided prism bearing the depiction of two spiders. Drawing by the author after CMS II, 2 Abb. 32.

palace, and as CMS II, 6 203 in a relation to the loom weight from Building A. Three of these stamped weights, although found in different locations, show a notable uniformity of diameter (Inv. Nos 83/E 0368–003: φ–5.8 cm; Inv. No. 83/E 0369–002: φ–4.1 cm from the palace, and Inv. No. 67/E 31: φ–4.1 cm from Building A).

5.5 Concluding remarks Textile production seems to constitute a distinguished theme in the imagery of MBA Cretan seals, specifically on the three-sided steatite prisms where motifs referring to textile production were engraved most frequently. These motifs could have been depicted as a single main motif or in combination with other motifs, including combinations with people. In the latter, human figures might be shown as being involved in an interaction with textile production-related motifs, e.g. holding items such as a bar with loom weighs, comb or ‘spindle with whorl’. Their poses and gestures occasionally allude in an abbreviated form to working positions and technical gestures required by specific textilerelated tasks, i.e. weaving, wool combing or spinning. Therefore, people in these combinations have been tentatively termed ‘textile workers’: ‘weavers’, ‘combers’ and ‘spinners.’ The observed triple combinations of a human figure + loom weights + comb; human figure + loom weights + ‘spindle with whorl’; or + ‘weft beater’ may strengthen the suggested thematic reference to textile making and perhaps connect all the depicted motifs into a monothematic narrative. However, given the general schematization of the depictions, as well as the limited number of composition schemes on the three-sided prisms, the suggested interpretations cannot be regarded as definitive. 73

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Potential ‘textile workers’: weavers, ‘combers’ and ‘spinners’, as well as people shown with ‘woolly animals’ and spiders, are rendered schematically, without a gender-specific costume or without any costume at all. This lack of costume and, specifically, the lack of the long skirt that is a common gender characteristic of females in Minoan art, may suggest that these depictions were intended to show men rather than women. Similar figures could also be seen with pots, bows, fish and spears, suggesting that a motif combined with a human figure may perhaps imply its identity. If these figures were indeed intended to indicate gender, no woman would be depicted as a potential textile craftsperson on any of the three-sided steatite prisms. This should not be very surprising, however, since in Minoan art women are usually, if not exclusively, represented as engaged in cult practices (Olsen 2014: 5). It should also be noted that clearly gendered depictions of women are indeed very few in the imagery of MBA glyptic art. The sphragistic use of three-sided steatite prisms seems to be limited and it has been suggested that the prisms were primarily used as seals of non-official character (Anastasiadou 2011: 378). There can be no straightforward answer to the question of whether ‘textile workers’, or other people shown on faces of the three-sided prisms of soft stones, could thus be seen as images revealing the specific qualities of seal owners. As has already been suggested (H. van Effenterre and M. van Effenterre 1974; Younger 2018: 314), the specific meaning conveyed by the combinations of motifs on all seal faces might have conformed to the identity of an individual. However, such conformity would rather have lain in the unique combination of the imagery of each seal face, than in mirroring the professional occupations or the scope of administrative responsibilities of a seal owner or user. Indeed, three-sided prisms may show multiple figures on a single seal face, or a woman and man on different seal faces (CMS VI 34). It has to be noted that a substantial number of seals do not bear any depictions of people. The evidence of sealing practices relating to textile production at Malia is limited to a small number of seal-impressed loom weights. Whoever the seal users that impressed their seals on loom weights were – weavers or potters, women or men – they must have had their rationale for choosing the tools to be stamped and, thus, certain knowledge of the functionality of loom weights and their future allocation as individual tools or markers of entire sets. Although no relation between the imagery of a seal and its sphragistic use has been observed in the current research, the unique example of the spool-like tool stamped by a seal showing two spiders may suggest that a direct association between the seal and its use may, sometimes, be anticipated. Interestingly, this is also the only textile tool at Malia that was impressed by a three-sided prism of soft stone. Summing up, the lack of women among the depictions of human figures interpreted as ‘textile workers’ does not entirely exclude the possibility that women in MBA Crete were successful textile producers and managers of production, similarly to their Near Eastern counterparts. Instead, it may perhaps attest to the existence of a complex relation between the imagery of a seal and the identity of its owner or user, and perhaps the limited number of circumstances in which women could be shown playing their roles in the imagery of MBA seals. 74

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Acknowledgements The research underlying this chapter has been undertaken within my research project ‘Textiles and Seals: Relations between Textile Production and Seals and Sealing Practices in Bronze Age Greece’, which has been funded by the National Science Centre, Poland, ref. no. 2017/26/D/HS3/00145, at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw. I would like to express my special thanks to Catherine Breniquet, Olga Krzyszkowska and Marie-Louise Nosch for inspiring discussions and comments about Aegean and Mesopotamian seals, their imagery and use. The Minoan seals are reproduced after the CMS Arachne database, courtesy of the CMS Archive in Heidelberg and Prof. Diamantis Panagiotopoulos.

Notes 1 This database has been designed specifically for the research project ‘Textiles and Seals: Relations between Textile Production and Seals and Sealing Practices in Bronze Age Greece’. The database will be available online in open access when the data collection is accomplished. It gathers the evidence of textile production-related iconography, seal-impressed textile tools, and impressions of threads, cords and fabrics on clay sealings from the Aegean Bronze Age. 2 The ‘woolly animal’ motif, comprising depictions of sheep and goat, but also wild and feral goats, is still under examination and aims at establishing potential criteria for defining specific Caprinae species in the imagery of the glyptic (cf. Ulanowska forthcoming). Therefore, the resultant number of ‘woolly animal’ motifs may change in due course. 3 https://arachne.uni-koeln.de/arachne/index.php?view[section]=objekt&view[layout]=sear ch_form_category (accessed 19 September 2019). 4 Depictions of man and woman on seals may also be read as Cretan Hieroglyphic signs (CHIC 001 and 004, respectively) if they appear in inscriptions (see CHIC). 5 For combinations of human figure with vessels see, for example: CMS II, 2 237a; VI 29a; 33a; III 160a; with fish: CMS II, 2 174a; bow: CMS III 161b; 163a; spear: CMC VI 68a; P.TSK05/291: Krzyszkowska (2012: 152–3, Fig. 7a). 6 I express my thanks to Eva Andersson Strand who kindly shared with me the data from Malia, from the CTR database of textile tools.

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Textiles and Gender in Antiquity From the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry, 264–82, ATS 17, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Militello, P. M. (2018), ‘An einer Stange hängene Gefässe. 21321. Nota sun un motivo sfragistico’, in Πεπραγμένα ΙΑ’ Διεθνούς Κρητολογικού Συνεδρίου (Ρέθυμνο 21–27 Οκτωβρίου 2011), 321–33, Ρέθυμνο: Ιστορική Λαογραφική Εταιρεία Ρεθύμνου. Nosch, M.-L. (2003), ‘The Women at Work in the Linear B Tablets’, in L. Larsson Lovén and A. Stömberg (eds), Gender, Cult, and Culture in the Ancient World from Mycenae to Byzantium, 12–16, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology PB 166, Sävedalen: Paul Åström Förlag. Nosch, M.-L. (2012), ‘The Textile Logograms in the Linear B Tablets: Les idéogrammes archéologiques – des textiles’, in P. Carlier, C. de Lamberterie, M. Egetmeyer, N. Guilleux, F. Rougemont and J. Zurbach (eds), Études mycéniennes 2010. Actes du XIIIe colloque international sur les textes égéens, Sèvres, Paris, Nanterre, 20–23 septembre 2010, 303–46, Biblioteca di Pasiphae X, Pisa and Roma: Fabrizio Serra Editore. Nosch, M.-L. (2014), ‘Mycenaean Wool Economies in the Later Part of the Second Millennium BC Aegean’, in C. Breniquet and C. Michel (eds), Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean: From the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry, 371–400, ATS 17, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Nosch, M.-L. (2015), ‘The Wool Age: Traditions and Innovations in Textile Production, Consumption and Administration in the Late Bronze Age Aegean’, in J. Weilhartner and F. Ruppenstein (eds), Tradition and Innovation in the Mycenaean Palatial Polities, 167–201, Mykenische Studies 64, Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Nosch, M.-L. and A. Ulanowska (forthcoming), ‘The Materiality of the Cretan Hieroglyphic Script: Textile Production-Related Referents to Hieroglyphic Signs on Seals and Sealings from Middle Bronze Age Crete’, in P. Steele, Ph. Boyes and N. E. Astoreca (eds), The Social and Cultural Contexts of Historic Writing Practices, Oxford: Oxbow books. Olsen, B. A. (2014), Women in Mycenaean Greece: The Linear B Tablets from Pylos and Knossos, London: Routledge. Poursat, J.-C. (1990), ‘Hieroglyphic Documents and Sealings from Malia, Quartier Mu’, in T. G. Palaima (ed.), Aegean Seals, Sealings and Administration. Proceedings of the NEH –Dickson Conference of the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory of the Department of Classics, University of Texas at Austin, January 11–13, 1989. Aegaeum 5, Liège: Université de Liège, 25–33. Poursat, J.-C. (1996), Fouilles exécutées à Malia. Le quartier Mu III. Artisans Minoens: Les Maisons-ateliers du Quartier Mu, ÉtCrét 32, Paris: De Boccard. Poursat, J.-C. (2001), ‘ “Marques de potier” et contrôle économique à Malia à l’époque des premiers palais crétois’, KTEMA. Civilisations de l’Orient, de la Grèce et de Rome antiques, 26: 25–30. Poursat, J.-C. (2012), ‘Of Loom and Pebbles: Weaving in Minoan Coastal Settlements’, in M.-L. Nosch and R.R. Laffineur (eds), KOSMOS. Jewellery, Adornment, and Textiles in the Aegean Bronze Age. Proceedings of the 13th International Aegean Conference, University of Copenhagen, Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research, 21–26 April 2010, 31–4, Aegaeum 33, Leuven: Peeters. Poursat, J.-C., F. Rougemont, J. Cutler, E. Andersson Strand and M.-L. Nosch (2015), ‘Textile Tools from Quartier Mu, Malia, Crete, Greece’, in E. Andersson Strand and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Tools, Textiles and Contexts: Investigating Textile Production in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Bronze Age, 229–42, ATS 21, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Soles, J. S. (1992), The Prepalatial Cemeteries at Mochlos and Gournia and the House Tombs of Bronze Age Crete, Hesperia Supplements 24, Princeton: American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Ulanowska, A. (2017), ‘Textile Technology and Minoan Glyptic: Representations of Loom Weights on Middle Minoan Prismatic Seals’, in K. Żebrowska, A. Ulanowska and K. 78

Middle Bronze Age Crete Lewartowski (eds), Sympozjum Egejskie: Papers in Aegean Archaeology, vol. I, 57–66, Warsaw: Institute of Archaeology. Ulanowska, A. (2018), ‘Innovative or Traditional? Diachronic Approaches to Weaving Technology in Bronze Age Greece’, Światowit LVI: 57–73. Ulanowska, A. (forthcoming), ‘Textile Production in Aegean Glyptic: Interpreting Small-scale Representations on Seals and Sealings from Bronze Age Greece’, in C. Brøns, S. Harris and M. Żuchowska (eds), Textiles in Ancient Iconography, ATS, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Vakirtzi, S. (2019), ‘The Loomweights’, in I. Nikolakopoulou (ed.), Akrotiri, Thera. Middle Bronze Age: Pottery and Stratigraphy I, 485–500, The Archaeological Society at Athens Library Series 318, Athens: The Archaeological Society at Athens. van Effenterre, H. (1980), Le palais de Mallia et la cité minoenne: Étude de synthèse, Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo. van Effenterre, H. and M. van Effenterre (1974), ‘Vers une grammaire de la glyptique crétomycénienne’, in Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (ed.), Die kretisch-mykenische Glyptik und ihre gegenwärtigen Probleme, 22–29, Boppard: Harald Boldt Verlag. Younger, J. G. (2005), ‘Cretan Hieroglyphic Wool Units (LANA, Double Mina)’, in M. Perna (ed.), Studi in onore di Enrica Fiandra: Contributi di archeologia egea vicinorientale, 405–9, Paris: De Boccard. Younger, J. G. (2018), ‘Aegean Bronze Age Seal Stones and Finger Rings: Chronology and Functions’, in M. Ameri, S. Kielt Costello, G. Jamison and S. Jarmer Scott (eds), Seals and Sealings in the Ancient World: Case Studies from the Near East, Egypt, the Aegean, and South Asia, 334–54, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Yule, P. (1981), Early Cretan Seals: A Study of Chronology, Marburger Studien zur Vor- und Frühgeschichte 4, Marburg: Herausgeben Von Otto-Herman Frey and Helmuth Roth.







Mamie a gardé les doigts déformés de cette débauche de travail au salon, au jardin, au lavoir où elle a battu le linge durant des années avant l’installation de l’eau courante. Stéphanie Bodet, À la Verticale de soi, Édition Paulsen, Chamonix, p. 32 Travelling through the western part of the Nile Delta, in the middle of the fifth century bce , Herodotus observed that the Egyptian priests ‘wear a single linen garment and sandals of papyrus: they may have no other kind of clothing or footwear. Twice a day and twice every night they wash in cold water’ (Herodotus II.37.3; translation by Godley). This rhythm of washing was obviously not the one that prevailed among Egyptian families. The Egyptian documentation offers a fairly large number of sources related to the very prosaic and daily activity of laundry.1 At first sight, as we will see, doing laundry, washing clothes, seems like a man’s business in ancient Egypt. This is in contradiction, of course, with the traditional imagery where laundry care was perceived as women’s work. Despite its naivety, this paradox will serve as a starting point for exploring the gender issue in Egyptian sources concerning the cleaning of clothes. I will proceed in a very simple way by examining iconographic documentation (6.1), literary texts (6.2) and, finally, administrative and tax documents (6.3). We can draw a chronological limit separating the second millennium bce documents which are mainly of iconographic and literary nature and that of the first millennium bce which are connected with administration or tax practices.

6.1 Iconographic documents The oldest images of laundry are also the most important in understanding how this operation was carried out. They come from the tomb of Khnumhotep II at Beni Hassan (Middle Egypt) (abbreviated as BH3). Khnumhotep II was a ‘nomarch,’ he was at the head of a vast region during the first half of the twentieth century bce . 6.1.1 Tomb of Khnumhotep, Beni Hassan (BH 3) A painting on the west wall of the main chamber illustrates various ‘everyday life activities’ performed, very probably, in Khnumhotep’s domain. 83

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

Figure 6.1 Tomb of Khnumhotep at Beni Hassan (BH3). Drawing of the west wall, from Newberry (1893): pl. XIX.

Figure 6.2. Tomb of Khnumhotep at Beni Hassan (BH3). Drawing of the West Wall, from Kanawati, N., & Evans, L. (2014). Beni Hassan: Vol. I: The tomb of Khnumhotep II. (Australian Centre for Egyptology Reports; Vol. 36). Oxford: Aris and Phillips, pl. 120 (detail). The examination of this scene makes it possible to establish a kind of chaîne opératoire of the activity called rḫ t, which is written above the two men who plunge some pieces of textile in the river. Traditionally, this word could be translated as a verb (‘doing the laundry’) or a name (‘laundryman’).2 rḫ t appears in the title mr rḫ t ‘chief washerman’. This last title could be connected with the man who presses the bundle of textiles with its body weight. At the opposite end, one or two persons wring(s) out a piece of textile by twisting it. This is the meaning of the verb ἰʽf

written above him/her (Wb. I.41.2).

The two last words and are hapax legomenon. Both very probably have to be transliterated by ḥm. Their meaning(s) cannot be established with certainty. They could, perhaps, designate beating the clothes with a kind of club as suggested in the Wörterbuch (Wb. III.87.6–7). This scene is usually interpreted as representing laundry carried out by 84

Washing the Clothes in Ancient Egypt

a group of servants belonging to Khnumhotep’s domain but it could also be read as showing a staff of bleachers whitening raw linen textiles in the river. 6.1.2 Tomb of Amenemhat, Beni Hassan (BH2) A very similar scene appears on another tomb of Beni Hassan, the tomb no. 2 (BH2) belonging to someone called Amenemhat, in the fifth level, reading from top to bottom. As in Khnumhotep’s tomb’s scene, it is difficult to say if this picture corresponds to a laundry scene or to the washing of freshly woven linen textiles. Nevertheless, the washing operations depicted in BH2 as in BH3 are carried out by men with, perhaps, one exception. There is some doubt as to the gender of the person who performs the twist drying in BH3. He/she is the only figure who wears a garment that wraps around his or her chest and on his or her back; it could also be a swaddled child, Newberry’s drawing lacks clarity on this point while the Kanawati and Evans' one show two men. (see Fig. 6.1). Note that, on the

Figure 6.3. Tomb of Amenemhat at Beni Hassan (BH 2). Drawing of the west wall (north side), from Kanawati, N., & Evans, L. (2016). Beni Hassan: Vol. IIII: The tomb of Amenemhat. (Australian Centre for Egyptology Reports; Vol. 36). Oxford: Aris and Phillips.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

Figure 6.4. Tomb of Khnumhotep at Beni Hassan (BH3). Drawing of the west wall, from Newberry (1893): pl. XIX (Detail, the ‘weaving scene’).

same wall, the weaving is carried out by women under the supervision of men with curiously fat torsos (flesh folds are indeed clearly visible) (see Fig. 6.4). It is clear that, during the early part of the second millennium bce , in the context of a great estate, laundry (or bleaching) was perceived as a man’s work. 6.1.3 Tomb of Ipuy, Thebes (TT217) The Theban tomb of Ipuy is located on the West bank of the Nile at Deir el-Medina. It is dated to the rule of Ramses II (Virey 1891: 604–12; Davies 1927). The laundry scene appears on the wall designated as ‘wall 2’. Contrary to the Beni Hassan scenes, the laundry is not clearly related to the activities of a large estate but serves as a contextual element

Figure 6.5a. Tomb of Ipuy. Drawing of the wall no. 2, from Davies 1927. The ‘laundry scene’ is at right on the lower register.


Washing the Clothes in Ancient Egypt

for the main scene that depicts the arrival of a funeral procession coming from the east bank of the Nile. A group of men is at work on the shore.3 They are part of the decor. Four men dip textiles into big receptacles, which probably contain a detergent solution. Above them at least three people spread pieces of cloth to dry. All the workers are men. A closer examination of the painting reveals a small difference in the clothing of these washermen. On the lower register, those who are in contact with the Nile (symbolized by a rectangle) wear a simple drooping tunic, while those in the upper have their waist surrounded by a beautiful pleated linen cloth. This is most likely an indication of the hierarchy that existed within the group: those who plunge their hands into the river were at the bottom of the scale.

Figure 6.5b detail from the Tomb of Ipuy. Wall no. 2. The ‘laundry scene’. © IFAO (see also Plate 1).


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

6.2 Second millennium literary sources As seen previously, the word used to designate washerman/woman in Egyptian is rḫ t4 (usually transliterated by rḫ ṱ by the demoticists) written in hieroglyphs with a pair of palmipeds . rḫ t is the etymony of the Coptic ŃġƙŇ (Č ED 143, KHWb 172, DELC 180a). It is of great importance for our present topic that rḫ t and ŃġƙŇ can be employed as both masculine and feminine words (Crum, Coptic Dictionary 311a). Reading the Ancient Egyptian and Coptic dictionaries, the meaning of rḫ t appears a little more confusing: all mention that rḫ t and ŃġƙŇ could refer to both the ‘cleaner’ and the ‘fuller’. Those two meanings are confirmed by the census lists of the Hellenistic period in which the Egyptian title of rḫ t can be rendered by the Greek πλυνεύϚ ‘clothes-cleaners’ (LSJ 44, P.Count 5, 282) or by γναφvεύϚ ‘fuller, cloth-carder, or dresser’ (LSJ 964a). Nevertheless, we have to be cautious with adopting the translation of ‘fuller’ because it implies that the action of the rḫ t necessarily concerns wool. It is clear that the rḫ t can also deal with linen. It appears on documents related to the activities of the ‘washerwoman’ (rḫ .wt) of the ‘Castle-of-Neith’, the temple of the goddess Neith in Sais (El-Sayed 1982: no. 669, no. 881 and no. 886), where the rḫ .wt were in charge of whitening the linen textile produced by the temple workshops. In this context, their title can be translated by ‘bleacher(s)’. This means that the risk of confusing laundry with bleaching also exists in texts. This ambiguity can easily be explained by the fact that, in both cases, the textiles were plunged in water and subjected to a powerful action of the arms, to beat or press them. From a distance a washerman looked like a bleacher. The former performed a complex task that was an integral part of the linen production process, while the latter did a job that did not require special skills. While a group of bleachers could perfectly well replace launderers, the reverse was obviously not possible. The rḫ t is rarely attested in Egyptian literature.5 The most interesting occurrence we have at our disposal comes from one of the greatest literary classics of the second millennium bce known as the Teaching of Khety or Satire of Trades. This text was composed at the beginning of the second millennium bce and extensively copied until at least the thirteenth century bce (Ragazzoli 2019). Note that the date of the Satire is that of the iconographic documents we have seen in the first part of this chapter. Its purpose is simple: the author has juxtaposed a series of chapters composed in four to fourteen verses, each of them devoted to a profession that is inevitably described as detestable. Among these repulsive jobs, the rḫ t appears in Chapter 19 of P. Sallier, which contains the most complete version of the Satire of Trades. This passage takes place between those concerning the shoemaker and the fowler. The meaning of some lines remains uncertain. P. Sallier VIII, 2–6 And the washerman (rḫ t) washes on the shore And thereby is the crocodile. ‘Father, I shall leave the flowing (?) water’ Says his son and daughter, 88

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‘for a trade that one can be content in, More so than any other trade(?).’ While his food is mixed with shit. There’s no part of him clean, While he puts himself among the skirts of a woman who is on her period (?) He weeps, spending the day at the washboard (mqЗnt). He is told: ‘Dirty clothes! Bring yourself over here’, and the (river) edge. Parkinson 1991: 75 Reminiscent of this passage is an extract found in two Ramesside Miscellanies (thirteenth–twelfth centuries bce ). P. Chester Beatty V r5. The washermen (rḫ t) are on the shore and go down in the water. ‘Sailor, they say, the crocodiles are standing there.’ My translation P. Lansing 4, 2–4. The washerman (rḫ t) spends his day going up and down, All his limbs are tired Whitening his neighbours’ clothes (ḥbs n sЗḥ-tЗ) every day, Washing their intimate clothes. My translation In these passages, the rḫ t is clearly a laundryman and not a bleacher. The mention of neighbours (sЗḥ-tЗ) in the last excerpt means that the washerman of the Satire works within the framework of a village or town, as a small private entrepreneur. He was not an ‘institutional laundryman’ attached to a large estate as perhaps those who appear on the walls of the mastabas of Beni Hassan.

6.3 Documentary texts from Ramesside to Hellenistic period If the literary dossier related to the rḫ t is meagre, the situation is overwhelmingly different if we examine the documentary sources.

6.3.1 An administrative letter from Deir el-Medina An administrative letter dated to the Ramesside period is contained in oDM 314. At its origin lie several complaints made by inhabitants of Deir el-Medina about inattentions 89

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of a laundryman who remains unnamed. The unknown author writes to a man named Amenemope who is probably responsible for laundry operations. He requires from him the adjustment of the work quota of the laundryman, which is expressed in amounts of ‘houses’, and reports an enquiry after the natron needed for washing clothes.6 To the scribe Amenemope: As for the eight (households) that you have done, ‘Give four households as washing to the washerman (pЗ rḫ t)’. No! [It ought to be three] households [from those] which Pharaoh, l.p.h., has given to him. Now see, he has assigned six households as two days’ work, making three households per day. Now look, he has been given six households as two work days, which makes three households per day. Now, [look . . .] said [. . .]. So they said to him. May you send concerning them to the [. . .]. You are to give [the wash]ing(?) to/of Bakenmut. It is a good thing you have done! Look, (I) have made investigations in their presence. (As for) Nakhtsobek, I did not find (any) natron in his possession, even though you gave of (some) [. . .] it for it. This is what you have done. When you learnt the [reason] for the delay, they will be in need of natron for the garments. Now you must not [allow] this failure to supply natron, since it is Pharaoh l.p.h., who has given natron to you. If it will not be given, they will emphasize your deficiency/cheating. Now you know one side (of the matter). (oDM 314; Černý 1939: 20, pl. 21 ; Wente 1990: 144, no. 191 (translation); Davies and Toivari 2000: 65–77; I follow the translation proposed by these authors, see pp. 66–7) We understand that Amenemope, the recipient of the letter, was therefore in charge of assigning laundrymen to the houses of the village. He was also responsible for the proper execution of the work carried out by the men he hired. Note that it was the royal administration that allocated the detergent, in this case natron, to the person in charge of laundry operations. Here again, the masculine form of the name rḫ t clearly indicates that men were in charge of the laundry. 6.3.2 Hellenistic tax receipts and census lists Natron is also at the heart of the penultimate documentary dossier. It forces us to make a leap of several centuries, from the thirteenth to the third century bce . Dating from the Hellenistic period, nine ostraca, mainly written in Greek but also in Demotic, contain receipts issued by the royal administration for the payment of money related to natron (Muhs 2005: 82) The word used to qualify this payment is νιτρική. It derived from the Greek word meaning ‘natron’ νίτρον (dem. ḥsmn; Muhs 2011: 125). To obtain natron, private individuals had to pay sellers who had previously bought the right to sell this mineral from the king. The existence of this monopoly affected the textile and laundry industries, whose workers combined natron and castor oil to make a kind of soap. Even in the case of this very practical documentation, which contains no ideological elements, we have to note the complete absence of women. It is true that the 90

Washing the Clothes in Ancient Egypt

Table 6.1 List of the Names of the Buyers Mentioned in Receipts Relative to the Payment of the νιτρική (Natron Tax). Reference (Muhs 2011: 124–5)


Names of the person who buys natron

Berlin, Staatliche Museen P. 11033

BGU 6 1365


Berlin, Staatliche Museen P. 10853

BGU 6 1366


Berlin, Staatliche Museen P. 10856

BGU 6 1369


Berlin, Staatliche Museen P. 11022

BGU 6 1370


Berlin, Staatliche Museen P. 10879

BGU 6 1371


Berlin, Staatliche Museen P. 10993

BGU 6 1373


Berlin, Staatliche Museen P. 11014

BGU 6 1374


Oxford, Ashmolean Museum Bodl. Gr. Inscr. 2230

O. Taxes 2 92


Cairo, Private collection Michaelidis, MSS KaplonyHeckel DO 118

O. Taxes 2 93


sample we have at our disposal has no statistical value (how could it have any with so few texts?). Moreover, seven of them are related to the same buyer Ποῆρις son of Harthotes.7 The censuses carried out by the Ptolemaic administration in Fayum and Middle Egypt suggest, however, a more nuanced reality: P.Count 2 mentions two women in the section dedicated to a list of rḫ t ‘washermen’/‘bleachers’. P.Count 2. XVIII, 464. Washermen / bleachers (rḫ ṱ ) Harplilous son of Pbekis sn ʻЗ8 T З -mḫ y his wife (tЗy=f rmt.t) Belle son of Thotortaios Sentotoes his wife (tЗy=f rmt.t) ˹4˺ people (including) ˹2˺ men (ḥwṱ ). We have to note that no woman is assimilated directly to the list of the rḫ ṱ without her husband being counted as such. This means that the profession was perceived by the census authorities as ‘intrinsically male’.

6.4 Conclusion At the end of this overview, the situation seems clear: no document, with the exception of the Ptolemaic census list and, perhaps, the iconography on the tomb of Khnumhotep II,


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

shows women involved in rḫ t operations. Washing laundry or bleaching linen appear to have been a man’s business. Nevertheless, one might suspect a methodological bias due to the nature of our sources. All are connected with institutions, estates or royal administrations, implying that, with the exception of the Satire of Trades, none of these documents allow us to go inside Egyptian homes. If we can affirm that when rḫ t operations were carried outside the family circle, it was indeed man’s work, we are completely ignorant about what happened in the inner circle of the households. However, there is a good chance that the situation here was very different and that it was the women who took on the daily laundry. In order to understand this gender shift within a service activity when it is outside family sphere, we should note the work of the great Danish economist Ester Boserup (1910–99). Boserup showed that, in a pre-capitalist economy, when a task becomes industrialized, it also becomes masculinized. In her book Woman’s Role in Economic Development (1970), she distinguishes three stages in what could be called the historical formation of the domestic services, among which is laundry: in countries at very early stages of development, domestic tasks like cooking, serving of meals, washing, etc., are done within the family, usually by the women. At the intermediate stages of development, many such services have become commercialized, being performed for wages by either male of female domestic servants. And at still higher levels, some of these services have become commercialized outside the household by men and women specializing in one of these service activities, as owners and employees in bar, cafeterias, restaurants, laundries, house and offices cleaning services etc. Boserup, 1970: 103 And further: when larger industries gradually drive the home industries out of business, women lose their jobs, because the type of products they were making (home spun cloth, hand-made cigars, hand-made matches, etc.) are replaced by products factory made by a labour force composed of many more men than women. Boserup 1970: 111 If we follow Boserup’s reasoning, it is therefore quite probable that Egyptian women performed domestic laundry duties whereas men worked as professional laundry workers (and bleachers) for large institutions or private companies.9

Abbreviations CCD = Johnson, Janet H., ed., The Demotic Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, Chicago, The Oriental Institute. https://oi.uchicago.edu/ research/publications/demotic-dictionary-oriental-institute-university-chicago. 92

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Crum, Coptic Dictionary = Crum, W. E. (1939), Coptic Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Č ED = Černy, J. (1976), Coptic Etymological Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press. DELC = Vycichl, W. (1983), Dictionnaire étymologique de la langue copte, Leuven: Peeters. KHWb = Westendorf, W. (1977), Koptisches Handwörterbuch, Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universitätverlag. LSJ = H. G. Liddell, Robert Scott and H. Stuart Jones (1968), Greek–English Lexicon, 9th edn, Oxford: Clarendon Press. O.Taxes 2 = Muhs, B. (2011), Receipts, Scribes and Collectors in Early Ptolemaic Thebes, Leuven: Peeters. P.BM 10508 = Glanville, S. R. K. (1955), The Instructions of ‘Onchsheshonqy. Catalogue of Demotic Papyri in the British Museum II , London: British Museum Publications. P.Count = Clarysse, W. and D. J. Thompson (2006), Counting the People in Hellenistic Egypt, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. P.Lille dem. II = de Cenival, F. (1973), Cautionnements démotiques du début de l’époque ptolémaïque (P. dem. Lille 34 à 95), Cairo: IFAO. Wb. = Erman, Adolf et Grapow, Hermann, eds, Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, Berlin, Akademie-Verlag, 1926–1961.

Notes 1 Vogelsang-Eastwood (2000: 284–5) contains a very useful overview of technical aspects of laundry in Ancient Egypt. 2 The meaning of the word rḫ t is discussed more extensively at the beginning of the second section of this chapter. 3 rḫ t / lḫ te as ‘place of the washerman’ or the ‘washing-place’ is also attested in toponymy; see, for example, PЗ-ʽwy-rḫ t, CDD R (01.1) (2001): 61. 4 Wb. II.448.10–11. rḫ t was also read by Kruchten (1981: 145) in the Horemheb’s Decree. 5 Note, in demotic, the rather cryptic occurrence in the Instructions of Chasheshonqy, P.BM 10508 5.x+13 ἰnnЗw PЗ-Rʽ ḫ ʽtr r tš iw=f ἰr pЗy=f rḫ ṱ n tb-m-mšЗ. ‘When Ra is angry after a nome, he makes his launderer a vizier.’ (On the translation of tb-m-mšЗ as vizier, see Lippert 2003.) 6 Concerning natron for bleaching linen, Zenon Papyri 3.59304 and the very important chapter written by Lucas (1961: 267). 7 One finds the same situation in documents concerning the auctioning of the natron monopoly. All the partners who join forces to raise the capital needed to buy the natron’s sales rights are men, see P.Lille dem. II 76 (16 peoples), P.Lille dem. II 95 (13 peoples). 8 I leave this expression untranslated because I do not understand its meaning. 9 Neo-Babylonian period contracts for laundry operation gathered by Waerzeggers (2006) may illustrate Boserup’s hypothesis: if the providers are, as in Egypt, exclusively men, two of these contracts were drawn up at the request of housewives (no. 8 and no. 9).


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

References Boserup, E. (1970), Women’s Role in Economic Development, London: George Allen & Unwin. Černý, J. (1939), Catalogue des ostraca hiératiques non littéraires de Deir el Médineh. Tome IV: Nos. 242–339, Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale. Davies, B. and J. Toivari (2000), ‘A Letter of Reproach (O. DeM 314): Corruption in the Administration of the Washing Service at Deir el-Medina’, in R. J. Demarée and A. Egberts (eds), Deir el-Medîna in the Third Millennium A.D. A Tribute for Jac. J. Janssen, Leiden: Peeters: 65–77. Davies, N. de G. (1927), Two Ramesside Tombs at Thebes, New York: Robb de Peyster Tytus Memorial Series. El-Sayed, R. (1982), La déesse Neith de Saïs: importance et rayonnement de son culte, Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale. Kanawati, N. and L. Evans (2014), Beni Hassan: Vol. I: The tomb of Khnumhotep II, Australian Centre for Egyptology Reports vol. 36, Oxford: Aris and Phillips. Kanawati, N. and L. Evans (2016), Beni Hassan: Vol. IIII: The tomb of Amenemhat, Australian Centre for Egyptology Reports vol. 36, Oxford: Aris and Phillips. Kruchten, K. (1981), Le décret d’Horemheb: traduction, commentaire épigraphique, philologique et institutionnel, Bruxelles: Université de Bruxelles. Lippert, S. L. (2003), ‘ṯ Зty statt tb-m-mšʽ – Neues zum Wesir in Demotischen’, Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 130: 88–97. Lucas, A. (1961), Ancient Egyptian Materials and Industries, London: Edward Arnold. Muhs, B. (2005), Tax Receipts, Taxpayers, and Taxes in Early Ptolemaic Thebes, Chicago: Oriental Institute. Muhs, B. (2011), Receipts, Scribes and Collectors in Early Ptolemaic Thebes, Leuven: Peeters. Newberry, P. (1893), Beni Hassan, London: Egypt Exploration Society. Parkinson, R. B. (1991), Voices from Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Middle Kingdom Writings, London: British Museum. Ragazzoli, C. (2019), Scribes: les artisans du texte en Égypte ancienne, Paris: Les Belles Lettres. Virey, P. (1891), Sept tombeaux thébains de la XVIIIe dynastie, Paris: Leroux. Vogelsang-Eastwood, G. (2000), ‘Textiles’ in P. T. Nicholson and I. Shaw (eds), Ancient Egyptian Material and Technologies, 268–98, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Waerzeggers, C. (2006), ‘Neo-Babylonian Laundry’, Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale, 100 (1): 83–96. Wente, E. (1990), Letters from Ancient Egypt, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature.



The Late Bronze Age Linear B archives attested at the major Mycenaean palatial centres of Knossos, Pylos, Thebes and Chania comprise clay tablets inscribed in the Linear B script preserved through the accidental firing at the time of the destruction of these centres. The tablets are a fundamental source for the understanding of the economy of these palatial centres.1 Linear B tablets have also been recovered, albeit in lesser numbers at other localities, at Midea (Walberg 1992), Iklaina (Shelmerdine 2012; Cosmopoulos and Shelmerdine 2016) and Volos (Skafida, Karnavà and Olivier 2012). The finds of Linear B tablets at Aghios Vassileios in Laconia, unpublished except for a very few tablets (Aravantinos and Vasilogamvrou 2012), promise to add to our picture of these highly sophisticated societies, perhaps not least with regard to the repertory of personal names both male and female. An aspect of Late Bronze Age society mirrored in these texts is textile manufacture on an industrial scale revealing a highly sophisticated organization (Killen 1988). The information we can glean through the occupational designations and the prosopography of individual textile workers involved in specific tasks within this manufacture reveals gender aspects connected to industrial activity (Lindgren 1973; Landenius Enegren 2008, 2016; Nakassis 2013).2 For reasons of space this chapter will focus on the single site of Knossos (c. 1360 bce ) and what it can tell us. Personal designations referring to the textile occupational sphere make up 17 per cent of all designations at Knossos. In all, there are about thirty personal designations in the Mycenaean texts that deal with textile production, and of these seventeen are present at Knossos (Landenius Enegren 2017: 178). The number of preserved Knossos texts amount to around 3400 documents of which 75 per cent are incomplete and 56 per cent average less than five signs (Bartoñek 1983; Olivier 1984: 11). It must be kept in mind that the essential purpose of these laconic annotations was the efficient running of the palatial economy. As such, they are not readily conducive to any more detailed knowledge of family units despite the fact that on some tablets women are recorded in conjunction with the term tu (Greek θύγατηρ), an abbreviated reference of tu-ka-te with the meaning of daughter, in all likelihood grown women (Killen 1966: 212; Hiller 1989: 56–7; Carlier 1999: 187–8); the term for son i-jo (Greek υἱúς) also occurs (Hiller 1989: 59–60, but see caveats in Carlier 1999: 189). Some tablets do record men’s names with the ideograms for man and woman and the terms for boy ko-wo (Gr. korwos) and girl, ko-wa (Gr. korwa), but whether these annotations illustrate actual family units remains unproven (Hiller 1989: 56). It is, however, not 95

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

unlikely that all family members engaged in textile manufacture, at least, on a household level since it is very labour-intensive (see Costin 2012: 181–3 for ethnographical comparanda). The ‘scribal hands’ (H.) that wrote these tablets remain anonymous (Olivier 1967), insofar as we cannot pin a personal name on any of these figures. Scribes were most probably administrative officials in their own right, and likely to have personally monitored a fair number of the people they recorded with personal names, who in some way had to answer to them (Landenius Enegren 2008: 18). A scribe focused on recording personnel for allocations of raw material for the manufacture of goods which were then delivered back to the palatial centre in their finished state according to the so-called tara-si-ja system (see below) seems to me likely to have had a ‘controller’ position. Scribes involved strictly with the recording of various stages of textile manufacture directly at Knossos, are foremost H. 103, the textile sector scribe per se, as well as H. 115 and H. 113 (Landenius Enegren 1995; Firth and Nosch 2002–3). In all, probably not more than ten responsible officials were concerned in the direct listing of personal names pertaining to the textile sphere. Diverse sets of tablets recording receipt and storage of specific types of cloth and production targets reveal the geographical distribution of villages active in textile manufacture within the Knossian dependent area. Most are located in the central and southern parts of Crete but interests also included the western area of Crete (Alberti 2007: 247; Nosch 2007: 63).

7.1 Textile manufacture: workers and textiles The Linear B records show several categories of textile workers; these may include those fully dependent on the palace as well as semi-dependent (Landenius Enegren 2008: 16 with further references). Some texts deal with wool allocations made by the palace to individuals and groups, other texts record the finished textile products required back by the palace according to the so-called ta-ra-si-ja system, whereby the meaning of the term ta-ra-si-ja can best be compared to the Latin term pensum, with the implication that raw material is allotted for the production of certain set targets, and then the finished goods are then redirected to the palatial centre (Killen 2001; Nosch 2011). The concept merits an essay all on its own, but suffice it to state that as regards textile production, it seems that certain localities, and, accordingly, some workers, made specific types of cloth such as the te-pa, pe-ko-to te-pa, tu-na-no and pa-we-a ko-u-ra, types of cloth which seem to be connected to particular villages (Alberti 2007: 245–7). Moreover, female workgroups seem to be more frequent under the ta-ra-si-ja system. The Linear B tablets reveal the types of cloth recorded by the palace, in part from the ideograms (the schematic drawings we have of cloth of different kinds), with or without endograms (syllabic signs that are placed within an ideogram, as a reference to a particular type of cloth), which testify to the intricacy of textile production. There also exists terminology which provides information on certain types of textiles. 96

Late Bronze Age Knossos

Individuals working within all aspects of the textile industry in the Linear B texts are recorded on the tablets according to a set scheme. They occur either collectively, listed as workgroups for specific tasks such as, for instance, the te-pe-ja women, who are makers of te-pa fabric, possibly a heavier type of cloth (a carpet type has been suggested: Nosch 2012: 325–6), the ko-u-re-ja, women makers of ko-u-ra type of cloth, the a-ke-te-ri-ja/aze-te-ri-ja women involved with finishing/decorative details and the a-ra-ka-te-ja (women spinners). The probable term for weaver, i-te-u, also occurs, but only as a personal name in a list of men at Knossos (Tablet AS (1) 1516), as opposed to Pylos where the personal designation in the gen. plur. i-te-ja-o indicates women and the unsure reading of i-te-we may signify ‘the male counterpart’ (Lindgren 1973: 58). Reference to purple-dye workers is attested to in the associated term po-pu-re-ja which occurs as a female personal name at Knossos (Tablet L (7) 474). The masculine form of the term with the probable reading of po-pu-re-jọ ̣, may refer to purple-dye specialists (Carlier 1984: 51; Nosch 2016: 448). There are groups of women workers recorded by ethnics such as, for example, the pai-ti-ja women (women from Phaistos), the e-ra-ja (women of e-ra), the e-ki-si-ja (women of e-ko-so) and the da-wi-ja (women of da-wo). The locality da-wo has recently been suggested as referring to the archaeological site of Kommos located in the south of the island (Bendall 2017; see Bennet 1985 for a discussion of toponyms with regard to the Knossos administration). Male ethnics do not occur at the same level in textile records. In all the estimated number of women who were active in textile production at Knossos is thought to be about a thousand (Nosch 2011: 502). At the individual level, roughly speaking, there are about a thousand diverse personal names at Knossos (Landenius Enegren 2008: 26). A common pool of names would explain the many recurrent personal names, thus, methodologically speaking, crossreferences are crucial in order to argue that the same individual is recorded in one or more tablets, where interrelation of context may be an essential pointer. My previous work on the prosopography of Knossos highlighted the fact that intra-scribal recurrences of names most likely refer to one and the same individual within the Knossos corpus, versus the inter-scribal recurrences that showed no such correlation (Landenius Enegren 2008: 25–9). Although the brief shorthand style of the texts is a hamper, it is still possible to pinpoint specific workers and make educated guesses as to their role within Knossos textile manufacture. In some instances, we touch upon gendered roles. To illustrate, a few chosen workers are highlighted below by the tasks they had, in which hierarchy and gender also become apparent. As regards Linear B textile records, from the Knossos textile texts it has been inferred that women did the weaving and men the finishing (Killen 1968), this may need to be nuanced and is reconsidered by Shelmerdine (2017: 371). Tablet Ln 1568 in Scribal Hand (H.) 103, the textile scribe par excellence at Knossos (Landenius Enegren 1995; Firth and Nosch 2002–3), can serve as an example to highlight a potential hierarchical order with regard to particular female textile workers. 97

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

Figure 7.1 Tablet LN 1568. From CoMIK II. Drawing L. Godart. Ln Ln 1568

(H. 103)


mi-ja-ro ,

e , pa 4

1b. *56–po-so 1 wa-wa-ka 1 TELA ¹+TE 2a.

e , pa 12

2b. po-po pe TELA ¹+TE 3a.


pa 4

pa 8 , ru-nu


to-sa te-[


5. 6.


lat. inf .a

e , pa 4

1 na-e-r ̣a ̣-jạ ̣ pe TELA+TE

TELA ¹ 1

a-ze-ti-r ̣i-ja ̣

.b o-pi, ma-tu-ẉe ̣o-nu-ke

1 wi-da-ma-ta2 , mi TELA ¹+TE


e , pa 8

1 ko-re-wo mi TELA+TE 1 di-*65–pa-ta mi TELA+TE

pa 11 ̣

3b. ru-sa-ma pe TELA ¹+TE

4b. ]tu-na-no

e , pa 12

1 ru-ki-ti-ja pe TELA+TE

1 ta-su mi TELA+TE

pa 12


e , pa 6


pa 12 1


pe TELA ¹+TE


]T E ̣ L ̣ ̣Ạx 1 pạ -r ̣ ̣o ̣ no-si-ro ṃ i Ṭ ̣ E Ḷ ̣Ạx+ṬE ‘ ̣ pa-ra-ja “ ne-ki-ri-de

LANA 1 o-pi, po-ni-ke-ja

TELA x+TE 3 ΄ṃi΄̣ TELA x+TE 7 [

[ [

The tablet lists women workers at the site of da-wo. Some are recorded as te-pe-ja, workers of te-pa cloth, a heavy type of cloth which we know from other records requires 7 units of wool, equivalent to 21 kilos of wool, resulting in 10 kg of clean wool (Killen 1974: 84; Nosch 2012: 321). On the lateral side of the tablet the term (a-ze-ti-ri-ja (Greek askētriai)), most likely a reference to finishers/ decorators (Killen 1974; for a discussion see Barber 1991, 272–3), are listed, as is the term o-nu-ke. I will return to the latter in the excursus below. The ne-ki-ri-de, a term that possibly indicates shroud makers (Killen 1974: 279–80; 1986), is also recorded in the same position. The preposition pa-ro with the established meaning of ‘at the hands of’ or ‘chez’, (Killen 1968) and the preposition 98

Late Bronze Age Knossos

o-pi, when recorded in connection with a personal name, are taken to refer to ownership and/or supervisory function pertaining to a workshop context (Killen 1984: 64). Thus, the women recorded on the tablet with o-pi by the name of ma-tu and po-ni-ke-ja seemingly have an elevated position with regard to the women named above against te-pa cloth and the individual no-si-ro recorded with pa-ro who is possibly a workshop owner vel.sim (Shelmerdine 2017: 371). Of the individuals listed on Ln 1568 only po-po, and no-si-ro recur elsewhere in the corpus of texts. Po-po is elsewhere listed as a supervisor on tablet Xe 524 together with ta-qa-ra-te a name also listed on V 7512 as a probable man's name. Po-po is also connected to the manufacture of linen textiles (Tablet L (1) 648). Whether the individual po-po who occurs in several tablets connected to textile manufacture, is a man or a woman has been debated. The evidence may suggest a female worker in all instances although most plausible where it is recorded against the term o-pi, a woman with a position of responsibility in a workshop (Landenius Enegren 2008: 67 with references). The individual no-si-ro recorded here with the term pa-ro, recurs with the ideogram for man on As (1) 603 so the gender is clear on this tablet. The tablet is also in H. 103, the same scribe that records individuals on Ln 1568. If it holds true that intra-scribal recurrences to one same individual, this would imply that no-si-ro on Ln 1568 is a man and, accordingly, that both a man and a woman with a higher status are recorded on the same tablet. This finds similarity in the tablets (Ak set) recording DA and TA, abbreviated references to supervisors, one female and one male respectively (Shelmerdine 2016: 628– 9 with references). The names recorded with o-pi denote an elevated position and are often female names, but in some cases there is gender ambiguity (Killen 1984: 64). The term pa-ro recorded together with a name, on the other hand, seems to be restricted to male supervisors (Shelmerdine 2016: 622–4; 2017: 370). This makes Ln 1568 one of few tablets in which both men and women are recorded together with their personal names. As mentioned, the Ak set of tablets records a male and female supervisor but no personal name is mentioned. The registration of workers in pairs suggests that the records mirror actual work situations; this seems evident both for men and women. An example are the two individuals listed with wool recorded on tablet Od (1) 681 in H. 103, e-na-po-na and e-ti-wa-ja, linked by the copulative -qe, -kwe, later Greek –τε (Ruijgh 1967: 289), probably a reference to two women since of the two, e-ti-wa-ja recurs on a tablet (Ap 639), a list of women textile workers, again in H. 103. Another pair of female names a-to-mo-na and su-mo-no equally linked by -qe occurs in a wool context on tablet Od (1) 563, in H. 103. Working in pairs on a warp-weighted loom probably facilitates the work, as the weft is beaten upwards. The image of two women weavers depicted on a vase attributed to the Amasis painter (c. 440 bce ) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, comes to mind. Setting a warp is also much more manageable if two persons are engaged (Nixon 1999: 562 with further ref.). An example of paired male textile workers occurs on tablet As (1) 605 in H. 103, where the men denoted by the ideogram for man, tu-ma-i-ta and qe-ta-se-u are paired together in the making of one cloth; are they perhaps male weavers? Unless we are faced 99

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

with gender-neutral names, no man and woman are paired together with the enclitic – qe– in the records, which probably reflects actual work situations where grown women and men are kept separated in fulfilling the required work. The Linear B texts record children, both girls and boys of varying age, often together with a female. As far as can be gleaned from the texts referring to textile production, no girls or boys are recorded specifically by name, unless they hide somewhere among the named individuals elsewhere. We have records (Ak sets and Ai (3) 824) that show female workgroups recorded with older (me-zo-e) and younger (me-u-jo-e) children and girls and boys who are di-da-ka-re (under training) and de-di-ku-ja (fully trained). Thus, it would seem from the texts that women in general are more linked to children in comparison to men (Budin 2016: 600). The two terms often appear in their abbreviated forms di and de respectively. Suggestions that the younger me-u-jo should be considered in the age group 0–5/8-year-olds and the older me-zo-e 7–9/11 have been put forth (De Fidio 1989: 33; Hiller 1989: 42, n. 5; Olsen 2014: 165). It is perhaps revealing that girls are always recorded before boys and more girls are recorded on the whole. The abbreviation tu- for tugater- daughter (Killen 1966) is always recorded in connection with a woman. The term i-jo, possibly a reference to son (see Carlier 1999: 189 for a discussion), occurs in H. 101 in a personnel list (V (7) 1523) in a workshop context, which seemingly also gives the personal name. But this is not the case in the textile records. These younger and older children and apprentices seem to be apart from the individuals recorded as do-e-ra (f.) and do-e-ro (m.) (Greek δοῦλος), slaves, whatever the term may have implied in this period, be it chattel or a more servant status (Masson 1973: 10). Typically, male-gendered professions would be fullers; the profession seems not to be recorded at Knossos but the term in question, ka-na-pe-u (Greek knapheus), occurs in the records of Pylos. At Knossos male purple-dye workers are possibly recorded, as suggested by Pierre Carlier, who argued that tablet V (6) 832 in H. 225, a list of men’s names, recorded in a scribal hand elsewhere in the corpus of Knossos texts (X 976), suggests purple-dyers (Carlier 1984: 51).

7.2 Concluding remarks The percentage of male to female named textile workers based on complete names, or in those cases where a fragmentary name is recorded against an ideogram or other contextual evidence providing certainty, gives roughly counted 250 named individuals within the textile sphere. Of these 66 per cent are male and 33 per cent named female workers. However, overall more women workers are actually recorded since they outnumber the men on the ration records. This can be compared to the Knossos ‘shepherd’ texts that list 330 complete diverse names, where almost all are taken to be male personal names. One individual ku-tu-qa-no may be recorded as a female shepherd at Knossos (Landenius Enegren 2008: 21).


Late Bronze Age Knossos

Social hierarchy is not gender specific since women, as well as men, seem to have been trusted with supervisory positions. As regards the social fabric, the challenge to categorize individuals consistent with non-Greek versus Greek personal names (Firth 1995) is complicated. Without knowledge about the criteria for name-giving it is difficult to infer status solely on Greekness (Landenius Enegren 2008: 91). The suggestion has been put forward that household units may have consisted of male shepherds and female textile workers with children engaged at the local level (Nixon 1999: 567). It may well be that household units were engaged in textile making, as this is a time-consuming process and everyone eligible was probably engaged even from a very young age. From a prosopographical perspective however, it is difficult to attest individual shepherds in the textile texts. With regard to the Knossos administrative records, there is scant, if any, evidence for such an assumption. Few shepherd names recur in the textile records in H. 103 (Landenius Enegren 2008: 50). The shepherds recorded in the shepherd scribe per se H. 117, when compared with the textile personal names, show there is no statistical evidence to support this and could be due to a common name pool. Moreover, the toponyms in some cases diverge, the male au-ri-jo recorded as a shepherd at the village of ku-ta-to and a textile worker with the same name is recorded at the locality wi-na-to. At the same time, it cannot be excluded that a shepherd at, for example, the locality of da-wo belongs to the same household as a woman recorded at da-wo but the brief set format of the extant texts impedes proof of such an assumption. Moreover, as mentioned, the statistical analysis of recurrent personal names shows that intra-scribal recurrences of names may point to one and a same individual but that this was not valid between scribal hands. Children are registered according to age group without any personal names. Some are recorded as already fully apprenticed and others under apprenticeship. The only proof we have of individual children are those engaged in tablet-making, from the finger and palmprints preserved on a number of tablets and which refer to children 8–12 years of age (Sjöquist and Åström 1991: 27–8). Gender-wise we have no term for weaver at Knossos but we have many detailed occupational designations predominantly referring to women active in the Knossos textile manufacture. The many boy apprentices recorded, however, show that men were also destined for textile work.

7.3 Excursus on the Linear B term o-nu-ke-ja (pl. f. onukheiai)3 On tablet Ln 1568 a-ze-ti-ri-ja, a term generally taken to refer to women decorators/ finishers (Killen 1979: 165–7), are recorded with the noun o-nu-ke (nom. pl. onukhes). The etymological root of the term o-nu-ke (o-nu-ka nom. sg.) is onukhs – with the meaning of nail (Leukart 1987; Killen 1979: 157–65). Interpretations for the term and its variant forms, include from something ‘stitched on’, to a reference to an edge or fringe and/or referring to a starting border (Barber 1991, 272–3. Firth and Nosch in a discussion of these interpretations suggest that the a-ze-ti-ri-ja should be seen as ‘makers of edgings’ 101

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

(Firth and Nosch 2002–3: 134–5). As we shall see from the ethnographical excursus below, the corresponding designation, the female o-nu-ke-ja (onukheiai), attested to at Pylos (Tablet PY Ab 194) but not at Knossos, may be more appropriate. a-ze-ti-ri-ja would in that case be understood better as an umbrella term to denote workers who undertook different kinds of decoration, and not specifically fringes. Unless due to skewed data, there do not seem to have been ‘o-nu-ke-jo’ men at Pylos but the dative masculine singular form o-nu-ke-u /onukheus occurs at Thebes (Tablet TH Oh 206), suggesting that also men are fringe-makers, at least at Thebes (Alberti 2012: 101) and that both women and men are connected to finishing workshops. At Knossos, nevertheless, we have attestations to edges/fringes through the terms used to depict textiles types such as the po-ki-ro-nu-ka and re-u-ko-nu-ka, variegated (multi-coloured?) and white o-nu-ke/edges/fringes, respectively, where more white-fringed re-u-ko-nu-ka are recorded, compared to the variegated (po-ki-ro-nu-ka) kind. The textile fragments from Xeste 3 recovered at Akrotiri on Thera attest to ornate fringes (Mouhlerat and Spantidaki 2007). One may perhaps question the need for a particular terminology for the making of fringes as it could, as mentioned, be incorporated under an umbrella term for decoration. However, as I have come to understand, fringe making is a highly specialized skill. Therefore, in my view, it is not surprising that a particular term may have been used to distinguish the skilled crafts people engaged in this type of craft. Usually fringes are finished elements that finalize the warp threads in a weave into tassels in a knotting technique, macramé method, but a fringe can also be made separately in the same technique and then sewn on to the chosen piece of textile (Figs 7.2 and 7.3) According to my informants in Apulia and Calabria, most weavers can make a fringe but it takes diligent practice to arrive at an exquisitely balanced fringe involving different kinds of knots made into tassels.4 As an informant explained to me, ‘either you have the gift or you don’t, and although I weave since I was a young girl and have also learned the art of macramé, it never turns out as nice as that of my colleague who is a specialist in this art’ (Uggiano-la Chiesa, July 2017)! (See Figs 7.4–7.6 and Plate 2.) In light of the above, coming back to the Linear B records, is it that the complex skill necessary in fringe making would invite the need for a separate occupational designation for these highly specialized workers which, moreover, seem not to have been limited to one gender? One last comment: it has been suggested that patterns in Bronze Age paintings have been inspired by textile patterns. I would like to add that perhaps tasselled fringes with their complicated knot systems may also have thus inspired: the plaster fragment from a twelfth century bce painted ceiling from Hepzefa, Egypt comes readily to mind (see Blakolmer 1999: 103 and PL. XLIa).


Late Bronze Age Knossos

Figures 7.2 and Fig. 7.3 Macramé-type fringes on hand-woven textiles (in author’s collection).


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

Figure 7.4 Weaver Carolina from Uggiano la Chiesa in the Salento area of Apulia teaching the author how to make a fringe with the macramé method, using different types of knots, here she is working on the so-called nodo d’amore knot.

Figure 7.5 Hand-woven textile by Carolina.


Late Bronze Age Knossos

Figure 7.6 Hand-woven textile by Carolina.

Acknowledgements I thank Cécile Michel, Mary Harlow and Louise Quillien for the kind invitation to the conference. It brought back fond memories of the Journées Egéennes organized by the late Mycenaean scholar professor Pierre Carlier at Nanterre many years ago, in which I had the pleasure to participate. I dedicate this chapter to his memory and to the memory of Jo Cutler, a dedicated scholar of ancient Aegean textile technology and a colleague whom we all miss very much.

Notes 1 Discussions about the character of these palatial sites have been numerous (Darque and Rougemont 2015: 557–73; Halstead 2013, Pullen 2010: 1–10). 2 This chapter will not discuss the so-called ‘collectors’. These are powerful individuals, in all evidence male, who are in charge of several economic areas and which most often occur on


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity the sheep/shepherd tablets. They are to some extent also present on tablets in connection with textile manufacture. In the present essay, I focus on individuals engaged in textile production more at a grassroots level, regardless of ‘collector’ presence or not. For a comprehensive study of the ‘collector’ issue see Rougemont (2009). 3 An exhaustive study of the term’s occurrences in the Linear B texts and all parameters involved is in progress. 4 At the centre for traditional weaving at Casamasella in the Lecce province of Apulia, Le Costantine, one person is responsible for making all the fringes.

References Alberti, M.-E. (2007), ‘The Minoan Textile Industry and the Territory from Neopalatial to Mycenaean Times: Some First Thoughts’, Creta Antica, 8, 243–63. Alberti, M.-E., V. Aravantinos, M. Del Freo, Y. Fappas, A. Papadaki and Fr. Rougemont (2012), ‘Textile Production in Mycenaean Thebes: A First Overview’, in R. Laffineur and M.-L. Nosch (eds), KOSMOS. Jewellery, Adornment and Textiles in the Aegean Bronze Age, Proceedings of the 13th International Aegean Conference, University of Copenhagen, Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research, 21–26 April 2010, 87–106, Aegaeum 33, Leuven: Peeters. Aravantinos, V. and A. Vasilogramvrou (2012), ‘New Linear B Documents from Ayios Vassilios, a Palatial Site in the Eurotas Valley’, in P. Carlier, C. De Lamberterie, M. Egetmeyer, N. Guilleux, F. Rougemont and J. Zurbach (eds), Études mycéniennes, Actes du XIII[e] colloque international sur les textes égéens (Sèvres, Paris, Nanterre, 20–23 septembre 2010), Biblioteca di Pasiphae 10, Pisa: Fabrizio Serra Editore, 41–54. Barber, E. J. W. (1991), Prehistoric Textiles: The Development of Cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages with special reference to the Aegean, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Bartoñek, A. (1983), ‘The Linear B Series and Their Quantitative Evaluation’, in A. Heubeck and G. Neumann (eds), Res Mycenaeae. Akten des VII. Internationalen Mykenologischen Colloquiums in Nürnberg vom 6–10. April 1981, 15–27, Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht. Bendall, L. (2017), ‘Where Was Da-Wo?’, in M.-L. Nosch and H. Landenius Enegren (eds), Aegean Scripts: Proceedings of the 14th Mycenological Colloquium, Copenhagen 2–5 September 2015, Incunabula Graeca 15 (1–2), 301–46, Rome: Pubblicazioni dell’Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo. Bennet, J. (1985), ‘The Structure of the Linear B Administration at Knossos’, American Journal of Archaeology, 89 (2): 231–49. Blakolmer, F. (1999), ‘Minoan Wall-Painting: The Transformation of a Craft into Art’, in S. Deger-Jalkotzy, S. Hiller and O. Panagl (eds), Floreant Studia Mycenaea: Akten des X Internazionalen Mykenologischen Colloquiums in Salzburg von 1–5 Mai 1995, 95–105, Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Budin, S. L. (2016), ‘Maternity in the Bronze Age Aegean’, in S. L. Budin and J. M. Turfa (eds), Women in Antiquity: Real Women across the Ancient World, 595–607, London: Routledge. Carlier, P. (1984), La Royauté en Grèce avant Alexandre, Strasbourg: AECR. Carlier, P. (1999), ‘Les mentions de la parenté dans les textes mycéniens’, in S. Deger-Jalkotzy, S. Hiller and O. Panagl (eds), Floreant Studia Mycenaea: Akten des X Internazionalen Mykenologischen Colloquiums in Salzburg von 1–5 Mai 1995, 185–93, Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Chadwick, J., L. Godart, J. T. Killen, J.-P. Olivier, A. Sacconi and I. A. Sakellarakis, eds (1990), Corpus of Mycenaean Inscriptions from Knossos, vol. 2, Cambridge and Rome: Cambridge University Press and Edizioni dell’Ateneo.


Late Bronze Age Knossos Cosmopoulos, M. and C. W. Shelmerdine (2016), ‘Mycenaean Habitation at Iklaina’, in M. Cosmopoulos (ed.), The Political Geography of a Mycenaean District: The Archaeological Survey at Iklaina, 213–35, Athens: The Archaeological Society. Costin, C. L. (2012), ‘Gender and Textile Production in Prehistory’, in D. Bolger (ed.), A Companion to Gender Prehistory, 180–202, Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Darque, P. and F. Rougemont (2015), ‘Palaces and “Palaces”: Mycenaean Texts and Contexts in the Argolid and Neighboring Regions’, in A.-L. Schallin and and I. Tournavitou (eds), Mycenaeans up to Date: The Archaeology of the North-Eastern Peloponnese – Current Concepts and New Directions, Acta Instituti Atheniensis Regni Sueciae, series 4 (56), 557–76. Stockholm: The Editorial Committee of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome. De Fidio, P. (1989), ‘Razioni alimentari e tenori di vita nel mondo miceneo’, in Th. G. Palaima, C. W. Shelmerdine and P. H. Ilievski (eds), Studia Mycenaea (1988), 9–38, Živa Antika Monographies 7, Skopje: Živa antika. Del Freo, M. and M. Perna, eds (2016), Manuale di epigrafia micenea: Introduzione allo studio dei testi in lineare B, vol. 2, Padova: Libreriauniversitaria.it edizioni. Firth, R. (1995), ‘A Statistical Analysis of the Greekness of Men’s Names on the Knossos Linear B Tablets’, Minos, 27–28: 83–100. Firth, R., and M.-L. B. Nosch (2002–2003), ‘Scribe 103 and the Mycenaean Textile Industry at Knossos: The Lc (1) and Od (1) Sets’, Minos, 37–38: 121–42. Halstead P. (1993), ‘The Mycenaean Palatial Economy: Making the Most of the Gaps in the Evidence’, Cambridge Classical Journal, 38: 57–86. Hiller, S. (1989), ‘Familiebeziehungen in den Mykenischen Texten’, in Th. G. Palaima, C. W. Shlmerdine and P. I. Iliveski (eds), Studia Mycenaea (1988), 40–65, Živa antika Monographies no. 7, Skopje: Živa antika. Killen, J. T. (1966), ‘The Abbreviation tu on Knossos Women Tablets, Živa Antika, 16: 207–12. Killen, J. T. (1968), ‘The Knossos o-pi Tablets’, in C. Gallavotti (ed.), Atti e memorie del 1° congresso internazionale di Micenologia, vol. 3, 636–43, Incunabula Graeca 25, Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo. Killen, J. T. (1974), ‘A Problem in the Knossos Lc (1) (Cloth) Tablets’, Hermathena, 118: 82–8. Killen, J. T. (1979), ‘The Knossos Ld (1) Tablets’, in E. Risch and H. Mühlestein (eds), Colloquium Mycenaeum Actes du sizième Colloque international sur les textes mycéniens et égéens tenu à Chaumont sur Neuchâtel du 7 au 13 septembre 1975, 151–82, Neuchâtel: Faculté des Lettres and Geneva: Librairie Droz Killen, J. T. (1984), ‘Bronzeworking at Pylos and Knossos’, Hermathena, 143, 61–72. Killen, J. T. (1986), ‘Two Mycenaean Words. 1. ne-ki-ri-de, 2. nu-wa (i)-ja’, in A. M. Etter (ed.), O-o-pe-ro-si: Festschrift für Ernst Richter zum 75 Geburtstag, 279–84, Berlin: De Gruyter. Killen, J. T. (1988), ‘Epigraphy and Interpretation in Knossos WOMAN and CLOTH Records’, in J. P. Olivier and Th. G. Palaima (eds), Texts, Tablets, and Scribes: Studies in Mycenaean Epigraphy and Economy, 167–83, Minos 10, Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca. Killen, J. T. (2001), ‘Some Thoughts on ta-ra-si-ja’, in S. Voutsaki and J. Killen (eds), Economy and Politics in the Mycenaean Palace States. Proceedings of a Conference held on 1–3 July 1999 in the Faculty of Classics, Cambridge (2001), 161–80, Cambridge Philological Society supplementary volume 27, Cambridge: Cambridge Philological Society. Landenius Enegren, H. (1995), ‘A Prospopographical Study of Scribal Hand 103. Methods, aims and problems’, in R. Laffineur and W.-D. Niemeier (eds), Politeia, Society and State in the Aegean Bronze Age: proceedings of the 5th International Aegean Conference/5e Rencontre égéenne internationale, University of Heidelberg, Archäologisches Institut, 10–13 April, 1994, 115–32, Aegaeum 12, Bruxelles: Université de Liège, Histoire de l’art et archéologie de la Grèce antique and Austin: University of Texas at Austin, Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory. Landenius Enegren, H. (2008), The People of Knossos: Prosopographical Studies in the Knossos Linear B Archives, Boreas 30, Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. 107

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Landenius Enegren, H. (2016), ‘Registrazioni di personale’, in M. Del Freo and M. Perna (eds), Manuale di epigrafia micenea: Introduzione allo studio dei testi in lineare B, vol. 2, 281–304, Padova: Libreriauniversitaria.it edizioni. Landenius Enegren, H. (2017), ‘Palatial Economy: The Occupational Designations in the Mycenaean Archives from a Quantitative Perspective’, in P. Carlier, Fr. Joannès, Fr. Rougemont and J. Zurbach (eds), Palatial Economy in the Ancient Near East and in the Aegean: First Steps Towards a Comprehensive Study and Analysis. ESF Exploratory Workshop Held in Sèvres (France), 16–19 Sept. 2010, 175–88, Pisa: Fabrizio Serra Editore. Leukart, A. (1987), ‘Mycenaean o-nu-ka, o-nu-ke, etc.: A Concealed Root–compound?’, in Ilievski, P. H. and L. Crepajac (eds), Tractata Mycenaea: proceedings of the eighth International Colloquium on Mycenaean Studies, held in Ohrid, 15–20 September 1985, 179–88, Skopje: Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Lindgren, M. (1973), The People of Pylos. Prosopographical and Methodological Studies in the Pylos Archives. Part 2: The Use of personal Designations and Their Interpretation, Boreas 3, Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis. Masson, O. (1973), ‘Les noms des esclaves dans la Grèce antique’, in Actes du colloque 1971 sur l’esclavage. Besançon 10–11 mai 1971, 9–23, Paris: Les belles lettres. Moulhérat C. and Y. Spantidaki (2007), ‘Preliminary Results from the Textiles Discovered in Santorini’, in A. Rast-Eicher and R. Windler (eds), Archäologische Textilfunde. Archaeological textiles, 49–52, North European Symposium for Archaeological Textiles IX, Ennenda: ArcheoTex. Nakassis, D. (2013), Individuals and Society in Mycenaean Pylos, Mnemosyne Suppl. 358, Leiden: Brill. Nixon, L. (1999), ‘Women, Children and Weaving’, in Ph. P. Betancourt, V. Karageorghis, R. Laffineur and W.-D. Niemeier (eds), MELETEMATA. Studies in Aegean Archaeology Presented to Malcolm H. Wiener as He Enters his 65th Year, Aegaeum 20, vol. 2, 561–67. Nosch, M.-L. (2007), The Knossos Od Series: An Epigraphical Study, Vienna: Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Nosch, M.-L. (2011), ‘The Mycenaean Administration of Textile Production in the Palace of Knossos: Observations on the Lc (1) Textile Targets’, American Journal of Archaeology, 115 (4): 495–505. Nosch, M.-L. (2012), ‘The Textile Logograms in the Linear B Tablets: Les idéogrammes archéologiques du textile’, Biblioteca di Pasiphae, 6: 305–46. Nosch, M.-L. (2016), ‘Registrazioni di prodotti tessili’, in M. Del Freo and M. Perna (eds), Manuale di epigrafia micenea: Introduzione allo studio dei testi in lineare B, vol. 2, 434–51, Padova: Libreriauniversitaria.it edizioni. Olivier, J.-P. (1967), Les Scribes de Cnossos: Essai de classement des archives d’un palais mycénien, Incunabula Graeca 17, Rome: Edizioni dell’Ateneo. Olivier, J.-P. (1984), ‘Administrations at Knossos and Pylos: What Differences’, in C. W. Shelmerdine and T. G. Palaima (eds), Pylos Comes Alive: Industry and Administration in a Mycenaean Palace, 11–18, New York: Fordham University Press. Olsen, B. (2014), Women in Mycenaean Greece: The Linear B Tablets from Pylos and Knossos, London: Routledge. Pullen D. J., ed. (2010), ‘Introduction’, Political Economies of the Aegean Bronze Age: Papers from the Langford Conference, Florida State University, Tallahassee, 22–24 February 2007, 1–10, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Rougemont, F. (2009, Contrôle économique et administration à l’époque des palais mycénien (IIe millénaire av. J.-C., Bibliothèque des Écoles Françaises d’Athènes et de Rome 332, Athens: De Boccard. Ruijgh, C. J. (1967), Etudes sur la grammaire et le vocabulaire du grec mycénien, Amsterdam: A. M. Hakkert. 108

Late Bronze Age Knossos Schallin, A.-L. and I. Tournavitou, eds (2015), Mycenaeans up to Date: The Archaeology of the North-Eastern Peloponnese – Current Concepts and New Directions, Acta Instituti Atheniensis Regni Sueciae, series 4 (56), Stockholm: The Editorial Committee of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome. Shelmerdine, C. W. (2012), ‘Iklaina tablet IK X 1’, in P. Carlier, C. De Lamberterie, M. Egetmeyer, N. Guilleux, F. Rougemont and J. Zurbach (eds), Études mycéniennes, Actes du XIII[e] colloque international sur les textes égéens (Sèvres, Paris, Nanterre, 20–23 septembre 2010), Biblioteca di Pasiphae 10, 75–8, Pisa: Fabrizio Serra Editore. Shelmerdine, C. W. (2016), ‘Women in the Mycenaean Economy’, in S. L. Budin and J. M. Turfa (eds), Women in Antiquity: Real Women across the Ancient World, 618–34, London: Routledge. Shelmerdine, C. (2017), ‘Exceptional Women’, in M.-L. Nosch and H. Landenius Enegreneds (eds), Aegean Scripts: Proceedings of the 14th Mycenological Colloquium, Copenhagen 2–5 September 2015, Incunabula Graeca 15 (1–2), 363–80, Rome: Pubblicazioni dell’Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo. Sjöquist, K.-E. and P. Åström (1991), Knossos: Keepers and Kneaders, Gothenburg: Paul Åströms förlag. Skafida, E., A. Karnavà and J.-P. Olivier (2012), ‘Two New Linear B Tablets from the Site of Kastro-Palaia in Volos’, in P. Carlier, C. De Lamberterie, M. Egetmeyer, N. Guilleux, F. Rougemont and J. Zurbach (eds), Études mycéniennes, Actes du XIII[e] colloque international sur les textes égéens (Sèvres, Paris, Nanterre, 20–23 septembre 2010), Biblioteca di Pasiphae 10, 55–74, Pisa: Fabrizio Serra Editore. Walberg, G. (1992), ‘A Linear B Inscription from Midea’, Kadmos, 31: 93.




8.1 Agamemnon’s offer In the ninth book of the Iliad, Agamemnon makes an offer of reconciliation to the wrathful Achilles. Since the beautiful Briseïs has been denied to Achilles, Agamemnon offers to compensate the hero by giving him ten talents of gold, seven tripods, twenty cauldrons, twelve horses, seven women skilled at crafting impeccable goods and, in the event of victory, twenty Trojan women. Agamemnon also promises Achilles that he may marry one of his own daughters when they return from Troy. This offer is bound up with the prospect of further riches: τρεῖς δέ μοί εἰσι θύγατρες ἐνὶ μεγάρῳ εὐπήκτῳ (144) ... τάων ἥν κ᾽ ἐθέλῃσι φίλην ἀνάεδνον ἀγέσθω πρὸς οἶκον Πηλῆος: ἐγὼ δ᾽ ἐπὶ μείλια δώσω πολλὰ μάλ᾽, ὅσσ᾽ οὔ πώ τις ἑῇ ἐπέδωκε θυγατρί: ἑπτὰ δέ οἱ δώσω εὖ ναιόμενα πτολίεθρα Καρδαμύλην Ἐνόπην τε καὶ Ἱρὴν ποιήεσσαν (150) Φηράς τε ζαθέας ἠδ᾽ Ἄνθειαν βαθύλειμον καλήν τ᾽ Αἴπειαν καὶ Πήδασον ἀμπελόεσσαν. πᾶσαι δ᾽ ἐγγὺς ἁλός, νέαται Πύλου ἠμαθόεντος: ἐν δ᾽ ἄνδρες ναίουσι πολύρρηνες πολυβοῦται, οἵ κέ ἑ δωτίνῃσι θεὸν ὣς τιμήσουσι (155) καί οἱ ὑπὸ σκήπτρῳ λιπαρὰς τελέουσι θέμιστας. I have three daughters in my strong palace . . . Of these he shall choose for his own whichever he likes best and take her back to Peleus’ house, without the usual bride-gifts (anahednon). Indeed, I will give him gifts (meilia doso), generous ones, more than anyone has ever given with his daughter. Not only that, but I will give him seven prosperous towns: Cardamyle, Enope and grassy Hire; holy Pherae and Antheia with its deep meadows; beautiful Aepeia and Pedasus rich in vines. They are all near the sea, in the farthest part of sandy Pylos. Their people are rich in flocks and cattle. They will honour him with their gifts (dotinai) as though he were a god and, being under his authority, give him rich dues (liparas teleousi themistas). Iliad 9.144 and 146-56: similar Iliad 9.286 and 288-98; translation by Rieu. 111

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The connection between marriage and such an abundant gift is unusual and has triggered quite a debate in Homeric scholarship. Generally speaking, in the epics, it is the bridegroom who brings the bridal gifts, i.e. bride-wealth, hedna (ἕδνα), in form of herds of cattle (Scheid-Tissinier 1994: 83–114). These gifts constitute the reciprocal relationship between the bride and bridegroom’s families. In return, the groom can count on a gift of gratitude, charis (χάρις), which comes in form of textiles (Wagner-Hasel 1988, 2020: 155–7) as was also the practice in later times (Gherchanoc 2009; Wagner-Hasel 2013). In this case, however, the bridegroom is the receiver and not the giver of the bride-gifts. Nor are these bride-gifts cattle either, but cities where rich herd owners live. In the past, two solutions were offered by way of explanation. According to the first, the episode concerns dowry practices rather than bride-wealth practices (Finsler 1906: 410 and Bethe 1931: 224). It was along these lines that Christoph Ulf assumed that what lay behind Agamemnon’s offer – exaggerated in the telling – was a dowry in the form of a temenos, an estate for cultivation, as was worthy of kings (Ulf 1990: 96, 124). The second: some scholars have argued against such a connection between marriage and the offer of the cities. In their opinion, there are two different offers at play: on the one hand, a promise of marriage without bride-wealth, and, on the other, the promise that the wealth of seven cities would be at Achilles’ disposal. The historical context of the disposal itself was explained differently. Some scholars assume this to be some remnant of the Mycenaean system of dues which can be studied in the Linear B-tablets (Andreev 1979: 365; Vlachos 1974: 278). Before the deciphering of the Linear B-tablets in the 1950s, scholars tended to see behind Agamemnon’s offer glimpses of the Spartan reality and its dealing with its helots in the Archaic period (Finsler 1906: 410; Bethe 1931: 224), particularly since the cities lie in that region of Messenia that was conquered by Sparta in the seventh century bce (Burkert 1976: 19–20; cf. also Luraghi 2003). Both suggestions have something to them. I am of the opinion that Agamemnon does not offer the cities themselves, but rather the right to levy dues, and therefore it is not an oversized temenos that is being referred to. The reason for this opinion is that, in the Homeric epics, such a temenos is always given by collectives, never by individuals (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 201–5, n. 88–9; also Link 1994). However, I also agree with the point made by Christoph Ulf; he takes the connection which the poet evokes seriously, that is, the connection between the promise of marriage and the offer of cities. My hypothesis is that what is at stake here are rights to labour services and rights to levy dues. Agamemnon’s daughters participate in this, as far as female goods are concerned, namely in contributions of textiles in form of dues. I will first elaborate on the meanings of two terms used for dues. I will then specifically examine female labour, that is, work at the loom and spindle, which was conducted beyond the fictional epic world.

8.2 Collecting dues in Homeric epic: Dotinai and Themistes Throughout the long history of scholarship on the Homeric epics, the irregular and formally voluntary nature of collecting dues in epic has been repeatedly discussed (Fanta 112

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1882: 53; Andreades 1931: 19). Furthermore, its difference from modern tax systems has been underlined. Moses I. Finley (1967: 101) speaks of occasional and formal voluntary gifts. He places the emphasis on the reciprocal character of the relationship between rulers who gave military leadership and protection, and their people. Bjørn Qviller (1981: 117) and Ian Morris (1986: 4) also emphasize this, but they see – in the herd owners’ dues – the reciprocity relationship being replaced by an exploitation relationship. Essentially, Qviller assumes that private property rather than dues formed the basis for generous gifts, with private property itself supplemented by robbery: ‘Most of the king’s income came from raiding abroad and his own household production. In addition, he demanded and received occasional ‘gifts’ from his subjects. There were no regular revenues like taxes or feudal dues’ (Qviller 1981: 118). Émile Benveniste (1969: I 69) includes dotinai among gifts that were contractual in nature or tied to alliances. However, little thought has been given to the actual substance of the dotinai. A closer look at Agamemnon’s offer leaves little doubt that it concerns locations. But what is decisive is what distinguishes these places, namely, their inhabitants and their resources. They are well inhabited (eu naiomena), they have vineyards and pastures, and they are conveniently located close to the sea. No women are named among the inhabitants, only men, and they are themselves characterized by their possession of sheep and cattle: andres polyrrhenes polyboutai. These herd owners are referred to as having gifts, δωτίναι (dotinai), for the future son-in-law of Agamemnon, as though they are honouring a god. This broader designation, dotinai, may conceal the herd owners’ specific resources, such as wool, cheese, meat and wine, since one of the locations is described as being rich in vines, ampeloessa (see Cobet 1981: 31–3). It is precisely such benefits in kind – wine, sheep for slaughter, and bread – that Menelaus’ companions bring along in the Odyssey, and that their wives send to the wedding of his son and daughter (Odyssey 4.621–3). But this term may also refer to manufactured goods such as tripods, cauldrons and clothes, such as those that Alcinous, king of the Phaeacians, collects from his people in the Odyssey, so as to provide a gift for his guest Odysseus. These are also called dotinai (Odyssey 13.10–15 and 11.348–53; see Wagner-Hasel 2020: 115–16). There is, in addition, a further activity in play. Since they are under his rule, these herd owners will provide him with shining θέμιστες (themistes). In the epics, themistes, generally speaking, have an abstract meaning as divine laws, that is the traditional norms by which kings, called basileis or basilēes, make their decisions. In this case, however, they seem to signify some sort of material activity, as a service performed in return and perceived as functioning as a form of settlement. The scholiasts thought likewise, transmitting phoroi (tribute) here in place of themistes: ὑπ’ αὐτοῦ βασιλευόμενοι εἰρηνικῶς βιώσονται/ ὅσα δεῖ βασιλέα λαμπροὺς – φόρους τελέσουσιν (Scholion A). Naoko Yamagata (1994: 76) has argued that themistes should be understood as ‘godgiven customs’. Therefore, she translates the phrase οἱ ὑπὸ σκήπτρῳ λιπαρὰς τελέουσι θέμιστας as ‘under his sceptre they will practise their pleasant customs’. Such activities are also mentioned in the description of the Shield of Achilles in the eighteenth book of the Iliad. Here, the poet evokes a judicial process; gold bars lie on the ground in front of the judges and this gold will be given to whosoever speaks the truest 113

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verdict (Iliad 18.497). This golden gift for the verdict could in turn explain the attribute liparos, shining, which is given to themistes. However, the adjective liparos always occurs with reference to linen clothing. This is the case with the veils of high-ranking women such as Penelope (Odyssey 1.334; 18.210), or Hecabe (Iliad 22.406), as well as the goddess Charis (Iliad 18.382). With men liparos denotes the shimmer of the lower hem on chitons and on pharea which, in keeping with the considerations above, were made of linen. Conceivably, this involves an effect relating to purple stripes of the chiton worn by Agamemnon (Iliad 2.43–4: περὶ δὲ μέγα βάλλετο φᾶρος·/ ποσσὶ δ’ ὑπὸ λιπαροῖσιν ἐδήσατο καλὰ πέδιλα) and Nestor (Iliad 10.21–2 and 131–2: ἔνδυνε περὶ στήθεσσι χιτῶνα, / ποσσὶ δ’ ὑπὸ λιπαροῖσιν ἐδήσατο καλὰ πέδιλα). The dative of πέζα, possi, refers not to the feet themselves but rather to the lower hem next to the foot (see Pollux 7.62; for discussion see Buschor 1912: 24–5; Stulz 1990: 140–5). The adjective liparos also refers to oil, because it is derived from the adverb λίπα, ‘glistening with fat’. The fatty gloss can possibly refer to ointments and oils (Handschur 1970: 78). We know that oils were used in linen weaving (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 114, 299, n. 231–2). The same adjective for glistening is used in reference to the head and hair of the goddess Ate (Iliad 19.126: λιπαροπλοκάμοιο κεφαλής) and of the suitors in the Odyssey (15.332: λιπαροὶ καφαλὰς). This can mean the shine of the hair as well as the golden bands with which hair could be decorated, as in Iliad 17.51, which states that Euphorbus’ hair was decorated with gold and silver like the hair of the Graces, the divine weavers of patterned clothes (Wagner-Hasel 2002). In addition, liparos is connected with age (γῆρας, Odyssey 11.136; 19.368; 23.283) and ageing (γηράσκειν, Odyssey 4.210). Here its use is related to spinning the fates of life (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 208, n. 67). Thus, mention of liparas themistas will evoke the idea of dues comprising cloth, such as are levied among the Phaeacians in the Odyssey. The placing of the seven locations in Messenia supports this hypothesis, since this is the only area in Greece suitable for flax cultivation (Robkin 1979: 469–74; cf. also Rougement 2007).‘But wherever there is flax in abundance, the land is smooth and timberless’, claims a text from the early fourth century, probably with a view to Egypt (Ps. Xenophon, Athenaion politeia 2.12). In the context of juridical functions, the Odyssey mentions god-like honours, specifically in relation to a woman, the Phaeacian queen, Arete. The Phaeacian men view her as a god since she mediates disputes between them (Odyssey 7.71; see Wagner-Hasel 2020: 215–18). And it is she who is able to demand gifts from fellow basileis, for which they in turn are able to demand compensation from their own peoples: Φαίηκες, πῶς ὔμμιν ἀνὴρ ὅδε φαίνεται εἶναι εἶδός τε μέγεθός τε ἰδὲ φρένας ἔνδον ἐΐσας; ξεῖνος δ’ αὖτ’ ἐμός ἐστιν, ἕκαστος δ’ ἔμμορε τιμῆς. τῶ μὴ ἐπειγόμενοι ἀποπέμπετε μηδὲ τὰ δῶρα οὕτω χρηΐζοντι κολούετε· πολλὰ γὰρ ὑμῖν κτήματ’ ἐνὶ μεγάροισι θεῶν ἰότητι κέονται. Phaeacians! How does this man impress you now, his looks, his build, the balanced mind inside of him? The stranger is my guest but each of you princes shares the 114

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honour (timê) here. So let’s not be too hasty to send him on his way, and don’t scrimp on his gifts (dora). His need is great, great as the riches piled up in your houses, thanks to the gods’ good will. Homer, Odyssey 11.336-40; translated by Fagles. The term dotine is also used in this context, its implementation is described as being among the tasks of Alcinous (Homer, Odyssey 11.352). I have attempted to demonstrate elsewhere that it is precisely this form of a gift-giving scene in the mythical kingdom that paradigmatically shows the consensual interplay of the sexes in the collecting of dues (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 159–69, 225–6; on the cooperation of the couple, see also Canevaro 2018: 58). 8.3 Marriage and the practice of collecting dues If the dotinai and themistes offered are rights to collect dues or compensation for services rendered by high-ranking persons, the question arises as to why these rights are granted by marriage. The poet leaves no doubt that the son of Agamemnon, Orestes, has a claim to such honours. Agamemnon explicitly stresses that he will honour Achilles like his son Orestes, before he substantiates these honours through offers of marriage and cities. Does this mean that the rights to collect dues are passed on not only to his sons, but to his daughters as well? Another example seems to support this thesis. In the sixth book of the Iliad, it is the king of the Lycians, who entrusts his son-in-law with shares in his honours, documented here with the noun timê. ἀλλ’ ὅτε δὴ γίγνωσκε θεοῦ γόνον ἠῢν ἐόντα αὐτοῦ μιν κατέρυκε, δίδου δ’ ὅ γε θυγατέρα ἥν, δῶκε δέ οἱ τιμῆς βασιληΐδος ἥμισυ πάσης· Then, yes when the king could see the man’s power at last, a true son of the gods, he pressed him hard to stay, he offered him his own daughter’s hand in marriage, he gave him half his royals honours as king In this case, the son-in-law also receives an estate, which the people donate to him. καὶ μέν οἱ Λύκιοι τέμενος τάμον ἔξοχον ἄλλων καλὸν φυταλιῆς καὶ ἀρούρης, ὄφρα νέμοιτο. And the Lycians carved him out a grand estate, the choicest land in the realm, rich in vineyards and good tilled fields for him to lord it over. Iliad 6.191-5; translated by Fagles 115

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In connection with the allocation of a temenos by the Lycians, the honours called timê and promised by the future father-in-law, can only be dispensed by the workforce that cultivate the estate itself. Thus, timê here would seem to comprise the notion of a right to demand labour services. The offer of these rights also seems to be linked to marriage in this case, either because the female members of ruling dynasties also participate in the right to collect dues, or because this right resides in the hands of its female members. We know of the existence of such bilateral inheritance systems, for example from some Tuareg groups in Northern Africa where cattle are inherited along the male line, but the workers who feed the cattle are inherited along the female line (Oxby 1986: 99–124). If one were to assume a gender-specific logic behind the epic system of collecting dues, many issues could be addressed. While labour services in fields belonging to royalty can only be inferred through indirect means, they are well attested in textile production. In all high-ranking households, whether in Troy, Mycenae, Sparta or Ithaca, as well as in the mythical kingdom of the Phaeacians, female working groups are busy at the loom or with the spindle. When Hector sets out on his search for Andromache, he also arrives at Paris’s house, where he encounters Helen, his sister-in-law: Ἀργείη δ’ Ἑλένη μετ’ ἄρα δμῳῇσι γυναιξὶν ἧστο καὶ ἀμφιπόλοισι περικλυτὰ ἔργα κέλευε. And there was Helen of Argos, sitting with all the women of the house, directing the rich embroidered work they had in hand. Homer, Iliad 6.323-324; translated by Fagles These groups of women are called amphipoloi, as well as dmoiai gynaikes. Amphipolos is attested on earlier Linear B-tablets, and literally means ‘on both sides’ (Hiller 1987). Fifty women attend to the hand-mills and looms in the house of Arete and Alcinous (Homer, Odyssey 7.103–6). Equally, in Penelope and Odysseus’ house, the women who serve there are instructed by Eurycleia and Penelope to carry out work (erga) on the looms and with the spindles: ἔργα διδάξαμεν ἐργάζεθαι (Homer, Odyssey 22.422). The term ergazesthai indicates that it is work carried out at the behest of others, but it does not imply slave status. Raymond Descat (1986: 48–58) therefore suspects a Mycenaean origin. Another term is charizomai. This refers to the reciprocal relationship between commanders and their followers; the term is also used in connection with groups of women, specifically when common conviviality is touched upon (Homer, Odyssey 6.23; see Wagner-Hasel 2020: 158–9, n. 97). The general term for a close relationship, phileein, is used both for the groups of women who work in Odysseus’ house on Ithaca and for Helen’s amphipoloi. Thus, Penelope addresses her amphipoloi as philai, ‘dear ones’ (Homer, Odyssey 4.722). An old woman spinning wool who comes from Helen’s home at Sparta is especially loved by her, phileeske (Homer, Iliad 3.387/8. Wagner-Hasel 2020: 159). The use of the term kamnein also refers to a relationship characterized by reciprocity; it means the effort made in the service of others (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 161 with further evidence). Similar to the groups of warriors that carry out their military service under the aegis of a 116

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particular leader, each group of women is subject to the authority of their own mistress. In order to express this authority to issue orders, Homer uses the same word that is used for the relations between commanders and warriors: keleuein. This is the case in the Iliad where Helen (6.324) and Andromache give orders to their amphipoloi (6.401 and 22.442); in the Odyssey there are Penelope (1.357 and 21.351) and Arete (7.335) who command their female staff (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 160). This relationship between high-ranking women and their serving women is mirrored in the divine sphere by the Graces who render weaving services for the goddess Aphrodite (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 157, 2002). In my opinion, the specific female element of the honour (timê) lies in the right to recruit female labour services (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 223–32). This observation corresponds with the gender-specific pattern of ownership in epic poetry. While cattle are always found in male possession and are never mentioned in connection with female ownership, this is not the case with cloth, despite its abundance in the epics. If Nestor presents himself as a man who has many clothes to host guests (Odyssey 3.346–55; Wagner-Hasel 2020: 122), he can say so because he – as Menelaus records in relation to Nestor’s son – is also a man to whom Zeus has spun luck twice, namely at his birth and at his marriage (Homer, Odyssey 4.208; Wagner-Hasel 2020: 238). In other words, Nestor’s abundance of clothes comes either from his mother or his wife. Whenever fabric or clothes are given as gifts, it is the women who always act, never the men. Odysseus receives textile gifts from Arete during his stay among the Phaeacians, and Telemachus from Helen in Sparta (for evidence see Wagner-Hasel 2020: 113–22; see also van Wees 2005: 48). Some of these high-ranking women bring amphipoloi into the marriage. Penelope’s father had given her a servant, called an amphipolos, who carries out guard duties at Penelope’s sleeping chamber. This is where the clothes chest with the textile treasures is kept (Homer, Odyssey 23.227–8). Another servant, the aged Dolius, takes care of her many-treed garden (Homer, Odyssey 4.736). She therefore has domestic servants permanently at her beck and call. Terminological considerations also support the notion that textiles represent an important component of collected dues. When textiles are given to guests as gifts, the items given are always precisely defined as peplos, pharos or chiton. Odysseus receives a chiton and a pharos from Arete, while Helen gives a peplos to his son Telemachus. In both cases, the gifts of clothing serve to create a lasting bond. This is different from the gifts of clothing that Odysseus receives from the basileis of the Phaeacians and for which compensation from the people is expected. They are prompted by Arete to give the guest a well-washed pharos or a chiton as a gift. When describing the loading of gifts, they are named according to their material value: χαλκόν τε χρυσόν τε ἅλις ἐσθῆτά θ’ ὑφαντήν (Homer, Odyssey 8.440; 13.137–8). On returning to Ithaca, Odysseus ‘counts’ (ἠρίθμει) the gifts he has received, which are now classified, according to their usage, as tripods, cauldrons, and woven robes: τρίποδας . . . λέβητας . . . ὑφαντά τε εἵματα (Odyssey 13.217– 18). The characterization of transported goods according to their material value represents an abstraction process. This suggests that clothing is considered part of a system of dues along with tripod cauldrons and gold (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 116–22). 117

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This observation is supported by another statement made by the poet. When he receives these gifts, Odysseus is presented as being akin to a god. According to Zeus’ prophecy, the Phaeacians ‘will honour him like a god (θεὸν ὥς τιμήσουσι) . . . giving him bronze and hoards of gold and robes (χαλκόν τε χρυσόν τε ἅλις ἐσθῆτά τε δόντες)’ (Odyssey 5.36–8). With such a turn of phrase, which in the epic is essentially only used for basileis, Odysseus is not only depicted as a suitable guest of the Phaeacians, but also as the same kind of basileus as Alcinous (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 122, 216). In his case, however, the entitlement to collect such textile dues is also linked to marriage. For it is Penelope who preserves his position of honour – called geras (γέρας) here, not timê (τιμή). In the underworld, Odysseus asks his mother about the whereabouts of his geras (Homer, Odyssey 11.175 and 185), which the suitors seek to acquire by marrying Penelope (Homer, Odyssey 15.522). When Odysseus is among the Phaeacians, it is to Arete that he turns when he wishes Alcinous to have permanent ownership of his geras (Homer, Odyssey 7.150). These statements become understandable when also the wives are considered as being the recipients of dues (Wagner-Hasel 2020: 244).

8.4 The practice of collecting dues in Archaic Greece The practice of collecting dues, as observed within epic poetry, must also be understood in its historical context. But where then should we locate it? There is no doubt that a system of collecting dues existed in Minoan and Mycenaean Greece, and that this mainly comprised textiles (Nosch 2019). The closest equivalent was certainly the Spartan system of helotage which, according to Ellen Meikinson Wood, was a legacy of the Mycenaean practice (Wood 1989). Recently Jan Peter Crielaard has argued that this bureaucratic system continued to exist even after the end of Mycenaean palace culture (Crielaard 2011, contra: Zurbach 2017). Since the deconstruction of (Indo-European and Doric) migration theories, there is no longer any reason to insist on the existence of strict differences between Mycenaean and Archaic Greece (Hall 1997; summarised WagnerHasel 2017: 39–50). Significantly, according to Plato, Spartan women were exempt from wool-spinning, talasia (Plato, Leges 806 a); according to Xenophon, Sparta’s legendary legislator Lycurgus was convinced that slaves could also produce clothing, esthetes (Xenophon, Respublica Lacedaemoniorum 1.4). Perhaps this expresses his surprise that Helot women in Sparta were also able to produce elaborately crafted clothes, and not just simple slave coats, exomides, like the slaves in Megara (Xenophon, Memorabilia 2.6). This does not rule out the possibility that Spartan mistresses also had an instructional function similar to high-ranking women in the epics. The fact that they were also master producers of textiles is demonstrated by the ritual of the dedication of robes documented for Amyclae. According to Pausanias, Spartan women wove a chiton for Apollo in a building named after this type of garment (Pausanias 3.16.2). In any case, it was not only agricultural dues (which are well attested; see Hodkinson 2003), but also finished textile products that will have entered Spartan homes. The fact that women were also recipients of dues collected from Helots is demonstrated by concrete statements concerning 118

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different grain measurements for men and women. Men received seventy medimnoi of barley, while women received twelve medimnoi (Plutarch, Lycurgus 8.7; see Figueira 1984; Lazenby 1995). It was not the land tended by Helots that was called archaia moira, as has usually been assumed, but such dues, as John F. Lazenby has argued. It is this term that recalls the portions of wool from which, in the Greek mythological mindset, people’s threads of life were spun (Lazenby 1995; Wagner-Hasel 2020: 238). Winfried Schmitz (2002, 2017) has argued that no legal matrimonial relationships existed in Sparta since the Messenian Wars and that inheritance occasionally followed the female line (matrilineal). In his opinion, this position is supported above all by the Spartan wedding custom mentioned by Plutarch that lacked any pomp, since the bride’s head was shorn and she was dressed in men’s clothing, which allowed the couple to secretly find union without witnesses (Plutarch, Lycurgus 15.4–10). He does, however, have difficulty explaining the statements made by Athenian authors about Spartan inheritance practices, according to which both sons and daughters were given their share of the inheritance (Rodemeyer 2003). However, if one assumes that dues were levied on a gender-specific basis, these contradictions are resolved. We also know that such a system of gender-specific inheritance of rights to collect dues also existed in Crete. The Gortyn law code states that sons inherited two parts and daughters one part of the revenue that was generated from the dependent population (Inscriptiones Creticae 4.72 and 4.31–43). Eva Rodemeyer, following Stephen Hodkinson, believes that such an arrangement was also possible in Sparta (Hodkinson 1989, 2004; Rodemeyer 2003: 61). Nor were the Spartans or Cretans alone in being familiar with such systems of collecting dues. However, these systems were not organized along the same principles in every location. In Thessaly, dues, known as syntaxeis, were collected village by village (Athenaeus, Deipnosophistai 264 a–b), a procedure that Stephan Hodkinson also considers a possibility for the Spartan practice vis-à-vis the Messenian population (Hodkinson 2003). In Argos, the dependents were called gymnetes, an allusion to their lack of weapons, while in Sicyon they were known as korynephoroi or katonakophoroi. These are terms that refer to external equipment such as clubs or woollen clothing (κατωνάκη) which, according to Detlef Lotze, were visible markers of shepherds’ inferior status (Lotze 1985: 27). It cannot be ruled out that, in Archaic and Classical Athens, such dues were also collected from the peasant population. This notion is supported by the use of the name hektemoroi, or sixth share, which is mentioned by Aristotle and Plutarch in reference to the indentured peasantry associated with the Solonian reforms (Plutarch, Solon 13; Aristote, Athenaion Politeia 6.1; 2.2.3). Older scholarship has mostly interpreted this term as meaning bondage slaves (Finley 1965; Gallant 1982: 111–24). However, since debt slaves also existed in later centuries, Edward Harris (2002) has rightly argued that Solon did not actually abolish debt slavery, but only the selling of one’s own person for loans. It is much more likely, however, that the hektemoroi were the taxable part of the Attic population that was gradually incorporated into the citizenry, as already suggested by Friedrich Wüst (1959: 1–11). Like Ellen M. Wood (1989), John Bintliff emphasizes a tradition that dated back to the Mycenaean era (Bintliff 2006: 321–31; Ando 1988: 323–30; 119

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Schils 1991; Osborne 2009: 211; Stanley 1999: 180–2; Wagner-Hasel 2018). It has been a matter of debate when these practices were abolished. Some have argued that they no longer existed by the beginning of the sixth century, during Solon’s lifetime, while others consider them to have been brought to an end only after the fall of the tyrants, who are said to have collected dues (Thucydides 6.54.5; Aristotle Athenaion Politeia 16.2; Diogenes Laërtius 1.53). There is good reason to assume that Cleisthenes’ creation of the phyle system was the turning point. According to Paulin Ismard, this involved the incorporation of the rural population into the existing structures of phratries and phylai. These formed the Athenian equivalent to the Spartan syssitia, into which the Spartans were organized (Ismard 2010: 117–21; see also Raaflaub 2006). In Sparta, belonging to a dining community and undergoing the agoge marked the difference between the Helots, who had to pay their dues, and their masters. However, dues were still being collected in Athens during the fifth century bce , without being accompanied by a lowering of the contributors’ status. They were called eikostê (εἰκοστή), dekatê (δεκάτη) and aparchê (ἀπαρχή). These dues, however, were not given to individual high-ranking persons, as in epic poetry, or to members of a select caste, such as in Sparta, but flowed into temple treasuries or into the exchequers of poleis. According to Peter Spahn, this was already true in the era of tyrants. The tithe that the tyrants were said to have collected (Aristotle Athenaion Politeia 16.2) was already delivered to the Eleusinian sanctuary of Demeter during this period (Spahn 1998: 205; Kellet 2003: 123; van Wees 2013: 84–91). He assumes a yield tax lay behind the tithe (dekatê) of Aristotle and the twentieth (eikostê) of Thucydides. This is also true of the tithe that Xenophon dedicates to Artemis from the yield at his agros in Skillous, which consisted of both consecrated and arable land. This tithe comprises barley flour, wine and livestock (Xenophon, Anabasis 5.3.7–10). However, according to the research conducted by Theodora Suk Fong Jim, the dekatê was often dues collected from other activities. The noun and verb forms are documented for the first time in Herodotus and are related there to votive offerings to the gods made by trading ventures and martial campaigns. The tithe from spoils of war or from profit made during trading journeys often consisted of metal objects, bowls (phiale), mixing jugs or tripods, but also of clothing and statues (Jim 2014: 47–50 and 52–5). The dekatê therefore most closely resembles the Homeric dotinai. The difference is that it was the temple that received these goods rather than the basileis (Wagner-Hasel forthcoming). Tribute was more like the eikostê. This term was used to describe the dues collected from members of the Delian League. These were also called phoroi, just the term the scholiasts used for the Homeric themistes, which I have already discussed in relation to the collecting of dues in the form of cloth. Faced with the costs of the Peloponnesian War, in the summer of 413 Athens collected a twentieth instead of phoroi on all seaborne traffic in the hope of bringing in more income, as Thucydides (7.28.4) states (see also Aristophanes, Aves 363). Aparchai, ‘first fruits’, were also offered to the gods. An examination of the use of the verb form (already present in Homer) and the noun form (from Herodotus on) reveals a noticeable correlation to sacrificial animals. Specifically speaking, the aparchê means the lock of hair that was cut off from the sacrificial animal and consecrated to the 120

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gods. It also refers to the gods’ portion of the sacrificial animal, and sometimes also to the share taken by the priesthood (Jim 2014: 28–55; Jameson 1988: 87–119). The aparchai at the temple at Eleusis, which were conducted during the fifth and fourth centuries (the exact dating is controversial), amounted to one sixth of every 100 medimnoi of barley and one twelfth of every 100 medimnoi of wheat. They were collected for this purpose (Jim 2014: 207). And it is within this ritual context that we also find mention of textile gifts and dues, as well as labour provision: wool, which Athenian women donated for Athena’s robe (documents in Mansfield 1985: 277–81; 285–9); labour provided by the arrhephoroi who manufactured the starting border of Athena’s peplos (Bundrick 2008; Harlizius-Klück 2016; Harlizius-Klück and Fanfani 2016), and finally the many textile votive offerings to the gods, of which we do not know whether they actually stayed in the sanctuaries or – like golden treasures – were resold (Cleland 2005; Brøns 2017; Lupi 2019). Much as the examples gathered here from epic poetry may differ from Athenian practices of collecting textile dues at ritual occasions, there are yet many similarities that can be discovered when we study the evidence from the perspective of political economy. The dispute concerning the question of whether textiles were produced within the household economy or in professional workshops (Reuthner 2006; Bundrick 2008; Spantidaki 2016), and which goes back to the late nineteenth century (Wagner-Hasel 2011: 198–209 and 315–40), has so far prevented a closer investigation of such customs of collecting textile dues in Archaic and in Classical Greece.

Acknowledgements Translation: Yuddi Gershon, Liselotte Glage.

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Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Bundrick, S. D. (2008), ‘The Fabric of the City. Imaging Textile Production in Classical Athens’, Hesperia, 77: 283–334. Burkert, W. (1976), ‘Das hunderttorige Theben und die Datierung der Ilias’, Wiener Studien, 89: 5–21. Buschor, E. (1912), Beiträge zur Geschichte der griechischen Textilkunst (Die Anfänge und der orientalische Import), phil. Diss., University of Munich. Canevaro, L. G. (2018) Women of Substance in Homeric Epic: Objects, Gender, Agency, Oxford: University Press. Cleland, L. (2005), The Brauron Clothing Catalogues, BAR International Series 1428, Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Cobet, J. (1981), ‘König, Anführer, Herr, Monarch, Tyrann’, in C. Welskopf (ed.), Soziale Typenbegriffe im alten Griechenland, vol. 3, 11–66, Berlin: Akademie Verlag. Crielaard, J. P. (2011), ‘The “Wanax to Basileus Model” Reconsidered: Authority and Ideology after the Collapse of the Mycenaean Palaces’, in A. Mazarakis-Ainian (ed.), The ‘Dark Ages’ Revisited, 83–111, Volos: Univ. of Thessaly. Descat, R. (1986), L’acte et l’effort: Une idéologie du travail en Grèce ancienne (8ème–5ème siècle av. J.C.), Besançon: Les Belles Lettres. Fanta, A. (1882), Der Staat in Ilias und Odyssee: Ein Beitrag zur Beurteilung der homerischen Verfassung, Innsbruck: Wagner. Figueira, T. J. (1984), ‘Mess Contribution and Subsistence at Sparta’, Transactions of the American Philological Association, 114: 97–109. Finley, M. I. (1965), ‘Servitude pour dettes’, Revue historique de droit français et étranger, 43: 159–84. Finley, M. I. (1967), The World of Odysseus, New York: The Viking Press. Finsler, G. (1906), ‘Das Homerische Königtum’, Neue Jahrbücher für das Klassische Altertum, 17: 313–36 and 395–412. Gallant, T. W. (1982), ‘Agricultural System, Land Tenure, and the Reforms of Solon’, Annuals of the British School of Athens, 77: 111–24. Gherchanoc, F. (2009), ‘Des cadeaux pour nymphai: dôra, anakalyptêria et epaulia’, in L. Bodiou and V. Mehl (eds), La religion des femmes en Grèce ancienne: Mythes, cultes et société, 207–23, Rennes: Presses Universitaires. Hall, J. M. (1997), Ethnic Identity in Greek Antiquity, Cambridge: University Press. Handschur, E. (1970), Die Farb- und Glanzwörter bei Homer und Hesiod, in den homerischen Hymnen und Fragmenten des epischen Kyklos, Vienna: Notring. Harlizius-Klück, E. (2016), ‘Denkmuster in der antiken Weberei. Eine Spurensuche’, in H. Harich-Schwarzbauer (ed.), Weben und Gewebe in der Antike: Materialität – Repräsentation – Episteme – Metapoetik, 87–107, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Harlizius-Klück, E. and G. Fanfani (2016), ‘(B)orders in Ancient Weaving and Archaic Greek Poetry’, in G. Fanfani, M. Harlow and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Spinning Fates and Song of the Loom: The Use of Textiles, Clothing and Cloth Production as Metaphor, Symbol and Narrative Device in Greek and Latin Literature, 61–99, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Harris, E. M. (2002), ‘Did Solon Abolish Debt-Bondage?’, Classical Quarterly, 52 (2): 415–30. Hiller, S. (1987), ‘A-PI-QO-RO Amphipoloi’, Minos, 2: 239–55. Hodkinson, S. (1989), ‘Inheritance, Marriage and Demography: Perspectives upon the Success and Decline of Classical Sparta’, in A. Powell (ed.), Classical Sparta, 79–121, London: Routledge. Hodkinson, S. (2003), ‘Spartiates, Helots and the Direction of the Agrarian Economy: Towards an Understanding of Helotage in Comparative Perspective’, in N. Luraghi and S. E. Alcock (eds), Helots and Their Masters in Laconia and Messenia: Histories, Ideologies, Structures, 248–85, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Hodkinson, S. (2004), ‘Female Property Ownership and Empowerment in Classical and Hellenistic Sparta’, in T. J. Figueira (ed.), Spartan Society, 103–36, Swansea: The Classical Press of Wales. 122

Female Dues and Textiles in Ancient Greece Ismard, P. (2010), La cité des réseaux. Athènes et ses associations VIe–Ier siècle av. J.C., Paris: Publication de la Sorbonne. Jameson, M. (1988), ‘Sacrifice and Animal Husbandry’, in C. R. Whittaker (ed.), Pastoral Economies in Classical Antiquity, 87–119, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jim, T. S. F. (2014), Sharing with the Gods, Aparchai and Dekatai in Ancient Greece, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Kellet, L. (2003), ‘Dêmos tyrannos: Wealth, Power, and Economic Patronage’, in K. A. Morgan (ed.), Popular Tyranny. Sovereignty and its Discontents in Ancient Athens, 117–54, Austin: University of Texas Press. Lazenby, J. F. (1995), ‘The Archaia Moira: A Suggestion’, The Classical Quarterly, 45 (1): 87–91. Link, S. (1994), ‘Temenos und ager publicus bei Homer?’, Historia, 43 (2): 241–5. Lotze, D. (1985), ‘Zu neuen Vermutungen über abhängige Landleute im alten Sikyon’, in H. Kreißig and F. Kühnert (eds), Antike Abhängigkeitsformen in den griechischen Gebieten ohne Polissstruktur und den Römischen Provinzen, 20–8, Berlin: Akademie Verlag. Lupi, E. (2019), ‘Weihgabe, Beutegut, Ware: Zur Geschichte des wundersamen Mantels des Alkisthenes’, in B. Wagner-Hasel and M.-L. Nosch (eds.), Gaben, Waren und Tribute: Stoffkreisläufe und antike Textilökonomie, 221–34, Stuttgart: Steiner. Luraghi, N. (2003), ‘The Imaginary Conquest of the Helots’, in N. Luraghi and S. E. Alcock (eds), Helots and Their Masters in Laconia and Messenia: Histories, Ideologies, Structures, 109–41, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Mansfield, J. M. (1985), The Robe of Athena and the Panathenaic ‘Peplos’, PhD Diss., University of California, Berkeley. Morris, I. (1986), ‘Gift and Commodity in Archaic Greece’, Man n.s., 21: 1–17. Nosch, M.-L. (2019), ‘Abgaben für den mykenischen Palast in der ägäischen Bronzezeit’, in B. Wagner-Hasel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Gaben, Waren und Tribute. Stoffkreisläufe und antike Textilökonomie, 27–67, Stuttgart: Steiner. Osborne, R. (2009), Greece in the Making 1200–479 B.C., London: Routledge. Oxby, C. (1986), ‘Women and the Allocation of Herding Labour in a Pastoral Society’, in S. Bernus et al. (eds), Le fils et le neveu: Jeux et enjeux de la parenté touarègue, 99–124, Cambridge and Paris: Cambridge University Press and Editions de la maison des sciences de l’homme. Qviller, B. (1981), ‘The Dynamics of the Homeric Society’, Symbolae Osloenses, 56: 109–55. Raaflaub, K. A. (2006), ‘Athenian and Spartan eunomia, or: What to Do with Solon’s Timocracy?’, in H. J. Blok and A. P. M. H. Lardinois (eds), Solon of Athens: New Historical and Philological Approaches, 390–428, Leiden: Brill. Reuthner, R. (2006), Wer webte Athenes Gewänder? Die Arbeit von Frauen im antiken Griechenland, Frankfurt am Main: Campus. Robkin, A. L. (1979), ‘The Agricultural Year, the Commodity SA and the Linen Industry of Mycenaean Pylos’, American Journal of Archaeology, 85: 469–74. Rodemeyer, E. (2003), ‘Geraubt – Geschoren – Geehelicht? Zur Frage kommunitärer Lebensformen in Sparta’, Laverna, 14: 48–64. Rougement, F. (2007), ‘Flax and Linen in the Mycenaean Palatial Economy,’ in C. Gillis and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Ancient Textiles: Production, Craft and Society, 46–83, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Scheid-Tissinier, E. (1994), Les usages du don chez Homère: Vocabulaire et pratiques, Nancy: Presses Universitaires. Schils, G. (1991), ‘Solon and the hectemoroi’, Ancient Society, 22: 75–90. Schmitz, W. (2002), ‘Die geschorene Braut, Kommunitäre Lebensformen in Sparta?’, Historische Zeitschrift 274: 561–602. Schmitz, W. (2017), ‘Die Gründung der Stadt Tarent und die Gesetze des Lykurg: Eine neue Sicht auf Spartas Geschichte in archaischer Zeit’, Klio, 99 (2): 420–63. 123

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Spahn, P. (1998), ‘Die Steuer der Peisistratiden – idion, koinon oder hieron?’, in F. de Polignac and P. Schmitt Pantel (eds), Ktèma 23: Public et privé en Grèce ancienne: lieux, conduites, pratiques, 197–206, Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires. Spantidaki, S. (2016), Textile Production in Classical Athens, Ancient Textiles Series 27, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Stanley, P. (1999), The Economic Reforms of Solon, St. Katharinen: Scripta Mercaturae Verlag. Stulz, H. (1990), Die Farbe Purpur im frühen Griechentum: Beobachtet in der Literatur und in der bildenden Kunst, Stuttgart: Teubner. Ulf, C. (1990), Die homerische Gesellschaft: Materialien zur analytischen Beschreibung und historischen Lokalisierung, Munich: Beck Verlag. Vlachos, G. C. (1974), Les sociétés politiques homériques, Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Wagner-Hasel, B. (1988), ‘Geschlecht und Gabe: Zum Brautgütersystem bei Homer’, Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Romanistische Abteilung, 105: 32–73. Wagner-Hasel, B. (2002), ‘The Graces and Colour-Weaving’, in L. Llewellyn-Jones (ed.), Women’s Dress in the Ancient Greek World, 17–32, London: Classical Press of Wales. Wagner-Hasel, B. (2011), Die Arbeit des Gelehrten: Der Nationalökonom Karl Bücher (1847– 1930), Frankfurt am Main: Campus. Wagner-Hasel, B. (2013), ‘Marriage Gifts in Ancient Greece’, in M. L. Satlow (ed.), The Gift in Antiquity, 158–72, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Wagner-Hasel, B. (2017), Antike Welten: Kultur und Geschichte, Frankfurt: am Main: Campus. Wagner-Hasel, B. (2018), ‘Hektemoroi – Kontraktbauern, Schuldknechte oder abgabenpflichtige Bauern?’, in K. Ruffing and K. Droß-Krüpe (eds), Emas non quod opus est, sed quos necesse est, Beiträge zur Wirtschafts-, Sozial-, Rezeptions- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Antike, Festschrift für Hans Joachim Drexhage zum 70 Geburtstag, 295–308, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Wagner-Hasel, B. (2020), Der Stoff der Gaben: Kultur und Politik des Schenkens und Tauschens im archaischen Griechenland, Frankfurt am Main: Campus = The Fabric of Gifts: Culture and Politics of Gift-giving and Exchange in Archaic Greece, trans. from German by E. Theodorakopoulos, Zea Books: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries (forthcoming). Wagner-Hasel, B. (forthcoming), ‘The Garden of Pisistratus: Benefactions and Dues in Archaic Athens’, in M. Domingo Gygax and A. Zuiderhoek (eds), Benefactors and the Polis, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Wagner-Hasel, B. and M.-L. Nosch, eds (2019), Gaben, Waren und Tribute: Stoffkreisläufe und antike Textilökonomie, Stuttgart: Steiner. Wees, H. van (2005), ‘Trailing Tunics and Sheepskin Coats: Dress and Status in Early Greece’, in L. Cleland, M. Harlow and L. Llewellyn-Jones (eds), The Clothed Body in the Ancient World, 44–51, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Wees, H. van (2013), Ships and Silver, Taxes and Tribute: A Fiscal History of Archaic Athens, London: Tauris. Wood, E. M. (1989), Peasant-Citizen and Slave: The Foundations of Athenian Democracy, London: Verso. Wüst, F. R. (1959), ‘Gedanken über die attischen Stände. Ein Versuch’, Historia, 8 (1): 1–11. Yamagata, N. (1994), Homeric Morality, Leiden: Brill. Zurbach, J. (2017), Les hommes, la terre et la dette en Grèce c. 1400–c. 500 a. C., 2 vols, Bordeaux Pessac: Ausonius éditions.



Throughout antiquity the production of textiles was closely coupled to female lives and women’s work. In Greek, pre-Roman and Roman societies textile work was a long-lasting symbol of the female sex and of femininity, reflected in various types of ancient sources: literature, historical writing and imagery. It embraced females from mythology to ‘real life’. In this chapter examples from Roman contexts, with a particular focus on evidence from the city of Rome, are examined to elucidate how the concept of the wool-working woman encapsulated the idea of femininity, and how it functioned as an emblem for female virtue. It seems entirely positive for a woman to be linked to wool work but, in accordance with gender roles, it worked in the opposite way for men. In the world of Roman mythology, the goddess Minerva was protector of female crafts in general and textile work in particular. Her equivalent in Greek mythology was Pallas Athena who was assigned the same obligations and duties. There are several parallels in Greek culture with links between girls, women and textile work. In classical Athens, when a baby girl was born and had been accepted into the family, a piece of wool was put on the front door (Golden 1990: 23). This was a way of informing passers-by of the birth of a new family member but also a symbol of future household duties for the female. Another example of the symbolic value of female textile production is the Panathenaic festival where daughters of aristocratic Athenian families produced a new peplos for the goddess Athena and donated it at a public ceremony (Barber 1992). Likewise, in Roman culture there was a firm link between women’s work and textile production, especially between women and wool, the primary textile fibre. The importance of wool-work in a woman’s life could be more clearly highlighted at certain occasions in the life course, such as at a traditional Roman wedding. Marriage was central in the lives of girls as their future social duties were primarily coupled to the procreation of legitimate children and family life. In current Western views, Roman girls married early in life, regularly in their teens and sometimes as very young teenagers. (Treggiari 1991: 39–43; Harlow and Laurence 2001: 60–4). At a traditional wedding, the bridal costume was made of wool and, according to custom it should be made by the bride herself. Details of the traditional wedding dress are described in written sources, mainly by Festus and Pliny the Elder, but visual representations of the bridal dress are scarce and do not clarify or add much more information to what is already known from ancient texts (La Follette 1994). In the torch-light wedding procession, when the bride was taken to her new home, normally the husband’s house, wool and implements used for spinning and possibly a basket with wool were carried by attendants (Hersch 2010a: 123, 2010b). 125

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On arrival at her new home, the bride would cover the entrance with woollen fillets as a reminder of her duties in her new role as housewife (Treggiari 1991: 167–8; Hersch 2010b). In mythology, the Fates spun the destiny of an individual and, as suggested by Karen Hersch, spinning implements in the wedding procession may also have symbolized the bride ‘spinning out of a good destiny for her marriage and children’ (Hersch 2010a: 129). The bride had very likely been trained in wool-work since childhood, as a preparation for life as a housewife, and even as a very young wife she was expected to be familiar with textile production (Ov. Fast.3.817; McClure 2019: 191).

9.1 Wool-work and exemplary women of early Rome: Tanaquil and Lucretia Tanaquil and Lucretia are legendary characters of early Roman history in whose lives the role of textile work is pivotal. (For Lucretia, see Ohrman’s Chapter 10 in this volume.) Tanaquil was a woman of Etruscan origin, married to the king, Tarquinius Priscus (trad. 616–578 bce ). In later times she was remembered as a legendary, skilful spinner of wool, a summa lanifica. Tanaquil is said to have been the first to weave the tunica recta which became a part of the traditional Roman wedding dress for females, as mentioned above (Hersch 2010a: 124, 127–8, 2010b: 110–11.) Tanaquil is also said to have woven a tunica regia worn by King Servius Tullius, the successor of Tanaquil’s husband. This clothing item was considered sacred and it was kept in the temple of Fortuna. A bronze statue of Tanaquil holding a spindle and distaff was kept in the temple of Sancus in Rome, as a tribute to her exceptional skills in textile work (Hersch 2010a: 127–9). In the well-known story of Lucretia, wife of the Roman nobleman Lucius Tarquinius Collatinus, wool-work is central. The short, but disastrous incident in the life of Lucretia is recorded in later literary sources but is supposed to have taken place in archaic Rome, in the late sixth century bce . The specific historical context relates to a conflict between Rome and the nearby village of Ardea. During the siege of Ardea, a contest occurred in the military camp between the Roman leaders concerning which of them had the most virtuous wife. The question led to a heated debate among the commanders which could not be resolved in camp. Thus, the men decided to return to Rome to check on their wives’ movements, while their menfolk were away. They found the women of the royal family preoccupied with partying while Lucretia, the wife of Collatinus, was at home busy working wool. After the inspection tour was concluded, Lucretia was awarded the prize as ‘the most virtuous wife’. Idleness was not a favoured characteristic of a Roman matron and Lucretia did exactly what was expected from a decent housewife, even when the master of the house was away: to stay at home and be busy with household duties such as wool-work, all through the day (and into the night). The prize, however, was fatal for Lucretia as a couple of days later one of the men, Sextus Tarquinius, son of the king of Rome, returned to her house under false pretences but was well received. According to Livy, the sight of the dutiful Lucretia, her virtue and beauty, had provoked and attracted Sextus Tarquinius and his real purpose with the visit was to conquer her (Livy 1.57.9). Later in the night he surprised the sleeping Lucretia and declared alternately his passion 126

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for her and threatened her. As she refused to accept his words, he threatened to rape her and afterwards to kill her and place her body in bed with the corpse of a male slave, whom Tarquinius would also kill. Such a scene would transform the reputation of Lucretia, from the dutiful wife to adulteress, who, in the absence of the husband, had an affair with a slave. Her status as a model Roman matron would be tarnished and she would dishonour Collatinus and her family. With this in mind she succumbed and Sextus Tarquinius forced himself upon her. After the assault, Lucretia summoned her husband and father, told them what happened and stabbed herself to death in order to be remembered as an immaculate Roman matron: no one in time to come shall ever unchaste woman live through the example of Lucretia. Those were, according to Livy, her last words before stabbing herself to death (Livy 1.58). The earliest surviving version of the Lucretia episode is found in Livy, book 1. The fatal outcome of the discussion of the most virtuous wife, which started in the camp at Ardea, was an episode that, according to Roman historical tradition, caused political turbulence and sparked the overthrow of the monarchy and the introduction of the Roman republic. A wool-working woman is in the centre of the story which had a persistent symbolical value in later times. The story of Lucretia has lived on beyond antiquity, especially in painting from the Renaissance and Baroque, but usually with a focus on the dramatic suicide of Lucretia, rather than her household duties and woolwork.

9.2 The dualism of lanificium and textile production Tanaquil and Lucretia were both high-status women and members of the leading Roman families of their times. Tanaquil was the wife of a king and Lucretia was a member of a leading political family. The Lucretia episode is supposedly from in the late sixth century bce but it is known to us through the writings of Livy (c. 59 bce –17 ce ) and Ovid (43 bce –17/18 ce ), both from the Augustan era. In the life time of both writers as well as in the late sixth century bce , Roman society experienced fundamental political and social changes: from monarchy to republic and from republic to empire. When Augustus conquered Marcus Antonius and secured political power for himself as ruler of the Roman Empire, part of his strategy of building a more stable social and political situation was to reinvent allegedly old Roman traditions. In his ideological programme traditional gender roles were emphasized in several ways. The moral renewal was primarily directed towards men and women within the citizen class but the ambitions of the new emperor had an impact on many areas of society, from law to social practices. Textile work performed by women was part of the Augustan cultural renaissance where it was viewed in a traditional way – as domestic female work. Like high-status women in the legendary days of early Rome, the women of the imperial family are said to have been occupied with spinning and weaving, and the clothes they produced were worn by the emperor himself (Suet. Aug. 73). In this way he appeared as a modest man who respected old Roman traditions and valued social stability. In public, however, the 127

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requirements were different. Both men and women were expected to use traditional clothes made from wool, the toga for citizen men and the stola for married women, and as such demonstrating their identity with the citizen group (Edmondson 2008: 22). In public, female bodies were to be covered from head to toe as is represented in a number of visual representations of women. The procession scenes of the Ara Pacis in Rome are good examples of proper male and female appearance in public. The figure of Augustus himself, which is only partly preserved, is seen at the head of the procession wearing the traditional woollen toga – a privilege and a requirement for all adult males holding Roman citizenship (Zanker 1990: 163–6). Control of dress codes was not new to the Augustan age, previously it had been the responsibility of the magistrates to control the dress of citizens but, as can be seen in several examples, proper, engendered dress was in focus in the cultural renewal and visual language in the reign of Augustus (Edmondson 2008: 32–5). Tanaquil, Lucretia and the women of the Julio-Claudian imperial family were all high-status women but wool-work was not in any way exclusive to women of the upper social echelons. It was rather a female ideal that ran across social hierarchies, from aristocratic women to ancillae, as can be seen in literary sources, in funerary epigraphy and imagery. For those who could afford a stone memorial, a funerary inscription was a regular way of commemorating a deceased person, especially in urban contexts of late Republican and Imperial times. A more extravagant memorial could consist of a combination of epigraphy and iconography. Sometimes a deceased person, or a commemorator, chose to identify herself by the name of an occupation. Funerary inscriptions constitute a huge body of evidence which offers the best source for our knowledge of Roman occupational names. In addition to job titles, funerary epigraphy also mirrors gendered views of work as women appear to a lesser degree than men, and in fewer occupations (Joshel 1992; Dixon 2001: 113–16). Still, from the substantial quantity of epigraphic evidence it is clear that in the standard repertory of epigraphic language, women of various social classes were regularly linked to wool-work. The size of a stone slab and the quality of its decoration were a mirror of the commissioner’s financial and social status thus it can also give an approximate indication of the social identity of the commemorated woman. For those of higher social rank, two expressions related to wool-work occur with some regularity: lanificium and lanam fecit. To mention only a few examples: first, a second century bce inscription from Rome, to an otherwise unknown woman named Claudia (CIL 1.1211; 6.15346). This is a short inscription made by a husband to the memory of his wife who is characterized as taking care of the house, pleasant to talk to and working in wool (lanam fecit). She had given birth to two sons, one who had predeceased his mother. The status of wife and of motherhood, good manners, virtue, and wool-work all encapsulate the expectations of a woman from possibly a well-off family background. For married women of higher social status the references to wool-work often appear in combination with other gendered social values and, again, with an emphasis on their roles as wife and mother. A second example, more firmly set in a social context than that of the unknown Republican Claudia, is an epitaph usually dated to the early Empire, of an aristocratic woman named Murdia. This epitaph 128

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was set up by her son and she was praised for her lanificium and a number of other female characteristics such as modesty (modestia) and upright character (probitas) (CIL 6.10230; Hallet 1984: 43). It is generally believed that Roman girls were trained in wool-work, as a preparation for future adult life. As mentioned above, the traditional bridal dress was to be made by the bride herself and it was a proof of her skill in producing textiles for the household. There has been some debate as to whether all females who learned to spin and weave actually did perform these skills. Did women of higher social rank, such the Republican Claudia and a Murdia of early Imperial times, actually ‘work in wool’? (Cf. Clark 1981: 199; Treggiari 1991: 243–4; Dixon 2001: 119–20; Hersch 2010a: 124.) Or had an expression such as lanificium turned to be more of a symbol of femininity than actual textile work? The unspecific interpretation of the meaning of lanificium – to work in wool – varies (Dixon 2001: 119), from wool-spinning (Hallet 1984: 43), to spinning and/ or weaving (Hersch 2010a: 124), to embrace all stages ‘from spinning wool and weaving it into finished fabric’ (McClure 2019: 182). The discussion on the issue has mostly focused on upper-class women but, looking at a wider social spectrum, there may not be one single answer to the question of whether lanificium implied that a woman practised her skills in wool-work or whether the term had merely become part of a set of values characterizing a decent woman of good moral standing. It may have worked both ways and there were certainly variations in individual households, between homes of various socio-economic status, in the countryside or in the city, but regardless of that it is obvious that over time wool-work remained a core symbol of femininity. A visual parallel is found on funerary monuments where women can be seen with spinning tools, or a woolbasket, quasillum (Dixon 2001: 125–9; Larsson Lovén 2013: 118–19). The clothed body was the norm in Roman society and clothes were used daily by everyone across the social spectrum. A variety of clothing types existed and more textile products were also used in everyday life, implying that the supply of both quantities and varieties of textiles required a manufacture beyond domestic production. If lanificium had become primarily a metaphor for a decent female of upright character, who were the producers that could meet the demand for textiles in Roman society? Evidence from the third century bce indicates the establishment of large-scale production and a gradual development of working people who identified themselves through occupational titles. Over time, the various job titles increased in number to reflect a more specialized and sophisticated chaîne opératoire with spinners, dyers, weavers, dealers in textiles, and more. Sometimes they appear to have specialized in a particular type of goods, for instance exclusive fabrics such as silk, or in a specific clothing type, such as saga – mantles of coarse woollen material used as outdoor garments. Altogether the rich evidence of occupational names mirrors a diversified production where labour included both male and female workers but with a majority of men documented in most occupations related to textile production and trade. An expanding large-scale production implied a supply of ready-made textile products of various qualities sold in shops and at markets. A market for ready-made textiles appears to have existed in Rome already around 200 bce . In the play Aulularia, Plautus 129

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mentions a wide range of luxurious products, including textiles, delivered to a wealthy house (Plaut. Aul. 505–10). Cato the Elder, in his work on agriculture, advised estate owners to go to Rome to buy cheap clothes for slaves rather than having them produced on the estate (Cato Maior De.Agr. 1.135). In the time of Augustus, wearing home-spun garments was no longer the fashion. The traditional woollen toga, firmly connected to Roman identity, had become a clothing item worn mostly at public occasions while more comfortable clothes were preferred in daily life (Zanker 1990: 162–3). Taste had changed over time and made dress options more diversified but ways of dressing and appearance were still a central means of visual communication. However, the idea of woollen textiles made by women in a domestic setting lived on as a persistent ideal. Augustus tried to revive it in his ideological programme of cultural renewal, and, according to Suetonius, he had the women of his household produce his everyday clothes (Suet. Aug. 73). A couple of decades after the death of Augustus in 14 ce , Columella expressed the same kind of traditional ideal when complaining about modern times: women were no longer interested in female household duties, including wool-work. Instead, women of his day would spend far too much time on a life of idle luxury, rejecting homespun and buying their clothes (Col. RR 12. praef. 7–9). This is one indication that homespun had gone out of fashion but lived on in the world of conservative idealism. It must, however, be kept in mind that buying clothes made of soft wool and luxurious materials was not for everybody, only for those who could afford it, which implies that there was a market for cloth and clothes of coarser and cheaper qualities. The primary target group of Columella’s and Cato de Elder’s works on agriculture, on how to run a large country estate, were the owners of such estates. It is clear from these texts that producing and processing wool was part of the life on the farm. The writers refer to looms as part of the standard equipment of the estate and spinning wool was the work of slave girls, supervised by the vilica. It was her responsibility to have an extra supply of carded wool ready for work on rainy days when the female slaves could not work outdoors. In the agrarian texts, neither spinning nor weaving are mentioned in connection with men, only to females, implying that in a rural context regular textile work was done mainly by women (Larsson Lovén 2019: 98–9). The evidence of individual men and women in the Roman countryside is very scant, especially for women. Walter Scheidel has referred to rural women as ‘the most silent women of the ancient world’ (Scheidel 1995). They have no voice in history and we have no firm evidence of whether slaves on a country estate, male and female, identified themselves with a particular task or occupation which might parallel ways in which urban populations self-identified in funerary epigraphy.

9.3 Feminine women, manly women and effeminate men The recurrent use of wool-work as a positive symbol for women and femininity reinforced gendered social roles in Roman society and politics. As gender roles work as each other’s 130

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opposites, the symbolic meaning of wool-work could not be linked to a man, unless the purpose was to mock or belittle him. A well-known elite couple involved in Roman politics can be used to illustrate how references to wool-work can be manipulated to invert male and female roles: Marcus Antonius and Fulvia were relatively equal in age: he was born 83 bce and she was only a couple of years younger. They married in 47 or 46 bce , some years before the murder of Julius Caesar. Fulvia had been married twice before, in 62 bce to P. Clodius and, after the murder of Clodius, in 52 bce to C. Scribonius Curio. Her three husbands were all politically active and Fulvia herself demonstrated an interest in politics not expected from or considered suitable for Roman women. In J.V.P.D. Balsdon’s book Roman Women, Fulvia is characterized as ‘hungry for power’ (Balsdon 1962: 55). In the politically turbulent years that followed the assassination of Caesar and in a constantly hardening struggle for power between Antonius and the young Octavian, the heir of Julius Caesar, Fulvia fully and actively supported her husband. Her political actions had a determining impact in how she was presented in ancient sources. According to Plutarch, Fulvia took an obvious interest in politics but none in spinning or household duties. Instead she strived for power in her own capacity, and she was not content with ruling a private citizen but would only settle for ruling a ruler, commanding a commander-in-chief (Plut. Ant. 10). This combination of a lack of interest in traditional female duties together with a desire for official power was unsuitable for a woman. Fulvia is said to have had power over Antonius, a man with ambitions of becoming the successor of Julius Caesar and ruler of the Roman Empire. Instead of succeeding in this ambition he became an obedient tool of Fulvia and learnt to obey women, a sign of his moral weakness and unmanly character (Plut. Ant. 10). Fulvia died in 40 bce and her death opened the possibility of remarriage for Antonius. His new wife, Octavia, was the sister of his political opponent, Octavian. Octavia appears in the sources as the opposite of Fulvia. Although the marital union between Octavia and Antonius seems to have been based exclusively of the political interests of the two men, she was a loyal wife until his death in 31 bce . Like women of her social class, Octavia had good knowledge of Roman politics but remained in the background supporting her husband and brother, and with no (obvious) ambitions of power in her own right (Baumann 1992: 91–3). According to Suetonius, Octavia was one of the women of the Imperial family who produced the homemade, everyday clothes Augustus wore (Suet. Aug. 73). She performed traditional female work and duties. She cared for her children, of which two were her daughters by her marriage with Antonius, but she also took care the children from his earlier marriage, with Fulvia. Accordingly, in the androcentric classical sources Octavia is presented positively and in line with the social stereotype of a Roman aristocratic woman, as a trustworthy, feminine woman in contrast to the manly woman Fulvia. The strong and ambitious character of Fulvia and her power over Antonius was fatal for him later in life, says Plutarch, in his relationship with Cleopatra VII of Egypt – a queen and a ruler in her own right. From his marriage with Fulvia, Antonius was already accustomed to obeying the authority of a woman (Plut. Ant. 10). Women, power and politics were a suspicious combination in ancient Rome and Cleopatra represented all 131

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three, and moreover her ethnic identity was distinctly non-Roman. When establishing himself with Cleopatra in Alexandria, Antonius was still married to Octavia, which made the relationship with her brother even more strained (Pomeroy 1975: 185–9). In the later 30s bce , Octavian intensified his propaganda against Antonius with the purpose of demonstrating his weakness and incapacity as a potential ruler of the Roman Empire. Visual examples appear in the relief decoration on terra sigillata cups presenting Antonius as an effeminate man, surrounded by women and female attributes. In some examples he is shown sitting in a chariot drawn by centaurs, surrounded by women holding symbols of femininity. He is wearing soft transparent clothing – like a woman (Zanker 1990: 58–60, figs 45a and 45b). In another example a woman is holding a wool basket (quasillum) and a distaff (Larsson Lovén 1998: 92). As mentioned above, wool baskets and implements for spinning are recurrent symbols in the funerary iconography of women, together with items such as parasols, fans, slippers and combs, all related to the private sphere. To present a man with such attributes was a way of dishonouring him and presenting as effeminate. Allusions to wool-work may have been particularly important as a negative mark for a man meaning that this is not a ‘real man’. In the case of Antonius these details indicate that he was weak, like a woman, and as such he was unfit to be a ruler. Any association with wool-work was disgraceful and degrading for men in general, not only for men with ambitions of being a commander in Rome. Juvenal refers to men who spin wool and have wool baskets as effeminate and homosexual (Juv. Sat. 11). Generally, it appears to be spinning that represents the gendered phase of textile production – positive for women, negative for men.

9.4 Conclusions on gender roles and textiles in Roman society Roman civilization was a clothed culture and everyone used clothes on a daily basis, regularly made from wool. Both men and women wore clothes of wool, such as the male toga and the female stola. In Rome wool represented something of the ‘original fibre’ and was also used in outfits of various religious cults and ceremonies (Larsson Lovén 2017). In the hierarchical Roman society, dress was central in visually communicating the status and gender of an individual. Dress codes distinguished between male and female clothing items as they represented masculine and feminine social roles. There were no taboos for men using clothes made from wool; on the contrary, the most iconic male clothing item, the toga, could not be made from anything but wool. In the occupational inscriptions men have documented themselves as involved in a variety of textile jobs including some with an obvious link to wool such as the lanipendus, the wool-weigher (CIL 6.3976–7; 6300). There is a female equivalent of this job title, a lanipenda (CIL 6.9496–8). Both a lanipendus and a lanipenda were supervisors of work and possibly on an equal status level but women tended to work more in larger households than men (Cf. Treggiari 1976). Another example of men who worked with wool is the lanarius, which occurs only in the masculine (CIL 6.9498; Zimmer 1982: no. 34). The specific meaning of this job is not altogether clear; however, the association with wool (lana) seems obvious. It 132

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has been suggested by Suzanne Dixon that it could be either a worker specialized in wool production or trade, or it might be a term without a specification other than ‘woolworker’ (Dixon 2001: 119). For women the connection to wool-work was constant, either in real life or as a symbol of femininity. It was an adequate symbol through the life course for females of all ages and at all social levels; from the wool-working matrona to slave girls and freedwomen who have documented their occupational identities by a modest stone slab, as a weaver (textrix) or spinner (quasillaria) (CIL 6.9495, 9849–50; Treggiari 1976: 84). Girls were taught spinning and weaving as a preparation for an adult life as housewives and woolwork in particular became an emblem for a woman, especially a married woman, of female virtue. Women may have been expected to practise their skills in life, depending on the social and economic status of the household. Men too could work in various occupations related to textile production, for instance as weavers, but no men have yet appeared as spinners (of wool). In the epigraphic record, spinner (quasillaria) exists only in the feminine – a mirror of the ideal for the lanificium of the elite women. Thus, it is the spinning of the wool that was the crucial stage in textile production for gender marking. The link between spinning and femininity is strong and fits well in to Judith Butler’s definition of how repetitive social values form the norms of male and female gender identities (Butler 1993: 232). Although Roman social realities and modes of production changed over time from the days of Tanaquil and Lucretia, the ideal of wool-working women lived on. The idealized picture in representations of Roman women implies that a woman who could be said to have taken her traditional female duties seriously was ‘a good woman’; Claudia, Murdia, Octavia and many more. Those who did not were dubious figures and characterized as ‘manly women’, such as Fulvia. The social stereotype of women doing wool-work was repeated in Roman political propaganda, literature, inscriptions and images. Wool-work (lanificium) appears as the most prominent symbol of femininity, and a lack of masculinity, and it runs as a symbol of femininity through history as a seemingly unbroken line, even in post-antique times.

References Balsdon, J. V. P. D. (1962), Roman Women: Their History and Habits, New York: Bodley Head. Barber, E. (1992), ‘The peplos of Athena’, in J. Niels (ed.), Goddess and Polis: The Panathenaic Festival in Ancient Greece, 103–18, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Baumann, A. (1992), Women and Politics in Ancient Rome, London: Routledge. Butler, J. (1993), Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’, New York: Routledge. Clark, G. (1981), ‘Roman Women’, Greece & Rome, 1981 (2): 193–212. McClure, L. (2019), Women in Classical Antiquity: From Birth to Death, Hoboken: WileyBlackwell. Dixon, S. (2001), Reading Roman Women: Sources, Genres, Real Life, London: Duckworth. Edmondson, J. (2008), ‘Public Dress and Social Control in Rome’, in J. Edmondson and A. Keith (eds.), Roman Dress and the Fabrics of Roman Culture, 21–46, Toronto: University Press. Golden, M. (1990), Children and Childhood in Classical Athens, Ancient Society and History, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Hallet, J. P. (1984), Fathers and Daughters in Roman Society, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Harlow, M. and Laurence R. (2001), Growing Up, Growing Old in Ancient Rome: A Life-course Approach, London: Routledge. Hersch, K. K. (2010a), ‘The Woolworker Bride’, in L. Larsson Lovén and A. Strömberg (eds), Ancient Marriage in Myth and Reality, 123–35, Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Hersch, K. K. (2010b), The Roman Wedding. Ritual and Meaning in Antiquity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Joshel, S. (1992), Work, Identity and Legal Status at Rome: A Study of the Occupational Inscriptions, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. La Follette, L. (1994), ‘The Costume of the Roman Bride’, in L. Bonfante and J. L. Sebesta (eds), The World of Roman Costume, 54–66, New York: University of Wisconsin Press. Larsson Lovén, L. (1998), ‘LANAM FECIT: Wool-working and Female Virtue’, in L. Larsson Lovén and A. Strömberg (eds), Aspects of Women in Antiquity, 85–95, Jonsered: Paul Åströms Förlag. Larsson Lovén, L. (2013), ‘Female Work and Identity in Roman Textile Production and Trade: A Methodological Discussion’, in M. Gleba and J. Pásztókai-Szeöke (eds), Making Textiles in Pre-Roman and Roman Times: People, Places, Identities, 109–25, Ancient Textiles Series 13, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Larsson Lovén, L. (2017), ‘On Priests, Priestesses and Clothing in Roman Cult Practices’, in C. Brøns and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textiles and Cults in the Ancient Mediterranean, 135–44, Ancient Textiles Series 31, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Larsson Lovén, L. (2019), ‘The Invisible Women of Roman Agrarian Work and Economy’, in J. Rantala (ed.), Gender, Memory and Identity in the Roman World, 89–103, Amsterdam: University Press. Pomeroy, S. B. (1975), Goddesses, Whores, Wives and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity, New York: Schocken. Scheidel, W. (1995), ‘The Most Silent Women of Greece and Rome: Rural Labour and Women’s Life in the Ancient World’, Greece & Rome, 42 (2): 202–17. Treggiari, S. (1976), ‘Jobs for Women’, American Journal of Ancient History, 1: 76–105. Treggiari, S. (1991), Roman Marriage: Iusti Coniuges from the Time of Cicero to the Time of Ulpian, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Zanker, P. (1990), The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus, Jerome lectures sixteenth series, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Zimmer, G. (1982), Römische Berufsdarstellungen, Archäologische Forschungen 12, Berlin: Gebrüder Mann.



This chapter re-examines literary sources on Roman domestic textile production in elite or near-elite contexts to establish how stylistic and narrative devices in descriptions of spinning and weaving women parallel – and, in fact, reinforce – our understanding of household space-use based on the assessment of the material record. Dominated by male authors of the upper classes, literary sources1 often depict textile production as taking place in close-knit contexts where women interact predominately with other women.2 Although we can assume the presence of other household members in or near at least some of these spaces, they are rarely described as engaging with either textile work or workers performing these tasks.3 As active participants, male literary characters only enter these contexts by surrendering defining aspects of their masculinity: literary texts describe male spinners as cross-dressers.4 The strongly gendered activity of engaging in textile work at home5 appears to erect invisible boundaries around its participants, limiting engagement but permitting visibility and display. The negotiation of these permeable but seemingly persistent boundaries, as well as their relative effectiveness in different temporal settings, is my primary interest in this essay. Building on recent analyses of archaeological evidence for the spatial distribution of textile work set out and contextualized in an initial section below (10.1), the first half of the chapter deals with literary sources depicting textile work undertaken in busy domestic environments during the day (10.2). Depictions of women at work at night are examined in the final half of the chapter (10.3, 10.4 and 10.5). Throughout, I investigate how separating effects, generated by the workers’ intent focus on a specific task, are heightened by socially controlled boundaries, dictating varying behaviour for different times of the day, restricting or enabling the access of outsiders to the household or family members to female work spaces. I will argue that this additional element of social control emphasizes the specific gendered associations of domestic textile work.

10.1 Locating domestic textile work Allison’s analysis of artefact distribution within dwellings at Pompeii showed that textile tools, especially loom weights, were frequently found in the atrium or in rooms adjoining 135

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it, rooms into which visitors may have had an unobstructed view and from where sounds of activities would carry into spaces open to visitors.6 This matches literary evidence from the Republic to Late Antiquity on the atrium or equivalent central spaces as a location for the textile work of the matrona,7 a positioning which permits the display of her work to household visitors to contribute to the social authority of the dominus.8 Although the configuration of Roman domestic space gradually changes with rooms around inner peristyle gardens becoming increasingly important as representational spaces,9 areas accessible to visitors and used for multiple purposes from late Roman sites continue to yield finds of loom weights and other textile implements.10 Thus, the chronological distribution of archaeological and literary sources alike indicates a continuum of visibility for domestic craft production throughout Roman antiquity. Despite the importance of such display, there is considerable emphasis on sequential use of multi-functional spaces in current scholarship with a primarily archaeological basis, and a reluctance to assert that in these spaces, some activities did overlap (Cooper 2007: 14; Foxhall 2012: 124; Nevett 2010: 114; Wilkinson 2015: 73; Cianca 2018: 38–9). Literary sources permit a more confident interpretation of the evidence, confirming that textile work in the elite household sometimes coincided with the execution of other tasks, including the regular daytime reception of visitors.11 Display of status-inducing activities to visitors presupposes mechanisms to control outsider access to people or privileged spaces, regardless of whether that access is direct and physical, or achieved through sight lines or sound that carries across permeable boundaries (Grahame 1999: 55; 59–71; Cooper 2007: 15–17). Architectural features, such as narrow entry ways and so on, are part of such control mechanisms (Berry 2016: 130–8; on doors, esp. Lauritsen 2011; Proudfoot 2013; on staff managing the salutatio, Goldbeck 2010: 100–4) but social norms on when and how to visit are equally significant (Dickmann 2011: 71 on social norms relating to visits; Berry 2016: 128–9 on the need to reinforce continually fixed and symbolic boundaries). These norms are the essential framework within which the separating effects of a worker’s intent focus and gendered associations of specific tasks can come into play.

10.2 Daytime domestic textile work and its soft boundaries In this section, I discuss three literary passages illustrating the simultaneous use of domestic space for different activities. Here, textile work is set alongside other work or activities. Through their structure and focalization, these narratives of shared work space reflect behaviours necessary in participants and observers for the completion of complex tasks in multi-purpose spaces. In the first century ce , Quintilian sets out a fictitious court case concerning the rape of a daughter by one of her father’s dinner guests. He notes that she served at table on the evening concerned, but at any other time of the day she might have been observed at her spinning.12 This task, then, would have been carried out in a space visible or directly accessible to visitors. In this fictitious court case, the statement that the daughter could 136

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have been seen spinning also underpins the depiction of both father and daughter as members of a hard-working, virtuous household. Illustrating the continuity of this practice well into the late fourth century ce , Jerome’s De Virginitate describes how the Roman housewife is beset by an onslaught of sensory impressions from various tasks she is supervising around the home: inde infantes garriunt, familia perstrepit, liberi ab oculis et ab ore dependent, computantur sumptus, impendia praeparantur. hinc cocorum accincta manu carnes terit, hinc textricum turba commurmurat: nuntiatur interim uir uenisse cum sociis. Hieron. Virg. Mar. 20 There babies prattle, slaves make a racket, children hang on to her face and word, outlays are totted up, charges prepared. Here, a group of cooks have girded themselves and are tearing at meat, here, the crowd of weavers chatters: it is announced, meanwhile, that the master has arrived with friends. The noise of the weavers at work carries to other parts of the house, suggesting that they are in a reasonably central space and that the socii (companions) entering the house with the dominus are exposed to the noise. A reference to a lunchtime meal (prandium) suggests a daytime setting (TLL prandium; Suet. Calig. 58.1; Claud. 34.2; Apul. Met. 9.5.6). To capture this chaotic environment, Jerome surveys the activities of the whole household, moving quickly from one group of household members to another (children, administrative staff, cooks, weavers and friends of the master). The paratactical sentence structure encourages us to perceive them as separate units. The cooks function as a group to the extent that although the rolled-up sleeve (accincta manu) of one cook is described in detail, no noun or pronoun is given: the partitive genitive coquorum marks him only as one of several cooks. The weavers are similarly described as a collective (turba textricum, crowd of weavers; the noun used is the feminine textrix, weaver). Here, the compound verb commurmurat underlines that they chatter amongst themselves (Varro Sat. Men. 380; Cic. Pis. 61; TLL commurmuror I) rather than with other household members. Unlike the wife tasked with the supervision of all tasks, the respective groups of workers are unaffected by the other activities around them. It is possible that the structure of Jerome’s description reflects behaviour required by workers executing cognitively complex tasks in busy spaces. These passages from Quintilian and Jerome concern textile work undertaken in space shared with visitors to, and members of, the household. Both passages imply that visible domestic textile work contributes to the social status of the household, but that active exchanges between different users of the same space are limited. The separating effect arising from the focus of workers on their specific tasks noted in Jerome’s text also has a far earlier parallel, where the gendered associations of textile work have a greater impact. In the Georgics, Vergil describes the life on a humble farm during the winter: 137

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et quidam seros hiberni ad luminis ignis peruigilat ferroque faces inspicat acuto. interea longum cantu solata laborem arguto coniunx percurrit pectine telas [. . .] Verg. Georgics 1.291–4 [A farmer] remains awake, shaping torch brands with sharp iron by the wintry light of the late-night fire. Meanwhile the wife, easing her long toil with song, runs the rasping pin beater through the warp. Here, husband and wife work side by side in the light of the hearth fire. As in Jerome’s household scene, analysis of Vergil’s vocabulary and narrative structure hints at how workers in such a setting relate to each other. The husband’s task of shaping torch brands is described by the verb inspicat (1.292, lit. cut to a shape resembling an ear of wheat). As noted by Thomson, this is effectively a hapax legomenon and the precise meaning may not be immediately understood (TLL inspico; Thomson 1988: 118). The commonly used near-homonym inspicio (inspect, observe) therefore likely also influences the reader, creating an image of the husband as raptly intent on the tools and materials in his hands. The linking interea (1.293, meanwhile) initially implies that the pair work companionably side by side. By mentioning the sound of the wife’s song (cantu, 1.293) before specifying her tasks, Vergil suggests that the sound carries between them, connecting husband and wife without one significantly interrupting the activity of the other. Yet Vergil also hints that the wife sings mostly to herself, since solata (easing) has the sense of a Greek reflexive middle, often describing how someone distracts themselves – rather than another person – from worry or grief.13 The observations on sounds subsequently generated by her weaving support the narrowing focus on the wife alone: the rasping sound made by the pin beater (arguto . . . pectine, 1.294) as the weaver moves it through the warp is audible only in relative proximity to the loom. Vergil specifically captures the weaver’s combined sensory experience (auditory and tactile) of moving her tools and hands through the warp (Öhrman 2018a: 145–7), rather than the experience of a bystander. Despite the initial emphasis on working side by side, the wife’s work and her sphere of perception gradually emerge as distinct from those of her husband. The humble countryside setting of Vergil’s strongly idealizing passage cannot be unproblematically transposed to the historical circumstances of elite housing. Nonetheless, its inclusion in the Georgics suggests that its key features are recognizable to the implied audience of highly educated members of the elite. Even between family members in an intimate night-time setting, entirely without intrusions from outsiders to the household, engagement in individual tasks seems to generate permeable but distinct boundaries between the two individuals sharing their work space with each other. Through his choice of a husband/wife pair with strongly gendered tasks, Vergil aligns these work-generated boundaries with boundaries dependent on gender, and thus reinforces them. In the following section, we shall see that passages featuring women working alone or in allfemale groups also suggest similar exclusionary effects of night-time female wool-work. 138

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10.3 Night-time domestic textile work: the paradigm of Lucretia The second half of this chapter explores the effects of separation and exclusion of others created by the combination of textile work, gender and (night-)time, first by identifying relevant features of Livy and Ovid’s narratives of Lucretia (10.3), then by discussing the occurrence of these in other literary spinning scenes (10.4, 10.5). My interest is the representation of male characters (whether family members or outsiders) approaching or interrupting all-women textile-working scenes. Here, it is particularly relevant to recall that soft, or socially controlled, boundaries of access are tested and re-asserted on a continuous basis (Wallace-Hadrill 1988: 77; Allison 2007: 350; Berry 2016: 128–9, 136– 41), and that literary sources help us identify sites of tension around such boundaries, just as they in themselves represent a means for its negotiation. I have noted that domestic textile work was likely to be part of authority-building display to visitors during the morning and daytime hours. As suggested by the husband– wife scene in the Georgics, however, the same work undertaken at night was expected to take place amongst insiders to the household, although it, too, had the potential to reflect on the status of the household.14 Livy’s story of Lucretia, and her later rape by Tarquinius, famously illustrates both the status-inducing qualities of a housewife’s late-night diligence at her wool-work and the expectation that this work, although it reflects a higher degree of personal commitment than its daytime equivalent (Ker 2004: 217–18; Cf. also Ambrose De Viduis 5.31; Nicetas De Vigiliis Servorum Dei 1 p 56 13B), would normally be carried out within the circle of the familia only. After the young Romans spend their evening in camp in drunken leisure, Livy emphasizes that their decision to ride to Rome to determine the contest of whose wife is the most virtuous is the extraordinary result of much wine (incaluerant uino, Liv. 1.57). Not expecting either male members of her family or guests, Lucretia is found devoted to her wool-work together with her slave girls (sed nocte sera deditam lanae inter lucubrantes ancillas in medio aedium sedentem, Liv. 1.57). The spatial setting recalls what we have seen in earlier passages: the workers are seated in a central space of the house. However, the temporal setting enhances the value-laden nature of Lucretia’s work, attesting more strongly her personal commitment to duty. This emerges from the initial mention of the late hour (nocte sera), to which a concessive sense attaches, and from the phrase describing Lucretia’s devotion to her work (deditam) with its connotations of selfsacrifice (TLL do 2.II; OLD do 22). Lucretia is credited with the ability to inspire similar dedication in her slave women. Her position in the middle of their group is the first indication of this, that they are the subject of an active participle (lucubrantes, working in lamplight) is the second. The active voice grants the women slaves a level of agency, while the verb suggests commitment to their night-time work. (Contrast the topical description of slave girls lamenting the pressure from overseers in Ov. Met. 4.35 and Claud. 20.370–375.) Unlike other descriptions of noble women surrounded by working slaves (Tib. 1.3.83–90; cf. also Ov. Her. 3.69–82; 19.38–56; Verg. Aen. 8.407–415), Lucretia’s group appears as a cohesive whole, claiming space for themselves in the middle of the house. 139

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However, unlike textile work that continues alongside other (male-focussed) representational activities during the day, the work of Livy’s Lucretia is swiftly put away when she welcomes the guests (adueniens uir Tarquiniique excepti benigne). The present participle adueniens (arriving) in combination with the perfect excepti [sunt] (were welcomed) highlights Lucretia’s immediate response to arrange a proper welcome, and we may assume her assistance in arranging Collatinus’ victory feast. Notably, Livy pinpoints the beginnings of Tarquinius’ desire for Lucretia to that feast (ibi Sex. Tarquinium mala libido . . . capit, there an evil desire seized Sextus Tarquinius): it is distinguished from the newcomers’ first sight of Lucretia in the middle of the house. Ovid’s re-telling of Lucretia’s story in the Fasti (2.723–848) shifts the emphasis towards the erotic, re-fashioning the character of Lucretia according to an elegiac paradigm (Newlands 1995: 146–74; Robinson 2011: 462–95; Chiu 2016: 54–61 explore extensively the elegiac features of Ovid’s Lucretia). This more expansive account of Lucretia’s story exhibits narrative features that will be important for the consideration of the separating effects, exerted even on privileged members of the household, of female textile work. Initially, Ovid’s all-knowing narrator notes that while the other wives have been found celebrating into the night (2.739–40), the young men seek out Lucretia and find her at work (2.741–2). Ovid shows Lucretia seated by her couch: cuius ante torum calathi lanaque mollis erat (by whose couch was the basket and soft wool). Regardless of the precise location of her couch,15 the word torus in Ovid’s elegiac context contributes to fashioning Lucretia as an object of erotic desire (Newlands 1995: 149). The faint light illuminating the scene, where spinning slave girls accompany her and share her work (2.743–4), further encourages the reader to expect a specifically elegiac development of the story (Robinson 2011: 476; Chiu 2016: 54). However, the expectation of an explicitly erotic emphasis is not immediately met. Instead, Ovid elaborates on Lucretia’s exchanges with her female companions. Conversation between them is within their own circle only: famulae . . . inter quas (slave girls . . . amongst whom) in 2.744 stresses that Lucretia’s soft words are meant for her servants only (nostros uiros (‘our men’, Ov. Fast. 2.750) refers ambiguously both to the Roman menfolk, and to husbands or lovers of those present). The reader gains full access only as the male narrator ventriloquizes Lucretia’s voice, representing it in a substantial speech covering nine lines (2.745–54). Here, Lucretia’s motivations for her late-night work emerge: she wants to complete the cloak for her husband quickly, as she worries about the war and Collatinus’ safety. In elegiac fashion, she interprets Ardea’s opposition to the Roman forces from an exclusively personal point of view, condemning it for keeping Roman husbands away from home.16 The Ovidian narrator notes the debilitating effects of this concern: Lucretia breaks down in tears, letting her spindle fall (2.755–6). The narrator evaluates the scene: this, too, suits her.17 Next, Ovid presents Collatinus’ sudden return as a lovers’ reunion, with his appearance a response to Lucretia’s distressed worry. Collatinus’ other companions are excluded from the narrative and no previous indication of their approach is given:18 only the two lovers matter. Collatinus’ exclamation pone metum, ueni (set aside your fears, come, 2.759) implies that he has overheard Lucretia’s lament. However, as Lucretia falls into Collatinus’ arms, the verb pendere (hang, weigh up) in 2.760 recalls the pensa spun by the 140

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slave girls in 2.745 even as it refers to her weight in his arms: Ovid keeps the image of the wool-working Lucretia in the reader’s mind (Newlands 1995: 147 on Ovid placing Lucretia’s suffering centre-stage), making it pivotal to Tarquinius’ burgeoning desire (2.761–2). As Tarquinius later prepares to seek her out again, he speaks longingly to himself: sic sedit, sic culta fuit, sic stamina neuit, / neglectae collo sic iacuere comae [. . .] (thus she was seated, thus she was dressed, thus she spun her thread, thus did her hair fall forgotten over her neck, 2.771–2). The sequence of these recollections shows that they refer to Lucretia’s spinning before she becomes conscious of Collatinus or his followers (Chiu 2016: 58 on the subversiveness of Ovid’s eroticization of Lucretia). The celebratory feast, a turning point for Livy’s Tarquinius, does not feature in Ovid’s narrative, but Lucretia’s wool-work becomes part of Tarquinius’ erotic fantasies.19

10.4 Ventriloquized speech, agency and the control of working space Two aspects of Ovid’s Lucretia story have specific bearing on the socially controlled boundaries through which space for female domestic textile work was negotiated within elite homes. First, there is Ovid’s use of ventriloquized female speech – rather than a continuation of the all-knowing narrator’s discourse – to express the thoughts of Lucretia at her work. The insertion of direct speech into a poetic narrative naturally serves many purposes, affecting pace, variety and vividness. Yet its use here also suggests that only a female character could fully enter the circle of wool-working women without fundamentally disrupting its dynamics. Other literary texts employ the same strategy, particularly to provide insights into the thoughts of spinners and weavers working through the night. It is prominent in Augustan elegy – a genre much concerned with fantasy about absent lovers – but also used elsewhere.20 In the Aeneid, the mother of the young Eurylaus laments his death, distressed that she cannot dress his body in a shroud made by her own hands. She states that by working both day and night, she could allay her old woman’s cares (curas solabar anilis, Aen. 9.489; Donat. Aen. 9.488–9). The role of craft as a distraction from cares occurs also in Propertius’ third elegy, where the narrator returns after a night out to find his mistress asleep. When the narrator wakes her up, she complains in vociferous direct speech of having to distract herself with spindle and lyre through the night, suspicious that the narrator enjoyed the company of other women instead (Prop. 1.3, e.g. Lyne 1980: 118–19; Harrison 1994; James 2010: 333–5; Gardner 2013: 153–60; Robinson 2013: 107–15). While not universally present, the tendency of authors to ventriloquize female direct speech in depictions of night-time textile work underlines that textile work spatially and temporarily determined in this way differs from similar work undertaken during the day and in parallel to other household tasks. Although its spatial settings are rarely explicitly defined,21 night-time work emerges as an altogether more intimate affair, generally carried out in all-female settings. Vergil’s farm scene hints that when it was undertaken in smaller spaces shared by necessity, it was ring-fenced and protected from interruptions by permeable boundaries similar to those employed in busy spaces shared by many 141

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workers engaged in different tasks during the day. In elite settings, however, a commonly depicted response to the intrusion of a male member of the household in a group of spinners or weavers at night is the interruption of their work. Though explicit evidence is limited to a relatively small number of literary passages (Liv. 1.57; Ov. Fast. 2.755–60; Tib. 1.3.87–92, implicitly in Hero’s fantasy of Leander returning in Ov. Her. 19.55–64), it does suggest female agency in controlling the spatial setting for night-time domestic textile work by actively restricting male access through the suspension of work. This strategy of engaging with shared spaces and their other potential users contributes to gendering the task performed yet more explicitly: night-time spinning belongs to women only. This, in turn, makes the performance of this task (and its interruption) an important tool for performing female gender.22

10.5 Male fantasies of female space The gender-specific exclusiveness of the night-time wool-workers’ circle explains the second feature of Ovid’s narrative to recur in several other literary depictions of women undertaking textile work at night. By expressing male curiosity of an all-female environment and likewise projecting certain content into its discourse, Lucretia’s speech with its focus on Collatinus’ absence represent the ongoing negotiation and reinforcement of the boundaries which surrounded wool-working women. The daydreams of the Tibullan lover-narrator about his mistress spending her evenings spinning with the women of her household, until she can joyfully welcome him home (Tib. 1.3.83–92), correspond to Lucretia’s concern for Collatinus in Ovid: Tibullus projects longing for a male absent lover onto the spinning Delia.23 Such projection is paralleled, and taken further, in two passages of full-scale ventriloquized female speech, both fictitious, poetic letters. In Propertius 3.6, Arethusa writes to her husband Lycotas, absent on a military campaign. She moves seamlessly from describing her nightly weaving of a soldier’s cloak, due to be sent to Lycotas’ camp, to lamenting bitter, lonely nights, which have replaced the sexual satisfaction a wife should expect.24 Ovid’s Penelope is more explicit: her letter to Odysseus transforms her famous delaying tactic of weaving and nightly unpicking into an attempt to distract herself from Odysseus’ absence in her bed chamber: non ego deserto iacuissem frigida lecto, nec quererer tardos ire relicta dies, nec mihi quaerenti spatiosam fallere noctem lassaret uiduas pendula tela manus. Ov. Her. 1.7 I would not have lain chilled in a deserted bed, nor would I, abandoned, complain the slow passing of the day, nor would the hanging web tire my widowed hands as I sought to fool the long night. 142

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Ovid couches Penelope’s complaints in erotic terms, using a series of unfulfilled conditional clauses to make clear that sexual inactivity is not Penelope’s choice. Following the complaint of her deserted bed (deserto . . . lecto), the reference to long nights (spatiosam . . . noctem) suggests how she would have otherwise liked to see them filled. Finally, Ovid’s otherwise frequent use of lassare as referring to post-coital exhaustion is inverted,25 with the loom offering Penelope only an undesirable substitute for her absent husband.26 Elegiac authors like Propertius, Tibullus and Ovid project onto spinning and weaving women such male concerns as are suitable to the subject matter of elegy, while at the same time reflecting practical aspects of Roman textile work. They acknowledge the amount of time textile production demands, the boredom it occasionally causes, and the ability of an experienced spinner or weaver to daydream while continuing their work. Rooted in a different genre, Vergil ascribes to Eurylaus’ mother anxiety for her son’s safety in battle as she weaves, but also concern for her own frailty in old age:27 her age has disqualified her from being considered an object of erotic desire (Cokayne 2003: 118–22; Richlin 2014: 70–2). Among Christian authors, the fantasies take a different direction: Ambrose praises a good wife, who spins threads of precious virtue and interweaves her husband’s clothing with praiseworthy diligence as she awaits his return (Ambrose Expositio Euangelii Secundum Lucam 8.11). Although this passage lends itself to metaphorical interpretation, it also sets out desirable behaviour between spouses in concrete terms: it derives from a section in Ambrose’s commentary on divorce. From the literary passages discussed above, it is evident that textile work in these settings, more strongly access-restricted through the combination of gender and their specific temporality, becomes a site for male fantasy, both reflected and re-created in literary texts.

10.6 Conclusions: boundaries reinforced Narrative strategies used in texts dealing with spinners and weavers at work reveal Roman means of negotiating shared space. In daytime settings, the need to present the household as an influential and industrious unit prompts and enables the simultaneous execution and display of tasks undertaken by household members, seemingly regardless of participant gender. In night-time contexts, where access to the elite home was more exclusive, negotiation of space between different groups of household members or other insiders comes more strongly to the fore. In these settings, participant gender emerges as a more prominent dividing factor. We have seen that, unless presented by an all-knowing narrator,28 descriptions of women performing textile work at night either reflect their ability to exclude others from their space through use of ventriloquized female speech, or call to mind the specific circumstance under which men could approach them. Even where male internal narrators make textile-working women the subject of erotic fantasy, these 143

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narrators are, like Ovid’s Tarquinius, generally privileged family members with potential access to more private spaces in the home (see the fantasies of elegiac narrators about their female lovers, Tib. 1.3.83–92; Prop. 3.6.15–18). Nonetheless, from an overarching perspective, literary depictions of all-female textile working scenes allow male authors and (mainly male) ideal audiences to enter and explore domestic settings otherwise restricted by time or participant gender. Audiences may fully explore the discourse and behaviours surrounding these temporally determined gendered activities. The appeal of such exploration is evident in Ovid’s Fasti, where viewing the wool-working Lucretia as sexually attractive is simultaneously marked as suspect (it is primarily voiced, after all, by the villainous Sextus Tarquinius) and enticing: through his evaluation of Lucretia’s appearance in 7.257–8, we saw that the Ovidian narrator, too, entertained thoughts later fully developed by Tarquinius. Despite this, the comparatively high frequency of explicit male ventriloquizing of female voices among such literary scenes signals the strength of the intangible boundaries that generally surrounded elite Roman women at their night-time wool-work. The difficulty even for a male narrative persona to transgress them suggests their strength. Read with their genre-specific aims and aesthetics in mind, literary sources reveal the existence and testing of task- and gender-related boundaries within the elite or would-be elite domestic space. Yet most references to spinning and weaving women in Roman literature are neither specifically spatialized nor temporally determined, nor do they feature explicit male intrusions into female working environments. While this chapter has highlighted texts which alert us to potential sites of friction around boundaries in the shared domestic space, a far larger number of non-spatialized or neutral references to domestic textile work suggests that these spaces were usually shared without issue, the place for female textile work within them self-evident.

Notes 1 Abbreviations of classical authors and works follow the Oxford Classical Dictionary. I refer to two scientific dictionaries of Latin, the Oxford Latin Dictionary (OLD) and the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (TLL). Translations are my own unless otherwise noted. 2 E.g. Plaut. Men. 795; Verg. G. 1.390–3; Ov. Her. 3.75–6; Met. 4.32–54; Stat. Theb. 2.439–40; Apul. Met. 6.19; Claud. 20.370–5; Hieron. Ep. 50.5. Suet. Aug. 73 refers to an intergenerational group of women involved in textile production, a pattern mirrored in the friezes of the Forum Transitorium (late first century ce ). Cf. also Sil. Pun. 7.79–81. Liv. 1.57–8; Ov. Fast. 2.741–79; Her. 1.7–10; Prop. 1.3; 4.3; Tib. 1.3 will be discussed below. The class bias of authors and ideal readership limits the scope of the chapter to contexts in or near the elite. 3 On the presence of children of both genders in textile production contexts, cf. Öhrman (2018b: 96–9); Harlow (2013: 323–4). 4 E.g. Heracles, Prop. 4.9.45–50 (cf. Welch 2004: 77–81; Ov. Her. 9.73–80; Achilles, Ov. Ars Am. 1.681–706; Stat. Achil. 1.560–87; Claud. In Eutr. 2.365–90 (comparing Eutropius’ courtiers to wool-working women). Alberti (2018: 2–4), with further bibliography, surveys other factors that contribute to the gendering of spinning.


Roman Shared Domestic Space 5 On male and female employment in extra-domestic textile work, e.g. Larsson Lovén (2013: 111–24); Gällnö (2013: 161–9); Holleran (2013: 313–21); Laes and Strubbe (2014: 191–3); Brokaert (2016: 34–7). 6 Though less consistently explored, archaeological evidence from domestic contexts in different parts of the Roman world hint at patterns similar to those observed by Allison (2007: 345–350) in Pompeii, e.g. McAllum et al. (2011: 82–3) on textile tool finds in peristyle rubbish heaps of the imperial villa at San Felice (first and second centuries ce ); Cassuto (2016: 277) provides evidence for spatial overlap between food preparation and textile production in Gamla (first century bce –first century ce ). Cf. further below n. 9. Extradomestic textile tool finds, e.g. from deposits, burial, or workshop contexts, fall outside of the scope of this chapter. 7 Asconius’ commentary on Cicero’s Pro Milone (Asc. Mil. 38) notes that the placement of the loom in the atrium is an ancient custom, spatially connecting the weaver’s work to both ancestor worship and the business of the dominus. In the fourth century ce , Claud. Rapt. 3.155 similarly places Prosperpine’s loom in the atrium. Cf. Nep. praef. 6–7. 8 Cooper (2007: 14–17). On the re-fracturing of these practices in Christian contexts, Wilkinson (2015: 70–3); Sessa (2007: 185). On storage in the atrium indicating a wellorganized household, Nevett (2010: 111–12). More sceptical of the value of such display in the context of the formal salutatio, Goldbeck (2010: 104). 9 Wallace-Hadrill (1994: 51–5) on the increasing use of rooms around peristyles for representational purposes from the early empire; Cova (2015: 94–8) on signs of this in Pompeii. On the increasing segregation of representational and private spaces in the fifth century ce onward, Ellis (1988: 565–76); cf. Sessa (2007: 184–5); Danner (2017: 147–53). 10 E.g. Trinkl (2006: 292–4) on finds of distaffs in or adjacent to peristyle gardens in Ephesus; Allison (2015: 119) on finds from the fifth-century ce phase at the Roman villa of San Giovanni di Ruoti; Boozer (2015: 186–8) on weaving locations in Late Roman Amheida in Egypt. At the end of Late Antiquity, there is also evidence for textile work being separated from living spaces, e.g. Stolcova and Kolnik (2010: 485–7). 11 Elsewhere, I have argued that craft-based sound-mimicking features in Roman poetry support this hypothesis, Öhrman (2017: 278–87); Öhrman (2018a: 143–50). 12 Quint. Decl. 301.13: nam et si in aliud diei tempus incidisses, tum quoque tibi uideretur ancilla: uidisses pensa facientem. (For even if you had arrived at another time of the day, then too she would have appeared to you as a slave girl: you would have seen her working wool.) Cf. Winterbottom (1984: 430). 13 Cf. OLD solor 1b and 2, esp. Verg. Aen. 9.489 (weaving as displacement activity) and Verg. Mor. 29–30 (singing for singer’s own benefit); Thomson (1988, 118–19); Gale (2009: 166). 14 This corresponds to the late-night reading and writing activities undertaken in comparative isolation by male members of the elite household, cf. Ker (2004: 213–19). On the epitaph of Allia Potestas (CIL VI.37965), Wilkinson (2015: 64–6). 15 Based on Asc. Mil. 38, Robinson (2011: 475) locates the torus, the marriage bed of the dominus and domina of the household, to the atrium. Overlooking this, Chiu (2016: 54) situates Ovid’s Lucretia within the privacy of her bedroom. 16 Robinson (2011: 477) notes that Lucretia’s request for information from the women around her underlines her status as domiseda. Newlands (1995: 149–50); Robinson (2011: 478–9); Chiu (2016: 55–6) on the elegiac parallels of Arethusa (Prop. 4.3) and Laodamia (Ov. Her. 13). On Prop. 4.3, see below.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity 17 Robinson (2011: 479) assumes that this distich is focalized through Collatinus, pausing to admire her beauty before announcing his presence. 18 Ov. Fast. 2.745–6 mittenda est . . . lacerna (the cloak . . . must be sent) shows that Lucretia is unaware that her husband and guests have returned. Chiu (2016: 56) reads Lucretia’s inattention to their arrival as expressing her (elegiac) focus on her absent lover. 19 It is re-awakened when Tarquinius enters Lucretia’s bed chamber, where she is described as nupta pudica (chaste bride, Ov. Fast. 2.794). 20 Ventriloquized speech by women engaged in domestic textile work in Verg. Aen. 9.489–90; Prop. 1.3.41–2; Prop. 3.6.19–34 (on which, McCarthy 2010: 170–4); Prop. 4.3; also Prop. 4.9.33–50; Ov. Her. 1.7–10; 10.89; 19.33–50; Met. 4.37–41. Cf. also Sen. Phaedr. 103–105; Apul. Met. 9.5. 21 Verg. Aen. 9.486–9; Prop. 1.3.39–46; 4.3; Tib. 1.3.83–90; Ov. Her. 1.9–10; Ambr. In Luc. 8.11. Only Prop. 3.6.16 implies that the spinner is centrally situated. 22 It is paralleled by the performance of male elite identity by dismissal of slaves from the cubiculum to facilitate male intellectual pursuits in late night settings, Ker (2004: 213–19). 23 On Tib. 1.3 and Delia as an elegiac character, e.g. Lee-Stecum (1998: 126–8); Shea (1998: 22–3, 28–9); Öhrman (2008: 57–9). The use of spinning as a distraction while awaiting a lover recurs in Ov. Her. 19.33–50. 24 Prop. 4.3.11: haecne marita fides et pactae in sauia noctes (is this the marital faith and these the nights of kisses you pledged to me?); 29: noctes . . . amaras (bitter nights); 55–6 on how only her little dog now warms Lycotas’ side of the bed. Arethusa also expresses anxiety over potential rivals, cf. Prop. 4.3.25–6: haec noceant potius, quam dentibus ulla puella / det mihi plorandas per tua colla notas! (rather you suffer these things, than some girl gives you marks on your neck for me to weep over). 25 TLL lassus 1 a, Adams (1982: 196); Janka (1997, 491), cf. Ov. Am. 1, 5, 25; 3, 7, 80; 11, 13. Cf. also on frigidus, cf. Jacobson (1974: 268); on the passage generally, Spoth (1992: 45). 26 Like Arethusa, Penelope fears a rival for her husband’s attention, Ov. Her. 1.75–80. On this passage, Barchiesi (1992: 90–1); Knox (1995: 103–4); Barchiesi (2001: 36–7). 27 The phrase curas . . . anilis (old woman’s worries, Verg. Aen. 9.489) picks up the description of Eurylaus as his mother’s comfort in old age (Aen. 9.481–2). Concern for a spinner’s home and her children’s upbringing also in Verg. Aen. 8.407–15. 28 Notably, this only applies to Verg. Aen. 8.407–15 and Ambrose Expositio Euangelii Secundum Lucam 8.11. Commonly expressed in this fashion is the interruption of female work due to love sickness, e.g. Ciris 177–80; Sen. Phaed. 103–5.

References Alberti, M. (2018), ‘The Construction, Use, and Discard of Female Identities: Interpreting Spindle Whorls at Vindolanda and Corbridge’, Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal, 1 (1). DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/traj.241. Allison, P. (2007), ‘Engendering Roman Domestic Space’, British School at Athens Studies, 15: 343–50. Allison, P. (2015), ‘Characterizing Roman Artifacts to Investigate Gendered Practices in Contexts Without Sexed Bodies’, American Journal of Archaeology, 119: 103–23. Barchiesi, A., ed. (1992), P. Ovidii Nasonis Epistulae Heroidum 1–3, Firenze: Felice Le Monnier. Barchiesi, A. (2001), Speaking Volumes. Narrative and Intertext in Ovid and Other Latin Poets, London: Duckworth. 146

Roman Shared Domestic Space Berry, J. (2016), ‘Boundaries and Control in the Roman House’, Journal of Roman Archaeology, 29: 125–41. Boozer, A. L. (2015), Amheida II. A Late Romano-Egyptian House in Dakleh Oasis: Amheida House B2, New York: New York University Press. Brokaert, W. (2016), ‘The Empire’s New Clothes. The Roman Textile Industry in an Imperial Framework’, in K. Dross-Krüpe and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textiles, Trades and Theories: From the Ancient Near East to the Mediterranean, 29–47, Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Cassuto, D. (2016), ‘Textile Production Implements’, in D. Syon (ed.), Gamla III Part 2: The Shmarya Gutmann Excavations 1976–1989, finds and studies, 261–82, Israel Antiquities Authority: Jerusalem. Chiu, A. (2016), Ovid’s Women of the Year: Narratives of Roman Identity in the Fasti, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Cianca, J. (2018), Sacred Ritual, Profane Space: The Roman House as Early Christian Meeting Place, Studies in Christianity and Judaism, Montreal: McGill Queen University Press. Cokayne, K. (2003), Experiencing Old Age in Ancient Rome, London: Routledge. Cooper, K. (2007), ‘Closely Watched Households: Visibility, Exposure and Private Power in the Roman “Domus” ’, Past & Present, 197 (1): 3–33. Cova, E. (2015), ‘Stasis and Change in Roman Domestic Space: The Alae of Pompei’s Regio VI’, American Journal of Archaeology, 119: 69–102. Danner, M. (2017), Wohnkultur im spätantiken Ostia, Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag. Dickmann, J.-A. (2011), ‘Space and Social Relations in the Roman West’, in B. Rawson (ed.), A Companion to Families in the Greek and Roman Worlds, 53–72, Malden: Blackwell. Ellis, S. P. (1988), ‘The End of the Roman House’, American Journal of Archaeology, 92: 565–76. Foxhall, L. (2012), Studying Gender in Classical Antiquity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gale, M. R. (2009), Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius, and the Didactic Tradition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gällnö, S. (2013), ‘(In)visible Spinners in the Documentary Papyri from Roman Egypt’, in M. Gleba and J. Pásztókai-Szeöke (eds), Making Textiles in Pre-Roman and Roman Times: People, Places, Identities, 161–70, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Gardner, Hunter H. (2013), Gendering Time in Augustan Love Elegy, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Glare, P. G. W. (2012), Oxford Latin Dictionary, 2nd edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Goldbeck, F. (2010), Salutationes: Die Morgenbegrüssungen in Rom in der Republik und der frühen Kaiserzeit, Berlin: De Gruyter. Grahame, M. (1999), ‘Reading the Roman House: The Social Interpretation of Spatial Order’. in A. Leslie (ed.), Theoretical Roman Archaeology and Architecture: The Third Conference, 48–74, Glasgow: Cruithne Press. Harlow, M. (2013), ‘Toys, Dolls, and the Material Culture of Childhood’, in J. Evans Grubbs and T. Parkin (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Childhood and Education in the Classical World, 322–40, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Harrison, S. J. (1994), ‘Drink, Suspicion and Comedy in Propertius 1,3’, Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society, 40: 18–26. Holleran, C. (2013), ‘Woman and Retail in Roman Italy’, in E. Hemelrijk and G. Woolf (eds), Woman and the Roman City in the Latin West, 313–30, Leiden: Brill. Hornblower, S. and A. Spawforth (2003), Oxford Classical Dictionary, 3rd edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Jacobson, H. (1974), Ovid’s Heroides, Princeton: Princeton University Press. James, S. L. (2010), ‘ “Ipsa dixerat”: Women’s Words in Roman Love Elegy’, Phoenix, 64: 314–44. Ker, J. (2004), ‘Nocturnal Writers in Imperial Rome: The Culture of Lucubratio’, Classical Philology, 99: 209–42. 147

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Knox, P., ed. (1995), Ovid. Heroides. Select Epistles. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Laes, C. and J. Strubbe (2014), Youth in the Roman Empire: The Young and the Restless Years?, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Larsson Lovén, L. (2013), ‘Female Work and Identity in Roman Textile Production and Trade: A Methodological Discussion’, in M. Gleba and J. Pásztókai-Szeöke (eds), Making Textiles in Pre-Roman and Roman Times: People, Places, Identities, 109–25, Oxford: Oxbow. Lauritsen, M. T. (2011), ‘Doors in Domestic Space at Pompeii and Herculaneum: A Preliminary Study’, in D. Mladenović and B. Russell (eds), TRAC 2010: Proceedings of the Twentieth Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, Oxford 2011, 59–75 Oxford: Oxbow. Lee-Stecum, P. (1998), Powerplay in Tibullus: Reading Elegies Book One, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lyne, R. O. A. M. (1980), The Latin Love Poets: From Catullus to Horace, Oxford: Oxford University Press. McCallum, M. et al. (2011), ‘The Roman Villa at San Felice: Investigations, 2004–2010’, Mouseion: Journal of the Classical Association of Canada, 11: 25–108. McCarthy, K. (2010), ‘Lost and Found Voices. Propertius 3.6’, Helios, 37: 153–86. Nevett, Lisa C. (2010), Domestic Space in Classical Antiquity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Newlands, C. (1995), Playing with Time: Ovid and the Fasti, Cornell: Cornell University Press. Öhrman, M. (2008), Varying Virtue: Mythological Paragons of Wifely Virtues in Roman Elegy, Studia Graeca et Latina Lundensia, Lund: Lund University. Öhrman, M. (2017), ‘Listening for Licia. A Reconsideration of Latin licia as Heddle Leashes’, in S. Gaspa, C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies from the Orient to the Mediterranean and Europe, 1000 BC to 1000 AD, 278–87, Lincoln: Zea Books. Öhrman, M. (2018a), ‘The Singing Loom: Textile Production and the Roman Domestic Soundscape’, in L. C. Eneix and M. Ragussa (eds), Archaeoacoustis III: The Archaeology of Sound, 143–50, Myakka City : The OTS Foundation. Öhrman, M. (2018b), ‘Textile Work in Shared Domestic Spaces in the Roman House: The Evidence from Latin Poetry’, Fasiculi Archaeologiae Historicae, 31: 93–101. Oxford Classical Dictionary, see Hornblower. Oxford Latin Dictionary, see Glare. Proudfoot, E. (2013), ‘Secondary Doors in Entranceways at Pompeii: Reconsidering Access and the “View from the Street” ’, Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal, 22: 91–115. Richlin, A. (2014), Arguments with Silence: Writing the History of Roman Women, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Robinson, M., ed. (2011), Ovid Fasti Book 2: Oxford Classical Monographs, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Robinson, M. (2013), ‘Propertius 1.3: Sleep, Surprise, and Catullus 64’, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, 56: 89–115. Sessa, K. (2007), ‘Christianity and the Cubiculum: Spiritual Politics and Domestic Space in Late Antique Rome’, Journal of Early Christian Studies, 15: 171–204. Shea, G. W. ed. (1998), Delia and Nemesis. The Elegies of Albius Tibullus. Introduction, Translation and Literary Commentary, Lanham: University Press of America. Spoth, F. (1992), Ovids Heroides als Elegien, Zetemata: Monographien zur Klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, München: C. H. Beck. Stolcova, T. and T. Kolnik (2010), ‘Weaving Workshops from the Late Roman Period in CíferPác’, in J. Beljak, G. Brezinová and V. Varsik (eds), Archaeology of the Barbarians 2009. Economy of the Germans. Settlement and Economic Structures from the Late La Tène Period till the Early Middle Ages, 485–7, Nitra: Veda. Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (TLL) Online, Berlin: DeGruyter. 148

Roman Shared Domestic Space Thomson, R. ed. (1988), Virgil: Georgics. Volume I: Books I–II. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics, Cambridge: University Press. Trinkl, E. (2006), ‘Zum Wirkungskreis einer kleinasiatischen matrona anhand ausgewählter Funde aus dem Hanghaus 2 in Ephesus’, Jahreshefte des Österreichischen Archäologischen Instituts in Wien, 73: 281–303. Wallace-Hadrill, A. (1988), ‘The Social Structure of the Roman House’, Papers of the British School at Rome, 56: 43–97. Wallace-Hadrill, A. (1994), Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum, Princeton: Princeton University Press. Welch, T. (2004), ‘Masculinity and Monuments in Propertius 4.9’, American Journal of Philology 125: 61–90. Wilkinson, K. (2015), Women and Modesty in Late Antiquity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Winterbottom, M. (1984), The Minor Declamations Ascribed to Quintilian, Texte und Kommentare, Berlin: De Gruyter.







The Ebla archives of the third millennium BCE Syria are very rich written sources on textiles and also on textiles and gender. Among the texts found in 1975 in the large archive L. 2769 and its vestibule L. 2875 were more than 14,000 tablets and fragments, of which the largest corpus is that of the monthly accounts of textile deliveries. These comprise more than 600 large tablets on which the Eblaite scribes registered the deliveries of textiles, starting from the period of the penultimate king of Ebla, Irkab-damu. Despite the presence of so many texts relating to textiles it is difficult to reconstruct the wardrobe of ancient Eblaites for several reasons. First of all, the texts mention mainly textiles, that is fabrics rather than clothes, because the items listed can be cut in two or more pieces to make useful items or to be given to various people. Second, it remains very difficult to know the types of textiles, because we do not have textile remains from the archaeological finds of the time. Third, the iconography does not help very much either.1 However, even Egyptologists, who have so many textiles preserved in the tombs, cannot attribute names to them although several very precise texts with lists of many different types of textiles survive (Roccati 1970: 1–10). The large number of gifts of textiles registered in the Ebla texts were destined for members of the Ebla court and for those of kingdoms allied to Ebla. However, these gifts were not only destined as courtiers’ clothing, but also probably for other members of their families. It is certain that textiles given on the occasions of some court ceremonies seem to be special clothing for the occasion. Therefore, it seems to be rich material, rapidly converted into clothing for the ceremony. The most common textiles quoted in the Ebla texts have been already studied (Pasquali 1997; Biga 2010; Pasquali 2010 with previous bibliography) but thus far a complete study of gender and textiles has not been forthcoming, because only 30 per cent of the texts on textiles has been published.2 Over many years, I have transliterated, first in the Aleppo Museum, then in that of Idlib, all the texts related to textiles, putting them in chronological order and connecting fragments, reconstructing entire textile texts. After an almost complete examination of all the texts related to textiles it can be observed that there are no fabrics restricted solely to men or solely to women.


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11.1 Textiles for men and textiles for women Three textiles are given together to men and rarely to women: ’à-da-um-TÚG-I, aktumTÚG, íb+III/IV/V-TÚG-gùn. However, in units, for example, 1 aktum or 1 íb can be given to women. These three textiles did not constitute a complete outfit for men, i.e. a tunic, a cloak and a belt, as has often been supposed, because very often different combinations of textiles are given to men, even if less frequently (for the different combinations of textiles see Biga 2010: 161–9). For example, in the following text:3 1 adaum-textile, 1 aktum-textile, 1 belt with coloured decoration to Niziru (a man) of the city of Iritum (. . .) 1 gumug-textile, 1 sal-textile, 1 belt with coloured decoration to Ennabe (a man). The other combinations seem less prestigious but it is difficult to understand why different types of textiles were given as ceremonial gifts or as payments for some work or in exchange for some goods. Considering the data from all the texts, it is evident too that the zara6-TÚG was given mostly to women, especially to the important women of the court. When we have a number of zara-textiles it is almost always followed by a list of the most important women of the court. Other women of the court, less important and quoted in hierarchical order after the great ladies, normally receive textiles-NI.NI4 that are sometimes also given to men. Zara6 textiles are attributed, even if very rarely, to men and it is not possible to say that they were given to men on some particularly important occasions. Therefore, even if it is probable that they were particularly precious because they are attributed to important women on particular occasions such as marriages, rituals and so on, we cannot know what type of textile we are dealing with.

11.2 Textiles given to girls as dowry on occasion of their marriage The lists of textiles given with jewels (for the jewels see Archi 2002) as part of the dowry of the court princesses are equally important for the topic of textiles and gender because we can verify which textiles were given to women. It is also possible to assume the presence, among the textiles in the dowry, not only of materials destined to be the bride’s clothing, but also of carpets, mats and blankets for the new house of the princess, plus other textiles for the family. The jewels were their patrimony exactly as for Roman matronae who sometimes had no property, lands, and so on, but who received their share of the patrimony in jewels.5 Gifts, textiles and objects are never listed for princes who were to be married, because no marriages referring to men are quoted in the Ebla texts. Therefore no comparison is possible. Many examples of dowries have already been published (Biga 1996: 63–72, 2014a: 77–8, 2018; Archi 2002). In the texts with deliveries of textiles in the principal archive L.2769, TM.75.G.2329, the dowry that Damurdashein received on occasion of her marriage to the son of the king or the king himself of Dulu (Byblos) is listed.6 The text 154

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was written when Ibbi-zikir had already been vizier for some years and his son Dubuḫ u’Àda worked with him. It is dated to the month i-si (I), and registers in its first columns textiles given to Damurdashein, daughter of Inmalik (of the family of viziers Ibrium and Ibbi-zikir), when she went to Dulu as queen: dozens of coloured and white textiles, of wool and of linen are listed:7 10 aktum-ti-textiles white, 2 aktum-ti-textiles dark red, 10 zara-textiles white, 10 zara-textiles dark red, 8 long textiles white, 2 long textiles dark red, 1 shawl, 10 adaum-textiles, 10 aktum-textiles, 10 belts of good quality and with coloured decoration (embroidered), 2 linen textiles for dress, 1 linen textile . . ., 1 linen textile for a veil, 1 linen textile for Damurdashein, daughter of Inmalik, queen of Dulu, delivered. The three textiles, adaum, aktum and íb, are given to the girl Damurdashein, but perhaps are destined for her husband. The text then registers the textiles to a person who was the head of the expedition which accompanied the princess to Dulu and to her female staff (seven girls) who had to stay in her service and to six people of Dulu who went to escort the princess back to her new home:8 2 adaum-II-textiles, 2 aktum-textiles, 2 belts with coloured decoration to Abizamu . . . who is going with her (Damurdashein), 7 textiles-NI.NI to girls who are at her service, 6 adaum-textiles, 6 aktum-textiles, 6 belts of good quality and with coloured decoration to Rahitiluwa, Duritilum, Wadane, Tigidaneadu, Awahi, Ibdurishar of the city of Dulu when they went to bring Damurdashein as queen of Dulu. As already noted (Pasquali 1997: 224–30), among the textiles given as dowry there is the shawl, du-ru12-ru12. The shawl is present in all the dowries. It is given in few cases also to men. Another textile given with du-ru12-ru12 is the veil PAD(-TÚG), ma-ga-da-ma-tum/ ma-da-ma-tum in Semitic (Pasquali 2009), destined mostly to brides but not exclusively. For example, in TM.75.G.1794+ARET III 469 (TM.75.G.3534) obv. III 18–23: 12 aktum-TÚG ti-TÚG 1 gada-TÚG šu-DAGxKASKAL 1 gada-TÚG PAD-sù en si-in ’À-za-anki, the aktum-ti-textiles are given, as usual, in conspicuous number and one linen textile is destined as a veil for the king going to his palace in ’Azan.9 From the text TM.75.G.1679 (Biga 2018) of the dowry for Tiabarzu, a girl of the family of the vizier Ibrium, the difference between the textiles attributed to men and those to women, both participating in the ceremony, is very evident. In the text there is also a long list of precious gold objects:10 (1) (Many jewels), 1 white zara-textile, 1 dark red zara-textile, 2 dark red gudultextiles, 20 shekels of silver for 4 toggle pins for Tiabarzu (the bride) (2) 20 shekels of silver for 2 toggle pins, 1 zara-textile, gift for Daram-malik (sister of the bride); 155

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(3) 1 adaum-II-textile, 1 aktum-textile, 1 belt of good quality with coloured decoration (embroidered) for Badulum (a male) who poured oil on the head of Tiabarzu; (4) 1 zara-textile, 2 toggle pins weighing 20 sicles of silver for Haludu (female); (5) 2 adaum-II-textiles, 2 aktum-textiles, 2 íb-textiles of good quality and with coloured decorations (embroidered) for Inmalik (male). The text is very interesting because it is totally devoted to the deliveries for the marriage. After the jewels some textiles given to Tiabarzu as dowry are also registered: zara-textiles and gudul-textiles are given to the bride, with four silver toggle pins. Next, some textiles destined for male and female personages who participated in the ceremony are registered. It is interesting to compare the types of textiles delivered to males and females. The other two women participating in the marriage, Daram-malik and Haludu, are given zaratextiles with toggle pins. The men, Badulum and Inmalik, are given the three more frequent textiles: adaum, aktum and íb. However, as we saw, these three textiles are given also to Damurdashein as part of her dowry. This text demonstrates what is evident from many examples: the zara-textile was given mostly to women of important status; only very rarely was it destined for men. When it was destined for an important woman it was always given with two toggle pins of gold or silver (see Couturaud’s Chapter 12 and Michel’s Chapter 13 in this volume). However, it remains very difficult to identify the zara-textile in the iconography. It should also be noted that the veil, which is normally given to the bride together with the shawl, is not mentioned here. An additional example of dowry and of textiles distributed to people involved in the marriage ceremony is as follows: 1 adaum-II-textile, 1 aktum-textile to Ibdu-Gamish brother of Ib-malik who poured oil on the head of Zanehimari, 3 guzitum-textiles, 3 aktum-textiles, 3 belts of good quality and with coloured decorations gift for Ibdu-Gamish, Ibdur-ishar, Halla, 1 zara-textile, 12 shekels of silver for 2 toggle-pins with golden head gift for Kirsud, 2 zara-textiles, 4 toggle-pins (weighing) 20 shekels of silver to Dargan and Tesh-damu mother of Ib-malik, 2 guzitum-textiles, 2 aktum-textiles, 2 belts of good quality and with coloured decorations, 3 zara-textiles white, 3 guzitumtextiles white, 1 guzitum-textile dark red, 1 zara-textile dark red, 1 linen-textile, 1 shawl, 10 aktum-ti-textiles to Zanehimari, 2 gu-mug-textiles to 2 women at her service, Zanehimari delivered to the house of Ibara of the city of Ashu in the days of her marriage.11 Adaum, aktum and íb waistbands with coloured applications (embroidered) or guzitum, aktum and íb waistbands with coloured applications (embroidered) are destined for men involved in the ceremony of the marriage. To the women Kirsud, Dargan and Teshdamu, the mother of Ib-malik who married princess Zanehimari, who all participated in the 156

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ceremony, zara-textiles and silver toggle pins with golden heads are given. Among the textiles for Zanehimari there are the zara-textiles normally destined for women but also guzitum, aktum and waistbands normally given to men. The shawl du-ru12-rúm is given to the princess but not the veil. Textiles-gu-mug are given to two women who followed the princess to her new house, that of Ib’ara of the city of Ashu.

11.3 Textiles for the great ritual Two administrative texts relate to a ritual that, after many years of study, can be defined as a great ritual for the Ebla royalty performed by the royal couple.12 These texts are significant for the studies of gender and textiles, as they not only describe the form of the ritual but also record the individuals who participated in the rites and the textiles they received on occasion of the ritual. In one of the two administrative duplicates of the ritual, TM.75.G. 2164, are listed, among other deliveries of the month (month halini), the textiles used for the ritual and given to some individuals who took part, and also to the king and the queen:13 7 aktum-ti-textiles to the king, 6 aktum-ti-textiles to the queen for their purification before to go to the city of Nenash for their royalty, 1 adaum-II-textiles, 1 aktumtextile, 1 belt with coloured decoration to Alik, the son of Aduba of the city of Arugu. The same type of textiles, aktum-ti, are given to the king and to the queen for their purification to go to Nenash for their royalty.

11.4 Textiles for dead and the tomb In the case of funerary gifts there is a difference between textiles destined for men and those destined for women. In the text TM.75.G.2334, written on the occasion of the death of princess Darib-damu, there is a long list of the many funerary gifts she received. Among them, quoted at the beginning of the text, there are the textiles given to Daribdamu for her tomb:14 15 aktum-ti-textiles, 2 zara-textiles dark red, 2 long textiles dark red, 6 zaratextiles, 6 gudul-textiles, 2 toggle pins . . . (then many jewels). It must be noted that the textiles given as funerary gifts are the same as the ones girls receive as dowry.15 Here, the text lists textiles and toggle pins given to six previously deceased women of the royal family (possibly buried in the same tomb) and textiles to four men of the royal family, including the last two kings of Ebla, Igrish-Halab and Irkab-damu, Irib-damu, brother of Irkab-damu, and father of the last queen 157

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Tabur-damu, and the vizier Ibrium. Possibly these textiles were destined for statues of the already deceased members of the family.16 6 long textiles white, 6 bands . . . of the storage é-ti, 10 shekels of silver for 2 toggle pins, 15 shekels of silver for 6 toggle pins, 5 . . . of the storage é-siki for Dusigu, Sarin-damu, Keshdut, Darkabdulum, Giminizadu, Ishrut, 4 adaum-textiles, 4 aktum-textiles, 4 embroidered waistbands for Igrish-Halab, Irkab-damu, Irib-damu and Ibrium, (on the occasion of the funerary ceremony of) Darib-damu delivered. The previously deceased important women of the court and members of the family of Darib-damu do not receive zara-textiles as usual. In the text TM.75.G.2337 + ARET XII, 134 (=TM.75.G.4269) the death of a woman of the king is quoted:17 1 zara-textile to Magaradu woman of the king for her funerary ceremony, 2 textiles dul, 2 embroidered and of good quality waistbands to Irkab-damu and IgrishHalab, 1 zara-textile for Dusigu (on the occasion of the death of) Magaradu delivered.

11.5 Textiles given for the ceremony of purification after a death Textiles given for the ceremony of purification after a death are sometimes the same for women and men, sometimes different. In the text TM.75.G.2334, (now ARET XX, 25) the ceremony of the purification of the king and queen of Ebla, after the death of princess Darib-damu, is quoted. The textiles destined for the king and the queen on occasion of the purification are different:18 1 gar-su black for the purification ceremony of the king, 1 band-ZIZI, and 2 toggle pins weighing 10 shekels of silver for the ceremony of the purification of the queen. In the same text, TM.75.G. 2334 obv X 14-XI 2, the king of Emar participated in the ceremony of the purification of the king of Ebla and received textiles. TM.75.G.10162 (king Ishar-damu, vizier Ibbi-zikir, month hali) obv. VII 9–VIII 11 registers the textiles given to Daram-Malik, a sister of the queen-mother on occasion of her funeral and to other members of her family already dead:19 1 zara-textile, 1 aktum-textile as dress, 2 aktum-textiles-ti, 10 shekels of silver for 2 toggle pins to Daram-malik sister of the queen-mother, 2 NI.NI-textiles to two of her sisters, 1 adaum-textile, 1 waistband embroidered to her father, 1 sal-textile, 1 waistband embroidered to her brother, (on occasion of the funerary service of) Daram-malik delivered. 158

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A few lines later the purification gifts given to the queen mother after the death of her sister are recorded and the textile given is that normally destined to high-status women, i.e. the zara-textile with the toggle pins.20

11.6 Textiles as gifts for gods and goddesses One of the two monthly accounts of deliveries of textiles parallel to the great royal ritual (Biga and Capomacchia 2012), TM.75.G.2417, registers the textiles destined for the god KUra and the goddess Barama for the ritual. 2 aktum-textiles dark red to dress (the statues of) the gods Kura and Barama who are going to Nenash. The same type of textile, the aktum-textile, was used to dress the statues of the god and of the goddess.21

11.7 Conclusion There are no textiles destined solely for men or solely for women. Even if some textiles are destined mostly for men (for example, the waistbands) or for women (the zaratextiles) they are not exclusively given to them. Some textiles such as adaum, aktum and the waistbands are given mostly to men but in some few cases also to women. Waistbands are destined mostly for men. The zara6-textile is given very often to women, especially to the important women of the court. The toggle pins (budi) were used by women to fix the dress. They were normally in pairs and made of silver with a head of gold, but also completely in silver. Sometimes only one toggle pin (budi) is given. The shawl is destined for women, especially for brides, but in a few cases is given to men. The veil is destined for women especially for brides. While normally textiles are not given in great number; the type of textiles written aktum-TÚG ti-TÚG is given in conspicuous number, even more than ten to a single person on one occasion. mu4 mu seems to indicate a textile ready to be part of the wardrobe.

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Cécile Michel and Mary Harlow for their kind invitation to the conference which brought together scholars of the Centre for Textile Research University of Copenhagen (CTR), the group ATOM (Ancient textiles from the Orient to the Mediterranean) of the CNRS of Paris Nanterre and other scholars in a profitable exchange of ideas. 159

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Notes 1 For the iconography on textiles see Foster (2010) and Otto (2016). There are only a few examples of different representations of clothes of men and women in statues, seals and bas-reliefs. Most instances are mentioned in the texts. 2 Texts of deliveries of textiles have been published in ARET I, II, III, IV, VII, VIII, XII, XV 1, 2, XIX, XX and in MEE II, V, VII, X, XII. 3 TM.75.G.1829 rev. III 4–6: 1 ’à-da-um-TÚG-I 1 aktum-TÚG 1 íb+III-TÚG-gùn Ni-zi-ru12 (masculine Personal Name) Ir-i-tumki (. . .) rev. VII 10–11: 1 gu-mug-TÚG 1 sal-TÚG 1 íb+III-TÚG-gùn En-na-BE (masculine Personal Name). 4 For a long list of zara-textiles given to important ladies of the court on occasion of the ritual of royalty, see the text TM.75.G.2417 quoted in Biga-Capomacchia (2012: 27–30). 5 However, some Roman women eschewed gems and jewellery, such as Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi (Val. Max. 4.4.1). 6 For this marriage see Biga (2014b). Damurdashein was a girl of the family of the viziers Ibrium and Ibbi-zikir. Not only daughters of the king of Ebla but also other daughters of the most important families of Ebla, as for example the family of the vizier, were sent as brides to courts allied with Ebla. For the identification of DUlu with Byblos see recently Biga (2012, 2017 with previous bibliography, Biga and Steinkeller (in print)). For a different opinion see Archi (2016). 7 TM.75.G.2329 obv. I 1–II 5: 10 aktum-TÚG ti-TÚG babbar 2 aktum-TÚG ti-TÚG ú-ḫ áb 10 zara6-TÚG babbar 10 zara6-TÚG ú-ḫ áb 8 gíd-TÚG babbar 2 gíd-TÚG ú-ḫ áb 1 du-ru12-ru12 10 ’à-da-um-TÚG-II 10 aktum-TÚG 10 íb+III-TÚG-sa6-gùn 2 gada-TÚG mu4 mu 1 gadaTÚG TÚG-šu 1 gada-TÚG PAD ti-TÚG 1 gada-TÚG ḫ ul Da-mur-da-šè-in dumu-mí In-ma-lik ma-lik-tum DU-luki ˹šu-mu-tak4. 8 TM.75. G. 2329 obv. II 6–III 9: 2 ’à-da-um-TÚG-II 2 aktum-TÚG 2 íb-TÚG-gùn A-bí-za-mu « ur4 » DU.DU áš-da-sù 10 lá-3 TÚG-NI.NI dumu-mí-dumu-mí šeš-pa4-mí-sù 6 ’à-da-um-TÚGII 6 aktum-TÚG 6 íb-TÚG-sa6-gùn Ra-ḫ i-ti-lu-wa Du-rí-ti-lum Wa-da-NE Ti-gi-da-NE-a-du A-wa-ḫ i Ib-dur-I-šar DU-luki in ud DU.DU ḫ i-mu-DU Da-mur-da-šè-in ma-lik-tum DU-luki. 9 I thank J. Pasquali for this suggestion. The veil here is probably not destined for the king but to cover the other textiles. 10 TM.75.G.1679: obv.(1) Many jewels then rev. I.21 zara6-TÚG babbar 1 zara6-TÚG [(x)] ú-ḫ áb 3 2 gu-dùl-TÚG ú-ḫ áb 420 bar6:kù 54 bu-di 6Ti-a-bar-zú (2) 720 bar6:kù 2 bu-di II.11 zara6-TÚG 2 níg-ba 3Dar-am6-ma-lik (3) 41 ’à-da-um-TÚG-II 1 aktum-TÚG 1 íb+III-TÚG-sa6-gùn 5 Ba-du-lum 6níg-a-dè 7ì-giš 8a sag 9Ti-a-bar-zú (4) 101 zara6-TÚG III.12 bu-di 20 bar6:kù 2 Ḫ a-lu-du (5) 32 ’à-da-um-TÚG-II 2 aktum-TÚG 2 íb+I-TÚG-sa6-gùn 4In-ma-lik 5(anep.) IV.1 (anep.). 11 TM.75.G.1776 (king Ishar-damu, vizier Ibrium, month lost), obv. I 1–III 11: 1 ’à-da-umTÚG-II 1 aktum-TÚG 2 íb+I-TÚG-sa6-gùn Ib-du-dGa-mi-iš 2 ’à-da-um-TÚG-II 2 aktumTÚG 2 íb+I-TÚG-sa6-gùn šeš I-ib-ma-lik níg-dè ì-giš si-in sag Za-ne-ḫ i-ma-rí 3 gu-zi-tumTÚG 3 aktum-TÚG 3 íb+III-TÚG-sa6-gùn níg-ba Ib-du-dGa-mi-iš Ib-dur-I-šar Ḫ al-la 1 zara6-TÚG 12 bar6:kù 2 bu-di sag-sù kù-gi níg-ba Kir-su-ud 2 zara6-TÚG 4 bu-di šú + ša gín-DILMUN bar6:kù níg-ba Dar-ga-an wa Téš-da-mu ama-gal I-ib-ma-lik 2 gu-zi-tum-TÚG 2 aktum-TÚG 2 íb+III-TÚG-sa6-gùn 3 zara6-TÚG babbar 3 gu-zi-tum-TÚG babbar 1 gu-zi-tum-TÚG ú-ḫ áb 1 zara6-TÚG ú-ḫ áb 1 gada-TÚG 1 du-ru12-rúm 10 aktum-TÚG ti-TÚG Za-ne-ḫ i-ma-rí 2 gu-mug-TÚG 2 dam-sù Za-ne-ḫ i-ma-rí šu-mu-tak4 é Ib-’à-ra ‘À- šuki in ud níg-mu-sá.


The Ebla Texts of the Third Millennium BCE 12 For the last edition of the ritual see ARET XI. For different opinions on the interpretation of the ritual see Biga-Capomacchia (2012), Bonechi (2016 with previous bibliography) and Pasquali (2019). The ritual is not a ritual of marriage; the marriages were celebrated with music and a banquet and could continue for several days. After the marriage there was no honeymoon: the voyage de noces is a practice born in the period of Belle Epoque. Instead, the king and queen had to perform a ritual to assume their role as royal couple, protected by the divine couple KUra and Barama. During this ceremony they also performed some ritual acts for the fertility of the queen. 13 TM.75.G.2164 obv XIII 12–15-rev. I 1–9: 7 aktum-TÚG ti-TÚG en 61 aktum-TÚG ti-TÚG ma-lik-tum sikil-sù si-in NE-na-áški du-da-li-ga-šum 1 ’à-da-um-TÚG-II 1 aktum-TÚG 1 íb+III-gùn-TÚG ‘À-lik dumu-nita A-du-ba ˹A˺-ru12-[gú]ki [. . .]. 14 TM.75.G.2334 (now=ARET XX, 25) obv. I 1–III 17: 15 aktum-TÚG ti-TÚG 2 zara6-TÚG ú-ḫ áb 2 gíd-TÚG ú-ḫ áb lu2 é-siki 6 zara6-TÚG 6 gu-dùl-TÚG 2 bu-di. 15 See already Biga (2007–8); Pasquali (2005). 16 Biga (2007–8) TM.75.G.2334 (=ARET XX, 25): obv. III 18–IV 16: 6 gíd-TÚG babbar 6 níg-lá-ZI.ZI lú é-ti-TÚG 10 bar6:kù 2 bu-di 15 bar6:kù 6 bu-di 5 lú é-siki Du-si-gú Sá-rín-damu Kéš-du-ut Dar-kab-du-lum Gi-mi-ni-za-du Iš-ru12-ud 4 ’à-da-um-TÚG-II 4 aktum-TÚG 4 íb+III-TÚG-sa6-gùn Ik-rí- iš-Ḫ a-labx Ìr-kab-da-mu Ìr-ib-da-mu Ib-rí-um si-in ÉxPAP Dar-ib-da-mu šu-mu-tak4. 17 TM.75.G.2337 + ARET XII, 134 (=TM.75.G.4269) (king Ishar-damu, vizier Ibbi-zikir, month lost, text // to TM.75.G.2426 of the time of the last military expedition against Mari) obv. VII 16–VIII 6: 1 zara6-TÚG Má-ga-ra-du dam en si-in ÉxPAP 2 TÚG-dùl 2 íb-III-TÚG-sa6-gùn Ìr-kab-da-mu wa Ig-rí-iš-ḫ a-labx 1 zara6-TÚG Du-si-gú Má-ga-ra-du šu-mu-tak4. 18 TM.75.G.2334 obv. V 14–19: 1 gàr-su gi6 ì-giš-sag en 1 níg-lá-ZI.ZI 2 bu-di 10 bar6:kù ì-giš-sag ma-lik-tum. 19 TM.75.G.10162:1 zara6-TÚG 1 aktum-TÚG mu4 mu 2 aktum-TÚG ti-TÚG 10 bar6:kù 2 bu-di Dar-am6-ma-lik nin-ni ama-gal en si-in ÉxPAP 2 TÚG-NI.NI 2 nin-ni-sù 1 ’à-da-um-T ÚG-I 1 íb+III-TÚG-gùn a-mu-sù 1 sal-TÚG 1 íb+III-TÚG-gùn šeš-sù Dar-am6-ma-lik šu-mu-tak4. 20 TM.75.G.10162 obv. VIII 8–11: 1 zara6-T ÚG 30 (shekels) kù-gi 2 bu-di ì-giš-sag ama-gal en. 21 TM.75.G.2417 rev. XIII 25-XIV 2: 2 aktum-TÚG ú-ḫ áb mu4 mu dKU-ra wa dBa-ra-ma du-du si-in NE-na-áški. In Italy we have a long story of statues of saints and especially of the Madonna dressed with precious clothing; the statue of the Madonna was dressed by women. For textiles for statues see Pasquali (1996).

References Archi, A. (2002), ‘Jewels for the Ladies of Ebla’, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, 92: 161–99. Archi, A. (2016), ‘Egypt or Iran in the Ebla Texts?’, Orientalia, 85: 1–49. Biga, M. G. (1996), ‘Prosopographie et datation relative des textes d’Ebla’, in J.-M. Durand (ed.), Mari, Ebla et les Hourrites, Amurru 1, 29–72, Paris: Etudes et Recherche sur les Civilisations. Biga, M. G. (2007–8), ‘Buried among the Living at Ebla? Funerary Practices and Rites in a XXIV cent. B.C. Syrian Kingdom’, Scienze dell’Antichità, 14: 249–75. Biga, M. G. (2010), ‘Textiles in the Administrative Texts of the Royal Archives of Ebla (Syria, 24 Century B.C.) with Particular Emphasis on Coloured Textiles’, in C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennium BC, 146–72, Oxford: Oxbow Books.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Biga, M. G. (2012), ‘Tra Egitto e Siria nel III millennio a.C.’, Atti dell’Accademia delle Scienze di Torino 146: 17–36. Biga, M. G. (2014a), ‘Some aspects of the Wool Economy at Ebla (Syria XXIV Century BC)’, in C. Breniquet and C. Michel (eds), Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean, 139–50, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Biga, M. G. (2014b), ‘The Marriage of an Eblaite Princess with the King of Dulu’, in S. Gaspa et al. (eds), From Source to History. Studies on Ancient Near Eastern Worlds and Beyond Dedicated to Giovanni Battista Lanfranchi on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday on June 23.2014, 73–9, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 412, Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Biga, M. G. (2016), ‘The Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ebla Kingdom (Syria, 24th century BC)’, in B. Lion and C. Michel (eds), The Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ancient Near East, 73–91, Berlin: De Gruyter. Biga, M. G. (2017), ‘Voies commerciales, ports et marchands de Syrie, Anatolie et Méditerranée orientale au III millénaire av. J.-C.’, Pallas, 104: 51–9. Biga, M. G. (2018), ‘Gioielli per una fanciulla della corte di Ebla’, in A. Vacca, S. Pizzimenti, M. G. Micale (eds), Contributi e Materiali Di Archeologia Orientale XVIII, Fs G. Scandone Matthiae, Roma: Scienze Lettere. Biga, M. G. and A. M. G. Capomacchia (2012), ‘I testi di Ebla di ARET XI: una rilettura alla luce dei testi paralleli’, Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale, 106, Fs. P. Matthiae: 19–32. Biga, M. G. and Steinkeller, P. (in print), ‘In search of Dugurasu’, Journal of Cuneiform Studies. Bonechi, M. (2016), ‘A Passive, and Therefore Prized, Bride: New Proposals for the Queen’s Wedding in the Ebla Royal Rituals’, Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale, 110, 53–78. Foster, B. R. (2010), ‘Clothing in Sargonic Mesopotamia: Visual and Written Evidence’, in C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennium BC, 110–45, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Otto, A. (2016), ‘Professional Women and Women at Work in Mesopotamia and Syria (3rd and early 2nd millennia BC): The (Rare) Information from Visual Images’, in B. Lion and C. Michel (eds), The Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ancient Near East, 112–48, Berlin: De Gruyter. Pasquali, J. (1996), ‘La “vestizione” della statua della dea ¼TU ad Ebla’, NABU, note 128. Pasquali, J. (1997), ‘La terminologia semitica dei tessili nei testi di Ebla’, Miscellanea Eblaitica, 4, Quaderni di Semitistica, 19: 217–70. Pasquali, J. (2005), ‘Remarques comparatives sur la symbolique du vêtement à Ebla’, in L. Kogan et al. (eds), Memoriae I. M. Diakonoff, 165–84, Babel und Bibel 2, Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Pasquali, J. (2009), ‘Les équivalents sémitiques de PAD-túg, “voile”, dans les texte d’Ebla’, NABU, 11: 12–15. Pasquali, J. (2010), ‘Les noms sémitiques des tissus dans les textes d’Ebla’, in C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennium BC, 173–85 Oxford: Oxbow Books. Pasquali, J. (2019), Sur la signification des rituels royaux eblaites (ARET XI): une mise au point d’après les textes administratifs, Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale, 113, 1–12. Roccati, A. (1970), ‘Una tabella lignea inscritta da Gebelein’, Rivista degli Studi Orientali, 45: 1–10.



12.1 Methodological issues Studies on women and gender in the ancient Near East are expanding, and many recent publications on this subject show how rich and varied this field of research is. From the point of view of an archaeologist specializing in the iconography of the Early Bronze Age, two specific questions related to the depiction of women are of great interest: the archaeological context of these images, in order to understand the way they were displayed; and the intention behind the production of such images. Obviously, the question of the identity of the women depicted is linked to these questions. Here the first methodological problem arises. On the inlays of Mari, for instance (Couturaud 2019) – though this is also true for other artefacts – it is interesting to note that there are no anatomical differences between the bodies of men and women. All have their faces in profile, an almond-shaped eye and a round pupil. The eyebrow is curved. The nostril and the mouth are always shown. The torso is depicted frontally, the legs and arms appear in profile, and the individuals are all barefoot. The figures are all adults, since there is no depiction of children in the corpus of the inlays at Mari. Since there are no distinctive anatomical features that indicate clearly whether the individuals are men or women, one has no other choice than try to distinguish them by their garments, hair, posture or gestures. However, there is little certainty about the clothes worn by men and women during the third millennium bce , and most of the time scholars have to decide empirically whether garments belong to men or women. Depictions of clothing also necessarily lead to questions related to the accuracy of the depictions and iconographic conventions: to what extent does the depiction portray reality or a social code through a motif? For example, the well-known garment called kaunakes raises many questions. Indeed, it is used from the end of the fourth millennium to the Akkadian period, and this iconographic continuity over several centuries leads one to wonder whether this depiction could correspond to an iconographic norm, a form of tradition specific to the iconography of the ancient Near East during the Early Bronze Age, rather than to reality (Breniquet 2016). Given all these doubts, one wonders if figures that have been interpreted as women are actually men disguised as women. To prove otherwise, as far as iconography is concerned, is impossible. To go even further, it would also be interesting to ask to what 163

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extent the questions related to gender are relevant for the periods under study in this chapter. In other words, could the depiction of bodies without any clear feminine or masculine attributes be evidence for the lack of importance given to gender, in contrast to function and identity, or rather to the importance given to garments that are better able to characterize the individuals depicted, whether they are men or women? In fact, here one is facing methodological issues that are difficult to resolve in the framework of the iconography of men and women during the Early Bronze Age in Mesopotamia, even more so with regard to the inlays of Mari, a very poorly preserved and badly damaged corpus of images.

12.2 The shell inlays of Mari The inlays were set on wooden panels that were destroyed in antiquity. Thus, only the inlays were found, mainly in the form of small fragments, thus preventing us from restoring the appearance or size of the original panels, the internal organization, the number of registers or the position of the fragments. All traces of the iconographic programme have disappeared, and it is no longer possible to consider these images as being part of complete scenes. They mainly depicted military scenes with soldiers and naked prisoners, some religious ceremonies including rituals such as sacrifices or animal offerings, and social ceremonies such as the banquet scene. Mari is not the only city that has produced such inlays, but it is the city that has provided the most important corpus, consisting of more than 700 fragments. The inlays were made out nacreous and non-nacreous shells, originating from the Persian Gulf and the Indus Delta. The acquisition of such materials is therefore part of a longdistance trade and exchange network whose main actors were the urban elites; this provides the first evidence for the social status of groups that were able to produce such objects. At Mari, the inlays were found in nine buildings, including seven temples (Couturaud 2019: 23–46). In fact, all the temples excavated at Mari had inlays in various numbers. Most of the fragments were found in the most sacred rooms of the sanctuaries, which could attest to a form of religious or votive practice. Inlays were also found in the palace, mainly in the Enceinte Sacrée and within administrative areas. Finally, fragments of inlays were found in an administrative building probably related to the high priest of the city, located in an area that could be the place where members of the clergy or people close to the king lived. Therefore, the panels were found in what may be considered prestigious buildings, which seems to indicate that they were not intended to be seen by the whole society, but by a relatively limited category of people belonging to the highest spheres, who were close to power. However, it must be made clear that these buildings correspond primarily to the places in which the objects were destroyed and then found by archaeologists, but they are not necessarily those in which they were constantly displayed. Since they were mobile panels, one can imagine that they were moved and perhaps meant to be displayed successively in several buildings. We currently have no reliable archaeological evidence for this, however. 164

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With regard to the dating of these figurative inlaid panels, it is believed that they appeared around 2500 bce and disappeared after the city was sacked by the Akkadians around 2300 bce since no inlays were found in the corresponding archaeological levels, which seems to indicate that production stopped at the time of the takeover by the Akkadians.

12.3 Headdresses Women are represented less often on the inlays than men. In addition, their depiction has fewer variants than men, whether in their garments, headdresses or postures. On the inlays of Mari, women always have their hair covered, either by a headdress called polos or by a turban – that is to say, a piece of cloth intended to cover the hair. Most often, it is depicted as an interlacing of thin strips covering the entire area of the hair, which probably corresponds to a long turban wrapped several times around the head (Fig. 12.1). This style of headdress is also depicted on some female statues from Mari (Fig. 12.2) and is very similar to that of the statues from the temple of Ishtar in Assur, for instance (Andrae 1922: pl. 34–37). Another way of covering the head with a turban is depicted in a much more complex way, although perhaps representing a simpler headdress than the previous one. The turban, probably of the same type as the preceding one but perhaps shorter, is placed on the top of the forehead, crossed or fastened at the back of the neck and then wrapped around the head once more up to the top with the remaining length of fabric (Fig. 12.1); again, some female statues from Mari help to illuminate the form of this headdress (Fig. 12.2). Represented in profile, it shows a part of the turban taking the shape of a comma or a U. On the statues, one can see a small button on the top of the head, sometimes depicted on the inlays. This depiction has given rise to many interpretations. For Parrot, it would be composed of natural hair: ‘[. . .] une coiffure compliquée qui rappelle un peu la ruche gaufrée et plissée de certaines coiffes monastiques’ (Parrot 1956: 90). According to him, there would only be a headband on the forehead; the rest

Figure 12.1 Examples of the two types of headdresses figured on the inlays of Mari (after Couturaud 2019). 165

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of the hairstyle would be made of hair arranged in a flat bun at the back of the head and lateral braids brought back on top. According to Spycket, this arrangement would also be made of hair, except in some more complex cases where false hair could have been used (Spycket 1954: 118–22). In any case, for both scholars, it is not a turban, mainly because the statues from the Diyala region are adorned with a strip pattern that clearly suggests, according to them, locks of hair; however, it could also be the depiction of the motif or the fabric of the turban. The use of wigs or hairpieces in general is not questioned here, but in the case of the inlays it seems very clear that women have their hair covered by a turban. The possibility that the turban could actually be made of a heavy woven material, that it could be maintained by strips, or that it could be decorated with pins, rings or decorative combs, such as those found in archaeological context in Ur, for instance, is not excluded (Woolley 1934: pl. 136, 137a, 144, 159a, among others ). The last headdress worn by women on the inlays of Mari is the polos, a word which originally refers to the cylindrical hat without edges worn by some Greek goddesses (Fig. 12.3). Presumably specific to the Middle Euphrates region since another copy has

Figure 12.2 Examples of the two headdresses from the statues of Mari (after Parrot 1956).

Figure 12.3 Inlays picturing women wearing a polos (after Couturaud 2019). 166

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been found in Terqa (Herzfeld 1914), it is also depicted on some feminine statues (Fig.  12.7). This headdress, probably made of lightweight materials, is composed of a high tiara, flared on the sides and held by a thick, wide headband passing over the forehead. Spycket believed the lower part consisted of a neck-band, in which the hair was hidden (Spycket 1954: 122–4). Did all Mari women, and Mesopotamian women more generally, wear a turban? Undoubtedly, such is the case with statues and in depictions on the inlays discovered at Mari. But one could not answer this question without wondering first what (and whom?) these figurations are supposed to depict and in what context they were displayed. Thus, the turban, if not worn every day by all women in Mari – which is plausible – could have been worn by some of them on certain occasions. They could also be depicted on the inlays as a visual symbol to express a social situation or a rank. Beyond social status or identity, the turban can also have purely practical aspects, such as protection against the sun or against dust. But trying to understand which types of reality correspond to these images would be pretending that we have enough representations of women in a known context or enough textual sources about their daily lives at this time to provide a decisive answer, which is not the case at the moment.

12.4 Clothing At Mari, women are never depicted bare-chested. The rare examples of naked women at Mari are interpreted as deities, such as the statuettes of the Treasure of Ur (Parrot 1968: pl. IV–VIII). On the inlays, in the current state of the discoveries, women mostly always wear a dress, fully covering the body and descending below the knees, sometimes longer at the back than at the front, and ending with a row of locks (Fig. 12.3). It is not known what the upper part looks like since all women wear a shawl on the shoulders whose sides, fringed on the edge, are closed on the chest by one or two pins. This outfit, composed of a dress and a shawl closed by pins, is never completely depicted on other artefacts, although two other examples, also found at Mari, could depict this outfit with fewer details than on the inlays. The first is a statue discovered in the temple of Ninhursag, depicting a headless, seated woman, with her hands on her chest (Fig. 12.4, Parrot 1940: pl. VIII). She seems to be wearing a fringed shawl over her shoulders. By contrast, the dress does not end with locks and the pins are not depicted, although it should be noted that the upper part of the statue is missing and that the position of the hands clasped on the chest might hide this ornament. The second example comes from a seal impression depicting a banquet scene, discovered in an administrative area located between the palace and the Massif Rouge (Fig. 12.5, Beyer 2007: 181–4; Colonna d’Istria 2019). A cartouche, unfortunately poorly preserved, indicates that a wife of the king owned the original seal. The lower register shows two individuals wearing a garment that could be the fringed shawl. Here again, the pins are not represented but the small size of the object and the stylized imagery do not necessarily allow the depiction of the pins. In any case, this distinction between 167

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Figure 12.4 Headless statue from Mari wearing a shawl on the shoulders (after Parrot 1940).

Figure 12.5 Women wearing a shawl on an imprint (after Colonna d’Istria 2009).


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Figure 12.6 Inlays picturing a possible feminine garment (after Couturaud 2019).

clothes according to the objects on which they are depicted can reveal two things: either it is another category of women or it is the same, but the nature of the object imposes a different mode of representation. Another outfit is attested on four inlays but only the upper part is preserved. It is therefore impossible to know what the bottom part of the garment looks like (Fig. 12.6). It could be described as a piece of fabric running diagonally across the chest, fully covering one shoulder and one arm but leaving the other naked. On two inlays, it clearly shows that the garment falls to the level of the waist and covers only the upper body; like the fringed shawl, this outfit therefore requires another garment underneath, which could be a dress or a skirt. Otherwise, the garment falls to the feet, and could then correspond to the so-called ‘robe-kaunakes’ (Parrot 1956: 93) also attested on statues (Parrot 1956, 1967: 96–8), wrapped around the body and presenting a sort of armhole at the front from which the covered arm emerges. Unfortunately, the two fragments of inlays are not well-preserved enough to make certain it is the same garment. This differentiation between the garments illustrated and the objects bearing the images could exist. Similarly, it should be remembered that the depiction of women wearing polos is not the same on both statues and inlays, as those depicted on statues wear a cloak and no pins (Fig. 12.7). Still, it is necessary to note that on the inlays, as on the statues, the covered arm is always the left one, whatever their profile. This detail is also found in the Sumerian literature which mentions that women wear their clothes on the left side (Stol 1995: 124). This point is interesting because it tends to prove that this detail is not a coincidence but reflects reality.


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Figure 12.7 Women wearing a polos on statues of Mari (after Parrot 1967 and Parrot 1935).

12.5 Pins and adornments The pin closing the fringed shawl always has a hole that allows the suspension of a small string of amulets or beads, the last of which is systematically depicted as rectangular, and probably represents a cylinder seal (Amiet 1983: 89). The pins are of three types. The most frequently represented example is a straight pin, used in a crossed pair to close the shawl. The head of the pin is represented flat, but it could be the type of straight pin with a convex head (Nicolini 2010: 324, for instance), known and perhaps created at Mari (Nicolini 2010: 319). Unlike archaeological examples in which the hole is located just under the head, the depictions on the inlays show that the string is hanging from a hole that would be in the middle of the pin. The second type corresponds to the straight round-headed pin, here used alone horizontally in the garment (Nicolini 2010: 326, for instance). Archaeological examples of this type were found in graves at Mari, associated with cylinder seals (Jean-Marie 1999: pl. 30, 231, among others). They measure about ten to twenty centimetres and were located around the chest of the individuals, thus 170

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confirming the function depicted on the inlays, namely the closing of a garment worn on the chest (Jean-Marie 1999: pl. 21, 242). Many beads were associated with them. The last type corresponds to a curved pin with a lenticular head, used alone here too. The archaeological evidence tends to show that this model would be more typical of northern Mesopotamia (Quenet 2008: 249–50), although some examples were found at Ur (Woolley 1934: pl. 231). One interesting point is that the size of the pins is deliberately exaggerated on the images in order to emphasize them visually. These pins, found most often in funerary contexts, measure generally between 15 and 25 cm; the examples from the so-called Treasure of Ur measure between 12 and 21 cm (Parrot 1968: 25–7). Considering an average height of 1.60m for women and assuming that these representations are faithful to a real scale, proportionally, these pins would measure between 30 and 40 cm, which seems far too long. Hence, the size of the pins is deliberately exaggerated. On the inlays, the pins are usually pierced in order to hang a string of amulets or beads, ending with a cylinder seal. It is interesting to note that each type of pin has a specific arrangement of beads and amulets suspended on a string: ●

straight pins with a convex head have a string consisting of three diamondshaped beads, a ring, and a cylinder seal;

straight round-headed pins have a string of two diamond-shaped beads, then a cylinder seal;

finally, curved pins with a lenticular head have strings consisting of one diamond-shaped bead, a round one, and a cylinder seal.

This abundance of representations and the particular association between a specific type of pin and the string of beads most likely reflects reality and means that these images probably act as visual dress codes and signs of distinction. Archaeological discoveries attest to the existence of these strings, either by the presence of beads or by the conservation of a small ring in the hole of the pin (Woolley 1934: pl. 231; Jean-Marie 1999: pl. 138). In this regard, it should be noted that associated with the pins of the Treasure of Ur were beads, about which Parrot himself noted that they were too few to be part of a collar (Parrot 1968: 27–8); it could be one or two strings of beads associated with the pins (Couturaud 2017). It is even more interesting to draw a parallel between these types of ornaments and texts in the Ebla archives mentioning particular clothes, zara6, exclusively reserved for the wives of the king, the women of the court, or the wives of dignitaries (Biga 1987, 1991: 291, 299, 301; Archi 1996); these always have ‘silver pendants’ (Biga 1987: 42), bu-di (Biga 1991: 291), perhaps brooches or pins, to fasten them. It is then very tempting to see here the ensemble of a pin and a string of pearls shown on the inlays of Mari. Biga reached the same hypothesis, seeing pins as the means to fasten garments on the shoulder (Biga 1987: 42; Michel’s Chapter 13 in this volume). Other ornaments are attested on the inlays of Mari. Indeed, even if the ear is never represented because it is often hidden by the turban, all women wear an earring consisting of a thick ring. Only one wears a necklace, adorned with a pattern of inverted triangles 171

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(Fig. 12.1). Typical of this era and period, this kind of necklace, called a dog collar or a neck choker, is most notably known from the tomb of Queen Puabi, buried in the cemetery of Ur (Woolley 1934: pl. 145). On the inlays, these jewels are only worn by women, but it is known from archaeological excavations that men could also wear them (Woolley 1934). It should also be noted that several clothing accessories and other ornaments archaeologically attested are never represented in the corpus: headbands, wrist or ankle bracelets, nose rings or decorative belts (Woolley 1934).

12.6 Function and identity? From the depiction of women on the inlays of Mari, many questions can be asked with regard to the depiction of men and women in general: does the difference in dress between women depicted on inlays and on statues mean that they are not the same women? Or does the nature of the object on which we find the iconography impose a different mode of depiction? This obviously raises the question of fidelity to the model and whether the depiction of individuals has any basis in reality. It is indeed difficult to understand to what extent a depiction is a faithful reproduction and the mirror of a meaningful reality, or conversely a simplified iconographic version. This difference between reality and its depiction on an object or in a scene is obviously one of the aspects of imagery that is most difficult to explain. Moreover, comparison with other depictions does not always provide an answer since, depending on the object or its geographical origin, the imagery can be very different or very similar. The question also arises as to the initiative of the craftsman and his ability to depict. Indeed, were the least commonly depicted outfits worn the least and, conversely, the most commonly depicted worn the most? Or does it simply depend on the ability of the craftsman to depict a type of clothing on a certain type of object? The question of the object itself is also important: a large one allows much more varied and richer details to be portrayed. For instance, pins seem to be important accessories that play the role of obvious visual markers for women, but how can we explain the fact that they appear on inlays and not on statues or cylinder seals? Does it have something to do with the size of the object decorated? Or does it simply mean that the pins are used by certain women that are not depicted here? This would imply that there are privileged objects, depending on the individuals or scenes that are depicted. How, then, can we identify these women? With regard to women wearing the polos, they have often been interpreted as priestesses. For Parrot, these women were goddesses whose polos was a form of horned helmet (Parrot 1935: 28, 1945: 101), a theory that he later refuted (Parrot 1979: 116–17); he then interpreted them as queens (Parrot 1956: 90). For Spycket, they were indeed goddesses (Spycket 1968). Later, still at Mari, certain individuals, men and women, interpreted as deities or kings, wear a form of polos (Weygand 2007). Would this headdress then be a distinctive sign for a specific status? Without doubt, the women wearing the polos are clearly distinguished from those wearing a turban, and it is quite tempting to lean towards the interpretation of such 172

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figures as priestesses or women belonging to the royal family. Moreover, the two are not incompatible: besides Enheduanna, two other daughters of Naram-Sin, Shumshani and ME-KIB-BAR, were also priestesses (Parrot 1955: pl. XVI); at Ebla, priestesses were also chosen from among the daughters and sisters of the king (Archi 2002: 7). Understanding the status of the priests during the Early Bronze Age before the arrival of the Akkadian dynasty clearly is still complicated. The term ‘priest’, if it generally qualifies individuals working on various temple activities, is subject to many interpretations, since it probably brings together different functions, certainly honorific, concerning both the administrative management of the temple and the clergy (Postgate 1992: 124–8). With regard to priestesses more specifically, textual and iconographic documentation are more limited. The most famous priestess is Enheduanna, daughter of Sargon of Akkad, dedicated to the service of the god Sin in the city of Ur (Winter 1987). With regard to women wearing polos, apart from their headdress, they are dressed like the other women pictured on the inlays: they wear a long dress and a fringed shawl on the shoulders, closed on the chest by two straight pins with flat heads, to which a string of beads is attached. Interestingly, only the women wearing polos wear these types of pins, used in pairs and arranged in a cross on the chest. This very specific feature, combined with the polos, could express a social marker, and the deliberate exaggeration of their size would purposely attract the eye and therefore highlight their particular status. If this is the case, then the association of the polos and the two straight pins is not a coincidence. Three other inlays show women appearing in a weaving scene (Fig. 12.8). The three inlays were found together, connected by bitumen, and are the only vestige among the corpus from Mari of three individuals side by side (Parrot 1962: 167). Two of them are sitting on a small low stool. Their arms are stretched forward; the left hand is closed, placed on the top, and the right hand, open lower, is sliding something. The third woman, meanwhile, is standing and is holding a spindle with both hands. The two seated women are both wearing a turban showing several strips, and the standing woman is wearing a turban in the other manner. All three wear the long dress covered on the chest by the fringed shawl closed by a single straight round-headed pin, placed horizontally. It is interesting to note that the three unique attestations of this type of pin, used alone each time, are illustrated on these three inlays; it could be, as is the case with the women wearing polos, that the straight pin used alone is a distinctive sign linked to the activity or the status of the women represented. The scene pictured here is the moment where the woollen threads are removed from the spindle in order to be dyed and then stored (Breniquet 2008: 292–3). In order to prevent them from tangling, the threads can be wound around the arms of another person. This activity therefore requires two individuals. On the inlays, only three women are represented; two are seated and a third one is standing up. It is therefore very likely that a fourth woman, standing, would complete the whole scene. Texts indicate that weaving is an important economic and artisanal activity (Jacobsen 1970; Breniquet 2008; Nosch, Koefoed and Andersson-Strand 2013; Breniquet and Michel 2014). Nevertheless, they provide less information about textiles and their manufacturing than about specific woven garments in the workshops of the temples or 173

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Figure 12.8 Inlays depicting women in a weaving scene (after Couturaud 2019).

palaces. In general, weaving and dyeing seem to be exclusively feminine activities (Biga 1991: 301; Stol 1995: 137; Breniquet 2008: 221–341); the archives of Ebla, more particularly, contemporaneous with the inlays of Mari, show that the king’s wives were traditionally involved in these activities and that weaving and dyeing seemed to be female occupations. The later Lagash archives, for example, show that during the Ur III period this practice was still predominantly female (Jacobsen 1970). With regard to iconographic examples, activities related to weaving are more often represented on cylinder seals than on other objects such as perforated plaques or steles (Breniquet 2008). More specifically, the scene shown on the inlays of Mari is the only depiction of this peculiar moment (Breniquet 2008: 322). The exceptionality of this scene could suggest that it was perhaps intended not to illustrate the craft activity but rather the women belonging to the higher spheres of society, close to the king or his entourage. For Breniquet, women related to weaving activities are socially important, because they are shown in a symbolic activity (Breniquet 2008: 329). Other hypotheses have been suggested: Margueron interpreted them as priestesses (Cluzan, Delpont and Moulierac 1993: 129); Beyer as women of the ‘harem’ (Beyer in Amiet 1983: 85); and Breniquet as women offered to the temples, involved in the production of artefacts with highly sacred value (Breniquet 2008: 329–30; Gelb 1972). Finally, we need to note the findspot of most of the inlays depicting women. It corresponds to an area located east of the palace, around the Massif Rouge, an area that could have had both administrative and religious functions (Margueron 2007). Inside this area, one building in particular contained several fragments of at least one panel, among which are the three women weaving. Considering the archaeological evidence, it seems that this area was related to the management of the city and could be the place of work or the living quarters of priests or relatives of the king, specifically women, since imprints of cylinder seals belonging to women who were closely connected to the king and his entourage were found here (Beyer 2007). 174

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All this evidence points to the fact that the women depicted are related to high palatial society. It is necessary, however, to be cautious while asserting that women depicted on Mesopotamian images are necessarily priestesses, queens or divinities, implying that only such a status would justify representing them. The archives of Ebla are a source of information on the women of the royal entourage and show the complexity of this group (Biga 1987, 1991; Archi 1996). However, if these scenes on inlays are meant to emphasize a gender, in this case women, one should not forget that – perhaps above all – they also play a role in the valorization of a social class: ‘Ideally, it would be preferable not to segregate gender issues from matters of state ideology on the whole, since they are both related to issues of power and are both inherent parts of a culture’s total ideological complex’ (Marcus 1995: 2498). Indeed, these women, far from being relegated to a lower rank, had significance as a wife, mother or sister of the king and were often distinguished by important activities that gave them quite a dominant place in society (Biga 1987, 1991). It could explain why, with regard to the weaving scene, it is not the whole chain of clothing production which is depicted but only one stage, illustrated several times, as though, above all others, it had a particular significance. The purpose here is probably to depict important women rather than this specific weaving activity – women belonging to high society, potentially palatial, close to the king or his entourage. This goes along with the fact that the inlays are made of a rare and therefore precious material, and that these images were displayed in prestigious buildings linked to the urban elites of Mari. There are thus several pieces of evidence that make it possible to better understand these images and these objects. The study of dress codes on diverse objects is essential for the knowledge of ancient societies. But it must be considered in a contextualized and comparative way. An iconographic analysis extended to the other examples of images and depictions from the same period can provide new perspectives. Concerning the inlays, it is evident here that a dress code exists, but one may wonder to what extent the clothes depicted reflect a form of reality, reveal an identity or indicate a status, whether it is ethnic, social or ‘professional’. Texts have, of course, much to add to the debate, and the archaeological context also has to be carefully examined in order to understand to whom those images are addressed and, consequently, what aspect of the society they reflect.

References Amiet, P., ed. (1983), Au pays de Baal et d’Astarté, 10,000 ans d’art en Syrie, Paris: Association française d’action artistique. Andrae, W. (1922), Die archaischen Ischtar-Tempel in Assur, Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichung der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 39, Leipzig: J. C. Hinrichs. Archi, A. (1996), ‘Les femmes du roi Irkab-Damu’, in J.-M. Durand ed., Mari, Ebla et les Hourrites. Dix ans de travaux, 101–24, Amurru 1–2, Paris: Recherche sur les civilisations. Archi, A. (2002), ‘Women in the Society of Ebla’, in S. Parpola and R. M. Whiting (eds), Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, 1–9, Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Beyer, D. (2007), ‘Les sceaux de Mari au IIIe millénaire, observations sur la documentation ancienne et les données nouvelles des Villes I et II’, Akh Purattim, 1: 175–204. 175

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Biga, M. G. (1987), ‘Femmes de la famille royale d’Ebla’, in J.-M. Durand (ed.), La femme dans le Proche-Orient antique, compte rendu de la XXXIIIe Rencontre assyriologique internationale, Paris, 7–10 juillet 1986, 41–7, Paris: Recherche sur les civilisations. Biga, M. G. (1991), ‘Donne alla corte di Ebla’, Memoria di Ebla, La parola del passato, rivista di studi classici, 46: 285–303. Breniquet, C. (2008), Essai sur le tissage en Mésopotamie, des premières communautés sédentaires au milieu du IIIe millénaire avant J.-C., Travaux de la Maison René-Ginouvès 5, Paris: De Boccard. Breniquet, C. (2016), ‘Que savons-nous exactement du kaunakès mésopotamien?’, Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale, 110: 1–22. Breniquet, C. and C. Michel (2014), Wool Economy in the Ancient Near East and the Aegean: From the Beginnings of Sheep Husbandry to Institutional Textile Industry, Ancient Textiles Series 17, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Cluzan, S., E. Delpont and J. Moulierac, eds, (1993), Syrie, mémoire et civilisation, Institut du monde arabe, Paris: Flammarion. Colonna d’Istria, L. (2019), ‘Remarques iconographiques et épigraphiques concernant des empreintes de sceaux-cylindres inscrits de Mari – Ville II’, in P. Abrahami and L. Battini (eds), Par la bêche et le stylet! Cultures et sociétés syro-mésopotamiennes Mélanges offerts à Olivier Rouault, 5–22, Oxford: Archaeopress. Couturaud, B. (2017), ‘Of Pins and Beads: Note on a Feminine Costume in Mari’, Ash-Sharq. Bulletin of the Ancient Near East, Archaeological, Historical and Societal Studies, 1: 62–8. Couturaud, B, (2019), Les incrustations en coquille de Mari, Subartu 40, Turnhout: Brepols. Gelb, I. J. (1972), ‘The Arua Institution’, Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale, 66: 1–32. Herzfeld, E. (1914), ‘Hana et Mari’, Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale, 11: 131–9. Jacobsen, T. (1970), ‘On the Textile Industry at Ur under Ibbi-Sin’, in W. L. Moran (ed.), Toward the Image of Tammuz and Other Essays on Mesopotamian History and Culture, Harvard Semitic Series 21, 216–30, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Jean-Marie, M. (1999), Tombes et nécropoles de Mari, Mission Archéologique de Mari 5, Beyrouth: Institut français d’archéologie du Proche-Orient. Marcus, M. I. (1995), ‘Art and Ideology in Ancient Western Asia’, in J. M. Sasson (ed.), Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, vol. IV, 2487–506, New York: Scribner. Margueron, J.-C. (2007), ‘Un centre administratif religieux dans l’espace urbain à Mari et à Khafadjé (fin DA et Agadé)’, Akh Purratim, 2: 245–77. Nicolini, G. (2010), Les ors de Mari, Beyrouth: Institut français d’archéologie du Proche-Orient. Nosch, M.-L., H. Koefoed and E. B. Andersson-Strand, eds (2013), Textile Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East: Archaeology, Epigraphy, Iconography, Ancient Textiles Series 12, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Parrot, A. (1935), ‘Les fouilles de Mari, première campagne (hiver 1933–1934). Rapport préliminaire’, Syria, 16: 1–28, 117–40. Parrot, A. (1940), ‘Les fouilles de Mari, sixième campagne (automne 1938)’, Syria, 21: 1–28. Parrot, A. (1945), Mari, une ville perdue, Paris: Je sers. Parrot, A. (1955), ‘Les fouilles de Mari, dixième campagne (automne 1954)’, Syria, 32: 185–211. Parrot, A. (1956), Le temple d’Ishtar, Paris: Geuthner. Parrot, A. (1962), ‘Les fouilles de Mari, douzième campagne (automne 1961)’, Syria 39: 151–79. Parrot, A. (1967), Les temples d’Ishtarat et de Ninni-Zaza, Missions archéologiques de Mari 3, Paris: Geuthner. Parrot, A. (1968), Le Trésor d’Ur, Missions archéologiques de Mari 4, Paris: Geuthner. Parrot, A. (1979), L’aventure archéologique, Paris: Laffont. Postgate, J. N. (1992), Early Mesopotamia, Society and Economy at the Dawn of History, London: Routledge. 176

Mari During the Early Bronze Age Quenet, P. (2008), Les échanges du nord de la Mésopotamie avec ses voisins proche-orientaux au IIIe millénaire (ca. 3100–2300 av. J.-C.), Subartu 22, Turnhout: Brepols. Spycket, A. (1954), ‘La coiffure féminine en Mésopotamie, des origines à la Ire dynastie de Babylone’, Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale, 48: 113–29, 169–77. Spycket, A. (1968), Les statues de culte dans les textes mésopotamiens, des origines à la Ire dynastie de Babylone, Cahiers de la Revue Biblique 9, Paris: J. Gabalda. Stol, M. (1995), ‘Women in Mesopotamia’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, 38: 123–44. Weygand, I. (2007), ‘Les terres cuites de Mari, directions de recherches ‘, Akh Purratim, 1: 269–78. Winter, I. J. (1987), ‘Women in Public: The Disk of Enheduanna, the Beginning of the Office of En-Priestess, and the Weight of the Visual Evidence’, in J.-M. Durand (ed.), La femme dans le Proche-Orient antique, compte rendu de la XXXIIIe Rencontre assyriologique internationale, Paris, 7–10 juillet 1986, 189–201, Paris: Recherches sur les Civilisations. Woolley, L. (1934), Ur Excavations, vol. II: the Royal Cemetery, New York: Carnegie Corporation.




Dress, besides its evident practical use, is viewed, since the seminal reflections of Roland Barthes (1957), as a language of the body which carries various aspects of personal identity. He suggested that scholars should analyse ‘the tendency of any body coverage to be part of a formal organised, normative system established by society’ (Barthes 1957: 433–4).1 Moreover, dress has a dynamic role which modifies the body and participates in the construction of identity, may it be social, cultural or linked to gender (Cifarelli and Gawlinski 2017: ix–xvi). In early Mesopotamia, woven garments are attested in the archaic texts of Uruk (Fig. 13.1, late fourth millennium bce ) and are depicted on statuary and reliefs, as for example on the Uruk vase. In all instances, clothes dress dignitaries, kings and priests, goddess or priestesses, while the servants (the men who bring the offerings) appear naked (Breniquet 2013: 10). Thus, initially, garments were linked to social status. In Akkadian Literature, clothes are also described for their cultural identity and social function. In the Epic of Gilgameš, Šamhat, the harlot, takes off her clothes to seduce Enkidu, and Enkidu himself is integrated in the civilized world by eating bread, drinking beer, wearing a garment and having a sexual encounter with the prostitute (Bahrani 2001: 51; Georges 2018). As Anne Caroline Rendu Loisel reminds us, ‘whether they are women, men, gods or goddesses, individuals use their clothes in a kind of rhetorical language to express their own identity and social rank’ (Rendu Loisel in press). The terminology of garments is abundant; in addition to social and gender distinctions, it highlights varieties of materials, weaving techniques and regional peculiarities. The iconography, often subject to conventions in representations, gives an idea of the shape of clothing at different times. However, the two corpuses, texts and images, do not necessarily match as they do not speak the same language (Harlow and Michel in press). During the third millennium and the first half of the second millennium bce , the forms of clothing were rather simple in the Near East, consisting primarily of tunics and wrap-around garments for both men and women. According to textual documentation, ready-to-wear garments seem to appear at the beginning of the second millennium at Mari, where the royal archives give evidence of clothes often reserved for the king and its court, with the addition of pockets, sleeves and embroidery (Durand 2009). At the same time, however, contemporary private archives belonging to Assyrian merchants mainly deal with various pieces of fabric which are ungendered (Michel and Veenhof 2010). 179

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Figure 13.1 The Uruk vase and its restitution, c. 3000 bce , The Iraq Museum in Baghdad. Creative commons image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Warka_Vase1.jpg.

Cuneiform texts, thus, do not make clear gender distinctions concerning the clothes worn by men and women. However, the iconography suggests that men and women were arranging their garments around their body in different manners. Using literary texts, administrative and private archives as well as visual representations dating to the second half of the third millennium and first half of the second millennium bce , this chapter aims to identify elements of Mesopotamian costume that are genderdistinctive. Evocations of cross-dressing will be explored in order to determine whether elements of clothing may be linked more specifically to one gender or the other. The most representative elements of femininity and of masculinity, toggle pins and belts respectively, will then be analysed in order to understand their symbolic meaning beyond being linked to one gender or the other.

13.1 Dressed like a man, dressed like a woman Contemporaneous literary texts do make a distinction between male and female clothes, suggesting that when meeting someone it was important to have no doubt concerning this person’s gender. When a woman was dressed as ‘masculine’ or a man as ‘effeminate’, they were considered as marginal and unable to act in the appropriate cultural and 180

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gendered ways. Sumerian and Akkadian compositions linked to the cult of the goddess Inana/Ištar deal with cross-dressing and cross-gender activities. For example, a Sumerian hymn to Inana for king Išme-Dagan (Hymn K), which dates to the eighteenth century bce , states that the goddess had the power to change men into women and vice versa:2 ‘Inana was entrusted by Enlil and Ninlil with the capacity to (. . .) to turn a man into a woman and a woman into a man, to change one into the other, to make young women dress as men on their right side, to make young men dress as women on their left side.’ Representations of the third and early second millennia bce are not so systematic; if this lateralization of the clothing matches with some iconographic corpuses concerning women (Parrot 1981: nos 139, 143, 228; Couturaud’s Chapter 12 in this volume), it is not consistent: women and men may have both their right shoulder uncovered (Couturaud 2019: no. 192 for a woman, nos 335–6, 354 for men; see also Parrot 1981: nos 240, 248), or women have, in many cases, both of their shoulders covered by a shawl. The twentysecond-century bce statue of a princess named la ‘femme à l’écharpe’ preserved in the Louvre Museum represents a very fine example (Spycket 1981: pl. 136a–b; see also Parrot 1981: nos 225, 232).3 An Akkadian hymn to Ištar, known by a copy of the late Old Babylonian period or early Middle Babylonian period, gives more details: The (usual) behaviour is turned up-side-down (. . .) You make men obey (the rules of) garments (and) wigs. At night, the women are touched. They are untidy regarding the hair-locks. (. . .) Verily the woman, like a man, her dress is untidy. (. . .) The men are endowed with combs like a woman. Their cloth is multicoloured. Their (head) is covered with multi-coloured (cloths). Streck and Wasserman 2018: 6, col. ii 1, 3–4, 11, 19–20 The men are thus endowed with specific female attributes and vice versa, women receive male specific attributes and their dress is untidy. If we limit these attributes to clothes, female garments include hairpins, multi-coloured cloth and multi-coloured headgear; no specific clothes are mentioned linked to men, but by contrast we can imagine that they wear unicolor or white garments (as in the text studied by Abrahami and Lion in Chapter 2 of this volume). Female headgear, in the context of cross-dressing, is also attested in the Hittite ‘Oath of the first soldier’. In this text, any soldier who breaks the oath is threatened with ridicule by being turned into a woman. This transformation involves among other things, clothing: ‘He who transgresses these oaths and takes part in evil against the king, queen and princess may these oath deities make (that) man (into) a woman. May they make his troops women. Let them dress them as women. Let them put a headscarf on them’ (Collins 1997: 1. 66). The text mentions the dresses of a woman without any specification about their shape, material, technique, size or colour. The only specificity of the women’s clothes here is a ‘headscarf.’ A question that has been the subject of much debate concerns what women wore or did not wear on their heads. 181

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Several second millennium texts mention that some women wore a headscarf in certain circumstances.4 In the nineteenth-century bce Old Assyrian sources, during the marriage ceremony, the bride’s head was covered by her father or a male relative, apparently so that the groom could uncover her: As to my bad niece whom they brought here at my written request, I will also clear away her additional affair and I will do my best so that there will be no disputes behind my back. I am waiting for Lalia, and at the arrival of Lalia, I will place the scarf over the head of the girl and (then) I will undertake my journey. Michel 2020: no. 16 In this letter, the bride is married off by her uncle who intends to cover her head with a scarf during the marriage ceremony. This short rite, consisting of ‘placing the headscarf over the girl’s head’, presumably symbolized the woman’s change of status; it need not imply that every married woman, at the beginning of the second millennium bce , had to wear a headscarf daily. This symbolic act is referred to by the author of the nineteenthcentury bce Old Assyrian Sargon Legend when the king explains that he covered the heads of the people of Alašiya, the modern island of Cyprus, ‘like if they were women’ (Kt j/k 97: 53–55, Günbattı 1997; Tanaka 2014: 148; Kouwenberg 2015: 166). The same tradition is attested by the eighteenth-century bce Mari royal archives. During the marriage of king Zimrī-Lîm with the princess Šibtu from Yamhad, an emissary came to negotiate the project with the bride’s family (Durand 1998: 95–117; Sasson 2015: 107–10). When both families agreed, the servant gave the gifts from the bridegroom’s family and the bride received a headscarf. According to the fourteenth-century bce Middle Assyrian Laws (§40) married women covered their heads, as well as unmarried women of good family. This custom was not only a gender marker, but also an external symbol for women marking their place in society. Indeed, prostitutes and slave women had to be bare headed: they were not allowed to cover their heads. If they did so, they were punished because they usurped a status that was not theirs (Roth 1996: 167–9). Women’s representation from the third and second millennia bce – which in general concerns those belonging to the elite and to the religious sphere – show quite a variety of ways to arrange the hair and to cover or not cover the head. A more general question concerns the wardrobe of men and women. Are they completely different or do they present some similarities? Various incursions in corpuses of texts from the first half of the second millennium, as tailored textiles were not yet common, suggest that ordinary men and women wore the same type of fabric (Durand 2009: 12–14). Texts distinguish clothes for children because of the smaller size (Michel and Veenhof 2010: 241–2, 267). Only shoes seem to have been quite systematically gender-distinctive, presumably because of the different sizes of male and female feet.


Belts and Pins in Mesopotamia

13.2 Pins for women Even if they used the same type of rectangular fabric – not taking into account the colours which are rarely specified in the analysed corpus – men and women could wrap it around their body in different fashions. To hold or fix the garment, they used accessories, and these seem to be different according to the gender of the dressed person. Some representations and written sources from the third and second millennia show that women were using long metal toggle pins to fix their clothes around their body. As H. Klein, who identified the Akkadian word tudittum, had already observed: ‘toggle pins were exclusively attached to the clothing of female persons (. . .) they did not belong to the male costume’ (Klein 1983: 280). The way women used to wear these pins is exceptionally well represented on inlays found at Mari and dating to the middle of the third millennium bce (Couturaud 2019, 58–9, and in Chapter 12 of this volume). The three types of pins represented – short and straight worn by pairs (Fig.  13.2a), curved (Fig.  13.2b), long with a visible head (Fig. 13.2c) – correspond to those found in excavations. Barbara Couturaud has noted that the size of the pins represented on the female costumes of Mari inlays are exaggerated perhaps to visually emphasize their importance (Couturaud 2019: 58, and Chapter 12 in this volume). According to her estimations, they would reach 30 to 40 cm, while those found in excavations measure between 15 and 25 cm. The huge size of the pins represented on the Mari shell mosaics echoes those found in early Iron Age burials of women at Hasanlu (Iran): sixteen long pins measuring up to 37 cm in length were found on the bodies of eight women (Cifarelli 2017: 110). Megan Cifarelli has suggested

Figures 13.2a–c Mari mosaics from the middle of the third millennium bce presenting the three types of toggle pins and the different ways to wear them. After Couturaud (2019): nos 522, 566 and 567, with the kind permission of the author.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity

that, ‘Elite women consciously embraced the wearing of dress ornaments that served as visual amplification of the closure of their garments, and the unassailability of their persons, a strategy that might have offered them protection from physical injury’ (Cifarelli 2017: 115). In the Old Assyrian texts, smaller toggle pins are regularly offered to women, sometimes young women at the occasion of their marriage, as in the following text: ‘a pin of 13 shekels (105g) of silver for our daughter-in-law’ (TC 3, 202: 15–16).5 Such pins, clearly used to close the female garment, are also linked to some divorce procedures. When the divorce was pronounced to the detriment of the woman, she had to remove the pin holding her garment and leave her husband’s house ‘naked’: ‘PuzurŠamaš married Hašušarnika as amtum-wife. If Puzur-Šamaš breaks the contract and divorces her, he shall pay 1 mina of silver. If Hašušarnika commits a misdeed, she shall leave (the house) drawing out the toggle pin (of her cloth)’ (Michel 2020: no. 32). The symbolic gesture of taking out the toggle pin of the female cloth, which could be done either by the woman or her husband, meant that she abandoned all her possessions to him while leaving the house (Michel 2020: no. 31).6 It confirms that these pins were linked to femininity and represented the most important element of the woman’s clothes. And in fact, in the Old Assyrian Sargon Legend, the king, as he wanted to ridicule his enemies by treating them like women, gave toggle pins to some of them: ‘He provided the Luhmians with a toggle pin’ (Kt j/k 97: 61–2; Kouwenberg 2015, 2017: 87, n. 25). Toggle pins are also found in the assets of a woman to be divided according to her will, together with metal cups, silver, loan contracts, textiles and slaves; the toggle pins are for her daughter (Michel 2020: no. 61; Figs 13.3a–b and Plates 3 and 4).7 Archaeological discoveries at Kültepe show that such pins, from 6 to 16.5 cm, often made of precious metal, gold, silver or iron, could have a decorated head including semiprecious stones such as lapis lazuli or agate (Fig. 13.2; Kulakoğlu and Kangal 2010: 306– 11; Michel forthcoming). In the royal archives of Mari, they are often mentioned by two or a multiple of two, which suggests that they were worn in pairs, and beads or a cylinder seal could be attached to them (Arkhipov 2012: 101–2). Their weight ranged from 2 to 15 shekels in silver or gold, and from 3 shekels to more than a mina in iron; these last data would match with the extremely long – and thus heavy – pins mentioned above.8 M. Iamoni (2012), observing the numerous toggle pins found in Syrian excavations, suggested that their use was a response to fashion and it played a role in the selection of garments. In literary texts, toggle pins are worn by goddesses to fix their clothes, as for example in the Inana/Ištar’s Descent to the Netherworld, known in both Sumerian and Akkadian versions. Before going to the Netherworld, the goddess dressed herself with garments and jewels representing all her powers. But following the orders of her sister the Queen of the Netherworld, the gatekeeper explained to her that she could enter but first had to remove a piece of her clothing for each of the seven doors she passes through. When entering the fourth door, she had to take off the garment pins over her breast (Foster 2005: 500, l. 51). We can imagine that at the same time her garment fell down. When she arrived in front of her sister, she was naked and had lost all her powers. 184

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Figures 13.3a–b a) Gold and b) silver toggle pins from Kültepe. Ankara Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi. Photo: C. Michel, © Kültepe Archaeological Mission.

13.3 Belts for men If women used to attach their clothes with the help of toggle pins, what were men using to fix their garment around their body? Both textual and iconographic evidence suggest that the main accessory of men was the belt. In the Gilgameš Epic, the hero ‘wrapped himself in cloaks, tied with a sash’ used as a belt (Gilgameš VI: 4; George 2003: 619). This belt was also very useful for holding the dagger or another weapon, symbols of power. Indeed, the hero invoking an image of his friend Enkidu as his most treasured possession, a trusty weapon, declared: ‘The axe at my side, in which my arm trusted, the sword of my 185

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belt, the shield in front of me’ (Gilgameš VIII: 46–7; George 2003: 655). So, the belt was not only an attribute of masculinity in ancient Mesopotamia, but it also represented power. This is also suggested by the Old Assyrian Sargon Legend when the king recounts his exploits: ‘I saw a gazelle and threw a mud brick into the river, but while I was running my belt broke, so I put a snake in its place. I ran and caught the gazelle and picked up the mud brick from the water’ (Kt j/k 97: 13–18, Dercksen 2005). Sargon is seen here as a kind of superman, running very fast. While running, he was able to catch a gazelle and retrieve a mud brick from the river before it got dissolved; this looks like a triathlon competition with running, brick throwing (and retrieving) and diving. Sargon uses a snake as an item of dress, moreover as a belt, a symbol of masculinity, thus his identification as a superman who dominates the wilderness is highlighted (Tanaka 2014: 142–5). The importance of the belt as element of masculinity is corroborated by some representations of men throughout Mesopotamian iconography: the belt of men may be highlighted or drawn with great attention.9 First-millennium reliefs and statues show men carrying their dagger hanging at their belt (Fig. 13.4).

Figure 13.4 Statue of Darius the Great dating between 495 and 486 bce , Susa. National Museum of Iran, Teheran. Creative commons image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:31739Tehran_(8012461439).jpg?uselang=fr. 186

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Figure 13.5 Belted nude hero on a marble cylinder seal from Tello, period of Akkade, middle of the third millennium bce (MNB1344). Photo M. Esline, with the kind permission of the Louvre.

Moreover, Z. Bahrani noted that representation of nude heroes in scenes of wrestling or mock combat were often wearing only belts (Bahrani 2001: 57–8); these could once more be seen as a symbol of power and masculinity (Fig. 13.5 and Plate 5). Outside literary texts and iconography, the belt appears as one of the most important present to give to a man, for example in the exchange of gifts before marriage, as shown by this Old Assyrian legal text: Pilah-Ištar summoned us (as arbitrators) against Amur-Ištar and Pilah-Ištar (said) as follows: ‘You gave your word to my father. Come and marry your wife!’ AmurIštar (answered) as follows: ‘I indeed gave my word to your father, but as my inlaws you (pl.) did not give me a belt for my waist, nor did you invite my brothers. Time passed and I have grown old, so I have married another woman of Aššur. Thus, I will not marry your sister.’ Michel 2020: no. 7 The word išrum, ‘belt’, used in this text refers to a long piece of cloth tied at the waist (see above the sash used as a belt by Gilgameš; Michel and Veenhof 2010: 233). The Old Assyrian private sources mention two other types of belts: the šakkukum, a girdle or a belt made of metal and which could be ornamented with precious stones (Michel 2001: 72, n. a), and the musārum, perhaps also a metal belt. The offering of a belt could also be made to one’s father-in-law, as in the following long list of expenses for a marriage ceremony: When we introduced our father-in-law (into the house), I paid ⅔ shekel 15 grains for a (metal musārum) belt instead of a (woollen išrum) belt; I paid ¼ shekel for a pair of (sandals with) thin straps (and) ⅔ shekel and 15 grains for 3 jars (of beer). I paid ¼ shekel for meat and invited our father-in-law and his friends (. . .) I gave a (metal šakkukum) belt for his brother. Michel 2020: no. 14, l.1–6, 41–2 187

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Women regularly send belts to their male relatives, including išrum-belts that they have presumably woven: Šarrat-Ištar sends a belt to her father and to another person (Michel 2020: no. 172: 4–5), Ennum-Ištar sends her son a single belt (Michel 2020: no. 198: 31–3, the son might have asked for more than one), Ahaha gives her brother Aššurmūtappil a belt (Michel 2020: no. 282: 34), and Anna-anna sends various goods to her husband including shoes, a musārum-belt and two išrum-belts (Michel 2020: no. 326: 6–12). All these examples come from the Old Assyrian private archives, but there are many more references throughout cuneiform sources highlighting the importance of the belt for men (see Quillien’s Chapter 15 in this volume). Interestingly, the belt had the same symbolism in ancient Greece. According to Pauline Schmidt-Pantel (2019), the anthropology of the use of the belt in the Greek world interrogates the porous borders between economic transaction, ritual gesture, social assignment and the construction of identity as well as the forms of power. As in Mesopotamia, in ancient Greece the belt is seen as a symbol of masculinity and power. The Roman military belt was worn around the waist of the soldier and acted as a holder for his dagger and the apron that hung from the front portion of the belt. Roman soldiers’ belts were broken if they were disgracefully discharged from the army, or forced to leave. They continued to proudly display their belts on funerary monuments which suggests they kept them, or they continued to have value for them if they retired as veterans (Hoss 2012).

13.4 Conclusion During the third and early second millennium bce , men and women were wearing similar garments; however, they arranged them around their body in different manners using different accessories. Both cuneiform texts and ancient Near Eastern representations suggest the existence of codes for dressing according to gender. It is therefore important to analyse these dress codes, and to see under which circumstances or on which parts of the costume these codes could meet. In this period tailored garments were rare and presumably reserved for the elite. Textile production does not seem to have been gendered. Thus, we can imagine that what came out of workshops or private homes could be worn indiscriminately by men or women, unless the person in charge of the finishing of textiles could already offer a cut or shaped form. The terminology of garments in cuneiform sources rarely suggests a gender distinction. The difference in clothes seems to have been primarily socially and culturally important. Social status was expressed, for example, in the type of textile used, the length of the tunic, the manner in which it was decorated or not, the colour and the way of draping or arranging it around the body. However, gender distinction was fundamental in ancient societies and certainly saw its expression in clothing in ancient Mesopotamia, in the way of arranging the garment around the body with the use of accessories. Today, men and women do not button their shirts in the same way: men have the buttons on the right side, women on the left. The origin of this custom comes from the 188

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seventeenth century bce , as only women of the upper echelons of society used to wear complicated clothes with buttons and needed the help of their servants to get dressed: buttons on blouses for women were reversed to facilitate the task of their domestics who were facing them during dressing. Male costume was simpler, and men did not need help to get dressed. Poor women had simple clothes without buttons. So this apparent gendered distinction takes its origin in the social status of some women. In other traditions, the closing direction of a garment may have a completely different meaning. For example, the left side of the Japanese kimono – and the yukata, which consists of a simplified kimono – is wrapped over the right side; it is closed the other way around when dressing a body for a funeral. The way we dress obeys a whole series of codes that are not necessarily related to the person’s gender. Written documentation may allude to some of these codes which might be linked to the social status, the ethnicity, the milieu, the profession or the gender of a person. These might have an echo in archaeological discoveries but are not necessarily reflected in figurative representations that follow their own conventions.

Acknowledgements A first version of this chapter was given as a paper in Copenhagen on 17 November 2017, thanks to the joint invitation of the Centre for Textile Research and the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. I wish to thank warmly Eva Andersson Strand, Nicole Brisch and Marie-Louise Nosch for the great honour they bestowed on me by inviting me on that specific day. The ‘Textiles and Gender’ conference was the concluding event of the International Research Network ‘Ancient Textiles from the Orient to the Mediterranean’ and I wish to thank the CNRS which has generously contributed to the activities of this network between 2015 and 2018.

Notes 1 (Le chercheur doit s’intéresser à) ‘la tendance de toute couverture corporelle à s’insérer dans un système formel organisé, normatif, consacré par la société’. 2 Translation from ETCSL http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi-bin/etcsl.cgi?text=t. charenc=j (accessed 20 December 2018). For perhaps a similar feature, see Volk (1989: 150), L. 65–70 (lines attested already in the Old Babylonian version): ‘I place right to left, I place left to right. I change man into woman, I change woman into man. I am the one who decorated a man into a woman. I am the one who decorated a woman into a man.’ Streck and Wasserman (2018: 5–6, n. 8) provide further examples. 3 The reference to publications and not directly to the artefacts must take into consideration the possible right–left inversion of the photos of reproduced works. 4 Michel (1997); Dercksen (1991); Demare-Lafont (2008); Michel (2020: no. 15). The word ‘headscarf ’ is preferred to ‘veil’ here because this last word is too connoted and has important echoes for our contemporary society (Westenholz 1990; van de Mieroop 1999: 138–60).


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity 5 TC 3, 202: 15–16, 13 gín kù-babbar tù-dí-tám, a-na kà-li-tí-ni. Later texts from El Amarna and Alalah confirm that such jewels were offered as bridal gifts (see for example EA 25: iii 64). 6 Similar clauses may be found, for example, at Nuzi; when a widow, who was also a ‘mother’, wanted to remarry after having inherited from her husband, she had to leave the house ‘naked’, thus giving up everything (see HSS 19, 19). 7 Toggle pins made in precious metals are also found in testaments found at Ekalte (WVDOG 102, 19: 12; WVDOG 102, 95: 12). 8 Archaeological reports usually give the lengths of the pins while cuneiform texts provide their weight. 9 This highlighting of the male belt is visible on representations from the fourth to the late first millennium bce . For example, on the Uruk vase dating to the end of the fourth millennium bce , a servant is holding in his hands the hanging part of the king-priest’s belt; the servant himself wears a skirt attached with a long belt (Fig. 13.1 and Breniquet 2008: 163, fig. 47).

References Arkhipov, I. (2012), Le vocabulaire de la métallurgie et la nomenclature des objets en métal dans les textes de Mari, Archives Royales de Mari 32, Leuven: Peters. Bahrani, Z. (2001), Women of Babylon: Gender and Representation in Mesopotamia, New York: Routledge. Barthes, R. (1957), ‘Histoire et sociologie du vêtement: Quelques observations méthodologiques’, Annales. Économie, Sociétés, Civilisations, 3: 430–41. Breniquet, C. (2008), Essai sur le tissage en Mésopotamie des premières communautés sédentaires au milieu du IIIe millénaire avant J.-C., Travaux de la Maison René-Ginouvès 5, Paris: De Boccard. Breniquet, C. (2013), ‘Functions and Uses of Clothes in the Ancient Near East. Summary and Perspectives,’ in M.-L. Nosch, H. Koefoed and E. Andersson Strand (eds), Textile Production and Consumption in the Ancient Near East: Archaeology, Epigraphy, Iconography, 1–25, Ancient Textiles Series 12, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Cifarelli, M. (2017), ‘Costly Choices: Signaling Theory and Dress in Period IVB Hasanlu, Iran’, in M. Cifarelli and L. Gawlinski (eds), What Shall I Say of Clothes Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to the Study of Dress in Antiquity, 101–19, Selected Papers on Ancient Art and Architecture 3, Boston: Archaeological Institute of America. Collins, B. J. (1997), ‘Hittite Canonical Compositions – Rituals: ‘The First Soldiers’ Oath (no. 1.66)’, in W. W. Hallo et al. (eds), The Context of Scripture. Volume I: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World, 165–7, Leiden: Brill. Couturaud, B. (2019), Les incrustations en coquille de Mari (Subartu XL), Turnhout: Brepols. Demare-Lafont, S. (2008), ‘ “A cause des anges.” Le voile dans la culture juridique du ProcheOrient ancien’, in O. Vernier, M. Bottin and Marc Ortolani (eds), Études d’histoire du droit privé en souvenir de Maryse Carlin, 235–54, Paris: La Mémoire du Droit. Dercksen, J. G. (1991), ‘The Old Assyrian Marriage Contract AKT 1 77’, Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, 1991: no. 28. Dercksen, J. G. (2005), ‘Adad is King! The Sargon Text from Kültepe (with an appendix on MARV 4, 138 and 140), Jaahrbericht Ex Orient Lux, 39: 107–29. Durand, J.-M. (1998), Document épistolaires du palais de Mari, tome II, Littératures anciennes du Proche-Orient 17, Paris: Editions du Cerf. Durand, J.-M. (2009), La nomenclature des habits et des textiles dans les textes de Mari, Archives Royales de Mari 30, Paris: CNRS éditions. 190

Belts and Pins in Mesopotamia Foster, B. R. (2005), Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature (3rd edition), Bethesda: CDL Press. George, A. R. (2003), The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform texts, vol. I, Oxford: Oxford University Press. George, A. R. (2018), ‘Enkidu and the Harlot: Another Fragment of Old Babylonian Gilgameš’, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, 108: 10–21. Günbattı, C. (1997), ‘Kültepe’den Akadlı Sargon’a Ait Bir Tablet’, Archivum Anatolicum, 3: 131–55. Harlow, M. and C. Michel (in press), ‘Textiles from Mesopotamia to Greece (3rd millennium BCE–3rd century CE)’, in R. Mattila, S. Fink and S. Ito (eds), Evidence Combined: Western and Eastern Sources in Dialogue, Eleventh Symposium of the Melammu Project, Finnish Institute in the Middle East, 3–5 April 2017. Hoss, S. (2012), ‘The Roman Military Belt’, in M.-L. Nosch (ed.), Wearing the Cloak: Dressing the Soldier in Roman Times, 29–44, Ancient Textiles Series 10, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Iamoni, M. (2012), ‘Toggle Pins of the Bronze Age: A Matter of Style, Function and Fashion?’, in G. B. Lanfranchi, D. Morandi Bonacossi, C. Pappin and S. Ponchia (eds), Leggo! Studies Presented to Frederick Mario Fales on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, 349–63, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Klein, H. (1983), ‘Tudittum’, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, 73: 255–84. Kouwenberg, N. J. C. (2015), ‘Sargon’s tūdittum, or How to Make Fools of Your Enemies’, in İ. Albayrak, H. Erol and M. Çayır (eds), Cahit Günbattı’ya Armağan/Studies in Honour of Cahit Günbattı, 165–70, Ankara: Ankara Üniversitesi. Kouwenberg, N. J. C. (2017), A Grammar of Old Assyrian, Handbook of Oriental Studies 118, Leiden: Brill. Kulakoğlu, F. and S. Kangal (2010) Anadolu’nun Önsözü Kültepe Kaniş-Karumu: Asurlular İstanbul’da, Kayseri: Kayseri Metropolitan Municipality. Michel, C. (1997), ‘Un témoignage paléo-assyrien en faveur du port du voile par la femme mariée’, Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires 1997, no. 40. Michel, C. (2001), Correspondance des marchands de Kanish, Littératures anciennes du ProcheOrient 19, Paris: Editions du Cerf. Michel, C. (2020), Women of Aššur and Kaneš: Texts from the Archives of Assyrian Merchants, Writings from the Ancient World, Baltimore: Society for Biblical Literature. Michel, C. (forthcoming), ‘ “I will fix a pin on your breast”: Interdisciplinary study on pins during the Old Assyrian period’, in F. Kulakoğlu, C. Michel and G. Kryszat (eds), Cultural Exchanges at Kültepe and Surroundings from the 4th to the 1st Millennium BCE, Kültepe International Meetings 4, Subartu, Turnhout: Brepols. Michel, C. and K. R. Veenhof (2010), ‘The Textiles traded by the Assyrians in Anatolia (19th– 18th Centuries BC)’, in C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennia BC, 209–69, Ancient Textiles Series 8, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Parrot, A. (1981), Sumer, L’Univers des formes (nouvelle édition), Paris: Editions Gallimard. Rendu Loisel, A.-C. (in press), ‘Nude Females and Girded Men: Clothes and Gender in the Akkadian Literature’, in R. Mattila, S. Fink and S. Ito (eds), Evidence Combined: Western and Eastern Sources in Dialogue, Eleventh Symposium of the Melammu Project, Finnish Institute in the Middle East, 3–5 April 2017. Roth, M. (1996), Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor (2nd edition), Writings from the Ancient World 6, Atlanta: Society for Biblical Literature. Sasson, J. (2015), From the Mari Archives: An Anthology of Old Babylonian Letters, Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Schmidt-Pantel, P. (2019), ‘Der Gürtel, Körperschmuck, Statussymbol und Geschlechtsmerkmal’, in B. Wagner-Hasel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Gaben, Waren und Tribute. Stoffkreisläufe und 191

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity antike Textilökonomie/ Don, marchandise et impôt. La circulation des biens textiles et l’économie antique / Gifts, Commodities and Dues. The Circulation of Textiles and Ancient Economy. 9–10 June, 2016. Leibniz Universität Hannover, 333–55, Hannover: Steiner Verlag. Spycket, A. (1981), La statuaire du Proche-Orient ancien, Handbuch der Orientalistik 2, Leiden: Brill. Streck, M. P. and N. Wasserman (2018), ‘The Man is Like a Woman, the Maiden is a Young Man: A New Edition of Ištar-Louvre (Tab. I-II)’, Orientalia, 87: 1–38. Tanaka, T. (2014), ‘Dress and Identity in the Old Assyrian Sargon Legend’, Kaskal, 11: 141–58. Van de Mieroop, M. (1999) Cuneiform Texts and the Writing of History, Approaching the Ancient World, New York: Routledge. Volk, K. (1989), Die Balag-Komposition Uru am-mair-ra-bi, Freiburger Altorientalische Studien 18, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Westenholz, J. G. (1990), ‘Toward a New Conceptualization of the Female Role in Mesopotamian Society’, Journal of the American Oriental Society, 110: 510–21.



In Enki and the World Order, a Sumerian mythological composition known from Old Babylonian cuneiform tablets (Benito 1969), the great god Enki organizes the world and attributes specific skills to each divine entity. But Inana, the goddess of sexual love and warfare (Heffron 2016a), accuses him of disparaging her. Enki retorts that, on the contrary, she has been granted many abilities and gifts. For instance, he made her put on linen clothes. Textile production and accessories belong to her divine attributions and symbols: Maiden Inana, I made you straighten out (si sa2) tangled threads (gu suḫ 3-a). I made you put on (ĝar) garments (tug2), I made you dress (mur10) in linen (gada). I made you warp (dun) the tow from the fibres (mug hu-mu-e-ni-dun), I made you spin with the spindle. I made you colour (gun3) tufted cloth (tug2 guz-za) with coloured threads (gu-du gun3-a). Enki and the World Order, l.441–444, eTCSL, c. 1.1.3. Inana is then characterized by the colourful threads of her clothes, and the accessories – the spindles – that tighten the linen on her female body. A gendered characterization of her garment is highlighted in another answer by Enki: previously in the text, he described her physical features and her behaviour as a goddess. He emphasizes her pleasant voice, her speech, but also the garment she is wearing: Enki replied to his daughter, holy Inana: ‘Young woman, how have I disparaged you ([a-na] a-ra-an-la2)? Lady, how have I disparaged you? What can I add for you? Young woman Inana, how have I disparaged you? What can I add for you? I made you speak as a woman with pleasant voice (gu3 sag9). I made you go to its side/arm?. I covered (dul) with a garment (tug2) its hero’s power?. I made you switch (šu bala ak) its right side (zag zid) and its left side (zag gab2). I clothed (mur10) you in garments of women’s power (tug2 a2 munus-a). I placed for you female speech (eme munus) in its mouth. I gave in (your) hands the spindle and the hairgrip (ĝišbal ĝiškirid).’ Enki and the World Order, l.424–34, eTCSL, c. 1.1.3 193

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Inana’s clothes are closely related to her power as a female deity. This reminds us of her descent to the Netherworld, another Sumerian mythological composition, known also from Old Babylonian tablets (Sladek 1974; Attinger 2019a). The fortress of the Netherworld is surrounded by seven gates. In front of each one of them, the goddess must remove one of her accessories (spindle, make-up, egg-shaped beads, etc.). By the time she comes to the last gate, she is only wearing ‘the pala-dress of her femininity’, as described in the Sumerian text itself (tug2pala3 tug2 nam-nin-a l.21; eTCSL 1.4.1). But she cannot keep it: she must take it off to enter the Netherworld. Her nakedness then makes her vulnerable and unable to resist the attack of Ereškigal, the queen of the dead. Her clothes and jewellery are material expressions of her divine seductive powers. Taking them off makes her lose her divine power (Slobodzianek 2012; Bonnet and Slobodzianek 2015; see also Chapter 13 by Michel in this volume). Several Assyriological studies have been devoted to famous quotes found for instance in the hymns of the kings Iddin-Dagan or Išme-Dagan, where female and male ways of wearing clothing are associated with the right or the left of the body (Glassner 2014: 514–17). As this topic has been written about extensively, I will instead focus here on other issues related to the quotes mentioned above:1 what does it mean ‘to be clothed in garments of women’s power’? Does it refer to a specific garment or does it imply proper manners and gestures belonging to non-verbal communication (Gruber 1980) and reflecting this woman’s power? How can a piece of textile contribute to gender identification? To answer these questions, I will focus on a selection of Old Babylonian literary compositions written in Sumerian language. With its dynamic narratives, the corpus of Sumerian literature is a rich reservoir from which to investigate the cultural values and beliefs related to gender and textiles, especially regarding the various ways of wearing garments. Most Sumerian literature has been reconstructed thanks to cuneiform tablets from the Old Babylonian Period (early second millennium bce ). Textiles are not only a reflection of the owner’s social status and identity (Cifarelli and Gawlinski 2017; Thomason 2018), but also constitute a dynamic and fluid tool in gender interaction. Textiles and garments do not only help to characterize or identify their owner, they are also useful as elements of attire and interact with the other. My chapter will be divided into three related parts. The first part presents general information on goddesses’ garments found in Sumerian literature. The second part investigates the role played by textiles in romantic interactions between two partners. Lastly, the third part focuses on the contribution of textiles in expressing a strong inner affective state and the psychological and physiological changes experienced by a female entity.

14.1 What does a goddess’s garment look like? Exploring the lexicography of textiles in Sumerian literature turns out to be a disappointing endeavour regarding gender aspects: terms are in fact very general, 194

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without any distinction between male and female owners. For instance, one of the most common terms is tug2 ‘textile, garment’, which is also employed as a determinative for specific garments or pieces of textile. It is worn by gods and goddesses without any distinction. Linen (Sumerian gada) is frequently mentioned as a raw material for male and female garments. In iconography, especially in cylinder seals of the third and early second millennium bce , gods and goddesses seem to wear the same garment, identified as a kaunakes: a sheep fleece, with multiple layers, covering the entire body (Breniquet 2016). A gender distinction may be observed: goddesses have their shoulders covered, whereas gods have one exposed shoulder. In Sumerian literature, this is not that evident. While the terminology provides little indication of gender distinction, literature does, on the other hand, provide fruitful avenues of exploration of what deities do with their garments, the ways they move them, or the accessories they add to them. In Gilgameš, Enkidu and the Netherworld (Attinger 2019b2), Ereškigal, the goddess of the Netherworld (Heffron 2016b), is said to have uncovered shoulders, and having no linen spread over her breast (l.199–204). As I will show later in this chapter, tearing off garments is a female manifestation of distress, especially when the individual is facing the death of a loved one. Her naked breast may then be related to this state of grief and mourning. As the queen of the Netherworld, she mourns all the dead; her garment – or lack thereof – is related to her divine attribution and powers. This literary description differs from the common iconographical representations of goddesses with covered shoulders.3 The wardrobe of a goddess or a god is never unchanging in Sumerian literature; it varies from one composition to another. The same Ereškigal, for instance, also receives as offering a special type of garment in the Death of Ur-Namma (Wilcke 1970); when he arrives in the Netherworld, the king of Ur Ur-Namma offers her a garment (tug2) for her queenly condition. This ‘queenly pala-dress’ (Sumerian tug2pala3 nam-nin-a) is also the last garment covering Inana’s body in her Descent to the Netherworld. It reflects the goddess’s power. In the Death of Ur-Namma, the pala-dress worn by Ereškigal is described as heavy and long-fleeced, (tug2 dugud tug2zulumḫ i tug2pala3 nam-nin-a (eTCSL, l.98) giving us a hint of its raw material: sheep fleece, probably like the famous kaunakes encountered in iconography from the third millennium bce. Sumerian literature sometimes describes the colour of divine dresses. This is the case with Ninlil, the spouse of the great god Enlil (Brisch 2016a), in a hymn composed by Iddin-Dagan (Gurney and Kramer 1976), third king of the dynasty of Isin in the twentieth and nineteenth centuries bce : ‘Ninlil, (with) a white cloth (tug2 babbar), foremost and wise lady who brings. . . lady who consummately perfects radiance, who dwells with Enlil’ (eTCSL, Iddin-Dagan D, l.73–4). The term employed here for ‘white’ is the Sumerian babbar. But terms for colour entail more than a basic description of a shade or a hue. Anthropological and historical researches have documented the difficulty of translating the semantic scope of a word referring to a colour from one culture to another (Gage 1999; Bradley 2009; Grand-Clément 2011; Thavapalan, Stenger and Snow 2016; Brøns and Harlow in Chapter 16 of this volume). To the basic hue, we must add several parameters such as brilliance and luminosity, as well as the tactile properties of the material (Bradley 2013). The Sumerian term babbar is no exception to 195

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the rule; according to its semantic field, babbar is associated with light and brilliance. It is the cuneiform sign for the sun, the sun-god, but also for the metal silver. Since we are in the divine world, finding material whose properties exceed human perception is no challenge. The goddess of writing, Nisaba (Tudeau 2016), wears a sparkling, starry garment, whereas in the preceding quote, Ninlil, the spouse of the great god Enlil, is dressed in a shiny and luminous white/silver robe, as the reference to radiance may suggest. This shining piece of textile gives her authority and power over the entire divine assembly. In Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta (Attinger 2019c), the goddess Inana is described with more or less the same textile attribute: As the experienced woman came to the mountain of ‘pure-me,’ she (Inana) went up to him like a young woman who is complete in her day (=perfect). She painted (gun3) her eyes with khol (šembi2-zid), she fastened (keše2) her side with a white (babbar) . . .-textile ([tug2]). She went out like the moon(light) (iti6-gin7) with (her) good [crown]. Her spouse Enmerkar headed towards the throne-dais, at her side. Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, l.588–594; eTCSL; Attinger 2019c Because of the fragmentary state of the composition, we have no indication about the garment or piece of textile Inana fastens on her body. However, this passage has many similarities with the one mentioning Ninlil: Inana’s description emphasizes the radiance coming from her as a result of the garments and accessories she wears. This luminosity is associated with the moonlight, thanks to the use of the term babbar – white – to refer to the textile. The narrative context of the quote highlights the function of this shiny garment. After getting dressed, the goddess sits on the throne, next to the king Enmerkar, and they will both give judgement. This garment participates in the visual manifestation of her divine authority. Gods’ garments also express their power: Inana admires the nobility of the king Šulgi, as she admits that the king deserves to sit on the throne, and to wear the long fleecy garment (zulumhi) and the royal clothes (tug2 nam-lugal-la) (Klein 1981: 124–66; Attinger, 2019d) (Šulgi X, l. 60–1; eTCSL The divine power of a goddess or god may then be manifested to others by the luminous property of the garment she/he is wearing. Furthermore, this brilliant textile covering the female divine body plays an important role in attracting the male partner, as exemplified in Sumerian love poetry.

14.2 Textiles as a communicative tool in romantic interactions One of the most frequent situations in which textiles play an important role in gender interactions is in romantic contexts. In narrative and poetic compositions alike, garments directly refer to the gender identity of their owner. They are part of the individual’s physical preparations before meeting the partner for sexual intercourse:


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I (Inana) was bathing (a tu5), I was rubbing myself (su-ub) with soap (na-ma). I was washing myself with water from the holy kettle, I was rubbing myself with the soap from the white stone bowl (bur babbar-ra). I was anointing myself with good oil (u5 ze2-ba / i3 du10) from the stone bowl, and dressing myself (mur10) in the dress-pala, destiny of Inana (tug2pala3 na-aĝ2 ga-ša-an-an-na). This is how I was busying myself in the house. Dumuzi and Inana C, l.3-8, eTCSL 4.8.3, Sefati 1998: 132–50 This complex preparation of the divine body in a romantic context is only mentioned for goddesses, not for gods; dressing up is the final part of the preparation. The description mentions various sensory phenomena that will make the woman attractive to her partner. Her lover Dumuzi will not resist her attractiveness, thanks to olfactive (soap), tactile (skin oil) and visual effects. The dress then acquires new qualities and also becomes fragrant, as is noted in other literary compositions. In the Dialogue between Summer and Winter (Bottéro and Kramer 1989: 481–3), Summer says that he is the one ‘who perfects (du7) garments (tug2) with fine oil (i3 dug3)’ (Dialogue between Summer and Winter, l. 239, eTCSL 5.3.3). Dress attracts the lover on the visual, olfactory and tactile levels. In a scholarly exercise (Çıgˇ and Kramer 1976), Lu-diĝira describes his mother’s attractiveness by referring to the perfumed garment she is wearing: ‘Let me give you a fifth description of my mother: my mother is a date-palm, with the sweetest fragrance (ir-si-im dug3-dug3-ga). She is a chariot of juniper wood, a sedan-chair of boxwood, a fine cloth perfumed with fined oil (tug2 sag9-˹ga˺ i3 gu-la ak-a)’ (The Message of Lu-diĝira to his Mother, l.47–51, eTCSL 5.5.1). Sexual intercourse is described with textile-based metaphors. In a hymn celebrating the love between the king of Ur Šu-Sîn and his concubine Kūbatum, the mother of ŠuSīn Abī-Simti is celebrated as she gives birth to the king: ‘My gisgenû-loom, my cloth of goodness/pleasure (tug2 nam-sag9-ga-ĝu10), my Abi-Simti! My warp beam placed for weaving a garment (tug2), my queen Kūbatum’ (Šu-Sīn A, l.5–6, eTCSL, Sefati 1998: 344–52). The end of the poem focuses on the synaesthetic pleasure produced by sexual intercourse: the taste of female genitalia is compared to the sweetness of beer, suggesting an altered state of consciousness during the act. The tying or untying of garments is a part of non-verbal communication between the lovers in a romantic context. The partners play with each other’s garments with their gestures, uncovering hidden parts of their body in a kind of courtship ritual. Untying the garments or undressing the other are used as literary metaphors for sexual intercourse: Did you see the young man who never undressed (tug2 sig9) his wife? – I saw him. – How is he? – You finish a rope, and he weeps over the rope. – Did you see the young woman who never undressed (tug2 sig9) her husband? – I saw her. – How is she? – You finish a reed mat, and she weeps over the reed mat. Gilgameš, Enkidu and the Netherworld, l.272–5; eTCSL 1.3.1; Attinger 2019b


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Textiles become a communicative and dynamic tool to express one’s desire in the gender interaction and dialogue between the partners. In Sumerian literature, garments covering the body are not limited to their visual aspects. They also have tactile, olfactory and movement-related properties, which the owner may use to express his/her inner feelings and emotional states, especially regarding the distress experienced by goddesses.

14.3 Garments and affective states In Sumerian literature, metaphors and comparisons describing emotions (Jaques 2006) draw on various motifs, including textiles and garments. These occur in two different settings: first as materials deliberately altered by women to manifest an inner affective state; second, to describe an emotion synaesthetically. These two types of occurrences may appear similar, as they both pertain to unbearable emotions overwhelming women and goddesses (with a strong gender dimension); but in fact they must be distinguished. The former relates to narrative proceedings, as it refers to actions, whereas the latter concerns poetic language. These are the two aspects on which I will now expand. In the specific context of mourning and grief, textiles are materials that goddesses alter to express their feelings. For instance, when Dumuzi had to go down to the Netherworld, his sister Geštinanna (Brisch 2016b) could not stand his death, and felt so emotional that she mutilated her body: These words were just placed out of her mouth, (when Dumuzi said) “Sister, go up onto the mound, sister go up onto the mound! When you go up onto the mound, do not go onto the mound like a human being: after you have lacerated (hur) your hair (siki, var. heart šag4) and your skin (bar)4, after you have lacerated (ḫ ur) your garment (tug2) from your thighs (ḫ aš4), sister, go up onto the mound! Dumuzi’s Dream, l.70–6, eTCSL 1.4.3; Attinger 2019e Here, the (pubic) hair (siki)/skin (bar) pair may suggest a distinction between the hidden (the genitals) and the normally visible (the skin): her distress is so intense that the goddess alters her entire body: on the inside and the outside, its private and public features. The textile covering her thighs is the ultimate boundary between these different spheres. Geštinanna treated her garment as a part of her own physical body. Later in the same literary composition, and for the same reason, she lacerates (ḫ ur) her eyes, ears and face: sensory organs connecting her to her social environment (Dumuzi’s Dream, l.239– 44). All these mutilations, which express the goddess’s grief, also have an impact on the social level, as they can be seen by others. The act of tearing her garments into pieces has the same impact as the bleeding lacerations on her body. Geštinanna’s clothes are a second skin of sorts, which may be understood as a social skin, manifesting her affective states in the public sphere. In Sumerian literature, a garment can also be an expression of joy and happiness for the community, for instance in the case of Inana, as she readies to 198

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fight Ebih: ‘Inana, child of Sîn, put on the garment of ladyship (tug2 nam-nin) and covered herself (gu2 e3) in joy (ul).’5 Textile works as a multi-sensory material, reflecting the affective changes experienced by the individual. One of the most recurrent metaphors in literary contexts pertains to the mourning cry of a goddess, a cry of distress so loud that it blankets the sky ‘like a garment’. This topos of Sumerian literature describes the physical and physiological manifestations of negative emotions, such as distress and anger. In another passage of Dumuzi’s Dream, Geštinanna is overwhelmed by her feelings when she realizes that her brother will not escape impending death: He approached the holy sheepfold, the sheepfold of his sister. Ĝeštinanna, her cry (gu3) approached the sky, her cry approached the earth. (Her) cry covered (dul) completely the horizon like a garment (tug2), spread (bur2) like linen (gada). Because of him, she lacerated (ḫ ur) (her) eyes (igi), she lacerated (her) nose (giri17), she lacerated (her) ears (ĝeštug2) place of admiration. She lacerated (her) crotch (ḫ aš4-gal), place of which we do not talk with someone (ki lu2-da nu-di). Dumuzi’s Dream, l.239–44, eTCSL 1.4.3; Attinger 2019e In Gilgameš and the Bull of Heaven, the goddess Inana expresses her wrath in the very same manner when her father, the great god An, refuses to give her the Bull: ‘(Her) cry (gu3) approached heaven, (her) cry approached the earth . . . (her) cry approached heaven, (her) cry approached the earth . . . it covered (dul) (it) like a garment (tug2), it was spread (bur2) like linen (gada)’ (Gilgameš and the Bull of Heaven, segm. B, l.52–4, a–c; eTCSL; Cavigneaux and Al-Rawi 1993). Regarding our gender inquiry, it should be noted that this cry is only associated with female deities in Sumerian literature. Here the garment is part of a synaesthetic metaphor, in which the sonorous quality of the female cry is compared to the opacity and breadth of a garment. These metaphors and comparisons are fine examples of the creativity of Sumerian poets, who were influenced by daily-life experiences. According to the linguists Lakoff and Johnson (2003), metaphors and comparisons are based on the physical interaction of embodied human beings with their environment; literary expressions transform individual experiences and bring out conceptual associations. Thanks to its various properties – stretching, covering, and so on – textile was a great source of inspiration for metaphors and comparisons, ideal for describing an individual’s inner affective states (Nosch, Harlow and Fanfani 2016). As the classicist Douglas Cairns (2016) pointed out regarding ancient Greek emotions: ‘A culture’s emotional categories are experiential, based and extended via metonymies and metaphors that derive from such experience.’ Such emotional metaphors may also help us to identify the physical properties attributed to textiles in an ancient society. The distinctive features of textile objects offer many possibilities for the expression of invisible and ephemeral phenomena in Sumerian literature, such as the inner emotion of goddesses. The distress is not only sonorous, it is also a visual and a tactile experience, 199

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thanks to the comparison with the textile material. The cry is so loud that it creates darkness, hiding the sunlight, making it impossible to ignore the goddess’s affective state.

14.4 Conclusion In Sumerian literature, divine garments reflect their owner’s power, with no gender distinction implied. But the gestures accompanying them do demonstrate the communicative function of textile in gender interactions. In a romantic context, textiles can veil or unveil female body parts which are supposed to remain hidden in other social contexts. Dresses reflect the inner affective state of the female owner. Textiles function as a second skin which make tangible the invisible, such as emotions and (divine) power. Going back to the very first quote, the expression ‘garment of woman’s power’ designates above all this feminine way of feeling, moving and altering textiles, rather than a particular garment (one that would be only worn by female entities, with specific colours, motifs, etc.). This female power affects male partners. Textiles are only one aspect of the non-verbal dialogue in gender communication. What is important is what is done with textiles, how they are handled, their characteristics (such as fragrance, colours, luminosity, etc.), and their contribution to the staging of male and female bodies. In that sense, textiles exemplify the concept of gender performance (Butler 2004; Svärd and Garcia-Ventura 2018). Instead of considering gender as an innate biological expression, we should consider its social and cultural construction to better understand how dynamic it is. To be dressed like a woman or a man implies different gestures, attitudes, voices and other components of non-verbal communication in the gender interaction. But textiles also do not make the man – or here the woman – as the Instructions of Šuruppag remind us. Love is a complex relationship and one should never be attracted to someone simply because of her beautiful clothes: ‘You should not take a wife in a festival. Her inside is borrowed; her outside is borrowed. The silver (on her) is borrowed; the lapis lazuli (on her) is borrowed. The dress (tug2) on her is borrowed; the linen (gada) on her is borrowed’ (Instructions of Šuruppag, l.208–11; eTCSL 5.6.1; Alster 1974).

Acknowledgements I received support in writing this chapter from the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme d’Alsace (MISHA) and the Excellence Initiative of the University of Strasbourg.

Notes 1 As I will focus on the gender dimensions of textiles in literature, I will not explore all the cultural aspects related to garments and clothes that can be identified in Sumerian literature. For instance, one may find several metaphors and comparisons involving garments: the 200

Gender and Garments in Sumerian Literature awe-inspiring divine radiance emanates from the body of the goddess or the god, covering everything like a ‘garment’. There are also mentions of the colours of human clothes, such as white, black and multi-coloured: in the mythological text, untitled Inana and the me, Inana is said to receive from the great god Enki all the divine powers-me, such as the power-me of the leadership, the royal throne, the power-me of loyalty, but also metalwork or basketwork, and so on. Among her divine attributions, there are also the black and the multi-coloured garments – probably referring to her cultic staff and their ritual activities. But in all these contexts no specific gender characteristic of the piece of textile is implied, which is why I do not consider them in this chapter. 2 eTCSL 1.3.1. For the bibliography, see Attinger (2019b). 3 Except for the nude Inana terracottas of the Old Babylonian Period; see Rendu Loisel (2019). 4 Pascal Attinger suggests translating this term as ‘epidermis’ in his ‘Lexique sumérien-français (textes traduits dans Attinger’: 15 (with bibliography), available online: http://www.arch. unibe.ch/attinger (last accessed September 2019). 5 Inana and Ebih, l.53–4, eTCSL 1.3.2; Attinger (2019f ). This garment of joy is also something the goddess puts on a human being, such as the Sumerian king Lugalbanda: ‘Inana enveloped (dul) him with the joy of the heart (šag4 hul2) as if it were a garment (tug2-gin7)’ (Lugalbanda in the Mountain Cave, l.199, eTCSL; Wilcke 1969; Vanstiphout 2003: 99–131).

References Alster, B. (1974), The Instructions of Suruppak, Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag. Attinger, P. (2019a), ‘La descente d’Innana dans le monde infernal (1.4.1)’. Available online: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2599619 (accessed September 2019). Attinger, P. (2019b), ‘Bilgameš, Enkidu et le monde infernal (1.3.1)’. Available online: https://doi. org/10.5281/zenodo.2600245 (accessed September 2019). Attinger, P. (2019c), ‘Enmerkar et le seigneur d’Aratta (’. Available online: https://doi. org/10.5281/zenodo.2667758 (accessed September 2019). Attinger, P. (2019d), ‘Šulgi X (’. Available online: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2600006 (accessed September 2019). Attinger, P. (2019e), ‘Le rêve de Dumuzi (1.4.3)’. Available online: https://doi.org/10.5281/ zenodo.2599639 (accessed September 2019). Attinger, P. (2019f ), ‘Innana et Ebiḫ (1.3.2)’. Available online: https://doi.org/10.5281/ zenodo.2667753 (accessed September 2019). Benito, C. A. (1969), ‘Enki and Ninmah and Enki and the World Order’, Ph. Diss., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Bonnet, C. and I. Slobodzianek (2015), ‘De la steppe au bateau céleste ou comment Inanna accomplit son destin entre mythe et rite’, in N. Belayche and V. Pirenne-Delforge (eds), Fabriquer du divin: Constructions et ajustements de la représentation des dieux dans l’Antiquité, 21–40, Liège: Presses Universitaires de Liège. Bottéro, J. and S. N. Kramer (1989), Lorsque les dieux faisaient l’homme, Mythologie mésopotamienne, Paris: Gallimard. Bradley, M. (2009), Colour and Meaning in the Ancient Rome, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bradley, M. (2013), ‘Colour as Synaesthetic Experience in Antiquity’, in S. Butler and A. Purves (eds), Synaesthesia and the Ancient Senses, 127–40, Durham: Acumen. Breniquet, C. (2016), ‘Que savons-nous exactement du kaunakès mésopotamien ?’, Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale, 110 (1): 1–22. 201

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Brisch, N. (2016a), ‘Ninlil (Mulliltu, Mullissu, Mylitta) (goddess)’, Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses, Oracc and the UK Higher Education Academy. Available online: http://oracc. museum.upenn.edu/amgg/listofdeities/ninlil/ (accessed September 2019). Brisch, N. (2016b), ‘Geštinanna/Belet-seri ̣ (goddess)’, Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses, Oracc and the UK Higher Education Academy. Available online: http://oracc. museum.upenn.edu/amgg/listofdeities/getinanna/ (accessed September 2019). Butler, J. (2004), Undoing Gender, New York: Routledge. Cairns, D. (2016), ‘Clothed in Shamelessness, Shrouded in Grief: The Role of “Garment” Metaphors in Ancient Greek Concepts of Emotion’, in G. Fanfani, M. Harlow and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Spinning Fates and the Song of the Loom: The Use of Textiles, Clothing and Cloth Production as Metaphor, Symbol, and Narrative, 25–41, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Cavigneaux, A. and Farouk N.H. Al-Rawi (1993), ‘Gilgameš et Taureau de Ciel (šul-mè-kam) (Textes de Tell Haddad IV)’, Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie orientale, 87 (2): 97–129. Cifarelli, M. and L. Gawlinski, eds (2017), What Shall I Say of Clothes? Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to the Study of Dress in Antiquity, Boston: Archaeological Institute of America. Çıgˇ, M. and S. N. Kramer (1976), ‘The Ideal Mother: A Sumerian Portrait’, Belleten, 40: 413–21. Gage, J. (1999), Color and Culture: Practice and Meaning from Antiquity to Abstraction, Berkeley : University of California Press. Glassner, J.-J. (2014), ‘Rites de passage en Mésopotamie: le role d’Inanna-Ištar’, in A. Mouton and J. Patrier (eds), Life, Death, and Coming of Age in Antiquity: Individual Rites of Passage in the Ancient Near East and Adjacent regions – Vivre, grandir et mourir dans l’Antiquité: Rites de passage individuels au Proche-Orient ancient et ses environs, 507–20, Leiden: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten. Grand-Clément, A. (2011), La fabrique des couleurs: Histoire du paysage sensible des Grecs anciens, Paris: De Boccard. Gruber, M. I. (1980), Aspects of Nonverbal Communication in the Ancient Near East, Rome: Biblical Institute Press. Gurney, O. R. and S. N. Kramer (1976), Sumerian Literary Texts in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Heffron, Y. (2016a), ‘Inana/Ištar (goddess)’, Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses, Oracc and the UK Higher Education Academy. Available online: http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/ amgg/listofdeities/inanaitar/ (accessed September 2019). Heffron, Y. (2016b), ‘Ereškigal (goddess)’, Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses, Oracc and the UK Higher Education Academy. Available online: http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/amgg/ listofdeities/erekigal/ (accessed September 2019). Jaques, M. (2006), Le vocabulaire des sentiments dans les textes sumériens, recherche sur le lexique sumérien et akkadien, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Klein, J. (1981), Three Šulgi Hymns: Sumerian Royal Hymns Gloryfying King Šulgi of Ur, RamatGan: Bar Ilan University Press. Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson (2003), Metaphors We Live By, with a New Afterword, Oxford: Oxford University Press [1st edn 1980]. Nosch, M. L., M. Harlow and G. Fanfani, eds (2016), Spinning Fates and the Song of the Loom: The Use of Textiles, Clothing and Cloth Production as Metaphor, Symbol and Narrative Device in Greek and Latin Literature, Ancient Textiles Series 24, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Rendu Loisel, A.-C. (2019), ‘Façonner le féminin dans les rituels de l’ancienne Mésopotamie. Le témoignage des textes’, in S. Donnat, R. Hunziker and I. Weygand (eds), Les figurines féminines nues, 293–98, Paris: De Boccard. Sefati, Y. (1998), Love Songs in Sumerian Literature: critical edition of the Dumuzi-Inanna songs, Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press. 202

Gender and Garments in Sumerian Literature Sladek, W. R. (1974), Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld, Ph. Diss., Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. Slobodizanek, I. (2012), “Un jour, du haut du ciel, elle voulut partir pour l’Enfer’: Les enjeux multiples du déshabillage d’Inanna/Ishtar dans l’au-delà’, in F. Gherchanoc and V. Huet (eds), Vêtements antiques, S’habiller et se déshabiller dans les mondes anciens, 105–18, Paris: Errances. Svärd, S and A. Garcia-Ventura, eds (2018), Studying Gender in the Ancient Near East, Eisenbrauns: University Park. Thavapalan S., J. Stenger and C. Snow (2016), ‘Color and Meaning in Ancient Mesopotamia: The Case of Egyptian Blue’, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und Vorderasiatische Archäologie, 106 (2): 198–214. Thomason, A. K. (2018), ‘After “Profits”: Methodological and Historiographic Remarks on the Study of Women, Textiles, and Economy in the Ancient Near East’, in S. Svärd and A. Garcia-Ventura (eds), Studying Gender in the Ancient Near East, 413–22, Eisenbrauns: University Park. Tudeau, J. (2016), ‘Nidaba (Goddess)’, Ancient Mesopotamian Gods and Goddesses, Oracc and the UK Higher Education Academy. Available online: http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/amgg/ listofdeities/nidaba/ (accessed September 2019). Vanstiphout, H. (2003), Epics of Sumerian Kings: The Matter of Aratta, Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. Wilcke, C. (1969), Das Lugalbandaepos, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Wilcke, C. (1970), ‘Eine Schicksalsentscheidung für den toten Ur-Nammu’, in A. Finet (ed.), Actes de la XVIIe Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale. Université Libre de Bruxelles 30 Juin–4 Juillet 1969. Publications de Comité belge de recherches historiques, épigraphiques et archéologiques en Mésopotamie 1, 81–92, Ham-sur-Heure: Comité belge de recherches en Mésopotamie.




In her funeral inscription, Adad-guppi’, the queen-mother of Nabonidus, king of Babylonia (556–539 bce ), describes how she decided to clothe herself in signs of mourning, after the interruption of the cult of her god Sîn in her home city of Ḫ arran. This inscription is a fictional autobiography, written in the first person as if the queen was speaking about herself (Longman 1991): ‘In order to appease the hearts of my personal god and my personal goddess, I would not wear a dress (lubūšu) of purple wool, nor jewels, nor silver and gold, nor a new garment (sub ̣ āti eššu), nor would I anoint myself with perfume and sweet oil’ (AnSt. 8 p. 46 i: 21–4; Gadd 1958: 46–7; Beaulieu 1989: 73). This extract describes the usual attributes of female royal attire: richly coloured garments, precious jewels, fine perfume and oil. Adad-Guppi refused to wear them as a sign of sorrow. When studying the gender of garments through the cuneiform texts, one faces a difficulty: names of garments are often generic terms in the Akkadian language of the first millennium bce . For instance, the words lubūšu and sub ̣ ātu, which qualify the attire of the queen-mother in this inscription, have general meanings. They do not specifically denote a female garment. It was perhaps the colour or shape of her garments that expressed their female gender, or her entire outfit replete with jewels, perfume and hairdressing. Therefore, one should note not only the gender distribution of the different types of garment according to their name, material, colour, and way they were worn on the body, but also their relation to jewellery, perfume, hairdressing, accessories, and so on. Unlike a single item of clothing, the entire outfit can express the gender of an individual. Iconography often provides some information on those aspects that are, most of the time, not available in cuneiform texts. During the Neo-Assyrian period (728–609 bce ), when the Assyrian kings ruled Mesopotamia, the garments worn by the kings and their court were recorded in the texts from the palatial archive dealing with textile production, in letters, administrative documents and royal inscriptions. They come notably from the Assyrian capitals of Aššur, Nineveh and Kalhu (for Neo-Assyrian terminology, see Gaspa 2018). In addition, the reliefs of the Neo-Assyrian palaces, depicting characters with their clothing, provide us with visual information on contemporary garments, despite the fact that they follow the conventions of representation. Furthermore, real garments were found in the tombs of the queens of Nimrud, an exceptional discovery in a region where ancient organic materials are rarely preserved. 205

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In 609 bce , the Neo-Assyrian Empire was succeeded by the Neo-Babylonian, which lasted until 539 bce , when the Persian king Cyrus captured Babylon. The main body of cuneiform documentation discovered in Babylonia for the first millennium bce was produced between 626 and 484. Tablets from private archives list garments belonging to urban families, while temple archives record the attributions of clothing for temple personnel. Preserved carved reliefs are rare and limited to depictions of the king and the elite. Many cuneiform tablets were also found for later periods, up until the end of the Hellenistic era following the conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great (330 bce ). Private archives from this period also mention garments owned by families or individuals (see Jursa 2005, for a detailed presentation of the Babylonian documentation). The aim of this study is to better understand the expression of gender distinction through garments and dress in first millennium bce Mesopotamia. At what stage of the manufacturing process did a garment become masculine or feminine? And according to what criteria was the dress considered feminine, masculine or neutral in the Mesopotamian society at that time? I will first consider what the textual sources tell us about gender distinction through clothing and then compare it to the iconographical data.

15.1 The terminology of garments and gender The study of the gender of garments through textual data is difficult because of the scarcity of mentions of women in the cuneiform sources compared to men. Most of the attributions of garments in supply, rations or payment concern men. Nevertheless, there are a few attestations of garments given to women as gifts or as payment for service, or in dowries on the occasion of their marriage. Does the terminology of clothing depend on the gender of the person who is wearing it? To answer this question, we shall compare the terminology of the garments given to men and to women as gifts, salary or an allocation in order to see if there were any differences in the terminology. 15.1.1 A comparison of garments given to men and to women: Neo-Assyrian garment terminology In his book Textiles in the Neo-Assyrian Empire (2018), Salvatore Gaspa presents a detailed lexicon of the terminology of textiles and garments in the Neo-Assyrian period, with the context for using these objects in daily life. The terminology reveals that garment names are usually not gendered, most of them being alternately assigned to men or women. One might have supposed that garments belonging to soldiers were intended exclusively for men, given that there were no female soldiers in the Assyrian army. However, the naḫ laptu, a coat or armour worn by Assyrian soldiers, is also mentioned in a dowry list (CTN 2, 1, Kalhu, eighth century bce ).1 This garment name had a general meaning and probably referred to a coat or a wrap that could have different aspects and uses according to context.2 Another example is the gulēnu. In Neo-Assyrian 206

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documentation, this was a cloak, a coat or a tunic, generally given to palace servants and to soldiers (Gaspa 2018: 277–8, especially note 450). But this term also appears in two dowry lists (CTN 2, 1, Kalhu, eighth century bce and ND 2307, Kalhu, 622 bce ). The dowries list the items brought by the bride to her new family. Although they do not exclusively include objects intended for female use, these items are generally household equipment. These two examples show that the vocabulary of military clothing is not always specific to this context and is a part of the more general terminology of clothing in the Neo-Assyrian language. Similar conclusions can be drawn from observing the vocabulary of the garments predominantly assigned to women in Neo-Assyrian texts, especially in dowries. The gammīdu, for instance, can be used as a garment or as a rug or a blanket (Gaspa 2018: 276–7). It appears in two dowry lists from Kalhu (CTN 2, 1, Kalhu, eighth century bce and ND 2307, Kalhu, 622 bce ). However, this garment is also given to men on other occasions (SAA 7, 15, Nineveh, seventh century bce ). The maqatṭ ụ appears in a dowry list from Aššur (StAT 2, 164, Aššur, 675 bce ) and repeatedly in a palace account from Nineveh (SAA 7 115, seventh century bce ; Gaspa 2018: 278–80). However, in another administrative account these clothes are received by a man (SAA 7 112, Nineveh, seventh century bce ).3 The kuzippu was a suit or a cloak given to pregnant women and to nurses (SAA 10, 293 and 275, seventh century bce ; Gaspa 2018: 250–3), but was also allocated to archers (SAA 7 115, Nineveh, seventh century bce ). The term was therefore generic and different types of kuzippu existed according to their function. In a letter from Nineveh sent by an exorcist to the king Esarhaddon, one reads that the king has to wear the kuzippu of a nurse for a ritual: ‘Concerning the injunction about which the king wrote to me, the king should observe the injunctions carefully. The king does not eat anything cooked; the king wears the garment kuzippu of a nurse’ (SAA 10 275: r. 4, seventh century bce ). One can wonder if, in this precise situation, we have a case of cross-dressing, in the context of a ritual where gender roles were abolished or inverted. In most cases, it is therefore difficult to identify garment names that would be assigned only to men or to women. The terminology of clothing during the Neo-Assyrian period is mostly gender-neutral. However, there might have been other ways to express the gender of a garment in Neo-Assyrian language. Salvatore Gaspa remarked that both a feminine and a masculine form of some garment terms was found in dowries, for example the gammīdu/gammidātu, the maqatṭ ụ̄ /maqatṭ utu ̣ . He wrote: ‘it is not clear whether the grammatical differentiation (. . .) witness to different varieties of the same item of clothing, perhaps based on a variation in size’ (Gaspa 2018: 277). Perhaps the use of a feminine or a masculine grammatical form reflects gender differentiations in the aspects of the garments. 15.1.2 A comparison of garments given to men and to women: Neo-Babylonian garment terminology Neo-Babylonian terminology presents the same situation and is not gender-specific. For instance, the names of the two most frequently mentioned garments (used for non-cultic 207

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purposes) are generic terms. These garments, the túg-kur-ra and the musiptu ̣ , were worn by individuals of both genders. The túg-kur-ra was a rectangular fabric that could be worn as an outer garment or used as a blanket (Zawadzki 2010: 412; Quillien 2016a, with related bibliography). Túg-kur-ra were given to male soldiers and workers by the temple administration (YOS 21 98, Uruk, sixth century bce ; CT 56 653, Sippar, sixth century bce ). It also appears in a private archive where it was offered to a woman, the wife of the seller of a house (BE 8 43, Borsippa, Nabonidus’s reign) or given to a nurse as payment (BM 26506, Wunsch 2003/2004 n 23, Borsippa, Darius’s reign). The musiptu ̣ is a generic term, meaning ‘a textile’. In the texts, musiptu ̣ were generally attributed to men (TCL 9 83), but they also appear in women’s dowries (Nbk 369, Roth 1989 n 33, Nebuchadnezzar’s reign). As in Assyria, garment names describing the uniforms of soldiers also appear in contexts where they are worn by women. For instance, the šir’am was a tabard or a jerkin of Babylonian soldiers (Oppenheim 1950: 192; Zawadzki 2006: 414; Joannès 2010: 406; MacGinnis 2012; Quillien 2016b), but text UET 4 118 (Ur, sixth century bce ) mentions a šir’am given to a woman: ‘three shekels (of silver): one šir’am for a slave girl’ (UET 4 118: 4).4 In the marriage contract TBER 93-94 (=Joannès 1984: 72, Suse, sixth century bce ) we find the following clause in case the wife asks for a divorce: ‘from the šir’am, her neck, she will separate’.5 It shows that this garment could also be a part of a married woman’s dress. The opposite is also valid. Garments apparently intended for female use were given to men. We have seen that the garment gammīdu was recorded in Neo-Assyrian dowries. In Neo-Babylonian texts, this garment – its female form gammidātu – was a multicoloured piece of clothing worn by a priestess, according to text BM 80711 (=Jursa 2002, n 1, Esagil, Hellenistic). However, in text GCCI 2 350 (Uruk, sixth century bce ), a gammidātu is given to a man with a túg-kur-ra. When the terminology of clothing during the Neo-Babylonian period is neutral, a qualifier can be added after the garment name to specify its gender. We find, for instance, in different texts: one musiptu ̣ -garment of woman (ša munus),6 two šir’am – garments of man (ša nita) and two belts-ḫ usannu ̣ of woman (ša amiltu).7 These attestations demonstrate the reality of the gendered aspects of Babylonian garments. The gender seems not have been expressed in the terminology and differently styled clothing, tailored either for men or women, could be referred to by the same Akkadian term. 15.1.3 Results It is therefore difficult to identify terms denoting garments worn only by one gender. A similar phenomenon has been pointed out by Jean-Marie Durand for the vocabulary of garments in Mari in the eighteenth century bce . He wrote: ‘Il n’a pas été possible de distinguer l’habillement des hommes et des femmes’ (Durand 2009: 12–14). He added that this does not mean that the clothing of men and women was exactly the same. According to him, it is likely that the aspect, decoration, size and shape of the garments were different. Garment manufacture and style has changed between the early second millennium and the first millennium bce . Nevertheless, as the same garment name 208

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could be qualified ‘of men’ or ‘of women’ in the first millennium bce Mesopotamian texts, it proves that garments did express a gender identity and that there existed a clear difference between male and female attires, despite the non-specific terminology. Literary texts evoke distinctions between men’s and women’s clothing as well as the practice of cross-dressing, mainly in the religious context of the priests of the goddess Ištar, still attested in Assyria in the first millennium bce (Maul 1992: 163; Assante 2009; Peled 2014 and 2016; on this topic, see Chapter 13 by Michel in this volume). The question of when garments took their gendered aspect is worth considering. Was a túg-kur-ra or a šir’am made intentionally to be a female or a male garment? The cuneiform tablets dealing with the manufacturing of garments do not specify their gender. For instance, when the temple administration orders a weaver to make a túg-kurra, it does not specify whether the garment is intended for a man or a woman (Quillien 2016b). The size and shape are not indicated in the tablet recording the order and it seems that the weaver had to make a standard garment with a pre-defined quantity of wool. These facts might signify that the structure of the clothing was initially the same for both genders: a rectangular piece of fabric, often of a standard size. If this garment was not cut and sewn, but draped around the body, it was perhaps the way of wearing it that gave it a feminine or a masculine aspect. It is also possible that a person receiving a túg-kur-ra tailored it to shape to his or her body. In this case, the garment became masculine or feminine at a second stage of the manufacturing process. To explore the gender distinctions through garments and dress further, I will turn to iconography.

15.2 Iconography: what distinguished male and female clothing? Some methodological precautions are necessary before studying Babylonian and Assyrian clothing through iconography. Previous studies of Mesopotamian art have shown that figurative representations should not be considered mere copies of reality (Bahrani 2003; Winter 2009). They are determined, among other factors, by pictorial rules and comply with the demands of the person who commissioned the work. Furthermore, images and texts do not always correspond. The purpose here is therefore to identify gender codes not in real clothing but in the register of artistic creation. Depictions of women are rare in Assyrian and Babylonian iconography.8 I will focus on a few case studies in order to identify the specifics of male and female garments in these particular scenes. Through these examples, from different times and places, I will observe which aspects of dress were gender-oriented. These aspects varied according to the context. 15.2.1 Garments of kings and queens The garments worn at the royal court varied over time. They were different in Babylonia and Assyria. To find the depiction of a royal woman from Babylonia, one has to go back to the Kassite period, that is to say the twelfth century bce (Fig. 15.1). This stela, kudurru, 209

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of the Babylonian king Meli-šipak (1186–1172 bce ) commemorates a gift of land from the king to his daughter, Hunnubat-Nanaya (Paulus 2014, with previous bibliography). The king is depicted with his hand raised in a sign of prayer, in front of the goddess Nanaya. He takes his daughter by the hand and presents her to the goddess. The king is wearing a long dress with short sleeves and fringes at the bottom. A large scarf is crossed over his chest. His dress is fastened with a wide belt which hangs down the back. He has a high hat which is the emblem of kingship. The princess is also wearing a long, fringed dress, but hers is decorated with a band of rosettes at the bottom. Over this, she is wearing a long, fringed shawl, without sleeves, wrapped around her body and covering her right shoulder. She is holding a harp and has a headdress on. Several characteristics of the clothes of the king and his daughter are different. First, the form: the king is wearing a sleeved garment while his daughter has a dress draped around the body. Second, the way of wearing the clothes: the king’s robe is held by a belt

Figure 15.1 Detail of the kudurru of Meli-šipak, 1186–1172 bce , Sb23, Louvre. Photography: Louise Quillien, reproduced with the kind permission of the Musée du Louvre.


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while those of his daughter are simply draped. Perhaps the distinction between the male garments tied with a belt and the female one attached with a pin (the pin is not visible here), studied by Michel in Chapter 13, was still in use at this time. Third, the decoration: the king’s garment is simple, whereas his daughter’s is decorated with flowers. The hairdressing and the size of the two characters are other elements that distinguish them. These markers of gender difference varied across time and space, as the following examples with show. For instance, decorations in form of rosettes on garments are found later on male garments on Neo-Assyrian or Persian reliefs. Neo-Assyrian depictions of royal couples: the wall panel shown in Fig. 15.2, found in the Assyrian palace of Nineveh and dated to the seventh century bce , represents the king Assurbanipal (668–c. 631/627 bce ) and the queen Libbali-šarrat, feasting under a vine (Lion 2019 with previous bibliography). The king is reclining on a couch, with only the top of his garment visible. He is wearing a gown with short sleeves, richly adorned with complex patterns made of stars, pyramids, circles, triangles and rosettes. He is also wearing jewels: earrings, bracelets and a crown in the shape of a band, decorated with circles. The queen is wearing a long dress with sleeves, decorated with bands of geometric motifs. Over it, she is wearing a big shawl, wrapped around her body, covering her shoulders and decorated with elaborate fringes. The whole surface is adorned with circles. The decorations on the garments may represent embroideries or golden appliqués sewn onto the fabric. The queen is also wearing earrings, bracelets and a crown. There are differences in the attire of the king and the queen. The shape: as in the Kassite stele, the queen has a garment, a kind of shawl, where the king does not. The decoration and accessories: contrary to the Kassite stele, the garments of both characters are equally decorated and both are wearing jewels. Both characters have shoulder-length hair. But, as in the case with the stele, each of the characters has their own headdress denoting their status. Lastly, the major signs of masculinity, on top of the garments, are the beard and the weapons that the king has on the table behind him. Therefore, in both these case studies, the way of fashioning and wearing the garments seems to be a sign of gender differentiation. Nevertheless, the codes evolved in space and time, and perhaps also according to the social status or even the situation in life. For instance, according to the scenes of court ceremonies depicted on the reliefs of Khorsabad (ancient Dûr-Sharrukîn), the Assyrian palace built by king Sargon II at the end of the eighth century bce , one sees palace attendants and even the king himself wearing long shawls over their tunics (Fig. 15.3). Other aspects of dressing, such as the headdress, beard, hairdressing and accessories, are also important in the construction of the gendered appearance of an individual. One must not forget that originally Assyrian reliefs were painted with bright colours that must have conveyed the idea of polychromy of the garments. Traces of these paintings were reproduced by Eugène Flandrin in his drawings of the reliefs of Khorsabad showing the pale red colour on the headdresses of the two characters of Fig. 15.3. Bright whiteness and vivid colours, as well as motifs and decorations on fabrics may have been a sign of gender identification. Unfortunately, coloured representations of Assyrian women are lacking. 211

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Figure 15.2 Drawing of the banquet of Assurbanipal, relief of Nineveh, 668–c. 631/627 bce , BM 124920, British Museum. Source: Wright 1905, Fig. 20, Wikimedia commons.

Figure 15.3 Drawing of a relief of Khorsabad, AO 19873, 19874, Musée du Louvre. Source: Flandrin in Botta 1849, pl. 12. 212

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15.2.2 The palace servants on the reliefs of Nineveh The Neo-Assyrian wall panels also include representations of palace servants, both male and female. In the depiction of the royal hunt at Nineveh, male servants can be seen, placed behind king Assurbanipal, holding flycatchers (Fig. 15.4). Female servants are depicted in the banquet scene fanning the king and the queen, playing music, carrying food and a vessel to the royal couple (Fig. 15.2). Women wear long dresses falling to their feet, and jewellery: earrings, bracelets and a headband. Men are also wearing long gowns but fastened with a belt that goes around the waist and up over the shoulder. Here, the sign of masculinity is not the beard, but probably the belt (see Chapter 13 by Michel), that are also present on the soldier’s outfits, but not on the women’s outfits. In contrast to men and particularly the soldiers, who are wearing short tunics on the Assyrian wall panels, women are always depicted in long garments, covering the body and falling to their feet. 15.2.3 The garments of deportees Several Assyrian bas-reliefs represent the military victories of the rulers against their enemies. They show people defeated by the Assyrians, and as the deportations concerned whole populations, depictions of women are more frequent in these scenes. For instance, the wall panel of Nineveh (Fig. 15.5) shows the victory of the king Assurbanipal over Elam. The defeated people are represented in their traditional clothing, seen through the eyes of the Assyrian artists.9 Even if these representations are stereotypical, we see that men wear long gowns with sleeves, girdled with a belt, while women wear long fringed dresses. Men and women are also identified by different hairdressing. Men wear a

Figure 15.4 Drawing of the libation scene of Assurbanipal lion hunt, Nineveh, 668–c. 631/627 bce , BM 124886, British Museum. Source: Barnett 1976, pl. 61. 213

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Figure 15.5 Deportees from Elam, after the military campaign of Assurbanipal, Nineveh, c. 645 bce , AO 19913, Louvre. Photography: Louise Quillien, reproduced with the kind permission of the Musée du Louvre. headband. In this example, where a woman is giving her child a skin to drink from, the boy is wearing the same outfit as male adults. There are no representation of women on wall panels from the Neo-Babylonian period. In contrast to Assyria, the sculpted decor of the Babylonian palaces has not survived. Stele and reliefs show representations of Babylonian kings, but they do not appear with their wives. However, there are depictions of women from southern Babylonia (Chaldea) on the Assyrian reliefs of Nineveh representing Assurbanipal’s military victory over his brother Šamaš-šum-ukin, who had rebelled against him (653– 648 bce ), after he was appointed king of Babylon (detail at the bottom right of the relief BM 124945–6, British Museum).10 The men are wearing short tunics, above the knee, with sleeves. The tunics were fringed along the edge and fastened with a large belt. The great similarity of this outfit with that of the Assyrian soldier leading the prisoners shows that they are certainly also soldiers fighting for Šamaš-šum-ukīn. The captured women behind them are clothed in long, foot-length dresses, with a fringe, wrapped around their bodies. Men and women have similar hairdressing and wear a large headband. From the Assyrian point of view, the differentiation of clothing according to gender was therefore a practice they shared with their neighbours.

15.3 Conclusion The terminology of garments, used in the Neo-Assyrian and Babylonian language, is usually not gendered. However, this does not mean that the shape, decoration and 214

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manner of wearing clothes were the same for men and women and it would explain why some garments in the texts are marked ‘of man’ and ‘of woman’. The study of iconography showed that the aspect of the garments varied according to gender, even if the codes that identified women’s and men’s clothing changed across space and time. It is difficult to distinguish common features. The wearing of jewellery, the embroideries and decorations on the clothing that were reserved for women on the Kassite kudurru are shared by both genders in the Assyrian era. The outer garment draped around the body like a shawl worn by women on the studied scenes of Nineveh wall panels is also worn by male palace attendants on Khorsabad reliefs. Nevertheless, as shown in Chapter 13 by Michel, belts seem to have been a marker of masculinity. Women’s clothes were always long to the ground. Men also could wear long garments, but soldiers could wear tunics showing the knees. Besides the garments, accessories, hairstyle, make-up and perfume could express belonging to a gender: for instance, male and female headdresses are different in the example studied. Colours could also express the gender of an outfit, as Abrahami and Lion have shown in Chapter 2 of this volume. Nevertheless, the administrative texts from Nineveh document coloured wool for making male and soldiers’ garments (for instance, text SAA 7 115, Gaspa 2018: 65). Lastly, it should not be forgotten that garments not only expressed the gender of an individual, but also other components of identity like social status, age, profession and so on.

Acknowledgements I warmly thank Cécile Michel and Mary Harlow for having invited me to contribute to the publication of this volume and for their useful remarks on this chapter. I would also like to thank the Trustees of the British Museum and Marielle Pic, Curator of the Ancient Near Eastern Collection at the Louvre Museum, for the pictures of the Mesopotamian reliefs reproduced in this chapter.

Notes 1 According to Gaspa (2018: 255–8), the word naḫ laptu sometimes means armour or even a coat of mail, as text SAA 7, 89 records a bronze naḫ laptu. In Medio-Assyrian period, though, it was both a garment for soldiers and a royal gift for palatial women. 2 Gaspa (2018: 257–68) lists different uses of this garment in a variety of contexts and notes that different types of naḫ laptu are described in the lexical list Practical Vocabulary of Aššur. 3 SAA 7 112 (ADD 680) Nineveh, seventh century bce , Palace archive, lines 10–12, ‘Gowns (maqatṭ ụ ) of linen, one urnutu-garment covering the (entire) figure, Šamaš-iddin is the recipient’. 4 ‘3 gín 1 túgšir’am šá qallat.’ 5 ‘ina túgšir’am tikka-šu tuparreq.’


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity 6 BE 8 151: 41 ‘1-et túg-mu-sip-tu ̣ šá munus’ (Neo-Babylonian). 4 7 Evetts Ner 28 (=BT 6b): 8 ‘2-ta túg˹šir˺-a-ammeš šá nita’; 12 ‘3 ḫ u-sa-an-ni-e ̣ šá a-mil-tu4’ (Sippar, Neriglissar’s reign). 8 Pinnock (2014) proposes the hypothesis that women were more often represented in Neo-Assyrian art than before because they occupied a more prominent position at the royal court at that time. 9 Albenda (1987) made an analysis of the iconography of deportee families on Neo-Assyrian reliefs and showed that different geographic origins of the deportees are expressed by specific costumes and hairstyle. 10 Pictures of this relief are visible on the website of the British Museum: https://research. britishmuseum.org/ (accessed 20 December 2019).

References Albenda, P. (1987), ‘Woman, Child and Family: Their Imagery in Assyrian Art’, in J.-M. Durand (ed.), La femme dans le Proche-Orient antique, compte rendu de la XXXIIIe Rencontre assyriologique internationale, Paris, 7–10 juillet 1986, 17–21, Paris: Editions Recherches sur les Civilisations. Assante, J. (2009), ‘Bad Girls and Kinky Boys? The Modern Prostituting of Ištar, Her Clergy and Her Cult’, in T. S. Scheer (ed.), Tempelprostitution im Altertum, Fakten und Fiktionen, 23–54, Oikumene 6, Berlin: Verlag Antike. Bahrani, Z. (2001), Women of Babylon, Gender and Representation in Mesopotamia, London, New York: Routledge. Bahrani, Z. (2003), The Graven Image: Representation in Babylonia and Assyria, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (Archaeology, Culture and Society). Barnett, R. D. (1976), Sculptures from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh, London: Trustees of the British Museum Publication. Beaulieu, P.-A. (1989), The Reign of Nabonidus, King of Babylon 556–539 B.C., Yale Near Eastern Researches 10, New Haven: Yale University Press. Botta, P. E. (1849), Monument de Ninive découvert et décrit par M. P. E. Botta, mesuré et dessiné par M. E. Flandin (Tome V Texte), Paris: Imprimerie Nationale. Durand, J.-M. (2009), La nomenclature des habits et des textiles dans les textes de Mari, Matériaux pour le Dictionnaire de Babylonien de Paris 1, Archives Royales de Mari 32, Paris: CNRS Edition. Gadd, C. G. (1958), ‘The Harran Inscriptions of Nabonidus’, Anatolian Studies, 8: 35–92. Gaspa, S. (2018), Textiles in the Neo-Assyrian Empire: a Study of Terminology, Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 19, Berlin: De Gruyter. Joannès, F. (1984), ‘Contrats de mariage d'époque récente’, Revue d'Assyriologie et d'archéologie orientale, 78(1): 71–81. Joannès, F. (2010), ‘Textile Terminology in the Neo-Babylonian Documentation’, in C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennia BC, 400–8, Ancient Textiles Series 8, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Jursa, M. (2002), ‘Florilegium babyloniacum: Neue Texte aus hellenistischer und spätachämenidischer Zeit’, in C. Wunsch (ed.), Mining the Archives: Festschrift for Christopher Walker on the Occasion of his 60th birthday, 4 October 2002, 104–30, Babylonische Archive 1, Dresden: ISLET. Jursa, M. (2005), Neo-Babylonian Legal and Administrative Documents, Typology, Contents and Archives, Guides to the Mesopotamian Textual Record 1, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. 216

First Millennium BCE Mesopotamia Lion, B. (2019), ‘Les vêtements brodés du roi d’Assyrie’, in J.-B. Bonnard and C. Blonce (eds), Corps, gestes et vêtements dans l’Antiquité: Les manifestations du politique, 15–40, Caen: Presses Universitaires. Longman, T. (1991), Fictional Akkadian Autobiography: A Generic and Comparative Study, Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. MacGinnis, J. (2012), The Arrows of the Sun: Armed Forces in Sippar in the First Millennium b.c., Babylonische Archive 4, Dresden: ISLET. Maul, S. (1992), ‘kurgarrû und assinnu und ihr Stand in der babylonischen Gesellschaft’, in V. Hass (ed.), Aussenseiter und Randgruppen: Beiträge zu einer Sozialgeschichte des Alten Orients, 159–71, Xenia 32, Konstanz: Universitätsverlag Konstanz. Oppenheim, L. (1950), ‘Review of H. H. Figula, Business Documents of the New Babylonian Period’, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, 4 (3): 188–95. Paulus, S. (2014), Die babylonischen Kudurru-Inschriften von der kassitischen bis zur frühneubabylonischen Zeit, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 51, Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Peled, I. (2014), ‘assinnu and kurgarrû Revisited’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 73 (2): 283–97. Peled, I. (2016), Masculinities and Third Gender: The Origins and Nature of an Institutionalized Gender Otherness in the Ancient Near East, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 435, Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Pinnock, F. (2014), ‘Family Affairs in the Neo-Assyrian Court’, in L. Marti (ed.), La famille dans le Proche-Orient ancien: réalités, symbolismes, et images: Proceedings of the 55th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale at Paris, 6–9 July 2009, 505–14, Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Quillien, L. (2016a), Les textiles en Mésopotamie (750–500 av. J.-C.): Techniques de production, circuits d’échanges et significations sociales, Ph. Diss., Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne University. Quillien, L. (2016b), ‘Invisible Workers: the Role of Women in Textile Production during the 1st Millennium BC’, in B. Lion and C. Michel (eds), The Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ancient Near East, 473–93, Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 13, Boston: De Gruyter. Roth, M. (1989), Babylonian Marriage Agreements 7th–3rd Centuries BC, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 222, Kevelaer: Butzon und Bercker; Neukirchen-Vlyun: Neukirchener Verlag. Winter, I. (2009), ‘What/When Is a Portrait? Royal Images of the Ancient Near East’, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 153 (3): 254–70. Wright, J. H. (1905), A History of All Nations from the Earliest Time; Being a Universal Historical Library, Philadelphia: Lea Brothers & Cie. Wunsch, C. (2003/2004), ‘Findelkinder und Adoption nach neubabylonischen Quellen’, Archiv für Orientforschung, 50: 174–244. Zawadzki, S. (2006), Garments of the Gods: Studies on the Textile Industry and the Pantheon of Sippar according to the Texts from the Ebabbar Archive, Volume 1, Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 218, Fribourg: Academic Press of Fribourg, Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Zawadzki, S. (2010), ‘Garments in Non-Cultic Context’, in C. Michel and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Textile Terminologies, in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennia BC, 409–29, Ancient Textiles Series 8, Oxford: Oxbow Books.




16.1 Ancient sculptural polychromy When we visit museums, we are usually met with a vista of white marble, which, however, bear no relation to ancient aesthetics: all these white marble statues were originally painted in a wealth of colours. Unfortunately, the original colours of ancient sculptures and reliefs have usually – like the textiles they represent – disappeared, while neither metal vessels, figurines, sculpture, nor the black-and-red-figure vases give any hints as to the colours of garments. This can create the impression that ancient garments were mainly white, which, nonetheless, was far from the case. Polychromy research examines the microscopic traces of colour on artefacts such as sculptures, using different scientific methods. In cases where the original polychromy is not visible to the naked eye, visible induced luminescence (VIL) imaging is extremely helpful. The VIL method can identify the ancient synthetic pigment Egyptian blue (CaCuSi4O10) – even on the level of individual pigment grains. Whether or not the pigment is invisible even under a microscope, a VIL image can reveal its presence (Verri 2009). In black/white pictures Egyptian blue appears chalk-white. The method makes it possible, with great precision, to distinguish Egyptian blue from other pigments of the same shade and, not least, to confirm that ancient artworks were originally painted – even if no traces of colour are visible to the naked eye today. It is important to stress, however, that the identification of Egyptian blue with the VIL method does not exclude the use of other pigments, since the method only registers this specific pigment. Thus, an area lighting up in a VIL-image might as well originally have been purple or green, or almost black. Nevertheless, it clearly shows that a given area of a sculpture was originally painted. A fantastic example of VIL-images revealing the decoration of sculpted garments is the co-called Sciarra Amazon, dated to the mid-second century ce . The VIL images reveal how the chitoniskos was originally painted with a border of Egyptian blue (Fig. 16.1 and Plate 6; Sargent & Therkildsen 2010; Østergaard, Sargent and Terkildsen 2014). This illustrates how even marble sculptures, which do not have any immediate visible traces of polychromy, can reveal a wealth of information about the original appearance of the sculpted garments. In other instances, we are guided by the sculptor who sometimes carved fine lines along the borders of the sculpted garments, to indicate to 219

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Figure 16.1 a: The Sciarra amazon. Mid-second century ce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. 1568. Height: 197 cm. b: VIL-image illustrating the use of Egyptian blue for the border of her chitoniskos. Photos: M. L. Sargent.

the painter where and how the coloured borders should be rendered (Fig. 16.2 and Plate 7). Yet often it is only possible to determine that a specific sculpture was originally polychrome, not how it specifically was painted. In some rare instances, we are, however, fortunate enough to be able to discern the original colours with the naked eye. However, such visual identifications of colours should still be treated with caution, and often, specific research/analyses are necessary to be able to determine the original polychromy of specific sculptures. Such endeavours require specialized staff and equipment as well as permissions to examine the artefacts in question, for which reason this type of research is still limited to a very few museums and research institutions.

16.2 The colours of male and female garments in ancient sculpture 16.2.1 Male polychrome garments Only few male Roman sculptures have been thoroughly examined with regard to the polychromy of their garments. An example is a marble statue from the first century ce 220

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Figure 16.2 Detail of the group of Artemis and Iphigenia, illustrating the incised border, indicating to the painter how to render the polychromy. Second–first century bce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. IN 481–482a. Photo: C. Brøns.

representing Caligula wearing a tunic and toga (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, no. 71.20. H: 203 cm). Examinations of its polychromy showed that small traces of a violet paint mixture, made from madder lake and Egyptian blue pigments, are preserved in areas of the underlying tunic. Three experimental reconstructions have been made of the statue using the same hue of the paint mixture which was found on the tunic, to colour the toga, depicting Caligula wearing a toga picta, a toga praetexta and a toga purpurea. The three different versions illustrate the uncertainties about polychromy research and its interpretation into the original rendering of the garments of sculptures. Yet it confirms the traditional use of purple and white for the Roman male toga (Fig. 16.3 and Plate 8). Another example is the statue of the freedman Gaius Fundilius Doctus, dated to the first century ce and originating from the Sanctuary of Diana Nemorensis in Nemi (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. IN 707). He wears a toga over a tunic. Examinations of the polychromy of his garments revealed a few traces of orange-red ochre pigments preserved on the right shoulder, and on the toga. The same hue of ochre is preserved on the surface of specific areas of the garment including the balteus, following the curve of the sinus and 221

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Figure 16.3 Three reconstructions of the statue of Caligula depicting the Emperor wearing three different types of togas. From left to right: Toga praetexta, toga purpurea, toga picta. The model was made by Direct Dimensions and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, University of Virginia. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Direct Dimensions and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, University of Virginia.

on the lacinia between the feet. On the back of the toga is a cohesive paint layer, consisting of the same pigments and applied directly to the marble surface, which forms a line following the drapery of the fabric. Based on the paint remains, the toga may therefore be reconstructed as a toga praetexta (Brøns & Skovmøller 2017: 64; Skovmøller, Brøns and Sargent 2018). As for the sculpture of Caligula mentioned above, we cannot tell for certain whether the ochre paint was restricted to a border or covered larger parts of the toga. Nevertheless, what is particularly interesting is the reddish-orange hue of the paint layers of the toga, which is unexpected for a togatus. Furthermore, two additional togate statues dating to the first century ce have extensive paint traces preserved, although these have only been visually examined (Liverani 2014a): one is a headless togatus, originating from the Roman forum/theatre in Tarragona, Spain (Museo Nacional Arqueològic de Tarragona, no. MNAT 7584). The statue is rendered in garments, which appear to originally have been completely covered with a reddish-orange paint, applied on a white ground layer. The other is a togatus recovered in a Roman basilica in Formia, Italy (Formia, Museo Nazionale, no. 88483). It has extraordinarily well-preserved paint traces on the garment, which appears to have been covered with a layer of reddish-purple paint (Brøns & Skovmøller 2017: 65). Men were certainly not only depicted in togas, and numerous sculptures render men in tunic and cuirass or in heroic nudity, wearing only a mantle. Among the most famous cuirass sculptures is the Augustus Primaporta (Vatican Museums, no. 36858). The statue’s polychromy has been investigated/examined, showing that red was used for Augustus’ tunic and mantle (Liverani 2004). Similarly, a recently analysed statue of Nero 222

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Figure 16.4 Headless statue of an emperor dressed in red mantle. First half of the first century ce . Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth, no. T 389. Photo: Petros Dellatolas. American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Corinth Excavations.

has detected traces of original red paint on his mantle, draped over his cuirass (Guidi et al. 2018; Archaeological Museum, Bologna, no. 19020). There are also several examples of sculptures of nude men with mantles, which have preserved traces of polychromy. Examples include a male statue dated to c. 10–35 ce , recovered from the Roman theatre in Corinth (Fig. 16.4 and Plate 9).1 He is rendered naked, only covered in a mantle, which appears to have been painted red all over. As for the other male statues, it is uncertain how the paint traces on the statue should be reconstructed. A final example is male life-size sculpture, recovered in a tomb at the via Prenestina, Rome. The sculpture dates to the second century ce and renders a male nude, only wearing a mantle, clearly painted all over in a dark red colour (Antiquarium Comunale del Celio, Rome, no. 6907. H. 89.5. cm; Østergaard, Sargent and Terkildsen 2014: 63). The diversity in paint mixtures, ranging in nuances from purple, orange and red, suggests that these sculptural representations of male garments offered visual diversity in the choice of colour for their garments, including the toga. 223

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16.2.2 Female polychrome garments Even fewer Roman sculptures of women have been examined with regard to the original polychromy of their garments. The matter is further complicated by the fact that many of these sculptures render goddesses, and they are thus not necessarily representative of the colours of garments for ‘normal’ women. One example is a statue of the goddess Kybele, dated c. 60 bce , recovered in a sanctuary in Formia, Italy. Recent investigation of its polychromy has shown that her garments were originally painted in a wealth of colours, including blues, purples and pinks (Fig 16.5a–c. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. IN 480. H: 172 cm and see Plates 10, 11 and 12). Moreover, her mantle was decorated with gold and her tunic with vertical and horizontal borders in various colours. Another example, although not scientifically examined, is the terracotta pediment of a Roman temple of the mid-second century ce on the Via di San Gregorio in Rome (Museo Capitolini).2 The goddess to the left is rendered in a white tunic, which still has a clearly preserved purplish, central, vertical border, while the goddess to the right is dressed in an entirely purple tunic. The so-called, Venus Lovatelli, dated to the first century ce , from Pompeii shows a different colour scheme, as it is rendered in a yellow garment or drapery (Museo Archeologico Nazionale, no. 109608. H. 103.4 cm).

Figure 16.5a Statue of the goddess Kybele, c. 60 bce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. IN 480. 224

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Figure 16.5b VIL-image illustrating the use of Egyptian blue for the vertical border along the hemline of her tunic. Photo: S. B. Hedegaard.

Figure 16.5c Microscope image illustrating the some of the different colours of her tunic. Here superimposed stripes of blue, purple and pink. Photos: S. B. Hedegaard.


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Among the few Roman examples of statues of women with preserved polychromy on its garments, is a statue of a woman, so-called Agrippina the Elder, recovered from the Augusteum in Narona, Croatia (Archaeological Museum, Split). It has been dated to the Julio-Claudian period. Examinations of its polychromy revealed a mixture of indigo and red pigments, resulting in a purplish-red for her mantle (Liverani 2008: 293). Although the Roman examples are few, Hellenistic marble sculptures, primarily from the second century ce , provide an excellent parallel. Thus, the extensive studies by Clarissa Blume include numerous marble statues of women with well-documented polychromy. According to Blume, a statistical study of the preserved polychromy of the garments of Hellenistic sculpture showed that the choice of colour was not related to status, gender, age or subject of the rendered figure, and the choice of colours does not therefore carry any significance in itself (Blume 2015: 61). Among the most interesting examples is a sculpture from Delos in the type of the so-called Small Herculaneum Woman (National Archaeological Museum, Athens, no. 1827. H: 175 cm; Fig. 16.6 and Plate 13). The garments are rendered with a rich polychromy: Her mantle was originally pink with elaborate borders along the hem in dark purplish blue and gold, while her tunic was painted light blue with a border along the hem and an elaborate wavy vertical border (Blume 2015, cat. 25). Several of the Hellenistic female statues appear to have originally been rendered in pink garments. This includes, for example, the statue of Themis from Rhamnous, which is rendered in a pink tunic and mantle, the latter with an elaborate border with ‘rays’ in a darker pink or red (Blume 2015, cat. 1; National Archaeological Museum, Athens, no. 231. H: 222 cm), the statue of a standing muse, dressed in pink tunic and mantle with horizontal borders along the hems (Blume 2015, cat. 17; Liebieghaus, Frankfurt, no. 160. H: 117 cm), the statue of a woman, dressed in a pink mantle and tunic with a centrally placed, vertical border in pink and white (Blume 2015, cat. 27; Archaeological Museum, Delos, no. A 4200. H: 52 cm), and a statue of a goddess from Pergamon, wearing a pink chiton with decorative, colourful borders along the hem and the apoptygma (Blume 2015, cat. 57; Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Antikensammlung, no. VII 23. H: 176 cm). However, there are also examples of Hellenistic sculptures with garments rendered in other colours, particularly blue.3 If the Hellenistic examples can be taken as indicative in any way of the colours of Roman dress in sculptural arts, it appears that female garments could be rendered in a wealth of colours, primarily in nuances of pinks, purples and reds, but also yellow. This brief survey of the colours used to render the garments of men and women, whether mortal or divine, in Roman sculpture is evidently based on very few examples and it is therefore limited in drawing any conclusions. This position is further complicated by the fact that the scholarly focus within polychromy research is often centred on specific periods and/or geographical areas, such as the Hellenistic sculptures from Delos or the Archaic sculptures from the Athenian Acropolis (Blume 2015; Brinkmann, Dreyfus and Koch-Brinkmann 2017). There are thus still many gaps in our knowledge on ancient polychromy, including the rendering of garments in Roman sculpture. Furthermore, it should be kept in mind that it by no means is easy to interpret the minute traces of polychromy, since so little is usually preserved. Thus, it is often difficult – if not 226

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Figure 16.6 Reconstruction of the polychrome painting of a Delian cloaked statue of the Small Herculaneum woman type, Athens, National Archaeological Museum. Reproduction printed with kind permission of Clarissa Blume. 227

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impossible – to interpret and reconstruct entire garments of a given sculpture based on only extremely sparse traces of paint. In addition, the pigments can alter with time since their excavation, changing the appearance of the polychromy. Thus, the colours may have faded due to exposure to sunlight, heat, moisture, and so on, and may originally have been much brighter. Furthermore, some pigments, such as cinnabar and azurite, are known to change colour due to chemical changes caused by degradation phenomena (see Brøns 2020: 317). Thus, we cannot exclude that there might be an over-representation of reddish garments due to the durability (or availability) of red pigments. Moreover, although earth pigments, such as ochres, do not change colour so easily it can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to ascertain the difference between earth pigments used for the polychromy and contamination from the surroundings while the artefact was deposited in the ground. Furthermore, we cannot exclude the possibility that the polychromy included pigments which have completely disappeared or can no longer be seen, because they have lost their colour entirely. However, despite these obstacles, it seems apparent that men were not restricted to wearing white, and that their wardrobes could include colourful garments when rendered in sculpture, although the palette appears to have been focused on nuances ranging from purples to reds to oranges. Yet this might reflect the fact that these sculptures render their subjects in specific capacities, for example as emperors or divinities. Consequently, the garments and the colours we see rendered plausibly serve specific iconographic purposes and agendas, and therefore do not necessarily reflect real-life situations. Based on the sculptural representations, women appear to have been depicted in a wider range of colours, primarily in shades of pinks, purples and blues. Moreover, their garments appear to a wider extent to include decorative borders, as for example the statue of Kybele and the Small Herculaneum Woman from Delos. Yet many of the examples render goddesses; thus far very few sculptures of Roman women with preserved polychromy have been examined which, as for the males, might distort the image of colour-coding in sculptural art. Evidently, this conclusion is only based on sculptural representations, and a very few of them. When other media are included, such as wall paintings, a much larger variation in choice of colours for female as well as male garments appears. To sum up, although this research is still in its infancy, it appears that Roman female garments depicted in statuary were coloured, often in nuances of purples, pinks and blues, and occasionally decorated with different types of decorative borders, while male garments are rendered in white and different ranges of purples and reds. However, we need far more research into the original polychromy of the sculpted textiles before anything certain can be concluded: for example, on whether specific genders were associated with garments in specific colours or decoration.

16.3 Colouring the moral compass As research into polychromy is demonstrating, the Roman world was full of colours. Dyes for textiles, clothing and hair, and even the face, were as sought after as pigments 228

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for sculptural and wall decoration. Dyes were produced from plants, animals and minerals, and there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that dyeing was a recognized skill in the Roman world. Dye analysis of textile finds has shown evidence of a vast range of possible sources: saffron (crocus sativus), weld (reseda luteola), dyer’s broom (genista tinctoria) for shades of yellow-orange; woad (isatis tinctoria) or more rarely imported indigo (indigotifera tinctoria) for blues; wild or cultivated madder (rubia peregrina/ tinctoria), kermes (kermoccus vermilio) and various berries for reds; walnuts, iron and tannins for dark brown/black shades. The most sought after and most written about colour (in both and ancient and the modern world) was the famous murex purple – a dye that could produce colours ranging from almost black to palest lavender (Cardon 2007; Meiers 2017). All colours could come in a range of hues and shades depending on the source of the dye, the dyeing/overdyeing process and use of mordants. The list above is by no means comprehensive; many more shades were available for the discerning Roman shopper. Most of the examples above could be found around the Mediterranean: Pliny the Elder claims that the best madder comes from close to Rome (NH 19.17); woad could be found famously in Britain where the natives were said to use it as a body dye (Caesar, de bello Gall. 5.14; Carr 2005); weld, like woad and madder, could be cultivated but grows well in the wild, particularly in northern Europe; saffron, on the other hand, prefers the temperate climate of the Mediterranean and grew in both wild and cultivated varieties in Italy, Sicily, Greece and Cilicia (Pliny NH 21.17; Cardon 2007; Benda-Weber 2014). Archaeological evidence for dyers’ workshops has been identified in excavations of settlements throughout the empire (Bogard and Puybaret 2004; Wilson 2004). The production of murex purple dyes has been recognized in coastal sites across the Mediterranean (Cardon 2007: 574 for map). Murex dye can be obtained from different species of molluscs. The quality and colour of the dye can also be altered depending on how many mollusc glands are used, the salinity of the sea, the nature of the process, the temperature used and many other variables (Seneca, NQ 1.3.12; Koren 2005, Cardon 2007: 566–86). The tones and mix of colours that are surprising the modern world and often modern sensibilities, in polychromy research are manifest in artefacts that were, for the most part, in the public domain, so their colouring, as far as it can be ascertained, is for positive visual effect. In clothing this means both catching the eye but also being socially acceptable. The presumption is that emperors, and others, do not have themselves memorialized in unsuitable clothing. Despite the evident desire for colour in clothing and in sculpture, wall painting and architecture, Latin authors found much to be unhappy about. The discourse which surrounds coloured clothing is markedly gendered, and neither sex comes out of it well. Writing in the early second century, from a Christian context, but steeped in classical learning and references, Clement of Alexandria says: We disapprove of dyed garments. They not satisfy the demands of either necessity or truth; besides they give cause for defamation of character. They serve no useful purpose, for they do nothing to protect against the cold, nor do they add any 229

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advantage to that given by any other garment, save criticism alone. . . . It is more fitted that they who are pure and upright interiorly be clothed in pure white and plain garments. Paidogogus 2.10.1084 In this short extract, Clement encapsulates much of the moral and satirical comment that surrounds coloured clothing in the classical corpus from Plato to his own time. Clothes and the manner of dressing were key markers of gender in antiquity and colour played a major part in dressed gender performance. The gendering of the Roman wardrobe is traditionally discussed in terms of length (ankle/floor-length garments for women, shorter for men) and choice of materials but recent work on colour and its coding in Roman society have highlighted this element as a significant part of the discourse. Hues add colour (forgive the pun) to commentaries as authors could develop elaborate links between what an individual looked like with the type of person they were. Character and moral standing could be discerned and described by the colour and style of clothing, and the manner in which it was worn. The physical colour took on a moral quality (Bradley 2009: 112). Mark Bradley’s Colour and its Meaning in Roman Culture (2009) has probably had the most direct recent impact on Anglophile academic interest in colour, although all current scholars working on the subject acknowledge their debt to Jacques André’s 1949 work and to the short chapter by Judith Lynn Sebesta (1994). In terms of research into dyeing, the work of Dominique Cardon is highly regarded and influential, particularly the monumental Natural Dyes (2007) where the history and development of every colour/ dye mentioned in this chapter is catalogued. The conferences and accompanying publications of Purpureae Vestes, originating under the influence of Carmen Alfaro Giner, has also brought a huge range of research on textiles and dyeing to a wider audience since 2002.5 The influence of all this research is demonstrated in the amount of space given to consideration of dyes and colour in more recent research concerned with Roman dress. For instance, in her 2008 volume Dress and the Roman Woman, Kelly Olson only devoted three pages to colour in female dress, while in the more recent companion work, Masculinity and Dress in Roman Antiquity, seven detailed pages discuss colour despite the opening gambit that men are normatively coded ‘staid and plain’ (2017: 108). Much of what is written below follows the research of Bradley, Cardon and Olson (for similar work on the Greek world, see most recently Grand-Clément 2011). In Latin literature idealized masculinity is plain, white (and whitened) and/or purple/ red. The symbolic associations of these colours are articulated to speak to the male, hierarchical and patriarchal norms that governed Roman culture. Plain or undyed clothing spoke to the ideal of the pure, unsullied, moral citizen; it need not necessarily be white but the natural (off-white) colour of wool or linen (Clement of Alexandria Paed. 3.11, citing Plato, Laws 12. 956; Olson 2017: 113). White (bleached or artificially whitened) clothing was hard to maintain so implied a wearer who did not need to engage in manual labour and could afford the cleaning bills, and in certain contexts carried 230

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implications of ritual purity (Olson 2017: 113; Bradley 2002). Purpureae vestes were markers of rank and sanctity with a long history in ancient Mediterranean culture (Reinhold 1970). True or murex purple was highly prized because of the sheer number of molluscs and labour necessary to obtain the quantities of it required – although by the imperial period, purple dye works existed across the Mediterranean. Murex purple came in a range of shades and possessed a range of qualities which could identify it as such: it could have a depth of colour close to black (like ‘congealed blood’, Pliny NH 9.135;) it was meant to gleam or glisten when held at a certain angle to the light (Seneca, NQ 1.5.12; Macrobius, Sat. 2.4.14) and it retained its fishy smell (Mart. 1.4.32, 2.16.3, 4.4.6). Pliny the Elder provides a brief history of the use of purple in Roman culture which points up changes in fashion from violet purple (violacea purpura) in the time of Augustus, to a preference for the red purple (rubra) of Tarentum to the double-dyed Tyrian (dibapha Tyria) which was common in his own day even for soft furnishings (NH 9. 136–7; Bradley 2009: 193–6; Meier 2017; Olson 2017: 110). Purpura was a shade with symbolic overtones which could vary depending on the context in which it was seen and the nature of its hue. The purple border of the toga praetexta worn by magistrates and children was meant to mark them out as persons of significance and offer them protection from abuse or ill-will. This is the image presented on public sculpture. However, even purple with all its associated status connotations, or perhaps precisely because of these associations, could be used in the armoury of ridicule that Latin orators and satirists so excelled at. Poets and satirists give the impression that some shades of purple, particularly those on the paler or pinker/lavender end of the spectrum, were not suitable for men. A character with a hyacinth cloak is deemed effeminate in Persius (1.32; Olson 2017: 111), and in Martial amethyst-coloured clothing is more suitable for women, implying that men who chose to wear such shades are of questionable masculinity even though in Nero’s time this was the shade most sought after (1.96. 6–7; Harlow 2018: 187). The lingering smell of true murex purple which could identify it as the best quality, rather than a cheaper vegetal alternative, was exploited by Martial to criticize the parvenu freedman Zoilus, who possessed bed covers dyed in ‘smelly Sidonian purple’ (2.16.3). Murex from Sidon, close to Tyre on the coast of modern Lebanon, which produced one of the best and most sought-after murex purple, loses its exotic and luxurious edge when used for soft furnishings by a jumped-up, status-grabbing ex-slave. Martial plays with the same trope in referring to Philaenis, who uses the smell of her purple clothes to mask the smell of her body (9.62; Harlow 2018: 187). Commentary on purple is not only seen in poetry; its expense was also part of its attraction and its denigration. Abstemious emperors, or those who wished to appear so, were restrained in their use of murex purple: Tiberius shamed senators who were wearing too much purple by wearing a dark woollen cloak to a public event, so thereafter they had to follow suit (Dio 57.13.5); Alexander Severus insisted on bright purple, not for himself but for matronae of the court, and when he wore linen required it to be soft, not rough with purple dye (SHA, Aug. Sev. 4.40.6, 10; on legal control of purple see Napoli 2004). The various shades of purple and the ways in which they are used reflected various shades of individuals from all-powerful emperor to the morally upright citizen 231

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to the morally bankrupt freedman and outrageous harlot (Olson 2017: 110–11; Harlow 2018: 186). The association of effeminacy with certain shades of purple assumes that these colours are more suitable, and perhaps more in demand among women – although we are in danger of creating a circular argument here. Amethystinus, noted above, was considered a female colour. This penchant for pinkish-lavender is demonstrated the examination of pigments in female statuary of the Hellenistic period (see above and Fig. 16.6). A reconstruction of Small Herculaneum woman type from Delos shows her in a blue floorlength tunic under a pink palla with both garments have detail in darker blue (Blume 2014: 69). A similar colouring can also be found in some Romano-Egyptian mummy portraits, dating to the first and second centuries ce , perhaps suggesting that this colour range and combination remained popular in the female wardrobe over time (Figs 16.7 and 16.8 and Plates 14 and 15). Two further colours are associated primarily with women and thus almost invariably used to impugn the masculinity of any man a writer wished to disparage – these are yellow and green. These appear frequently in wall paintings which feature female figures

Figure 16.7 Attributed to Malibu Painter (Romano-Egyptian, active 75–100) Mummy Portrait, ce 75–100, encaustic wax technique on lime wood panel 40 × 20 × 0.2 cm (15 3/4 × 7 7/8 × 1/16 in.), 73.AP.91. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California (open access). 232

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Figure 16.8 Unknown. Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman, about ce 170–200, tempera on wood. 34.9 × 21.3 cm (13 3/4 × 8 3/8 in.), 81.AP.29. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California (open access).

(e.g. a private dining scene from Pompeii, Naples Museum, MANN 9024; Europa and the bull from the House of Jason, Pompeii, Naples Museum, MANN111475). It is difficult to talk about colour in any language, let alone across time, space and culture. Even in antiquity the complexity of describing colour was often frustrating and lacking in precision as it was recognized as encompassing elements of light and dark, of movement, of reflection, of intensity and described by association with other ephemeral elements such as the sky, the sea, flames, blood and so on (Aulus Gellius, Attic Nights 2.26.2–21; see discussion in Bradley 2009: 229–33). Yellow is a colour that is particularly hard to define in Latin. As with all colours, a number of terms are used to describe its range of hues (flavus, luteus, crocus/croceus). Pliny the Elder talks about luteus as ‘the earliest colour to be highly esteemed and granted as an exclusive privilege to women as their bridal veils’ (NH 21.22.46; Olson 2008: 13). Pliny is referring to the flammeum whose name seems to describe its colour as somewhere on the yellow–orange–red range, perhaps dyed with saffron (contra Sebesta 1994: 66). Pliny also says that, for this reason, luteus is not included in the principal colours, that is those common to men and women, since it is joint use that gives the principal colours their dignity (principatum) (21.22.46) 233

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thus reinforcing the notion of gendered colours and the idea that in ancient culture some colours carry more symbolic value than others (on other terms for yellow see Bradley 2009: 1–6 on flavus and derivatives). Gender in antiquity tends to work through a series of oppositions; thus for men to be truly masculine they must avoid what is defined as feminine. If an author wished to insult another male and imply he was effeminate, dressing him in yellow was a good start (Olson 2008: 13). Cicero points out that when Clodius infiltrated the female only festival of Bona Dea, he was wearing a saffron robe, among other female accoutrements: ‘Publius Clodius suddenly emerged from his saffron robe, his turban, his womanish slippers and purple hose, his breast-band, his lute, and his monstrous debaucheries – a fully-fledged demagogue’ (Hars. 44). The denigration of Clodius’s character is demonstrated by his womanish dress and compounded by the reference to saffron yellow which may allude to the traditional bridal veil. Shades of green were used by satirists in a similar vein. The colour galbinus, described in English translations as yellowy-green, appears to be an invention of satirists, used almost exclusively to describe homosexuals, or those who take a passive role in love-making – i.e. in the Roman mind, behave like women (Gazzarri 2019). Martial uses it to describe the morals of an individual who enjoys watching men at the baths (1.96 – where Martial also refers to those who wear scarlet (coccinatos) as unmanly). Zoilus, who we met above, is described by Martial as reclining on a couch covered with purple silk cushions in a galbinus gown (3.82.5) at the beginning of the epigram, by the end he is described as one who practises oral sex on men (3.82.34). In Juvenal, men who ape the women-only festival of the Bon Dea are described as wearing blue checks or smooth green (caerulea . . . scutulata aut galbina rasa Juv. 2.97; Hopman 2003; Olson 2008: 13, 2017: 113; Harlow 2018: 189; Gazzarri 2019: 82–4). It may be that this particular shade of yellow-green gained notoriety among certain circles but it is not an easy leap from satiric to social reality for some colours. Other terms/shades for green are also associated with negative traits: viridis brought a sense of lushness and growth linked closely with youthful sexuality (Cat. 17.4, 63.30; Tacitus Agr. 29; Olson 2017: 113); prasinus (which may have been a blue-green) is the colour of a given to a mistress by Martial’s friend Sextilianus (10.29). Greens may have been shades more suitable for private life, rather than public performance in the imperial period. Another shade of green (prasinus) was associated with chariot teams. Although in imperial times these teams were supported by young emperors whose wardrobes and characters were considered questionable (Suet. Calig. 55, Nero 22), by late antiquity they were one of the most popular chariot factions and examples of hyper-masculinity, reflecting another change in the cultural fashion of colour. Shades of green and blue-green are found in archaeological textiles and often associated with the female wardrobe (see Cardon, Granger-Taylor and Nowik 2011 and associated catalogue; see also Fig. 16.9 and Plate 16). Shades of purple make up two of Pliny’s three principal colours. The third is red from the kermes insect, which in his definition could shift from ‘the loveliness of the dark rose shades, if you look at it in a bright light into Tyrian purple, double-dyed purple and Laconian purple’ (NH 21.22.45). The merging of the red and purple colour spectrums is 234

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Figure 16.9 Panel painting of a woman in the blue mantle, 54–68 ce Roman period, from Egypt. Medium: Encaustic on wood. Dimensions: H. 38 cm (14 15/16 in.); W. 22.3 cm (8 3/4 in.). Credit Line: Director’s Fund, 2013. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Accession Number: 2013.438.

evident in Roman understanding of colour: the term ruber could be used to cover all such shades (Aulus Gellius NA 2.26.5; Olson 2017: 112). In satire, reds, especially the brighter scarlet (coccinus from the kermes insect), are used to colour the garments of those who are pretentious or aiming at a status they do not merit. Like murex purple, creating a true kermes scarlet required a lot of the primary dye material so was expensive to produce. Trimalchio, the caricature of the parvenu freedman, is wrapped in a red cloak/towel after his bath, and appears at dinner in scarlet mantle (Petronius, Sat. 28.7, 32.2; Grant 2004). In Martial, in one epigram the gift of an expensive scarlet cloak is well received (14.131, 133) while in another those who wear scarlet are not considered ‘real men’ (qui coccinatos non putat viros esse; 1.96.7). Colours on the red/purple spectrum were both the most valued colours in the Roman dye repertoire and the most denigrated, even for women for whom colour was considered acceptable. Ovid complains about women wearing Tyrian purple and ‘carry whole incomes on their body’ when so many 235

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cheaper colours were available (Ars Am. 3.170–2), a comment which echoes an earlier one of Plautus (Epidicus 226–7) and was probably part of the common language of generally denigrating women’s perceived innate deficiencies. Latin authors give the impression that the ideal citizen male wore plain (white or offwhite) garments, perhaps decorated with purple clavi, a toga (also white/off-white/ natural fleece coloured) or a cloak, perhaps in red or purple. The male wardrobe is not exactly monochrome but it is subdued and any attempt to over-colour it made the individual suspect in his aspirations and his morals. Gravitas was expressed by an appearance that respected this cultural colour coding. Women, on the other hand, lacked natural gravitas and found colour hard to resist. Their perceived natural weakness expressed itself in the desire for self-decoration. This need to express themselves through coloured clothing and jewellery is described by Livy as the equivalent to the honours that men gained through priesthoods, triumphs and spoils of war (34.7.8). This gendered notion of colour is evident in two famous literary lists of dyed clothing, both of which are aimed at the female wardrobe – Plautus’s list of from Epidicus and Ovid’s from Ars Amatoria: (3. 169–72): the marigold or the saffron dress (caltulam aut crocotulam), the mini-shawl or . . . the maxi-shawl, the hooded dress, the queen’s or the foreign dress, the watercoloured or the downy-coloured dress (cumatile aut plumatile), the nut-brown or the waxen dress (carinum aut cerinum). Epid. 229–356 there is the colour of the sky, when the sky is cloudless, and warm Auster brings no rainy showers; lo, here is one like you, who once was said to have rescued Phrixus and Helle from Ino’s wiles; this colour imitates water, and from water has its name: in this raiment I could think the Nymphs were clad. That colour counterfeits saffron: in saffron robe is the dewy goddess veiled, when she yokes her lightbringing steeds; this has the hue of Paphian myrtle, that, of purple amethysts, these of white roses and of Thracian cranes; nor, Amaryllis, are your chestnuts lacking, nor yet almonds; and wax has given to fleeces its own name. As many as are the flowers that the new-born earth produces, when the vine in warm spring urges forth its buds, and sluggish winter is fled, so many dyes and more does the wool drink up. Ars Amatoria 3. 169–72 In the first extract humour is used to make the point about the annoying (to the male speaker) range and cost of women’s clothing, in the second the elegiac poet’s voice is overtly apparent in the associations with goddesses and Homeric and pastoral references which would all have had resonances for the erudite Roman audience. The association of female dress with colour is not disputed but exploited and played with for poetic 236

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effect (for further discussion of these extracts see Sebesta 1994: 65–6, 68–9; Olson 2008: 11–12; Harlow 2012: 41–3). At the same time, neither of the authors is writing positively about colour. Epidicus/Plautus is complaining about a woman’s need to be fashionable and all the personnel and money this requires. Ovid begins his catalogue of colours by the comment cited earlier about the cost of dyeing, and his overall theme is that while women should cultivate themselves, they should also look as natural as possible; they should care for themselves, but not to excess. Ovid has his courtesans dress in dyed wool rather than dyed silk, a small nod to the ideal of moderation (Ars Am. 3.170). Even women, for whom colour was thought appropriate or at least allowable, were subject to the critical eye of social commentators.

16.4 Conclusions Recent research into pigments and dyes is undoubtedly altering the prism through which we view classical antiquity. Ancient people lived in a world far from the ‘classical’ white marble that is on view in sometimes sterile museum conditions and current work is making the visual reality of antiquity more accessible. At the same time the symbolic and social connotations of colours have become a subject of academic interest which is informing our reading of coloured sculpture and archaeological textile finds, highlighting the need for interdisciplinary approaches to the evidence. The study of colour is breaking down traditional disciplinary boundaries in the study of Greece and Rome, but we still have some way to go before we can create holistic images of the ancient world. The statue of Fundilius mentioned above is a case in point. This is a sculpture made by a highly skilled artist, the layers and movement of the cloth of his toga through which the tunic beneath can be seen demonstrate consummate skill on the part of the sculptor. Analysis of his toga suggests it might be praetextate, but the possibility that it might be coloured reddish/orange all over raises interesting questions about the colours of togas in general (see Liverani 2014b: Fig. 1) but also about the image that Fundilius himself is attempting to present. He is a freedman and former actor being represented in an exquisite and presumably expensive sculpture, in a high-status garment dyed in a costly colour. How would contemporary audiences have viewed this? Would they have bought into his selfpresentation or regarded him, as a satirist might, as an individual acting above his station who did not understand, or choose to flaunt, social colour coding? These questions demonstrate our need to keep talking across our disciplinary boundaries. This chapter has also highlighted the conservative attitude to colour in male clothing which is normative in both ancient texts and sometimes in modern commentary. However, one aspect that is demonstrated by the literary texts is that many colours were available to those who chose to use and wear them, despite, or in spite of, social faux pas. In interpreting gender in the Roman world, we understand what might be acceptable for one sex by learning what is not appropriate for the other – as some colours are deemed effeminate, should we make the assumption that they are more suitable for women? If we make this assumption without considering context, we risk being seduced into defining 237

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groups by literary opposition rather than thinking through the reality of social interaction. However, in defence of text, while it is the scientific study of dyes in archaeology and pigments on statuary and other artefacts that will eventually colour antiquity for us, opinions about colour, rhetorical or otherwise, make the ancient world colourful.

Notes 1 Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth, no. T 389. 2 This image can be seen at: http://www.museicapitolini.org/en/percorsi/percorsi_per_sale/ palazzo_clementino_caffarelli/sala_del_frontone/frontone_da_via_di_san_gregorio_ divinita_femminile_diademata 3 E.g. Artemis, Archaeological Museum of Delos, no. A4126 (Blume 2015: cat. 20); Muse, Archaeological Museum of Delos, no. A4128. 4 Translation from Wood (1954). 5 Purpureae vestes volumes: I: (2004), Purpureae Vestes: Textiles y Tintes del Mediterráneo en época romana, (eds) C. Alfaro, J. P. Wild and B. Costa, Valencia; II: (2008), Vestidos, Textiles y Tintes: Estudios sobre la producción de bienes de consume en lat Antigüdad, (eds) C. Alfaro and L. Karali, Valencia; III: (2011), Textiles y Tintes en al Cuidad Antigua, (eds) C. Alfaro, J.-P. Brun, Ph. Borgard and R. Pierobon Benoit, Valencia; IV: (2014), Production and Trade of Textile and Dyes in the Roman Empire and Neighbouring Regions, (eds) C. Alfaro Giner, M. Tellenbach and J. Ortiz (Valencia); V: (2016), Textiles, Basketry and Dyes in the Ancient Mediterranean World, (eds) J. Ortiz, C. Alfaro, L. Turell and M. J. Martinez, Valencia; VI: Textiles and Dyes in the Mediterranean Economy and Society, (eds) M. S. Busana, M. Gleba, F. Meo and A.R. Tricomi, Zaragoza. 6 Translations (with some alterations) taken from Loeb editions. Plautus was also aware of specialist dyers for different colours, Aulularia 510, 514.

References André, J. (1949), Études sur les termes de couleur dans la langue latine, Paris: Klincksieck. Benda-Weber, I. (2014), ‘Krokotos and crocota vestis: Saffron-Coloured Clothes and Muliebrity’, in C. Alfaro Giner, M. Tellenbach and J. Ortiz (eds), Production and Trade of Textile and Dyes in the Roman Empire and Neighbouring Regions: Purpureae Vestes IV, 129–42, Valencia: University of Valencia Press. Blume, C. (2015), Polychromie Hellenistischer Skulptur: Ausführung, Instandhaltung und Botschaften, Petersberg: Michael Imhof Verlag. Blume, C. (2014), ‘Bright Pink, Blue and Other Preferences: Polychrome Hellenistic Sculpture’, in J. S. Østergaard and A. M. Nielsen (eds), Transformations: Classical Sculpture in Colour, 166–89, Copenhagen: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Borgard, P. and M.-P. Puybaret (2004), ‘Le travail de la laine au debut de l’empire: l’apport du modèle pompéien. Quels artisans? Quels équipements? Quelles techniques?’, in C. Alfaro, J. P. Wild and B. Costa (eds), Purpureae Vestes: Textiles y tintes del Mediterráneo en época romana, 47–60, Valencia: University of Valencia.


Gendered Colour Coding in Roman Dress Bradley, M. (2009), Colour and Meaning in Ancient Rome, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Brinkmann, V., R. Dreyfus and U. Koch-Brinkmann (2017), Gods in Color: Polychromy of the Ancient World, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor. Brøns, C. (2020), ‘Ancient Colours: Perspectives and Methodological Challenges’, in D. Warburton and S. Thavapalan (eds), The Value of Colour: Material and Economic Aspects in the Ancient World, 309–34, Berlin Studies of the Ancient World 70, Berlin: Topoi Excellence Cluster. Brøns, C. and A. Skovmøller (2017), ‘Colour-Coding the Roman Toga: The Materiality of Textiles Represented in Sculpture’, Antike Kunst, 60: 55–79. Cardon, D. (2007), Natural Dyes. Sources, Tradition, Technology and Science, London: Archetype Publications (originally published 2003, Le monde des teintures naturelles, Paris: Belin). Cardon, D., Granger-Taylor, H. and Nowik, W. (2011), ‘What Did They Look Like? Fragments of Clothing Found at Didymoi: Case Studies’, in H. Cuvigny (ed.), Didymoi. Une garnison romaine dans le désert Oriental d’Égypte, Le Caire: Institut français d’archéologie orientale. Carr, G. (2005), ‘Woad, Tattooing and Identity in Later Iron Age and Early Roman Britain’, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 24 (3): 273–92. Gazzarri, T. (2019), ‘Cinaedus galbinatus: cultural perceptions of the color “green” and its gender associations with pathici in Rome’, Eugesta 9. https://eugesta-revue.univ-lille3.fr/pdf/2019/4. Gazzari_Eugesta_9_2019.pdf (accessed 17 December 2019). Grand-Clément, A. (2011), La fabrique des couleurs: histoire du paysage sensible des Grecs anciens: VIIIe-début du Ve s. av. n.è., Paris: De Boccard. Grant, M. (2004), ‘Colourful Characters: A Note on the Use of Colour in Petronius’, Hermes, 132: 244–7. Guidi, F., M. Marchesi, P. Baraldi and A. Rossi (2018), ‘The Loricated Bust of Nero from Bologna: A Survey on Polychromy’, in S. Bracci et al. (eds), Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture, 101–10, Livorno: Sillabe. Harlow, M. (2012), ‘Dressing to Please Themselves: Clothing Choices for Roman Women’, in M. Harlow (ed.), Dress and Identity, 37–46, Oxford: Archeopress. Harlow, M. (2018), ‘Satirically Sartorial: Colours and Togas in Roman Satire’, in M. García Sánchez and M. Gleba (eds), Vetus Textrinum: Textiles in the Ancient World. Studies in Honour of Carmen Alfaro Giner, 185–96, Barcelona: Universitat de Barcelona. Hopman, M. (2003), ‘Satire in Green: Marked Clothing and the Technique of Indignatio in Juvenal 5.141–45’, American Journal of Philology, 124: 557–74. Koren, Z. C. (2005), ‘The First Optimal All-Murex All-Natural Purple Dyeing in the Eastern Mediterranean in a Millennium and a Half ’, Dyes in History and Archaeology, 20: 136–49. Liverani, P. (2004), ‘Augusto di Prima Porta’, A. Gramiccia (dir.), I colori del bianco. Policromia nella scultura antica, 235–42, Rome: De Luca Editori. Liverani, P. (2008), ‘New Evidence on the Polychromy of Roman Sculpture’, in V. Brinkmann, O. Primavesi and M. Hollein (eds), Circumlitio: The Polychromy of Antique And Medieval Sculpture, 290–302, Frankfurt: Liebighaus. Liverani, P. (2014a), ‘Per una “Storia del colore”. La scultura policroma romana, un bilancio e qualche prospettiva’, in P. Liverani and U. Santamaria (eds), Diversamente bianco: La policromia delle scultura romana, 9–32, Rome: Quasar. Liverani, P. (2014b), ‘The State of Research and Some Perspectives’, in J. S. Østergaard and A. M. Nielsen (eds), Transformations: Classical Sculpture in Colour, 48–53, Copenhagen: Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek. Meiers, F. (2017), ‘Historical Outline and Chromatic Properties of Purpura Ruba Tarentina and Its Potential Identification with Purple Dye Extracted from Bolinus brandaris’, in H. Landenius Enegren and F. Meo (eds), Treasures from the Sea: Sea Silk and Shellfish Purple Dye in Antiquity, 138–44, Oxford: Oxbow Books. 239

Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Napoli, J. (2004), ‘Art purpuraire et legislation a l’époque romaine’, in C. Alfaro, J. P. Wild and B. Costa (eds) Purpureae Vestes: Textiles y tintes del Mediterráneo en época romana, 123–36, Valencia: University of Valencia. Olson, K. (2008), Dress and the Roman Woman: Self-presentation and Society, Abingdon: Routledge. Olson, K. (2017), Masculinity and Dress in Roman Antiquity, Abingdon: Routledge. Østergaard, J., M. L. Sargent and R. H. Terkildsen (2014), ‘The Polychromy of Roman “Ideal” Marble Sculpture of the 2nd Century CE’, in P. Liverani and U. Santamaria (eds), Diversamente bianco: La policromia delle scultura romana, 51–70, Rome: Quasar. Reinhold, M. (1970), History of Purple as a Status Symbol in Antiquity, Brussels: Collections Latomus 16. Sargent, M. L. and R. H. Therkildsen (2010), ‘Research on Ancient Sculptural Polychromy with Focus on a 2nd Century CE Marble Amazon’, Tracking Colour Preliminary Report, 2: 27–49. Sebesta, J. L. (1994), ‘Tunica Ralla, Tunica Spissa: The Colours and Textiles of Roman Costume’, in J. Sebesta and L. Bonfante (eds), The World of Roman Costume, 65–76, Madison: University of Wisconsin. Skovmøller, A., C. Brøns and M. L. Sargent (2018), ‘The Polychromy of the Sculpted Garments on the Statue of Fundilius Doctus in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek’, in S. Bracci et al. (eds), Polychromy in Ancient Sculpture and Architecture, 93–100, Livorno: Sillabe. Verri, G. (2009), ‘The Spatially Resolved Characterization of Egyptian Blue, Han Blue and Han Purple by Photo-Induced Luminescence Digital Imaging’, Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 394 (4): 1011–21. Wilson, A. (2004), ‘Archaeological Evidence for Textile Production and Dyeing in Roman North Africa’, in C. Alfaro, J. P. Wild and B. Costa (eds), Purpureae Vestes: Textiles y tintes del Mediterráneo en época romana, 155–64, Valencia: University of Valencia. Wood, S. P. (1954), Clement of Alexandria: Christ the Educator, New York: Fathers of the Church Inc.


CHAPTER 17 GARMENTS FOR POTTERS? TEXTILES, GENDER AND FUNERARY PRACTICES IN LES MARTRESDEVEYRE, FRANCE ROMAN PERIOD Catherine Breniquet,1 Marie Bèche-Wittmann, Christine Bouilloc, Camille Gaumat and Marion Veschambre

The history of costume can be reconstructed through various sources: written details in literary or daily practice texts, iconography, textile archaeology. Complete pieces such as the Roman tunic from Les Martres-de-Veyre are exceptional (Fig. 17.1 and Plate 17), especially for Northern Europe. However, the task of reconstruction is complicated. Texts use a specific and often unclear terminology; art has its own codes of representation, using archaisms, incomplete or imaginative depictions; and archaeology brings to light mineralized textile pieces on metallic objects or chance preservations in the ground, but often of very small size, making the identification of the textile, the clothes and their function difficult. None of these sources is fully representative of the reality of the past in itself. Merging the different sources together to have a real idea of dress in antiquity is a challenge. Reconstructing the gender of costume is yet another.

Figure 17.1 The complete tunic from Les Martres-de-Veyre. © F. Giffard, Musée Bargoin. 241

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Within the frame of this chapter, we would like to present a new research programme, ArchéoMartres,2 which will study the Roman collections from Les Martres-de-Veyre stored in the Bargoin Museum in Clermont-Ferrand, and use the textile samples in the collection to address questions of gender. The archaeological collections, comprising textiles, shoes, grains, wood pieces (manufactured or not), baskets, hair, and so on, belong to the first and second centuries ce . They are amazing for their outstanding state of preservation, the reason for which has not yet been explained scientifically. However, the presence of carbon dioxide in the ground might be responsible for this exceptional situation. The textile fragments come from several graves which are just a small part of the cemetery, excavated in the nineteenth century and in the 1920s. Coincidentally, the best documented graves are (supposed to be) female. However, despite the excellent preservation of the textiles, it is hard to define a ‘female’ or ‘gendered’ costume here. Both historical and archaeological contexts make the answer difficult. Several levels of information are entwined: social status, gender, funerary practices, provincial context in the Empire, climate of the Northern provinces and the season of the death.

17.1 General context of the study Les Martres-de-Veyre is a small town 14 km south of Clermont-Ferrand. From various archaeological research such as surveys, excavations or even chance discoveries, we know that the place was occupied over various periods (Provost and MennessierJouannet 1994: 172–83). However, in the Roman period, the place is known to have hosted Samian pottery manufacture, probably as important as Lezoux, but less documented. This situation can be explained by two facts: the workshops themselves have not been excavated, except for the ovens; we have only sherds and pots, sometimes with names, and rare kilns surviving (Terrisse 1963, 1968). Production seems to have been exported in the Northern provinces of the Roman Empire, mostly Britain (J. P. Wild, pers. comm.). The nineteenth-century excavations were recorded by Auguste Audollent. He was an eminent professor of Classics at the University of Clermont, fellow of the École française de Rome, and curator of the Bargoin Museum. He arrived in Clermont-Ferrand in 1893, the same year as the second ‘campaign’ in Les Martres-de-Veyre. Some graves had already been discovered by chance in 1851 and it was decided to excavate further in the same area, namely, ‘Le Lot’ or ‘Les Chaumes d’Allios’, in the periphery of the actual village. However, Audollent was not directly involved in the excavations during the nineteenth century. Clearly his work in the field was restricted to his own, somewhat limited, excavations in the 1920s (Audollent 1922). But, more or less at the same time, he published the only synthesis available until the 2000s, in which he tried to reorganize the knowledge related to the ancient settlement (Audollent 1923). This work has been the basis of all of subsequent research on the site and the graveyard (Lauranson 2012). Unfortunately, Audollent’s publication cannot be considered a fully reliable source for two reasons. First, Audollent replaced Edouard Vimont as the head of the museum. 242

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Vimont had asked for funds in order to buy the first objects discovered in 1851 and to continue the excavations in Les Martres-de-Veyre in 1893. He also set up the first inventory and displayed the first objects in the museum rooms.3 It appears that Audollent merely tried to reorganize the information stored in the museum and to make it available for the scientific community. The second reason is linked to a third person: the main work of the nineteenth century was done by local scholars, among them Jacques-Emile Kuhn, the mayor of Chamalières, a small city adjacent to Clermont-Ferrand. He is now largely forgotten. Kuhn was an Alsatian brewer whose brewery was the theatre of Pasteur’s experiments on yeasts. He is also known to have been an important archaeological collector. His collection of Samian ware was sold in 1907 at public auction and was unfortunately scattered. Kuhn conducted the 1893 excavations in Les Martresde-Veyre which brought to light several pottery kilns and the graves with their extraordinary contents of well-preserved organic material. A large part of this material is now kept in the Bargoin Museum and is the subject of the ArchéoMartres project. A quick examination allows us to identify several categories that we aim to reassociate in order to reconstruct funerary practices: textiles (complete pieces, fragments and some agglomerated pieces in their original stratification with bones in their coffin, kept in several boxes (Fig. 17.2 and Plate 18), wood objects, glass, pottery, metal (a few pins or clips, coins), and so on. In some graves, the face of the deceased was still recognizable. Kuhn left an unpublished manuscript recording the excavations and the information he gathered

Figure 17.2 Box with bones and textiles mixed, nb 997.5.1 (26) copyright Musée Bargoin. 243

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from the local inhabitants (Kuhn, unpublished). Providing more precise detail than Audollent’s publication, Kuhn’s manuscript addresses many questions which now occupy the scientists involved in the ArchéoMartres project as it was written after the fieldwork, amalgamating different bits of information which is it possible to verify and link with the material kept in the Bargoin museum. As some details were present in Audollent’s publication, we suppose that Kuhn’s manuscript was known to Audollent who, curiously, did not refer to it in any overt manner.

17.2 The graveyard and the graves From both excavation reports, we know that the Roman cemetery in Les Martres-deVeyre was a mixed one, with inhumations, mostly in wooden coffins, and cremations (Blaizot 2009). Almost all the graves contained textiles but information was badly collected and poorly recorded in the nineteenth century. Unsurprisingly, textiles came from the coffin burials, although some tiny pieces could have been present in the cremation urns among the burnt bones collected from the pyre (Bonnet 2009: 167). The most renowned piece is a tunic, found in grave D according to Audollent’s numbering,4 in association with a so-called ‘belt’, socks, leggings and leather shoes (Fig. 17.1). Despite the paucity of information gathered during the excavation, this clothing is considered as the only complete ‘costume’ from the Western provinces of the Roman Empire. Grave F belongs to a little girl whose clothes are unknown. The grave was filled with textiles considered in the publication as a cloak and shrouds (Audollent 1923: 286–8). Except for Grave F and other badly recorded graves, the well-documented inhumations such as Graves A and D are supposed to be mature females. Grave A was discovered in 1851. The deceased is described as lying on the belly in a wooden coffin. As the pickaxe of the workmen opened it from one side, the material was extracted roughly through the hole. The textiles were in pieces. It is said that deceased appeared to be a woman with braided hair. The head was lying on a woollen cloth woven in twill and showing crosshatched designs. Other clothes or fabrics came from the coffin: from thin to heavy, Audollent talks about six pieces. If the contents of the coffin corresponds correctly to the boxes mentioned above with the original stratification kept in the Bargoin Museum, they were much more numerous, comprising about ten pieces (Audollent 1923: 288; Kuhn unpublished). The deceased was found with delicate leather slippers with cork soles. From the original records, it seems clear that this grave was female, but no examination by an anthropologist was done in the field. We are starting to study the residual bones found in the boxes (results forthcoming).5 Unfortunately, the provenance of the famous boxes kept in the museum is also unclear. We are not sure if they came from Grave A excavated in 1851, from Grave E found in 1893 and excavated in 1922, or from yet another one excavated by Audollent in the 1920s! Future research will hopefully provide answers to these questions. For our purpose here, and despite our reservations, we must stress that our new investigations have confirmed what Sophie Desrosiers, who first studied the material 244

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in 1990s, suspected. The deceased wore a tunic. Pieces of this garment can be reassembled and made into an almost complete tunic (Desrosiers and Lorquin 1998). It has been reconstructed by Fabienne Médard (Anatex). This second tunic from les Martres-deVeyre is different in its structure from the first one. It is cruciform in shape, ornamented with clavi on both sides of the neck. Grave D is the most famous of those from the 1893 excavations. This wooden coffin contained another young woman, with braided hair, and with another plait near the shoulder. She wore ‘the’ well-known tunic and its ‘accessories’. The tunic, leggings and socks are made of several parts, cut, folded and sewn together. A third grave, labelled I, was found and opened by Audollent in 1922 (Fig. 17.3), but not excavated. The wooden coffin was carried back to the museum where it stayed for years, displayed in the rooms, almost forgotten. It was then reopened in 2014 for dendrochronology experiment. The original contents were still inside but somewhat damaged, due to the transportation from the field and manipulation in the museum. Several textiles were recorded there, but in poor condition: a tabby of unknown use (maybe another tunic), a hairnet and a kerchief, a twill blanket or cloak, another cloak with traces of red motifs, a piece of felt (sole?) and leg-bands visible on the photograph.

Figure 17.3 Grave 1 as discovered in the field by Audollent in 1922, after opening the coffin. © Musée Bargoin. 245

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Except for a pair of shoes whose sole with metallic nails were still present, no other material was found inside the coffin. It was suggested that the grave was that of a woman as the deceased had long hair. Likewise, for the nineteenth-century excavations, no anthropological/osteological determination was done before 2019. Work is still in progress on the fragmentary bones, so our conclusions remain preliminary. There are other graves which contain textiles but these were poorly recorded.

17.3 The textiles In sum, several different pieces of presumed female costume are present in the graves. Starting from the feet and combining all the occurrences, we find the following range of artefacts (Breniquet et al. 2017a, 2017b): shoes, leg-bands, socks and leggings, belts, tunics, hairnet, kerchief. Two types of clothing need further investigation: underwear and cloaks. The first, under-tunic or undergarment, are hard to identify, probably due to preservation or excavation reasons. Cloaks were possibly used as clothes or blankets for wrapping the body. They were rectangular in shape, woven in twill, sometimes ornamented with gamma letters in tapestry technique, or felted ‘tufts’ (Breniquet et al., 2017a, Fig. 26). These are not specifically gendered. Most of the fabrics are wool of varying quality (Pagès 1923). Most of the fabrics analysed in the early excavations are of very good quality. Further research on the textile material (especially identification of fibres: wool, linen, hemp, cotton, silk, etc.) is expected in the very near future. This will hopefully provide information on the provenance of raw materials, local or otherwise, and on the environment more generally. We can expect these conclusions will lead us to a better understanding of the areas where the textiles were manufactured. Typology in itself is not sufficient to solve this problem, especially in the Roman world where clothing is relatively homogeneous. Most, if not all, pieces show signs of heavy wear and repair, meaning that the textiles were not new and had been worn before dressing the deceased. However, it is not possible to know if the fabrics were made or bought new and used within the family circle, or if they might have been acquired second-hand. Some pieces are clothing typical of daily life such as tunics, others might be more exceptional (cloaks with gamma letter decoration, for instance). On the basis of these discoveries, and especially of the world-famous complete tunic, some scholars have not hesitated to reconstruct Roman female clothing from Les Martres-de-Veyre. Several suggestions have been made: belted, unbelted, with or without an under-tunic/breastband, checked or plain, worn with the fine leather shoes found in the grave (Van Driel-Murray 1987; Anonymous s.d.). Audollent himself put the tunic on a mannequin for a special event (Fig. 17.4), and it is likely that during the excavations or in the museum people actually donned the garment. Despite the fact that these suggested reconstructions were made without having access to the complete excavation report, they need to be substantiated. Such experiments 246

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Figure 17.4 The tunic on a model. © Musée Bargoin.

never give a perfect idea of the past reality. The bodies of people in antiquity were different from those of people today, particularly in terms of stature and musculature. Curators who use mannequins to prepare exhibitions are well aware of this problem (Monier 1994). Likewise, the way garments functioned is also difficult to reconstruct.

17.4 Gendered or not? Let us consider the gender of the textiles, starting from the feet. We have at least three types of footwear6 in our collection (Audollent 1923: 312; Fig. 17.5a–c and Plates 19, 20 and 21). Leather shoes from Grave D were perhaps worn with leggings and socks as they were found together. The socks are 21.5 cm in length, suitable for size 34. The length and thickness of the leggings do not allow them to be worn with shoes (L = 24 cm, size = 37–38). It is not clear how these items were worn, or if they were intended to be worn together (leggings with shoes? leggings with socks? socks with shoes?), or separately according to the season, or worn by men and women or just by one sex. The presence of shoes in the graves, however, is not easy to interpret. While shoes can be an item in use in daily life they can also convey a more symbolic dimension. In specific cases, shoes can evoke the symbolic journey performed by the deceased or, if the dead body is that of a woman who died in childbirth, it can signify that she is expecting to come back for her baby (Van Driel-Murray 1998: 1301–2). 247

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Figure 17.5a Leather shoes. © M. Veschambre, Musée Bargoin.

Figure 17.5b Wooden shoes. © M. Veschambre, Musée Bargoin.


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Figure 17.5c Slippers with cork soles (987.23.33). © C. Gaumat, Musée Bargoin.

The leggings are embroidered with three letters (PRI) (Fig. 17.6a and Plate 22) probably an abbreviation for a name: those of the craftsman who made them or their owner (Wild 2012). PRI could stand for Prima for a girl or Primus for a man; however, it is not possible to speculate further. No Prima or Primus is attested among the names of potters on the site (Terrisse 1963). These first observations suggest a preliminary conclusion that some textile pieces could have been put into the grave as belongings of the deceased, or as ‘offerings’, as has been observed elsewhere (Graenert 2007: 56). Old photographs show that some pieces were probably not worn in the grave but folded and just put into the coffin (Audollent 1923, pl. X.7 the fold disappeared after the ironing as part of a preservation treatment) (Fig. 17.7 Fig. 17.6b and 17.5, and Plate 23). For instance, the leggings could have belonged to the deceased, or to her brother, to her husband, to a relative, and so on. In other words, these different pieces may not make up a costume but have some function in the funerary practice. In Grave I, narrow leg bands were found in situ, around the ankles and the knees for securing the articulation (of the bones) and for maintaining some additional pieces of fabric, leather or fur to warm the legs. Some of them are supple and could be unwrapped today. The longer piece is 3 cm x 60 cm in length. One edge is folded for a hem but the 249

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Figure 17.6a Leggings. © F. Giffard, Musée Bargoin.

Figure 17.6b Socks. © M. Veschambre, Musée Bargoin. 250

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Figure 17.7 Textiles with folds. © Musée Bargoin.

stitching has disappeared. All the different bands seem to belong to the same piece, cut before use. Roman iconography offers some pictures of such bands usually on men at work, peasants or hunters (Croom 2002: 58, Fig. 18), but not on women. Further osteological research could provide an answer about the sex of the deceased, as some bones are still present in the collection. We have no clear attestation of underwear or loincloths. However, long bands interpreted as ‘belts’ by the first excavators are present. The complete example measures more than 4.15 m long x 0.12 to 0.15 m width. It was supposedly wound around the waist, in order to hide the hem of the tunic. Such bands do not form a true belt but may have been used in a like manner. Hero Granger-Taylor interpreted them convincingly as ‘strophion’, that is bands for wrapping the breast (Granger-Taylor, pers. comm.). They are made in soft wool with red ‘ornaments’ which are probably made to prevent them from rolling. A Samian vase from the site and kept in the museum of Clermont-Ferrand depicted their use in the Roman manner (Fig. 17.8). However, we do not know precisely how they were found in the graves, whether as undergarment, or as a belt or as offerings, and so on. As noted above, at least two tunics survive in the collection. The first is complete and made of three rectangular pieces sewn together (Fournier 1956). The three pieces may come from the same fabric of high quality (combed wool, half basket weave, without 251

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Figure 17.8 Samian vase with strophion. © Musée Bargoin.

weaving mistakes, etc.). It is oversized at 1.7 x 1.4 m. A tuck was made around the waist and sewn with a white thread. The tuck has produced much speculation: it has been suggested that it marks the shortening of an over-long tunic and then hidden by a belt, or that it was a sign of status for an unmarried woman (Roche-Bernard and Ferdière 1983: 12). As many other surviving tunics of Roman date have such a fold, it is possible to consider that tunics were simply worn that way. Tunics may have been made in standardized sizes (if manufactured in workshops). The fold could have been adjusted to the size of the owner, and the garment reused when necessary. The second tunic, of a less technical quality, is unfolded at the waist. Tunic 1 has some stains on the front. This suggested to Audollent that it originally had a floral motif, printed over the fabric, and thus suitable for a woman (Audollent 1923: 317). However, in a less romantic reading, the stains are probably made by contact with a metallic object (a fibula, coin or jewel). The second tunic is cruciform in shape with red clavi, folded and sewn to make a T-shaped garment when finished. This specific shape allows us to consider that it was woven on a wide two-beam loom, starting at the cuff of one sleeve, in the Coptic fashion (Carroll 1988). We do not know if it was produced locally or not. The two tunics are different in quality but could have been produced on a similar loom which could have been a domestic device (for rural craft, for instance) or workshop instrument (in a local 252

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town), as suggested by iconography (Wild 1999). With such a wide loom, two or three people are necessary to warp and to weave. Tunics do not seem to be gendered garments. The cruciform pattern is also the shape of the young boy’s garment in the grave from the ‘nécropole du Fin Renard’ in Bourges, in 1908 (Ferdière 1984: 266, Figs 42 and 55). It is suggested here that tunics could be commonly worn both by men and women on an everyday basis and the length seems to be a gendered parameter according to G. Roche-Bernard (Roche-Bernard and Ferdière 1983).7 Contemporary iconography provides some ideas on the way they were worn by either sex. Tunics were worn longer by women, shorter by men, and were belted with a rope or cord which was much more practical than a large woven belt (such as our strophion). Sometimes, when people were at work, they could shorten their tunic by rolling it around the waist (see also Rollason, Chapter 19 in this volume). Several pieces of ‘blankets’ or cloaks woven in half-basket weave (with a clear gamma decoration in tapestry weave) or twill probably came originally from rectangular pieces, as the comparisons from Masada or Didymoi suggest (Sheffer and Granger Taylor 1994; Cardon, Granger-Taylor and Nowik 2011). Yadin suggested that a rectangular mantle decorated with notched bands was worn over a tunic with clavi. He added that women also wore the gamma cloak (Yadin 1963: 227). However, he used contemporary iconographic sources (mostly from the Dura Europos paintings) and we find it problematic to follow him in this highly speculative interpretation for our own material. It is tempting to suggest that these blankets were used to wrap the deceased, as shrouds, as a secondary function. However, there is no easy answer and a general conclusion seems to be hazardous. In grave A, a checked blanket/cloak was found under the head and a white one which looks like a sheep skin was over the body but the other blanket remains were not found in situ. Two other twill pieces which were not originally associated with Grave A are present in the museum boxes but we are still not clear about their original find spot within the coffin. Did they belong to the deceased women and were put in the grave as possessions? Or were they added by her relatives as offerings? As we are not sure of the answer, it is not possible to say whether these different cloaks were male or female garments (or even both). There are no veils that can be assigned to women with the exception of a hairnet in a bad condition and a possible scarf or kerchief, both from Grave I.

17.5 Garments for potters? As we have seen, it is difficult to assign a gendered interpretation to this material. Most of the graves which are recorded in Les Martres-de-Veyre seem to be female, which may be confirmed by the anthropological/osteological study. However, gender is a social category, not a biological one. Considerations of sex, economy, social status, religion and funerary practices among other factors could interfere with any interpretation (Blaizot 2009 for a clear overview of a complex problem). These graves are evidently those of the inhabitants of the ancient settlement. They could be local inhabitants of the area or foreigners settled there by the Romanization 253

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process. Some parallels could be found with distant sites such as Didymoi in Egypt where the preservation is good enough to find textiles. But the context would be quite different: even if both sites belong to the Roman Empire, such a comparison would reflect the condition of preservation, not the specific use of fabrics. These questions concern both the gendered nature of garments and also their history. In the necropolis of Les Martres-de-Veyre the deceased are clothed and we can postulate that clothing expressed the social code of the moment and the identity of the deceased (Blonski 2008). But as long as we do not know more precisely which garments were worn by the deceased, which were put in the grave as the dead individual’s belongings, which were meant as ‘offerings’ from relatives and friends, as symbolic items, or even just as useful pieces for wrapping the body, it will be difficult to determine and to separate the status of the garments and the role played by funerary practices. We do not yet know where these clothes came from. As mentioned above, some could have been home-produced, made with local wool, others might have been made by professional weavers, from local workshops or traded from a more distant part of the Roman Empire. Dyed pieces used vegetal dyes, available everywhere (Nowik et al. 2005). During the Roman period raw materials and manufactured objects circulated over a very large area, alone as commodities or with people. Legionaries for instance might have bring clothes with them as ‘souvenirs’ from their military campaigns, such as the man who brought a Gaulish checked cloak to Masada (Sheffer and Granger-Taylor 1994: 198). Some pieces, such as cloaks or blankets, are not male or female, but are both. Their specific use seems to be to warm the body. For others, such as the gamma cloak, it is unclear how it might reflect social status. Some items, like tunics, are also difficult to identify as gendered. They are an everyday garment ‘par excellence’, suitable for almost all activities, gendered by their length or the use of fibula for instance. Most of the textiles from Les Martres-de-Veyre show traces of wear and repair implying they were used and reused. They could have been passed down through generations. Some tailored pieces such as the leggings and socks could have been reused from older fabrics, too damaged to be still used complete. This is especially true for the socks, which are made of the finest twill weave in our collection. Some other pieces could have been bought as second-hand clothes and, again, legionaries could have sold their clothes or those they bought far away, in order to make money. It is a great challenge to trace the provenance of the textiles found in the graves, but also to understand the way they were used and worn in Gaul. In Les Martres-de-Veyre, we are neither in Rome, nor in Egypt. Climate for instance is different, much colder, and costume may be adjusted to the season.8 We can suggest that the people buried (or cremated) here are potters, their wives and families who worked in the famous Samian workshops (suggestion), but very little is known about them. We must keep in mind that we might be far from the reality of the past. If we consider that Romanization is, among other things, an economic revolution, it would have changed the social and economic position of people. What did it mean for them – in the specific economic context of the Roman Gaul – to have and to wear Roman clothes rather than Gaulish? Did they use them randomly, without a clear consciousness of their social meaning? Should we consider that the women buried in Les Martres-de254

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Veyre were expressing their new economic status through clothing? These questions have not been asked of the textile documentation, for the conditions of preservation which make it possible to address them have generally disappeared from the archaeological assemblages. In order to solve the issue, the immediate way would be to find a comparable site in the area (or to reopen excavation in the cemetery). As we all know, however, new fieldwork frequently brings more questions than answers.

Acknowledgements The authors wish to thank warmly Mary Harlow, Cécile Michel, and Louise Quillien for their invitation and help.

Notes 1 The authors wish to warmly thank Mary Harlow, Cécile Michel and Louise Quillien for their invitation and help. 2 This programme is sponsored for four years by the Direction Régionale des Affaires Culturelles of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes district in France, the Conseil Départemental du Puy-de-Dôme, the Université Clermont Auvergne and the Equipe d’Accueil 1001-CHEC. It has also received grants from the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme of Clermont-Ferrand. Several institutions are collaborating in this programme: Musée Bargoin of Clermontmétrople, Université Clermont-Auvergne, Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Institut national de recherche en archéologie préventive. The authors thank all the members of the project. 3 Compte-rendu de la séance du 3 août 1893 published in the Bulletin scientifique et historique de l’Auvergne: 212–3. 4 Here, we choose to keep the nomenclature of Audollent’s graves. We know now that the very limited number of graves recorded in his publication is far from the reality. For instance, we were able to understand that the mixed graveyard covered about 6000 m2 during antiquity, but the exact number of inhumations and cremations found by the first excavators is hard to determine (probably dozens). 5 The anthropological study is conducted by Paloma Lorente-Sebastian under the supervision of Frédérique Blaizot, Inrap. 6 Probably four in fact, forthcoming. 7 On tunics in general see Croom (2002); Olson (2017); Pausch (2008). 8 Fall fruits were present in the graves: grapes, apples, hazelnuts (Audollent 1923: 309–10).

References Anonymous (n.d.), http://www.rentapeasant.co.uk/periods/roman/romano-gaulish-womansgarments/


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Audollent, A. (1922), ‘Nouvelles fouilles aux Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-de-Dôme)’, Bulletin Historique et Scientifique de l’Auvergne, 66 (4): 260–4. Audollent, A. (1923), ‘Les tombes gallo-romaines à inhumation des Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-deDôme)’, Mémoires présentés à l’Académie des Sciences et Belles Lettres, 13 (1): 275–328. Blaizot, F. (2009), ‘Chapitre VI – L’image sociale et culturelle des pratiques funéraires: expressions et évolutions de la société romaine dans le sud-est de la Gaule’, Gallia 66 (1): 311–43. Blonski, M. (2008), ‘Le sordes dans la vie politique romaine: la saleté comme tenue de travail?’, Mètis, 6: 41–56. Bonnet, C. (2009) ‘Vases-ossuaires à Lyon’, in Ch. Goudineau (dir.), Rites funéraires à Lugdunum, 166–7, Paris: Errance. Breniquet, C., Bèche-Wittmann, M., Bouilloc, C. and Gaumat, C. (2017a), ‘Une collection textile exceptionnelle: les textiles gallo-romains des Martres-de-Veyre conservés au Musée Bargoin de Clermont-Ferrand’, Artefact: Techniques, histoire et sciences humaines, 6: 197–207. Breniquet, C., Bèche-Wittmann, M., Bouilloc, C. and Gaumat, C. (2017b), ‘The Gallo-Roman Textile Collection from Les Martres-de-Veyre, France’, Archaeological Textile Review, 59: 71–81. Cardon, D., Granger-Taylor, H. and Nowik, W. (2011), ‘What Did They Look Like? Fragments of Clothing Found at Didymoi: Case Studies’, in H. Cuvigny (ed.), Didymoi: une garnison romaine dans le désert Oriental d’Egypte, tome 1, Les fouilles et le matériel, 273–362, Le Caire: Institut français d’archéologie orientale. Carroll, D. L. (1988), Looms and Textiles of the Copts: First Millennium Egyptian Textiles in the Carl Austin Reitz Collection of the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco: California Academy of Sciences, Seattle: University of Washington Press. Croom, A. T. (2002), Roman Clothing and Fashion, Stroud: Tempus. Desrosiers, S. and Lorquin, A. (1998), ‘Gallo-Roman Period Archaeological Textiles Found in France’, in L. Bender Jørgensen and C. Rinaldo (eds), Textiles in European Archaeology: Report from the 6th NESAT Symposium, 7–11th May 1996 in Borås, 53–72, Göteborg: Göteborg University. Ferdière, A. (1984), ‘Le travail du textile en Région Centre de l’Age du Fer au Haut Moyen-Age/ Textile Working in the “Région Centre” From the Iron Age to the Early Middle Ages’, Revue archéologique du Centre de la France, 23 (2): 209–75. Fournier, P.-Fr. (1956), ‘Patron d’une robe de femme et d’un bas gallo-romain trouvés aux Martres-de-Veyre’, Bulletin historique et scientifique de l’Auvergne, 76: 202–3. Graenert, G. (2007), ‘Le paysage culturel de la Sarine durant le Haut Moyen Âge’, Archäologie Schweiz: Mitteilungsblatt von Archäologie Schweiz, 30 (2): 50–60. Kuhn, J.-E. (s.d.), Les Martres-de-Veyre, Etudes archéologiques, unpublished. Lauranson, R. (2012), ‘ “Le Bay” et “Le Lot” (Les Martres-de-Veyre, 63). Occupation laténienne. Opération 2012: bilan de la documentation bibliographique et matérielle, prospections pédestres. Rapport de prospection thématique’. Monier, V. (1994), ‘Mannequins et mannequinage; leur incontestable raison d’être’, in La conservation des textiles anciens, journées d’études de la SFIIC, Angers, 20–22 octobre 1994, 131–40, Champs sur Marne: Section française de l’Institut International de la Conservation. Nowik, W., Desrosiers, S., Surowiec, I. and Trojanowicz, M. (2005), ‘The Analysis of Dyestuffs from First- to Second-Century Textile Artefacts in the Martres-de-Veyre (France) Excavations’, Archaeometry, 47 (4): 835–48. Olson, K. (2017), Masculinity and Dress in Roman Antiquity, London: Routledge. Pagès, Ch. (1923), ‘Etude technique sur les tissus découverts dans les sépultures gallo-romaines des Martres-de-Veyre’, Mémoires présentés à l’Académie des Sciences et Belles Lettres, 13 (1): 331–84. Pausch, M. (2008), Die römische Tunika, Augsberg: Wißner. Provost, M. and Mennessier-Jouannet, Chr. (1994), Carte archéologique de la Gaule, 63 (2). Le Puy-de-Dôme, Paris: Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles-Lettres. 256

Funerary Practices in Roman France Roche-Bernard, G. and Ferdière, A. (1993), Costumes et Textiles en Gaule Romaine. Paris: Errance. Sheffer, A. and Granger-Taylor, H. (1994), ‘Textiles from Masada – A Preliminary Selection’, in Y. Aviram, G. Foerster and E. Netzer (eds), Masada, The Yigael Yadin Excavation 1963–1965 Final Report. Vol. IV, 153–256, Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society. Terrisse, J.-R. (1963), ‘Bref aperçu sur les styles des potiers des Martres-de-Veyre (Puy-deDôme)’, Revue archéologique du Centre de la France, 2 (4): 267–92. Terrisse, J.-R. (1968), Les céramiques sigillées gallo-romaines des Martres-de-Veyre, Paris: Editions du CNRS. Van Driel-Murray, C. (1987), ‘Roman Footwear: A Mirror of Fashion and Society’, Association of Archaeological Illustrators and Surveyors, Technical Paper, 8: 32–42. Van Driel-Murray, C. (1998), ‘And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time: Feet and Shoes as a Material Projection of Self ’, Theoretical Roman Archaeology Journal, 98: 131–40. Van Driel-Murray, C. (1999), ‘A Set of Roman Clothing from Les Martres-de-Veyre, France’, Archaeological Textiles Newsletter, 28: 11–5. Volken, M. (2014), Archaeological Footwear: Development of Shoe Patterns and Styles from Prehistory till the 1600s. Zwolle: SPA Uitgevers. Wild, J. P. (1999), ‘Textile Manufacture: a Rural Craft?’, in M. Polefer (dir), Artisanat et productions artisanales en milieu rural dans les provinces du nord-ouest de l’Empire romain, Actes du colloque d’Eperdane, Luxembourg, 4–5 mars 1999, 29–37, Montagnac: éditions Monique Mergoil. Wild, J. P. (2012), ‘Makers’ Marks on Textiles?’, in D. Bird (ed.), Dating and Interpreting the Past in the Western Roman Empire: Essays in Honour of Brenda Dickinson, 245–54, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Yadin, Y. (1963), Judean Desert Studies: The Finds from the Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of Letters. Jerusalem: The Israel Exploration Society.




18.1 Introduction: exploring female dress According to the late second-century theologian Tertullian, the head of the female Christian was a highly potent symbol and a nexus of social meaning. Appropriate female attire was fashioned as a cultural shorthand for moral integrity and the covering of the head was particularly significant in signalling and maintaining gender difference. Tertullian’s highly inflammatory discussions of female dressing practices found in his De cultu feminarum (On the Apparel of Women) and De virginibus velandis (On the Veiling of Virgins) have attracted much attention in scholarship, especially in relation to establishing gender dynamics. The words of Cyprian of Carthage outlining appropriate attire for female virgins in De habitu virginum (On the Dress of Virgins), too, have bolstered debates on the rhetoric of female dress. While much has been said about the apparent limitations placed on women, the realities of these underlying social anxieties have received far less exploration. The intersection of gender and cultural practice is especially pertinent for the examination of female dress. Scrutiny of female attire was necessary precisely because sartorial conformity marked social conformity and because male rhetoric infused female attire with symbolism. Although the delineation and criticism of prescribed dressing systems was nominally the purview of men, North African females were not passive recipients of these regulations. In fact, a closer reading of the directives advocated in De cultu feminarum, De virginibus velandis and De habitu virginum, composed in the first half of the third century (Barnes 1971: 55; Dunn 2003: 5), reveals that North African Christian women were active agents in the performance of their gender and religious identities through their clothing practices. The complex relationship between women, their clothing and male rhetoric is a topic that has been the subject of much scholarly consideration. Current perceptions of gender dynamics have evolved from a feminist framework, identifying concepts such as the ‘rhetoric of shame’ as embodiments of male-regulation of female behaviour – exemplified through their attire (e.g. Clark 1991) – towards an understanding of women as a ‘theological prism’ and therefore efficient tools for theological exposition (e.g. Otten 2009). While the former approach started to unpick processes of male condemnation or praise of female behaviours (including dressing) as a proxy for discussing the place and status of women in the early Christian church, the latter seeks nuanced interpretations of this discourse as a product of theology and rhetoric. 259

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This sees theological agendas as both influenced by and contributing to espoused rhetoric. This re-conceptualizes early Christian treatises. Geoffrey Dunn, for instance, argues that De virginibus velandis is not ‘simply an ascetic treatise but a rhetorical treatise about asceticism’ (2005: 5). As such, the modern reader must be aware of the implications of rhetorical influences, which offer an important interpretative layer and clues as to the author’s objectives (Dunn 2004: 28). On the other hand, the writings of early Christian authors should not be reduced to mere rhetorical exercise, devoid of any relevance or even divorced from the author’s own personal beliefs (Dunn 2013: 353; Otten 2013: 335). The anxieties and concerns encoded in the writings of early church authors certainly resonated with contemporary attitudes and needs. While such texts may not offer a transparent depiction of reality, they nonetheless offer insight into cultural dynamics and prove useful for the study of female dressing practices. A preoccupation with establishing the misogynistic credentials of Tertullian is perhaps best demonstrated through treatments of De cultu feminarum, a somewhat infamous early Christian text. Part of this notoriety stems from the much-debated and much-cited locus classicus, the ‘Devil’s Gateway’ passage (Forrester Church 1975: 84), in which Tertullian places the blame for the Fall on the character of Eve: Do you not believe that you are [each] an Eve? The sentence of God on this sex of yours lives in our times and so it is necessary that the guilt should live on, also. You are the one who opened the door to the Devil, you are the one who first plucked the fruit of the forbidden tree, you are the first who deserted the divine law; you are the one who persuaded him whom the Devil was not strong enough to attack. All too easily you destroyed the image of God, man. Because of your desert, that is, death, even the Son of God had to die. De cult. fem. 1.1.1–2 Previous interpretations saw this passage as representative of Tertullian’s overall attitude towards women – an act that vilified Tertullian and relegated him to the category of a misogynist – despite this being the only instance where he places full culpability for the origins of sin on Eve’s shoulders (Forrester Church 1975: 86). Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza, for instance, contended that Tertullian possessed ‘a theology that evidences a deep misogynist contempt and fear of women’ (Schüssler Fiorenza 1983: 55). Revisionist studies later rehabilitated the theologian, arguing that Tertullian’s work shows no systematically negative portrayal of women and that misogynist accusations were based on ‘superficial readings’ (e.g. Finlay 2003: 508, 504). Others have read Tertullian’s apparent involvement with Montanism and attitudes towards marriage and virginity as a direct refutation of misogynist inclinations (e.g. Elliot 2008). Tertullian’s penchant for being controversial was clearly effective. Yet, his important commentary of contemporary female dress is often lost amidst the noise of gender economies, despite specifically associating the ‘condition of being a woman’ with an essential lust for elaborate dress (De cult. fem. 1.1.1). As will be seen, Christian male discourse heavily censured female 260

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sartorial practice and burdened the female gender with eschatological responsibility. In doing so, this afforded female attire great visual and symbolic capital.

18.2 Inherited attitudes towards female dress In the early Imperial period, the ideal costume of Roman matronae was fashioned to profess the feminine virtues of modesty and chastity. Composed of the woollen stola (a pinafore-type garment with over-the-shoulder straps) and palla (a rectangular mantle draped around the left shoulder and around the body) worn over a tunic, this ensemble covered the woman’s body and re-enforced notions of respectability (Harlow 2012: 39). When out in public, the palla could function as a veil to cover the head (Sebesta 2001: 48; Olson 2008: 33–6). Due to the nature of source material, accessing female opinions about the clothing they wore is often difficult. Ancient literature is predominately a record of the male voice and often very prescriptive in nature (Olson 2002: 392). Clothed statues displayed in public places no doubt offered a version of acceptable forms of female dress, but exactly how real women engaged with such images – indeed, whether they endeavoured to mock or emulate such representations – is difficult to ascertain (Harlow 2012: 41). The idealized matronly costume thus exuded notions of propriety. Yet, that stolate images appear to peak during the Julio-Claudian period (Scholz 1992: 33–74; Olson 2008: 32) suggests that for all the vocal assertions that matronly decorum necessitated wearing the stola, in practice rhetoric did not match reality. Further, since the condemnation of female clothing behaviours was a familiar topos used to construct social commentary, the topic of the female inflammation of male concupiscentia (concupiscence, lust) alongside issues of female frivolity and luxuria (extravagance) were expedient rhetorical tools. This does not diminish the significance woven into female sartorial practice and the continued presence of concepts of modesty in female dress rhetoric. Discussions of female attire were a re-occurring cultural touchstone and often saw male censure of female practice. In his early third-century De pallio (On the pallium), Tertullian recounts a speech given by Caecina Severus, perhaps dating to 21 ce (McGinn 1998: 161), complaining to the Senate about the apparent matronly disregard for the stola where ‘certain matrons had sedulously promoted the disuse of garments which were the evidences and guardians of dignity, as being impediments to the practising of prostitution’ (De pall. 4.9.1–2). Tertullian continues and implies that similar transgressive practices were occurring in his third-century Carthage: But now, in their self-prostitution, in order that they may the more readily be approached, they have abjured stola, and chemise, and bonnet, and cap . . . But while one extinguishes her proper adornments, another blazes forth such as are not hers . . . and, if it is better to withdraw your eyes from such shameful spectacles of publicly slaughtered chastity, yet do but look with eyes askance, [and] you will at once see [them to be] matrons! De pall. 4.9.3–4 261

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Despite questions regarding the historicity and frequency of these sartorial transgressions, what is significant is that female garb appears not to be an immutable entity; it could and did evolve over time. Of course, such changes were not necessarily without criticism, as Tertullian exemplifies, but the fact that sartorial boundaries were pushed and tested highlights the ongoing re-negotiation of female dress by both male and female parties. The correlation between care for bodily appearance and the feminine gender was well established by Tertullian’s day. Livy, in his Ab urbe condita (History of Rome), writing for a first-century bce audience but discussing the repeal of the Lex Oppia in 195 bce , uses the figure of Lucius Valerius to characterize the female sphere as implicitly concerned with dress: ‘elegance, grooming, a fine appearance – these are women’s insignia. These are their pride and joy. This is what your ancestors called “woman’s embellishment”’ (34.7.9). The positive construction of feminine identity through such accoutrements or activities is supported through their frequent evocation on funerary commemorations (Shumka 2008: 173). In Livy, however, the character of Cato somewhat tempered this positive portrayal of female behaviour by casting women as inherently frivolous. In fact, he states that the Lex Oppia was intended to curb female extravagance (Livy 34.4.6). Thus, female sartorial practice, especially issues of adornment, operated in a dualistic system where it was both an avenue for praise and condemnation (Berg 2002: 16–17). Over two hundred years later in De cultu feminarum, Tertullian employs a similar gender association which similar judgemental overtones: Female toilette has two possible purposes – cultum et ornatum (dress and makeup). We use the word dress when we refer to what they call mundum muliebrem (womanly grace), whereas make-up is more fittingly called immundum muliebrem (womanly disgrace). Articles of dress are considered gold and silver and jewels and clothes, whereas make-up consists in the care of the hair and of the skin and those parts of the body which attract the eye. On one we level the accusation of ambitionis (ambition); one the other that of prostitutionis (prostitution). Tert., De cult. fem. 1.4.1–2 In Tertullian’s formulation, female sartorial behaviour and moral disposition were still indelibly linked. By aligning Christian identity and salvation with female morality and modest dress, Tertullian fundamentally disrupted traditional cultural dynamics, which attributed female virtue in the necessity of costly attire as status markers. Tertullian shows awareness of how this emerging rhetoric transformed female sartorial practice – ‘Of course, I am now merely talking as a man and, jealous of women, I try to deprive them of what is their own!’ (De cult. fem. 2.8.1) – hence, his sartorial grammar remained relatable to his audience: ‘Go forth and meet those angels, adorned with the cosmetics and ornaments of the Prophets and Apostles . . . Dress yourself in the silk of probity, the fine linen of holiness, and the purple of chastity’ (De cult. fem. 2.13.7). He deftly remodelled these traditional forms of female self-representation into metaphorical versions, thereby characterizing these ideal Christian women using a familiar visual vocabulary, but citing heavenly, not earthly, benefits. 262

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18.3 Debating female dress in Tertullian: women In Tertullian’s opinion, the combination of internal modesty and the outward display of this virtue marked the correct performance of female behaviour: ‘It is not enough for pudicitiae christianae (Christian modesty) merely to be so, but to seem so, too. So great and abundant ought to be your modesty that it may flow out from the mind to the garb, and burst out from the conscience to the outer appearance’ (De cult. fem. 2.13.3). The virtue to which Tertullian refers was a broad conceptualization, acting as both an internal feeling and mode of behaviour, and included aspects of modestia (modesty) and castitas (chastity), although pudicitia is the most popular term (Wilkinson 2015: 14–16). Such ‘modest’ actions not only secured salvation for the female sex, but also for men too: ‘Salvation, however, and not of women only, but also of men, is especially to be procured in the observance of modesty’ (Tert., De cult. fem. 2.1.1). That Tertullian achieves his theological aims through debating female dress is very telling and his actions perpetuated the relationship between women and moral integrity, but also intensified its link to religious performance and a specific group identity. For Tertullian, Christian women should uphold a new moral system that set them apart from their non-Christian counterparts: ‘I say that now, O handmaid of God, that you may well know what, out of all of these, is proper for your behaviour, since you are judged by different principles, namely, those of humilitatis (humility) and castitatis (chastity)’ (De cult. fem. 1.4.2). The outward appearance of Christian women reflects their correct moral performance and displays distinction from the so-called ‘modest’ matronae whose elaborate clothing belies their vain attempts at modesty: ‘For, if any modesty can be assumed to exist among the Gentiles, it is certainly so imperfect and defective that even though it asserts itself to some extent in the way of thinking, it destroys itself by a licentious extravagance in the matter of dress’ (De cult. fem. 2.1.3). Read alongside Tertullian’s earlier rhetorical assurance that a faithful Christian woman does not covet ornate dress, but instead adopts the satisfactionis habitu (garb of penitence) so she might atone for Eve’s – and thus her inherited – ignominy (De cult. fem. 1.1.1), Tertullian clearly acknowledges the importance of female Christian attire to the public performance of Christian identity and as a mechanism for constructing distinction from non-Christian practice. Tertullian’s diatribe against female ornamentation, although vocal, did not trivialize female dress, at least not in his ideal attire. In fact, he infused female dress with religious significance. His ideally dressed women, therefore, become powerful visual symbols of the emerging Christian community.

18.4 Debating female dress in Tertullian and Cyprian of Carthage: virgins If these unadorned Christian women were representative of Tertullian’s formulation of Christian social mores – and indeed an integral element in the display of religious difference – virgins were even more essential to his conception of the ideal Christian performance. Thus, the appearance of such individuals was also a prominent concern for 263

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Tertullian. In his De virginibus velandis Tertullian documents a contemporary controversy: the growing custom for Carthaginian virgins to forgo the veil while at church, but still be veiled when in public. Thus, these virgins were a contradiction who feigned modesty in non-Christian situations, but coveted attention from Christian communities (De virg. vel. 13.1). Such a lapse in sartorial behaviour troubled Tertullian and he constructs an exegetical treatise offering ‘correct’ Scriptural interpretation. Tertullian’s argument focuses on Pauline doctrine, and specifically 1 Cor. 11.2–15, for the continued necessity of the veil for the Carthaginian female virgins. He demonstrates how the Pauline category of ‘women’ includes both married women and virgins (De virg. vel. 4, 1.1). Accordingly, Paul’s rhetoric implicitly instructs virgins and thus requires all biologically mature women to veil (Dunn 2005: 16). Tertullian’s argument required careful rhetorical manoeuvring. The Pauline directive to which he refers does not explicitly reference the category of ‘virgines’ (Tert., De virg. vel. 4.1). Instead, Paul speaks of ‘mulieres’ (women), requiring Tertullian to explain that such a genus implicitly includes the species ‘virgins’ as Paul makes the distinction between these two classifications elsewhere (Tert., De virg. vel. 4.4; Or. 22.2). Interestingly, Cyprian, bishop of Carthage, makes no mention of the role of a veil in contemporary female garb in his De habitu virginum. In fact, he emphatically criticizes the elaborate hairstyles popular with Carthaginian virgins suggesting that their hair was visible (Cypr., hab. virg. 5, 14; Batten 2011: 14). Writing only a generation after Tertullian, this questions the necessity of the veiling practice in the exhibition of Christian morality. Nonetheless, Tertullian’s deployment of velatio (veiling) suggests that it has sufficient semiotic power to convey his ideal of pudicitia and that his audience would be receptive to his rhetoric. The issue of veiling in Tertullian has received varying scholarly receptions, with one scholar even noting that the words of Tertullian and Paul ‘decapitate the women of the community in the interests of the superior status of men’ (D’Angelo 1995: 132). Not only framed as a sartorial action, but also embodying significant – and complex – connection with theology and ideas of sexual difference, for early Christian communities veiling was a highly symbolic clothing behaviour (Daniel-Hughes 2011: 93–114; Upson-Saia 2011: 61–9). Tertullian’s De virginibus velandis casts the veil as a garment of pudor (shame) (16.4–5) and in this treatise Tertullian exploits male authority by directing attention away from the actual issue under discussion – the absence of the veil for some virgins – and towards the broader problematic nature of female practice. Tertullian was not just concerned with veiling practices, but instead with the wider dressing behaviours of the virgins (and women) in the Christian community. The semiotics involved in veiling were complex and signalled the wearer as morally sound. At the same time, however, it could be representative of feminine shame and thus a requirement for all women regardless of sexual state (Daniel-Hughes 2010). As a constitutive element in his theology of sexual difference, the contestation of the veiled female head is framed by Tertullian as an act of resistance and thus a direct refutation of male regulatory systems. Drawing on authority derived from Pauline convention, which had already connected modest female dress with submission to masculine authority (Elliot 2008: 17), he is able to cast events in De virginibus velandis as a violation of the prescribed gender hierarchy. 264

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Through their deviant sartorial practice – a blatant disregard for ‘truth’ (Tert., De virg. vel. 1.1) – Tertullian’s female virgins showcase their immoral intentions. Their active solicitation of the male gaze, made manifest through the removal of the veil, is inherently at odds with their supposed chaste character. These virgins actively pursue ‘glory’ instead of shunning it and do so with the obvious immoral intentions (Tert., De virg. vel. 13.2, 14.1). In a context where ‘glory’ was stylized as the antithesis of ‘humility’ (Groh 1971: 11), these sartorial behaviours were unacceptable. Cyprian appropriates a similar characterization of transgressive female practice in his association of overt sartorial display and vice: But she who professes to have renounced the concupiscences and vices of the flesh is found in those very things which she has renounced! You are discovered, O virgin, you are exposed, you boast of being one thing and you are striving to be another. You defile yourself with stains of carnal concupiscence, although you are a candidate for innocence and modesty. Cypr., hab. virg. 6 Cyprian stylizes the ideal virgin as rejecting any inflammation or invitation of male desire (Cypr., hab. virg. 5). Cyprian endorses a rhetoric of modesty that finds obvious resonances with Tertullian’s championed ideals. Cyprian writes: But if continence follows Christ, and virginity is destined for the kingdom of God, what have such maidens to do with worldly dress and adornments, whereby in striving to please men they offend God? . . . But continence and chastity consist not alone in purity of the body, but also in dignity as well as in modesty of dress and adornment, so that, as the Apostle says, she who is unmarried may be holy both in body and in spirit. hab. virg. 5 Cyprian later ascribes such sartorial conduct as only fitting for prostitutes (hab. virg. 12) and thus echoes Tertullian’s earlier equation that the preoccupations with ornate dress ‘prostitute the grace of true beauty’ (Tert., De cult. fem. 2.9.2). The letters of 1 Timothy and 1 Peter provided early Christian authors with a foundation of acceptable sartorial practice (Batten 2009: 497) and Cyprian appropriates these connotations in his treatise (hab. virg. 8; Harlow 2007: 543). Tertullian, too, had appealed to such apostolic authenticity (Or. 20). Cyprian exploits an argumentum a fortiori drawing on these Pastoral letters’ directives for married women and espousing a greater applicability to female virgins who have no one to please with their appearance (Cypr., hab. virg. 8; Upson-Saia 2011: 37). Cyprian, however, extends the moral stakes by claiming that adorned virgins err precisely because their actions reflect hubris. By transforming their natural appearance using dyed cloth, cosmetics, elaborate hairstyles and jewellery, adorned virgins 265

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mistakenly believe that they can improve on God’s creation: ‘And someone dares to change and transform what God has made! They are laying hands on God when they strive to remake what He has made, and to transform it, not knowing that everything that comes into existence is the work of God; that whatever is changed, is the work of the devil’ (Cypr., hab. virg. 15). While this is plainly an extension of Tertullian’s anti-cosmetic rhetoric, which fashioned the wearer as deceptive – Tertullian had accused such women as committing ‘adultery in your appearance’ (De cult. fem. 2.5.5) – which was itself an adaption of earlier attitudes to dress, cosmetics and artifice (Olson 2009), the soteriological stakes were now raised. More worryingly for Cyprian was the fact that extreme levels of external artifice might render the woman unrecognizable to God! (hab. virg. 17). Although Cyprian’s treatise discussed the dressing habits of Carthaginian virgins, he suggests that his rhetoric is also appropriate advice for widows and married women who, it can be assumed, are also known for adulterating their appearance with unnecessary additions (hab. virg. 15).

18.5 Male voices and criticism of female attire Tertullian and Cyprian were not anomalies in their early Christian context and were certainly not the last Christian men to discuss and debate Christian female attire. In his Paidagogos (The Instructor) Clement of Alexandria, a contemporary of Tertullian, draws on similar themes such as vanity and immorality (Upson-Saia 2011: 38; Shumka 2008: 174–6), highlighting the shared elements of this male discourse. Later Christian figures of course adopted and adapted elements of their discourse in their own formulations of appropriate female attire, as is apparent in Jerome’s oeuvre (Harlow 2007: 541; Wilkinson 2015: 20). Nevertheless, the rhetoric of these third-century Carthaginian men is significant insofar as it reveals the continued importance of clothing habits in processes of Christian group identity construction and the ongoing quest to delineate orthodoxy. That female dress was positioned as an integral element in these deliberations is key, not only in what it contributes to understandings of gender dynamics, but also in what it reveals about contemporary clothing rhetoric. The writings of Tertullian and Cyprian both openly re-enforced a traditional gender hierarchy and, significantly, it is the male voice which delineates correct clothing practices. Tertullian even anticipates and refutes the feminine criticism of (male) censure in De cultu feminarum saying: ‘Some women may say: “I do not need the approval of men. For I do not ask for the testimony of men: it is God who sees my heart.” We all know that, to be sure, but let us recall what the Lord said through the Apostle: “Let your modesty appear before men”’ (2.13.1). However, Tertullian’s treatise implicitly reiterated the perceived necessity for male censure of female dress as adherents to the unveiling custom require the corrective action which Tertullian provides. Of course, Tertullian’s discourse does not preclude intragroup castigation and he notes that veiled virgins were ‘scandalized’ at the actions of their uncovered sisters, particularly as these uncovered virgins would prefer to be scandalized rather than modest (De virg. vel. 3.3). How far 266

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these unveiling actions did indeed provoke emulation or derision from the female community is uncertain, but Tertullian’s presentation of the ideals of female attire offers compelling insight into how such issues were presented, debated and resolved. Cyprian’s role as bishop of Carthage provided an obvious platform from which he could delineate appropriate attire for virgins. He characterized his approach as arising from ecclesiastical discipline, but he downplays the role of authority instead positing affection as a driving force for his criticism (Cypr., hab. virg. 1–3; Dunn 2003: 8). He, too, weaves gender dynamics into his argument and, in fact, reinterprets Paul’s directive in Gal. 1.10 to focus on womanly coveting of male approval, by understanding the invocation of ‘men’ to signal ‘the male gender’ instead of ‘mankind’ (Cypr., hab. virg. 5; Clark 1999: 140; Upson-Saia 2011: 37–8). Thus, through this careful construction, Cyprian places the female gender, as represented through his Carthaginian female virgins and married women, as wantonly seeking male attention through inappropriate avenues – that is, they are infamous for their unfitting dress, not their modesty or good works. In fact, the actions of these ostentatious virgins incite notoriety (Cypr., hab. virg. 20). Again, this necessitates the corrective male rhetoric to delineate what is suitable sartorial behaviour (Cypr., hab. virg. 21). The subversion of traditional gender hierarchies, as demonstrated through the active decision for these virgins to appear unveiled, formed another point of contention for Tertullian. He notes that unveiled virgins believe that their elevated religious status affords them the privilege to unveil: ‘Is the reason why it is granted her to dispense with the veil, that she may be notable and marked as she enters the church? That she may display the honour of sanctity in the liberty of her head?’ (Tert., virg. vel. 9.1). According to Tertullian, a corresponding concession was not available to male virgins and therefore the unveiled virgins transgressed as they presumed to usurp male power and overcome female subordination: Nor, similarly, [is it permitted] on the ground of any distinctions whatever. Otherwise, it were sufficiently discourteous, that while females, subjected as they are throughout to men, bear in their front an honourable mark of their virginity, whereby they may be looked up to and gazed at on all sides and magnified by the brethren, so many men-virgins, so many voluntary eunuchs, should carry their glory in secret, carrying no token to make them, too, illustrious . . . How, then, would God have failed to make any such concession to men more [than to women], whether on the ground of nearer intimacy, as being ‘His own image’, or on the ground of harder toil? But if nothing [has been thus conceded] to the male, much more to the female. Tert., De virg. vel. 10 Tertullian’s attempt to dissuade Carthaginian virgins from uncovering their heads implicitly reaffirms male superiority as he rejects their interpretations of Scripture. Through his rhetoric he undermines that of the uncovered virgins and makes the discussion about his authority over female practice, not dress performance (Upson-Saia 267

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2011: 66). Furthermore, to abolish any gender ambiguity, Tertullian subsumes all women under one category regardless of their sexual state (De virg. vel. 8.3). This contrasted the feminine need for male authority (as symbolized through the requirement of the veil) over the male absence of a head-covering (Dunning 2011: 144). Thus, the uncovered Carthaginian virgins automatically demonstrate the role of male prescriptive discourse through their apparent inability to dress appropriately. Another underlying concern is that transgressive sartorial behaviours will encourage emulation in peers. On account of its visibility and role as an identity communicator, the enforcement of proper dress was paramount for Christian identification. Moreover, since female attire – both that of ascetics and married women – served as symbols for the wider Christian community and modesty operated as its main currency, particular sartorial actions were upheld as essential to the preservation of difference. For authors like Tertullian and Cyprian (and their predecessor Paul), worry over correct costume stemmed not only from a need to communicate distinction, but also the vulnerability of these emerging dressing practices as a consequence of proximity to deviant behaviours (Leone 2012: 277). To this end, Cyprian likens deviant virgins to contagions, who are liable to infect other virgins through close contact (hab. virg. 17; Dunn 2003). Not only does Cyprian cast these ‘diseased’ virgins as poisonous, but also he implicitly characterizes the remaining female virgins as inherently susceptible. This too employed a familiar Roman gender stereotype where the natural inferiority of the female sex was signalled through their unstrained actions and innate weakness. Thus, Livy’s Cato utilizes such a characterization of irrationality when discussing the repeal of the Lex Oppia, noting that: As for married women, they could be kept indoors by no authority, no feelings of modesty, and no command from their husbands . . . This large gathering of women kept growing every day as they were even starting to come in from the towns and market centres. They were already presuming to accost consuls, praetors and other magistrates with their appeals. Livy 34.1.5–7 Tertullian’s De cultu feminarum also touched upon transgressive male grooming habits, which likewise are contrary to modesty (2.8), but by situating this discussion in a wider discourse of female sartorial practice, Tertullian consigns this type of behaviour as inherently non-male and thus feminine. He also notes that it is because of women (and the desire to please them) that men are tempted to act in this way (Tert., De cult. fem. 2.8.2). This once again associates female practice as an instigator of corruption and manifested in deviant sartorial actions. Both Tertullian and Cyprian promote a paradox of female behaviour and selffashioning: modest Christian women should be recognizable as such and therefore their clothing must affect a certain manner that effectively showcases their morality. Cyprian presents his virgins as role models for the wider Christian community: ‘Now our discourse is directed to virgins, for whom our solicitude is even greater inasmuch as their glory is the more exalted. They are the flower of the tree that is the Church, the 268

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beauty and adornment of spiritual grace’ (hab. virg. 3). Likewise, Tertullian’s Carthaginian virgins should ‘adorn’ the church (De virg. vel. 14.1). Such social visibility was fundamentally at odds with the economic visibility curtailed through the promotion of the male anti-adornment rhetoric. Cyprian’s De habitu virginum demonstrates a particular focus on reconciling the modest virgin (and other Christian women) with elaborate wealth (Batten 2011: 14–15). In Cyprian’s view, the virgin should not use wealth for her own benefit, but for the good of the church (hab. virg. 11). Thus, she must reject lavish sartorial behaviours that reflect immoral desires and instead adopt a modest appearance. Through their debates and criticism of female dress, these male authors undoubtedly recognize the significance of female attire, even if their efforts sought to curtail aspects of sartorial behaviour.

18.6 Conclusion: fashioning the female in Christian Carthage For early Patristics like Tertullian and Cyprian, dress was a highly potent cultural system. The art of presenting the body, especially the female body, was never just a functional matter, nor just a feminine concern. Rather, anxiety surrounding female attire cast appropriate practice as a communal concern. The clothed woman was a polyvalent figure embodying different religious ideas and beliefs. Her role in early Christian communities had a triple dynamic, as she acts as a symbol of Christian ideals – for both internal and external parties – and becomes increasingly essential to conceptualizations of morality and gender (Otten 2009: 222). Due to the nature of surviving textual material, it is difficult to ascertain unprejudiced views of female dressing habits. After all, most early Christian male authors wrote with a prescriptive tenor and their dominant male opinions are routinely expressed in their work (Clark 1993: 105). Such an endeavour is clearly visible in Tertullian’s constructed debates over the transgressive nature of adornment and the problem of virgins appearing uncovered. Cyprian, too, displays similar motivations in his De habitu virginum. Through their confrontation of female sartorial behaviours, and their vocal scrutiny, these early Christian authors proclaimed the significance of female attire and male anxiety surrounding correct practice. Importantly, deviant actions should not automatically be aligned with acts of resistance; the search for female agency is not necessarily one that articulates direct opposition to perceived patriarchal discourse (Wilkinson 2015: 46). Frequently, considerations of veiling reiterate the hierarchical nature of third-century gender dynamics, reducing this act to a male-enforced mechanism for gender control and thus relegating the veiled female head as purely a product of female passivity. This ignores the potential for the garment to play an active role in the construction of female selfexpression, where female attire is a way of doing (Wilkinson 2015: 33). For unveiled virgins, then, this frames their actions not as a response to male directives, but, more sympathetically, from a desire to create a distinctive group identity in opposition to the married women. Therefore, this ‘transgressive’ mode of dress is an instrument for performing their sexual difference. Indeed, such a perspective is evident in Tertullian’s 269

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writing and even necessitates the reinterpretation of female dressing practices as indicative of the natural inclinations of the female gender. Thus, since the unveiled Carthaginian virgins still affect elements of what is recognized as womanly behaviour (acts of beautification) they must therefore be categorized in the same gender group as the married women (Tert., De virg. vel. 12). Although he employs tautological reasoning – Tertullian states that virgins must look like women by donning the veil, despite maintaining that they implicitly fall into the designation of ‘women’ precisely because of their dressing habits – clearly, Tertullian’s aim is to preserve his vision of gender distinctions (Upson-Saia 2011: 67–9). These distinctions were manifested through sartorial practice and male discussions of female dress practice. The fact that Tertullian’s treatise employs arguments of male authority and female inferiority does not negate or diminish the potency of these Carthaginian women’s actions, rather it highlights the fragile nature of male regulation of female dress. Since dress was a realm traditionally infused with feminine virtue both Tertullian and Cyprian seek to rectify perceived challenges to ‘normative’ clothing practice. Thus, while the appropriateness of modest dress was not disputed, the exact methods for embodying and showcasing said modesty were a matter of negotiation. Early Christian authors often wrote to be controversial, and Tertullian’s polemic discourse clearly evidences this style, yet his writings are not merely rhetorical exercises, but attempts to advocate for different disciplinary actions (Dunn 2004: 29, 2013: 349) and, ultimately, to affect actual sartorial change. Tertullian discusses the subjects of modest adornment and the use of head-coverings elsewhere (Or. 20–2). In the case of De cultu feminarum, Tertullian expressed a view of modest clothing which proclaims his version of modesty and modest dress which, as he presents it, is at odds which current female practice. De virginibus velandis was also designed to effect current clothing practices. Cyprian’s words in De habitu virginum should be understood in a similar framework as he exhorts virgins and married women to modest sartorial activities. Both the subject and form of these male interactions with female dress rhetoric highlight pertinent ideas of the nature between clothing, female practice and male censure. When these Christian women dressed in the manner that exuded the prescribed (male) version of Christian pudicitia, they both re-enforced the authority of male discussions of female dress and de-stabilised their traditional means of self-projection (Upson-Saia 2011: 35). But, through these new significations they adopted a new form of sartorial expression. Dress was a highly malleable form of non-verbal communication, both in terms of bodily covering and in its role as a tool for cultural regulation. Thus, challenges to normative dress conventions were not simple transformations in outward appearance, but also disruptions to social control. The additional layer of religious significance that Christian authors ascribed to female dress therefore intensified the significance of sartorial conformity. Early Christian discourse posited female moral integrity as essential for the maintenance of societal integrity and, by extension, ensuring Christian salvation. Hence, the modified features of this rhetoric highlighted the traits and characteristics that early Christian authorities sought to foster – or repress – in their communities and the points of transgression that they desired to resolve. All their rhetorical efforts 270

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demonstrate that these anxieties had important socio-religious implications. To this end, this does not preclude the possibility that male authors felt compelled to debate female attire for actual theological reasons, particularly as the emerging Christian rhetoric associated female dress with salvation. Critical rhetoric does not eliminate the possibility for sincerity. Cyprian clearly presents his advice in this manner: ‘Nor is this an empty precaution and a vain fear which takes thought of the way of salvation, which guards the life-giving precepts of the Lord’ (hab. virg. 3). That much of their discussion revolves around female dress practices highlights just how significant such actions were in the wider Christian (male) psyche, and, more importantly, the symbolic nature of female sartorial practice.

References Primary sources Cyprian of Carthage De habitu virginum, trans. by A. E. Keenan, Fathers of the Church 36, Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 1958. Livy Ab urbe condita, trans. by J. C. Yardley, Loeb Classical Library 295, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017. Tertullian De pallio, trans. by S. Thelwall, Ante-Nicene Fathers 4, Buffalo: Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885. Tertullian De virginibus velandis, trans. by S. Thelwall, Ante-Nicene Fathers 4, Buffalo: Christian Literature Publishing Company, 1885. Tertullian De cultu feminarum, trans. by E. A. Quain, Fathers of the Church 40, Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 1959. Tertullian De oratione, trans. by E. A. Quain, Fathers of the Church 40, Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, 1959.

Secondary sources Barnes, T. D. (1971), Tertullian: A Historical and Literary Study, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Batten, A. J. (2009), ‘Neither Gold nor Braided Hair (1 Timothy 2.9; 1 Peter 3.3): Adornment, Gender and Honour in Antiquity’, New Testament Studies, 55: 484–501. Batten, A. J. (2011), ‘Carthaginian Critiques of Adornment’, Journal of Early Christian History, 1 (1): 3–21. Berg, R. (2002), ‘Wearing Wealth: Mundus Mulierbris and Ornatus as Status Markers for Women in Imperial Rome’, in P. Setälä, R. Berg, R. Hälikkä, M. Keltanen, J. Pölönen and V. Vuolanto (eds), Women, Wealth and Power in the Roman Empire, 15–73, Acta Instituti Romani Finlandiae 25, Rome: Institutum Romanum Finlandiae. Clark, E. A. (1991), ‘Sex, Shame, and Rhetoric: En-gendering Early Christian Ethics’, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 59 (2): 221–45. Clark, G. (1993), Women in Late Antiquity: Pagan and Christian Life-Styles, Oxford: Clarendon Press. Clark, E. A. (1999), Reading Renunciation: Asceticism and Scripture in Early Christianity, Princeton: Princeton University Press. D’Angelo, M. R. (1995), ‘Veils, Virgins, and the Tongues of Men and Angels: Women’s Heads in Early Christianity’, in H. Ellberg-Schwarz and W. Doniger (eds), Off with her Head! The Denial


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity of Women’s Identity in Myth, Religion, and Culture, 131–64, Berkeley: University of California Press. Daniel-Hughes, C. (2010), “‘Wear the armour of your shame!”: Debating Veiling and the Salvation of the Flesh in Tertullian of Carthage’, Sciences Religieuses, 39 (2): 179–201. Daniel-Hughes, C. (2011), The Salvation of the Flesh in Tertullian of Carthage: Dressing for the Resurrection, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Dunn, G. D. (2003), ‘Infected Sheep and Diseased Cattle, or the Pure and Holy Flock: Cyprian’s Pastoral Care of Virgins’, Journal of Early Christian Studies, 11 (1): 1–20. Dunn, G. D. (2004), Tertullian, Early Church Fathers, London: Routledge. Dunn, G. D. (2005), ‘Rhetoric and Tertullian’s “De virginibus velandis”’, Vigiliae Christianae, 59 (1): 1–30. Dunn, G. D. (2013), ‘Rhetoric and Tertullian: A Response’, Studia Patristica, 65: 349–56. Dunning, B. (2011), Specters of Paul: Sexual Difference in Early Christian Thought, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Elliot, D. (2008), ‘Tertullian, the Angelic Life, and the Bride of Christ’, in L. Bitel and F. Lifshitz (eds), Gender and Christianity in Medieval Europe: New Perspectives, 16–33, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Finlay, B. (2003), ‘Was Tertullian a Misogynist? A Reconsideration’, Journal of the Historical Society, 3: 503–25. Forrester Church, F. (1975), ‘Sex and Salvation in Tertullian’, Harvard Theological Review, 68 (2): 83–101. Groh, D. E. (1971), ‘Tertullian’s Polemic Against Social Co-Optation’, Church History, 40 (2): 7–14. Harlow, M. (2007), ‘The Impossible Art of Dressing to Please: Jerome and the Rhetoric of Dress’, in L. Lavan, E. Swift and T. Putzeys (eds), Objects in Context: Objects in Use, 531–47, Leiden: Brill. Harlow, M. (2012), ‘Dressing to Please Themselves: Clothing Choices for Roman Women’, in M. Harlow (ed.), Dress and Identity, 37–46, BAR IS 2356, Oxford: Archaeopress. Leone, M. (2012), ‘Cultures of Invisibility: The Semiotics of the Veil in Early Christianity’, Gramma: Journal of Theory and Criticism, 20: 273–86. McGinn, T. A. J. (1998), Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Olson, K. (2002), ‘Matrona and Whore: The Clothing of Women in Roman Antiquity’, Fashion Theory, 6 (4): 387–420. Olson, K. (2008), Dress and the Roman Woman: Self-Presentation and Society, London: Routledge. Olson, K. (2009), ‘Cosmetics in Roman Antiquity: Substance, Remedy, Poison’, Classical World, 102 (3): 291–310. Otten, W. (2009), ‘Views on Women in Early Christianity: Incarnational Hermeneutics in Tertullian and Augustine’, in B. de Gaay Fortman, K. Martens and M. A. Mohamed Salih (eds), Hermeneutics, Scriptural Politics, and Human Rights: Between Text and Context, 219–35, New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Otten, W. (2013), ‘Tertullian’s Rhetoric of Redemption: Flesh and Embodiment in De carne Christi and De resurrectione mortuorum’, Studia Patristica, 65: 331–48. Scholz, B. I. (1992), Unterschungen zur Tracht der römischen Matrona, Arbeiten zur Archäologie, Cologne: Böhlau. Schüssler Fiorenza, E. (1983), In Memory of Her: A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins, London: SCM Press. Sebesta, J. L. (2001), ‘Symbolism in the Costume of the Roman Woman’, in J. L. Sebesta and L. Bonfante (eds), The World of Roman Costume, 46–53, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. 272

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In his second oration against Catiline c. 63 bce , Cicero described Catiline’s followers as: not only last in order but also in character and way of life . . . These are the men you see . . . with tunics down to their ankles and wrists, and wearing casual cloaks not togas . . . These boys, so dainty and effeminate . . . What a truly terrifying war if Catiline is going to have this élite force of gigolos!1 Cic. Cat. 2.22–24 This depiction was part of Cicero’s portrayal of those who made up Catiline’s army, brought together as part of the so-called Second Catiline Conspiracy. According to Cicero, other members of the army included runaway slaves, foreigners and assorted criminals, and listing these types as associates of Catiline was evidently designed to show Catiline’s endeavour as both illegal and supported only by those who lived on the margins or outside of Roman society. In the above Cicero further emphasizes this by using a particular style of dress to position its members in contrast to the ideal Roman, who is a male, elite citizen. Catiline’s gang are anti- or non-Roman in all senses of the word – not only in their willingness to murder a consul and overthrow the Republic or in being slaves and foreigners, but also in their long clothing which suggests that they are more women than men. Fast-forward 500 years, however, and it appears that Catiline’s army knew what the future held for Roman fashion. The long-sleeved, ankle-length tunics and cloaks, which were so un-Roman and thus unmanly to Cicero, had become by this point the way for elite Roman men to express both their masculinity and their Romanness – so much so that the sixth century emperor Justinian is portrayed in the famous San Vitale, Ravenna mosaics in a very similar outfit to that which Cicero describes (Fig. 19.1). Furthermore, he was not the only one; from the third, but particularly the fourth century ce onwards, the longer clothing that would have been considered effeminate and/or barbarian by previous generations of Romans begins to appear more frequently in artistic and literary representations of the ideal Roman male elite citizen. Indeed, in the later Roman Empire, this is the style of clothing in which members of the imperial bureaucracy, military figures and the emperor himself expressly want to be seen – figures who would have considered themselves as prime examples of Roman masculinity. Modern scholarship has generally been content to assume that the influence of the military on late antique society is responsible for this change of fashion. Additionally, the 275

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Figure 19.1 Justinian and retinue mosaic, Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna. Image by: Roger Culos (via Wikimedia Commons) [CC BY-SA 3.0] (accessed 31 March 2019).

high degree of dress dialogue between the centre and the provinces and frontiers has led to the conclusion that the barbarians won the war on style (Brown 1971: 28–9; Wild 1985: 385, n. 83, 410, 413; Bonfante 1994: 6; Stone 1994: 36; Harlow 2004a, 2005; Arce 2005; Parani 2007: 506; von Rummel 2007: 97–196; Rothe 2009; 2012a: 147, 153, 2012b, 2013; Speidel 2012: 11). The growing conspicuousness of long-sleeved and ankle-length clothing is certainly an articulation of these social changes in late antiquity and it is not the intention of this chapter to undermine this conclusion. Yet this traditional scholarly argument does not fully account for the reason long clothing comes to be and remains established as the quintessential Roman dress of late antique military and civilian men, chiefly because by reflecting the dress of women and, especially, ‘barbarians’ this style of long clothing had many reasons to count against it in the Roman mind. The strong negative attitude in the ancient literature from earlier periods suggests that additional reasons should be sought as to why this transformation to longer clothing became and remained acceptable to Roman society. This chapter will therefore posit a new, supplementary avenue for understanding these developments in Roman dress: the effect of climate change. It will do this by considering attitudes to long clothing and the influence of garments from those to the north, north-east and north-west of the Roman Empire on dress developments within Roman clothing. In doing so it will draw upon previous scholarship, which has stated the interaction, accommodation and exchange between the military and 276

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non-Romans – and in turn the increasing militarization of Roman society – are the origins for this trend towards longer clothing. Throughout, the chapter will complicate this narrative, however, by reviewing these attitudes and influences within the context of climate change, considering changes in male dress alongside the three climate periods identified in recent modern scholarship: the ‘Roman Climate Optimum’ or ‘Roman Warm Period’, c. 200 bce–c. 150/200 ce; the ‘Roman Transitional Period’, c. 150/200 ce–c. 450 ce; and the ‘Late Antique Little Ice Age’ (LALIA), c. 400/450 ce–c. 700 ce.2 However, in line with Kristina Sessa’s recent call in the Journal of Late Antiquity (2019) for a ‘second phase’ in the consideration of climate change within studies of ancient history, but particularly for late antiquity, this chapter presents a complementary, rather than conflicting, view of the military influence on dress development; as this volume itself emphasizes, there are multiple dynamics at play in the presentation of dress in our sources: literary, visual and material. Additionally, as a whole the chapter aims to consider the impact of the cultural environment as well as the environment per se on male elite dress. With the usual caveat that identifying clothing in and between text, visual and material evidence is a notoriously difficult task, the discussion will focus on two categories of garments throughout: tunics – in particular the tunica, the common dress of the Romans which was generally sleeveless; the tunica manicata and/or the χειριδωτός (chiridōtos), long-sleeved tunics, perhaps ankle-length; and the longer-sleeved tunics of those on the northern, north-west and north-east frontiers of the empire (the ‘Gallic coat’ of Wild 1968: 168, 1985: 369–74, or the ‘Gallic tunic’ of Rothe 2009: 34–7, 42, 2012b: 240). These items could be made of various materials – wool, linen and silk, or combinations of materials (on tunicae in general see Pausch 2003; Rothe 2012a: 145–50; and see Breniquet et  al. in Chapter  17 of this volume). The other category under consideration might be termed ‘trousers’ or ‘leggings’ (Wild 1985: 378–9; Rothe 2009: 31–4, 2012a: 152–4). These appear to have been either tight or looser in style, could occur with or without a foot-piece, were usually held up with a belt and were likely made of wool or leather. They are called in Graeco-Roman literature bracae (also bracati) and ἀναξυρίδες.3 The chapter will primarily centre on elite male dress, as this is generally better represented in visual culture and texts because our authors are predominately from this social category. However, male elite dress is also the focus because it underwent the most dramatic change during the course of the Roman period of influence, not only in terms of the overall look of public-facing outfits, but also with regard to attitudes towards these dress styles. By taking a broad view of this transformation, the chapter necessarily does not take into account individual choices, regional variations and the clothing of the lower classes, although it should be noted that archaeological finds in, for example, Egypt suggest that for non-elite men long-sleeved tunicae were also popular. The chapter does not cover female elite dress. Aristocratic women’s clothing alters less significantly than men’s, and opinions on what women should/not wear broadly remains the same, even under the influence of Christianity; the covered clothing worn by earlier Roman women therefore continues to have social cachet in late antiquity (for female clothing in Roman discourse, see chapters in this volume by Brøns, Harlow, Lovén, Ohrman, Place; 277

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Harlow 2004b, 2007, 2013). Within the context of this discussion, however, long female garments also have the added benefit of being warm in the advent of a cooling climate. Due to limitations of space the chapter will also not consider other clothing adaptations which may have been brought about as a result of environmental transformation, such as changes to availability of textile materials, including dyes, or weaving techniques, although these are equally important areas to examine (Rollason forthcoming a).

19.1 A change in dress for a changing climate By bringing together a variety of data, recent scholarship has done much to illuminate the climate of the Roman period (Sallares 2009; McCormick et al. 2012a, 2012b; Harris (ed.) 2013 (esp. Manning 2013 and McCormick 2013); Büntgen et al. 2016; Decker 2017; Harper 2017; Haldon et  al. 2018; Izdebski and Mulryan 2019; see also Sessa 2019 for further bibliography – although none of these discusses dress). In particular, it has been suggested that the climate changed substantially during the years c. 200 bce –700 ce , but mainly during the fifth to eighth centuries ce , and that these changes appear to generally map onto the ebbs and flows of Roman influence. Especial interest has been paid to the climate within the context of the Later Roman Empire, principally because this is a period of instability and great transformation, environmentally as well as politically, socially and culturally. The result is that climate change has been suggested as an explanation for the profound changes that took place in this period, but especially with regard to the sixth century onwards. This attractive proposal has been predominately concerned with understanding what might be considered ‘Big Historical Events’ and climate change has been used to provide a neat solution for momentous occurrences such as the Justinianic plague, the ‘collapse’ of the Sassanid empire, migrations of peoples from the Asian Steppes, Arabic peninsula and Slavic-speaking areas, and political upheaval in China, to name only a few examples. It has been especially employed in the service of explaining the ‘fall’ of the Roman empire in West, a problematic proposition, not least because this implies (and has been used to support) a return to a ‘decline and fall’ narrative in late antique studies. As others have articulated the issues with regarding climate change as solely responsible for these events, these arguments will not be repeated here (Sessa 2019, with bibliography). It is worth emphasizing, however, that there are extremely complex cultural as well as environmental factors at work which must also be taken into account when assessing societal developments in this period. Yet the scholarship on the Roman environment has made a strong case for an increasingly cooling climate for the Roman Empire from the Republic to late antiquity. Likewise, it is clear that for elite men clothing styles changed dramatically over the same period, and that the style moved from shorter-sleeved clothing without trousers/leggings to longer-sleeved, heavily layered garments worn with long leggings/trousers. The proposal of this chapter, therefore, is that these two incidents should be considered together and that, when viewed in conjunction with societal transformations, climate 278

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change provides further understanding as to why it became and continued to be acceptable for late antique Roman elite men to dress like women, but especially ‘barbarians’. Before demonstrating why climate change should factor into changes in Roman dress, the following briefly outlines the data used to determine broad fluctuations in the Roman climate and the conclusions drawn from this evidence, as they underpin the chapter. The information considered is predominately that made available in McCormick et al.’s 2012a Journal of Interdisciplinary History article and Harris’s 2013 edited volume, although this is also supplemented by other scholarship whenever possible, particularly where there is ongoing debate over the data (e.g. Büntgen et al. 2016; Decker 2017; Haldon et al. 2018).4 The changes mapped in the Roman environment have been identified by climate scientists, archaeologists and historians using various sources, some of which is proxy data by necessity. These sources consist, for example, of dendrodata from central Europe providing (estimated) records of thrice-yearly precipitation levels during 398 bce–2000 ce, solar activity (from radiocarbon measurements; see Dean 2000) and alpine glacier movement (thus, mid- to long-term temperature variation). Ice cores in Greenland have imparted information on volcanic activity (through the presence of sulphate (SO4) particles) and sea-ice expansion (via the presence of chloride), suggesting broad temperature trends in the Northern Hemisphere and therefore the Roman Empire. Analysis of oxygen and carbon isotopes in stalactites and stalagmites (speleothems) in caves from Spain, Turkey and Austria provide regional climate information (such as annual temperatures, precipitation and humid or arid conditions), as do notices of climate and ecological events in ancient sources and archaeology (McCormick et  al. 2012a; McCormick 2013; Manning 2013; Sessa 2019: 214 (for issues); see also McCormick et al. 2012b, with Sessa 2019). Results from these various sources has led to an identification in the relevant scholarship of three main climate periods for the Roman Empire, between about 200 bce and 700 ce. Although there are naturally caveats to applying such neat categorizations to the Roman Empire or this information, the scientific evidence outlined above does appear to broadly support these climate transitions. The three periods have therefore been identified as the ‘Roman Climate Optimum’ or ‘Roman Warm Period’, c. 200 bce–c. 150/200 ce; the ‘Roman Transitional Period’, c. 150/200 ce–c. 450 ce; and the ‘Late Antique Little Ice Age’, c. 450 ce–c. 700 ce. The first of these periods, the ‘Roman Climate Optimum’ (c. 200 bce –c. 150/200 ce ), is so-called because the climate of the Roman Empire appears to have been broadly stable, creating optimum conditions for both agriculture and human population growth. Archaeological evidence from Britain, stable solar activity, summer temperatures and retreating Alpine glaciers evidenced in the dendrodata, and Greenland ice cores showing low volcanic activity and similar temperature data suggest that warm, wet conditions predominated across the Mediterranean heartland, including in the north-west (Manning 2013: 163; McCormick 2013: 70; Harper 2017: 39–55). With regard to Roman dress, it is of significance that during this period representations of Roman masculinity in art, literature and ‘real life’ included a shorter, essentially sleeveless tunic – the tunica – whose ‘sleeves’ were initially created by draping and belting 279

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(Harlow 2005: 148; Rothe 2009: 40). Although the tunica was a clothing item worn by men and women (and children) of all classes of Roman society, there appears to have been a clear difference in the expectations of how it was to be worn by the men compared with women in this period; calf-length was appropriate for most men, ankle-length only for women (Quint. Inst. 11.3.137–41). Simultaneously, not only ankle-length but also long-sleeved clothing was considered to be the purview of women (Davies 2005: 124; Harlow 2005: 148; Olson 2017: 141–4). Men who wore items such as the chiridotae (‘sleeved’ tunic = χειριδωτός) were liable to be labelled effeminate, and their clothing was considered indecent (Gell. NA. 6.12). Although sleeves were occasionally added to the tunica from the first century ce onwards, with elbow-length sleeves appearing from the Trajanic period (Rothe 2009: 40, 2012a 144–50), there are many instances of this negative attitude towards men wearing long sleeves and ankle-length garments in the literature of the Republic and first two centuries of the empire (Bonfante 1994: 5–6; Davies 2005: 124; Harlow 2005: 148; Speidel 2012: 11 n. 84; Olson 2017). Long clothing also plays an important part in characterizing so-called ‘bad’ emperors such as Caligula and Nero, for example (Heskel 1994; Dyke 2001; Harlow 2004a, 2007). Furthermore, as the initial Cicero quotation suggests, an accusation of dressing in long clothing could be a powerful weapon to level at male social and political opponents. It was designed to destroy credibility and undermine claims to position and power within Rome; claims which rested upon a strong masculine identity (Heskel 1994; Dyke 2001). During this period, clothing Roman men in long garments not only undermined their masculinity however; it also suggested that they were un-Roman. This was because, in the Roman mind, the other group which wore long clothing were those they considered ‘barbarians’; wild figures who lurked on the borders of civilization dressed in strange garments, such as trousers/leggings and long-sleeved and lengthy and/or wide-fitting tunics (Fig. 19.2). These items of clothing in different combinations seem to have been the main garments which formed the shared dress identity of a number of the peoples who lived beyond the northern and eastern European borders of the Roman Empire (Wild 1968, 1985; von Rummel 2007; Rothe 2009, 2012a, 2012b, 2013). In contrast, the Roman general Aulus Caecina’s multi-coloured sagulum and bracae, as well as his long sleeves, were considered haughty by the togate inhabitants of northern Italy in 69 ce , and were unusual enough to be remarked upon and censured by Tacitus and Plutarch (Tac. Hist. 2.20; Plut. Otho 6.3–4; cf. Rothe 2009: 34, 2012a: 153; Speidel 2012: 11). Caecina evidently should not be wearing such foreign clothing as a Roman military personage within Italian boundaries, he is ‘offensive and strange’ without even the ‘outward appearance of a Roman citizen’ (Plut. Otho 6.3). As these episodes suggest, although long-sleeved and ankle-length tunics and leggings/trousers were already available for men to wear, they were clearly a rare enough sartorial choice that it was specifically noted in the contemporary texts. Furthermore, this clothing and the men who wore it were more often than not then included in the most damaging categories Roman male writers could think to put them in: barbarians, 280

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Figure 19.2 Details of scene depicting Gallic prisoner on triumphal arch of Glanum (SaintRémy-de-Provence, France), first century bce /ce . ©Nikki Rollason 2019.

women and effeminate men. Most significantly, the negative rhetoric surrounding long clothing on men finds its fullest expression in our literary sources during these years, suggesting that a regular need to dress in long (and therefore warm) clothing tended to be an anomaly for men at this point in Roman history. Indeed, leggings or leg wrappings and scarves were considered appropriate only for the elderly and infirm in Rome (Quint. Inst. 11.3.144) and even Augustus is mocked by Suetonius in this period for his excessive winter clothing of ‘four tunics and a heavy toga, besides an undershirt, a woollen chest-protector and wraps for his thighs and shins . . .’ (Aug. 82) – a result of a weakened constitution rather than cold conditions. Changes begin to appear during the ‘Roman Transitional Period’ (c. 150/200 ce –c. 450 ce ), called thus because the climate seems to have become less stable within this period. Although there is some variation in the data, generally it appears that the western half of the empire was more affected by the changes in the climate. In the Alps, dendrodata 281

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indicates glacier advancement reversed for the first time in centuries from the early 270s ce , while spring and early summer precipitation declined sharply in Gaul during the latter half of the third century; this change to drier conditions was echoed in the eastern provinces as well. The third century in particular saw an overall decline in solar activity, leading to cooler temperatures from about 260 ce especially in the western provinces. There was also increased volcanic activity during this period, during c. 235–85 ce especially, with related volcanic winters and summers decreasing the temperature further and disrupting food supply (Manning 2013 163–4; McCormick 2013: 70–1; Harper 2017: 129–36, 167–75). It is also extremely probable that this likewise affected at least some materials used to manufacture textiles – Diocletian’s 301 ce Edict of Maximum Prices should perhaps be considered within this context (Rollason forthcoming b). Additionally, ancient authors increasingly or exclusively note extreme cold conditions from about 290 ce onwards (McCormick et al. 2012a: 182 Figs 6a and b). During this transitional climate period of overall cooler, drier temperatures, the surviving literature and visual culture of the Roman Empire shows the move towards longer ‘barbarian’ clothing beginning in earnest. Indeed, from about the third century ce onwards, ‘barbarian’ garments began to infiltrate Roman military and then civilian dress. These seem to have been adopted from the peoples of the north, north-west and north-east frontiers of the empire and around the Danube area rather than the Near East. In the early part of this period the Severan emperor Antoninus (198–217 ce ) adopted Celtic clothing as his chosen outfit, becoming better known as Caracalla from the Germanic cloak he wore (on which see Wild 1964). The emperor has been held responsible for the increasing presence of Gallic and Germanic clothing in the Roman wardrobe from this period onwards (Rothe 2009: 42; Speidel 2012: 11). The sources for Caracalla, such as the near contemporary Dio Cassius (c. 150–235 ce ) and the Historia Augusta in the late fourth/early fifth century ce, suggest that he recommended it as the dress of regular soldiers (Dio Cass. 79.3.3; Hist. Aug. M. Ant. 9.7–8). According to Dio (79.3.2), he also wore sleeved tunics and a chlamys (the cloak worn by later emperors, cf. Rollason 2016: 77–8). These clothing choices may have then in turn influenced civilian dress and are therefore responsible for the growing presence of northern fashions in Roman dress. However, earlier and increasing campaigns in these colder northern areas may have resulted in the initial adoption by the Roman army of the long-sleeved tunic and leggings/trousers from auxiliary troops (Wild 1985: 413; Rothe 2009: 34, 36, 40, 2012a: 147, 153), as the leggings worn by soldiers on Trajan’s Column imply (Roche-Bernard and Ferdière 1993: 19; Sander 1963: 155–8; Rothe 2009: 31, 2012a: 153). Items such as the sagulum or sagum, also seem to have become popular in the military during this period (Rothe 2009: 33, 2012a: 147, 2012b; von Rummel 2007: 97–196). Both Wild (1985: 411– 3) and Rothe (2009: 31–7, 2012b) have highlighted that men who were recruited from the frontiers as auxiliary soldiers appear to have retained their traditional long-sleeved tunic and leggings/trousers, perhaps in order to maintain a collective (and connective) identity with their past selves. These items also continue to appear in civilian contexts in 282

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areas along the Danube and, during the third century ce , in other areas within the Roman Empire, suggesting a spreading influence. Indeed, as the empire expanded (and contracted), the influx and interaction with both foreign soldiers and settlers in the Roman army and empire at large – some of whom still wore elements of traditional dress from their homeland – exposed more people to nonRoman cultures and their clothing. Moreover, in later centuries, soldiers and civilians from increasingly ‘non-Roman’ origins became more visible in the urban and rural spaces of the empire, as well as in bureaucratic and imperial office. Furthermore, the increasing prestige military service held led to those in civil service being conceived of (and dressed) in military terms and clothing (Wild 1985: 385; Rothe 2009: 31–7, 2012a: 147), so that soldiers became civilian trend setters. The general context of this period, therefore, makes it clear that military and imperial influence and experiences had a profound impact on affecting changes in Roman dress, culture and society, transforming the conceptualization of Roman masculine identity from the third and fourth centuries ce. Without discounting the military influence on civilian clothing, it is worth considering, however, whether this kind of dress also spread as a cultural response to climate change due to its practical protection against the increasingly cooler temperatures beginning to be experienced further south. Clothing such as that worn in the northern provinces and areas outside of the empire was adapted for cooler conditions, as Ovid had noted long before (Tristia 3.10.19–20). When the climate began to cool in this and the ‘Late Antique Little Ice Age’ (see below), such clothing was already in the cultural consciousness, at least for those who had lived or engaged with more northerly inhabitants, although this interaction would have increased further with the settlement of Germanic peoples inside Roman frontiers from the fourth and fifth centuries (Rothe 2009: 36, 2012b: 237, without mentioning climate change). There was therefore a ‘readymade’ wardrobe for the Roman Empire to adopt and adapt when temperatures began to decrease regularly, as they did in this and the next climate period. This would have been helped along further by a textile industry and trade which flourished along the northern frontiers and in Gaul making both ‘Roman’ and imported items, including an especially thick cloth (on this industry cf. Wild 1970; Drinkwater 2001; Rothe 2009; 41, 2012b: 245; Zaczmarek 2014). Bracarii (trouser-makers or sellers) are noted during the reign of Alexander Severus (222–235 ce ), only a few years after Caracalla, while the same emperor both wears trousers and gives away these items to equip his soldiers (Hist. Aug. Alex. Sev. 24.5; 40.6, 11). The imperial tax and gifting implies that trousers were popular and/or expensive items in the Roman empire, and the Historia Augusta registers only their colour (red) as noteworthy, not the trousers themselves. However, the Historia Augusta tends to reflect more closely the dress trends of its own late fourth/early fifth century context (Harlow 2005), trends that may have been influenced by the ‘Late Antique Little Ice Age’ (c. 400/450-c. 700 CE), a period that saw the greatest variation in the climate (Manning 2013: 164–5; McCormick 2013: 71–2; Büntgen et al. 2016; Decker 2017; Harper 2017: 244–605). Europe was humid and wet, and there was also increased rainfall in the Levantine and eastern areas of the empire. Extremely dry conditions then followed in these areas for the next two centuries from 283

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about 450 ce . Significantly, there was a marked decline in solar activity during this general period: solar activity appears to have declined from 400/450s, with a sharp temperature plunge from about 405, cooling again in the 520s, 530s and 580s and culminating in a ‘grand solar minimum’ (a very inactive sun) in the last half of the seventh century (Manning 2013: 133; Harper 2017: 254–5). The result would have been significantly colder average temperatures than in previous centuries. Indeed, the 540s are recorded as the second coldest decade in Alpine dendrodata, which goes up to the 2010s, and thirteen out of the 20 coldest decades recorded in the same data occur in the sixth and seventh centuries. One of the coldest years of the last two millennia is also recorded for this period (Büntgen et al. 2016: 232). Additional events also impacted the climate significantly and contributed to the decreasing temperatures: the sixth century saw at least one massive volcanic eruption in the Northern Hemisphere in 536 ce , when contemporary authors, such as Procopius in the sixth century, record a summer without heat and a sun which ‘gave forth its light without brightness, like the moon, during this whole year’ (Vand. 4.14.5–6). Further contributing to the challenging environment and the cold was a second more cataclysmic event either in the same year or, more likely, in 540 ce . This has been recorded in the ice cores as a massive tropical volcanic eruption. The combination of both these episodes led to a drop in average summer temperatures by 541 ce of over 5 degrees in an already cold period (Büntgen et al. 2016; Harper 2017: 253). In the dress of the period, the long-sleeved tunic and long trousers, which had mostly disappeared from Gallic, British and northern/north-eastern provincial civilian visual culture after the Roman conquest, began to reappear in grave stele from these and wider areas in the later Roman period (Rothe 2009: 32–3, 53, 79; cf. 2012b and 2013 for different regional practices). The implication is that it was now appropriate to wear such items again. It is in this period as well that the Historia Augusta incidentally suggests clothing made wholly of silk was worn more frequently – a material known for its ability to keep the body warm. By claiming that Caracalla’s successor Elagabalus (218–222 ce ) was ‘the first’ to initiate this practice, the phrasing suggests that such things were known or common for the Historia Augusta’s audience even if they are meant to disapprove of it (Kuefler 2001: 57–9; Harlow 2005: 147–8). Although silk was still considered a somewhat problematic material, other items once criticized in earlier periods, such as ankle-length tunics with tight sleeves to the wrist, leggings and long cloaks, now instead formed part of the late antique military and civilian male wardrobe. Indeed, rather than being the fashion faux pas of the young, immoral or sexually deviant, as they were in earlier periods (including for Elagabalus), these garments appear to regularly dress late antique men in an ‘official’ context (for this outfit without consideration of climate change, see Harlow 2004a, 2005: 148–9; Rollason 2016: 89–128). They are seen in fourth-, fifth- and sixth-century diptychs recording the appointment of the honorand to high office, dressing the general Stilicho up in appropriate attire as magister militum in 400 ce and Boethius (consul 487), Aerobindus (consul 506) (Figs  19.3 and 19.4a–c) and others for their consulships (Harlow 2004a; Rollason 2016: 89–128, 95–6, Figs 3.1 and 3.2). 284

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Figure 19.3 Consular diptych of Boethius, western consul 487 ce ; ivory; Museo di Santa Giulia, Brescia. Image by: RobyBS89 (via Wikimedia Commons) [CC BY-SA 3.0] (accessed 31 March 2019).

Living during the earlier centuries of this much colder period, these consuls appear in the toga (or trabea; see Rollason 2016: 93–119), which is now typically styled with elaborate decorations and folds – both of which would increase warmth. Layers also made up the dress of the emperor, the height of Roman masculinity, who was now depicted in trousers/leggings and at least two tunics, one of which reaches ankle length and has tight long sleeves and a high neck. Imperial dress also included a rectangular cloak, the chlamys, worn by Justinian and his officials in the Ravenna mosaic (Fig. 19.1; see Rothe: 2012a: 164–5; Rollason 2016: 65–70, 76–80). It bears some similarity to the Gallic sagum in style, if not colour and pattern (Rothe 2009: 41, 2012a: 164, 2013: 255). The effect of consistently very cold temperatures outlined above would have had an impact on and is, I suggest, strongly reflected in the dress of the period. Taking these and the previous climate period’s environmental factors into account certainly helps to explain the increasingly common depiction of men (and women) clothed in multiple layers of garments and the re-emergence or increased use of certain warmer items and materials, which are not satisfactorily accounted for in the traditional view of modern scholarship about late antique dress. 285

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Figure 19.4a Consular diptych of Areobindus, eastern consul 506; ivory; Musée de Cluny, Paris (inv. Cl 13135). ©Nikki Rollason 2019.

Figures 19.4b and 19.4c Detail from consular diptych of Areobindus, eastern consul 506; ivory; Musée de Cluny, Paris (inv. Cl 13135). ©Nikki Rollason 2019.


Climate Change and Late Antique Male Dress

The initially wet, then very cold weather across the empire may also help to account for the increased representation in visual and material culture during this and the previous period of boots and other styles of footwear for men (and women) that enclosed the foot from heel to toes (Fig. 19.5; on this development, without considering climate, see Parani 2007: 518). Although slightly earlier, the 390s law against tzangae boots and bracae in the Theodosian Code 14.10 (from 382, 397, 399 and 416 ce ), might also merit further consideration in this environmental context. Of the four laws that make up this section, two of these – 14.10.2 (Rome, 397 ce ) and 14.10.3 (Brixia, 399 ce ) – concern the wearing of certain dress items which are clearly considered ‘barbarian’, such as tzangae (boots) or bracae, in the cities of Constantinople, Rome and Ravenna (on dress in these laws see, cautiously, Arce 2005). These dress items were prohibited by the law, with loss of status and exile as the penalty, and should be set within the context of increasing external and internal threats to the Roman Empire, especially as bracae were associated with military and/or barbarian dress. However, the need to promulgate this kind of law suggests that such items were at least known to Roman society within the major urban centres of the empire (Rothe 2012a: 154). In a colder and wetter climate, they would be available items to protect wearers against inclement weather, some of whom appear to have been members of the elite.

Figure 19.5 Detail from ‘Great Hunt’ mosaic, Villa Romana del Casale, Sicily. ©Alison Grindley 2019.


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The owning of leggings was also clearly thought to be a suitable subject for one of the panels decorating the fourth-century tomb at Silistra in Bulgaria, designed to show the deceased’s status. Likewise, the Piazza Armerina mosaics (Fig.  19.5) from the same period show that long-sleeved tunics and leggings were worn by military and/or elite men in late antiquity. Such images were not just confined to the private or semi-private sphere, which these examples might suggest – long clothing also covers senators and the emperor in the reliefs on the base of the Theodosian obelisk in Constantinople, while burial finds from Egypt also attest to long-sleeved tunics in this period. They additionally appear on Caesarius, the master of offices (PLRE 171(6)) whom Libanius praises in Oration 21.6. This reflects a significant development that sees bracae/ἀναξυρίδες and the χειριδωτός becoming divorced from their Gallic and Persian contexts in late antique texts, now appearing without the ‘barbarian’ qualifier always included by earlier authors (Rollason forthcoming c). Certainly, clothing continued to be used in order to undermine the masculinity of those whom the author wished to insult – in the fourth century Prudentius was still writing of the unmanly behaviour of men who chase after luxurious clothing just as his earlier predecessors had done (Hamartigenia 287–91; Kuefler 2001: 216). Significantly, however, it no longer appears to be the length of a tunic which is problematic – only the colour, decoration and material – and this may be because multi-coloured and patterned clothing were still associated with ‘barbarian’ or effeminate clothing (Rothe 2009: 41, 2013: 255; Spiedel 2012: 11; Olson 2017: 141–2). It is certainly important to consider surplus, expensive and highly decorated material as part of the performance of wealth and power in late antiquity. Yet in general the outfit of elite late antique men was an excess of clothing which in the early empire was allowed Augustus only on account of his weak constitution and position in society, but was considered undignified and not to be encouraged on other men (Quint. Inst. 11.3.141). In a cold climate, however, layered garments and clothing which fully covered the body were a practical response to increasingly cool and unfavourable conditions.

19.2 Conclusions This chapter has proposed climate change as another significant factor in the development of Roman clothing. The trend towards long-sleeved, ankle-length and layered dress in late antiquity was certainly influenced by the clothing of those who had been on the periphery of the empire, via the Roman army, the increasing militarization of Roman society and interactions with peoples on the northern frontiers. However, the negative associations of long clothing with inferior groups, such as women and barbarians, should make us question why such clothing not only came to be but remained an accepted part of the visualization of late antique elite men. The transition in the Roman climate towards cooler and then very cold temperatures from the third century ce onwards suggests another, complementary, answer: that this was a practical response to changing environmental pressures. It is against the backdrop of an increasingly cooling 288

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environment as well as changing social factors that the dramatic transformation in male elite clothing during the later Roman period should therefore be considered, for, as Quintilian noted, ‘there are some features of dress which have themselves changed somewhat with the changing times’ (Inst. 11.3.137).

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Mary Harlow, Cécile Michel, Louise Quillen and the audience at the 2018 ATOM Conference in Nanterre, Paris; Magdalena Örhman and the audience at University of Wales, Trinity St David; and Silvio Roggo and the Cambridge Late Antique Network Seminar audience for the helpful comments and warm receptions of initial versions of this chapter.

Notes 1 Translations adapted from Loeb editions. 2 Categories from McCormick (2013: 70–1); Manning (2013: 163–5); Harper (2017: 15), with Haldon et al. (2018) for issues. Although caution is needed when discussing such broad timeframes and the vast area of the Roman Empire, these three periods are used for convenience and because they reflect general conclusions from other scholars on the changes in Roman climate (e.g. Sallares 2009; McCormick 2013; Büntgen et al. 2016; Decker 2017). 3 ‘Bracae’ appears from Virgil onwards associated with non-Romans, particularly Gauls. Ἀναξυρίδες and the χειριδωτός are worn by Persians in Herodotus 7.61 and by the Gauls in Strabo 4.4.3. On trousers and the tunic from ‘northern’ peoples, see Roche-Bernard and Ferdière (1993); Rothe (2009: 31–7, 43, 2012a: 152–4, 2012b: 240) and Wild (1985: 369–74, 377–9, 386–8) for the Later Roman tunic; Rollason (forthcoming c). 4 The volume edited by Izdebski and Mulryan (2019) is also of relevance but appeared too late to factor here. 5 Haldon et al. (2018: 4) dispute Harper’s dating, confining LALIA to the years after the volcanic eruptions of the 530s and 540s. However, Harper notes that he does not consider the period c. 450–530 ce the LALIA itself, but rather its prelude (2017: 251). Additionally, Haldon et al. do not comment on the decreased solar activity from the late fourth century, upon which Harper’s periodization is based (Harper 2017: 53–5; cf. Manning 2013: 133).

References Arce, J. (2005), ‘Dress Control in Late Antiquity: Codex Theodosianus 14.10.1–4’, in A. Köb and P. Riedel (eds), Kleidung und Repräsentation in Antike und Mittelalter (Mittelalterstudien des Instituts zur Interdisziplinären Erforschung des Mittelalters und seines Nachwirkens, Paderborn 7), 33–44, Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag. Bonfante, L. (1994), ‘Introduction’, in J. L. Sebesta and L. Bonfante (eds), The World of Roman Costume, 3–10, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Brown, P. 1971 (reprinted 2013), The World of Late Antiquity, London: Thames & Hudson. Büntgen, U., Myglan, V., Ljungqvist, F. et al. (2016), ‘Cooling and Societal Change during the Late Antique Little Ice Age from 536 to around 660 AD’, Nature Geoscience, 9: 231–6. Davies, G. (2005), ‘What Made the Toga Virilis?’, in L. Cleland, M. Harlow and L. Llewelyn-Jones (eds), The Clothed Body in the Ancient World, 121–30, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Decker, M. (2017), ‘Approaches to the Environmental History of Late Antiquity, Part II: Climate Change and the End of the Roman Empire’, History Compass, 15.10. Available at: https://doi. org/10.1111/hic3.12425 (accessed 23 November 2019). Drinkwater, J. (2001), ‘The Gallo-Roman Woollen Industry and the Great Debate: The Igel Column Revisited’, in D. J. Mattingly and J. Salmon (eds), Economies Beyond Agriculture in the Classical World, 297–308, Leicester-Nottingham Studies in Ancient Society 9, London: Routledge. Dyke, A. (2001), ‘Dressing to Kill: Attire as a Proof and Means of Characterization in Cicero’s Speeches’, Arethusa, 34 (1): 119–30. Haldon, J., Elton, H., Huebner, S. R., Izdebski, A., Mordechai, L. and Newfield, T. P. (2018), ‘Plagues, Climate Change, and the End of an Empire: A Response to Kyle Harper’s The Fate of Rome (1): Climate’, History Compass. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/ abs/10.1111/hic3.12508 (accessed 12 February 2019). Hales, S. (2005), ‘Men Are Mars, Women Are Venus: Divine Costumes in Imperial Rome’, in L. Cleland, M. Harlow and L. Llewelyn-Jones (eds), The Clothed Body in the Ancient World, 131–42, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Harlow, M. (2004a), ‘Clothes Make The Man: Power Dressing and Elite Masculinity in the Later Roman World’, in L. Brubaker and J. M. H. Smith (eds), Gender in the Medieval World: East and West, 300–900, 44–69, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Harlow, M. (2004b), ‘Female Dress, Third–Sixth Century: The Messages in the Media?’, AnTard, 12: 203–15. Harlow, M. (2005), ‘Dress in the Historia Augusta: The Role of Dress in Historical Narrative’, in L. Cleland, M. Harlow and L. Llewelyn-Jones (eds), The Clothed Body in the Ancient World, 143–53, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Harlow, M. (2007), ‘The Impossible Art of Dressing to Please: Jerome and the Rhetoric of Dress’, in L. Lavan, E. Swift and T. Putzeys (eds), Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity, 530–50, Leiden: Brill. Harlow, M. (2013), ‘Dressed Women on the Streets of the Ancient City: What to Wear?’, in E. Hemelrijk and G. Woolf (eds), Women and the Roman City in the Latin West, 225–41, Mnemosyne Supplements 30, Leiden: Brill. Harper, K. (2017), The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease and the End of an Empire, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Harris, W. V., ed. (2013), The Ancient Mediterranean Environment between Science and History, Leiden: Brill. Heskel, J. (1994), ‘Cicero as Evidence for Attitudes to Dress in the Later Republic’, in J. L. Sebesta and L. Bonfante (eds), The World of Roman Costume, 133–45, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Izdebski, A. and Mulryan, M., eds (2019), Environment and Society in the Long Late Antiquity, Late Antique Archaeology vols 11–12, Leiden: Brill. Kuefler, M. (2001), The Manly Eunuch, Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Manning, S. W. (2013), ‘The Roman World and Climate. Context, Relevance of Climate Change, and Some Issues’, in W. V. Harris (ed.), The Ancient Mediterranean Environment Between Science and History, 103–70, Leiden: Brill. McCormick, M., Büntgen, U., Cane, M., Cook, E., Harper, K., Huybers, P., Litt, T., Manning, S. W., Mayewski, P. A., More, A. M., Nicolussi K. and Tegel W. (2012a), ‘Climate Change during


Climate Change and Late Antique Male Dress and after the Roman Empire: Reconstructing the Past from Scientific and Historical Evidence’, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 43 (2): 169–220. McCormick, M. U. Büntgen, M., Cane, E. Cook, K., Harper, P., Huybers, T., Litt, S. W., Manning, P. A., Mayewski, A. M., More, K., Nicolussi and Tegel, W. (2012b), ‘Geodatabase of Historical Evidence on Roman and Post-Roman Climate,’ DARMC Scholarly Data Series, Data Contribution Series 2012–1. DARMC, Centre for Geographic Analysis, Harvard University, Cambridge MA 02138. Available at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1meoPMwiiVZ_ buAYgasx5NBt7Gz3Ar9LJysco6npzEgY/edit#gid=24 (accessed 23 November 2019). McCormick, M. (2013), ‘What Climate Science, Ausonius, Nile Floods, Rye and Thatch Tell Us about the Environmental History of the Roman Empire’, in W. V. Harris (ed.), The Ancient Mediterranean Environment between Science and History, 61–88, Leiden: Brill. Olson, K. (2017), Masculinity and Dress in Roman Antiquity, London: Routledge. Parani, M. G. (2007), ‘Defining Personal Space: Dress and Accessories in Late Antiquity’, in L. Lavan, E. Swift and T. Putzeys (eds), Objects in Context, Objects in Use: Material Spatiality in Late Antiquity, 497–529, Leiden: Brill. Pausch, M. (2003), Die römische Tunika, Augsburg: Wissner-Verlag. Roche-Bernard, G. and Ferdière, A. (1993), Costumes et textiles en Gaule romaine, Errance: Paris. Rollason, N. K. (2016), Gifts of Clothing in Late Antique Literature, London: Routledge. Rollason, N. K. (forthcoming a) Climate Change and Textiles in the Later Roman Empire. Rollason, N. K. (forthcoming b) ‘Climate Change and Diocletian’s Prices Edict’. Rollason, N. K. (forthcoming c) ‘Climate Change and Male Elite Dress’. Rothe, U. (2009), Dress and Cultural Identity in the Rhine-Moselle Region of the Roman Empire, British Archaeological Reports, Oxford: Archaeopress. Rothe, U. (2012a), ‘Dress in the Middle Danube Provinces: The Garments, Their Origins and Their Distribution’, Jahreshefte des Österreichischen Archäologischen Instituts, 81: 137–231. Rothe, U. (2012b), ‘The “Third Way”: Treveran Women’s Dress and the “Gallic Ensemble”’, American Journal of Archaeology, 116 (2): 235–52. Rothe, U. (2013), ‘Whose Fashion? Men, Women and Roman Culture as Reflected in Dress in the Cities of the Roman North-West’, in E. Hemelrijk and G. Woolf (eds), Women and the Roman City in the Latin West, 243–68, Mnemosyne Supplements, History and Archaeology of Classical Antiquity 360, Leiden: Brill. Sallares, R. (2009), ‘Environmental History’, in A. Erskine (ed.), A Companion to Ancient History, 212–22, Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World, Oxford: Wiley. Sander, E. (1963), ‘Die Kleidung des römeschen Soldaten’, Historia, 12: 144–66. Sessa, K. (2019), ‘The New Environmental Fall of Rome: A Methodological Consideration’, Journal of Late Antiquity, 12 (1): 211–55. Speidel, M. (2012), ‘Dressed for the Occasion: Clothes and Context in the Roman Army’, in M.-L. Nosch (ed.), Wearing the Cloak: Dressing the Soldier in Roman Times, Oxford: Oxbow Books. Stone, S. (1994), ‘The Toga: From National to Ceremonial Costume’, in J. L. Sebesta and L. Bonfante (eds), The World of Roman Costume, 13–45, Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. von Rummel, P. (2007), Habitus barbarus: Kleidung und Repräsentation spätantiker Eliten im 4. und 5. Jahrhundert, Berlin: De Gruyter. Wild, J. P. (1964), ‘The caracallus’, Latomus, 23: 532–6. Wild, J. P. (1968), ‘Clothing in the North-West provinces of the Roman Empire’, Bonner Jahrbücher, 168: 166–240. Wild, J. P. (1970), Textile Manufacture in the Northern Provinces, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity Wild, J. P. (1985), ‘The Clothing of Britannia, Gallia Belgica and Germania Inferior’, in H. Temporini and W. Haase (eds), Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.12.3, 362–422, Berlin: De Gruyter. Zaczmarek, Z. (2014), ‘Roman Textiles and Barbarians: Some Observations about Textile Exchange between the Roman Empire and Barbaricum’, in M. Harlow and M.-L. Nosch (eds), Greek and Roman Textiles and Dress: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, 323–34, Oxford: Oxbow Books.






Clothing is an essential element in the construction of gender identity and each society builds its own standards in this area. Haute couture can seize on trends already at work in society: when Yves Saint-Laurent presented, in his 1960s collections, tuxedos and trouser suits for women, he was part of an already long history of women’s and often feminist demands for the appropriation of trousers, long considered as clothing reserved for men. In France, wearing trousers was prohibited for women by an order of the Prefect of Police of Paris dating to the 16 Brumaire year IX (7 November 1800).1 The Ministry of Women’s Rights noted in 2013 that it was implicitly abolished because of its incompatibility with the principles of equality between women and men enshrined in the Preamble to the 1946 Constitution and in Article 1 of the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights.2 On the other hand, men’s skirts, proposed in 1966 by the couturier Jacques Estérel (1917–74), were rather considered as avant-garde models that have not, even now, met with a real success. From the same perspective, in 1970, Estérel developed collections of clothing that he called ‘unisex’, that is, equally suitable for women and men.3 He showed female and male models in pairs wearing the same outfits: either trousers for her and him, or long dresses, also for her and him. The couturier claimed, with these outfits, ‘to have opened the last door of freedom to male clothing art’. He called the unisex dresses ‘Sumerians’ (in French: les Sumériennes, feminine), explaining that he wished to ‘recall the oldest civilization in the world which, in its bas-reliefs, showed men and women dressed in ancient tunics’. The couturier also stated that he was ‘against all segregation, be it the segregation of color, be it the segregation of sex’. The term ‘gender’ was not used in French in the seventies, but these declarations show that the idea was at the heart of Estérel’s work as a designer. However, in antiquity, among the Sumerians, men’s clothing differed from women’s (see Chapter 12 by Couturaud and Chapter 14 by Rendu Loisel in this volume). Further research would therefore have to be undertaken to find out what the couturier’s exact sources of inspiration were, and what his knowledge of costumes from the ancient Near East was exactly.

Notes 1 On the gendered aspects of clothing, see Bard (2010).


Textiles and Gender in Antiquity 2 Published in the Official Journal of the Senate on 31 January 2013, p. 339. 3 ‘Sous l’influence de la langue anglaise, le préfixe “uni-” prend alors un sens contraire à celui qu’il avait précédemment. La principale caractéristique de l’unisexe n’est plus d’être “unique” – de ne convenir qu’à un seul sexe –, mais d’être “universel” – et donc de convenir aux deux’, Thibault-Starzyk (2016b: 122). See also Thibault-Starzyk (2016a) with references to the 1970 Jacques Estérel collection.

References Bard, C. (2010), Une histoire politique du pantalon, Paris: Seuil. Thibault-Starzyk, M. (2016a), ‘Des jupes pour hommes?’, in D. Bruna (dir.), Tenue correcte exigée: Quand le vêtement fait scandale, 112–17, Paris: Musée des Arts Décoratifs. Thibault-Starzyk, M. (2016b), ‘Vers la mode unisexe’, in D. Bruna (dir.), Tenue correcte exigée: Quand le vêtement fait scandale, 118–23, Paris: Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Videos accessible online with images of the 1970 collection and interviews of Jacques Estérel http://www.ina.fr/video/CAF91029192 http://www.ina.fr/video/CAF91004290 https://www.ina.fr/video/I06117463 https://www.ina.fr/video/CAF91003785



Textiles are a decisive element in any culture, in any time period. They encapsulate an infinite number of social and individual needs and reflect the economic and organizational structure of societies (Andersson Strand et al. 2010). This was made more than clear in the 2018 conference, Textiles & Gender: Production to Wardrobe from the Orient to the Mediterranean in Antiquity. The general aim of the conference was ‘to incorporate this essential aspect of material culture into the discourse of gender division of work in the production of textiles, as well as attitudes to dress and gender across the Near East and Mediterranean cultures in antiquity (c. 3000 bce –600 ce ), tracing both cross-cultural and culturally specific associations’. Gender studies cover a range of methodologies used to study, understand and discuss past societies through their material culture by closely examining the social construction of gender identities and relations as one of many significant aspects. Consequently, it is of the highest importance to include this aspect when the role of textiles and textile production in ancient societies is interpreted. It is by combining different sources such as archaeological materials, texts and iconography that we better understand the cultural, social and economic impact of textile production and acquire more information about both producers and consumers. Textile research is truly interdisciplinary as well as multi-disciplinary, a fact clearly demonstrated in four sessions at the conference: ‘Gender and Textile Production’, ‘Gendered Garments and Accessories in the Ancient Near East’, ‘Garments for Gods and Goddesses – Garments of the Dead and of Statues’, and finally ‘Gendered Garments in the Greco-Roman World’ which provided the background to this brief conclusion. The papers covered a broad chronological range, from the third millennium bce to the sixth century ce , with frequent noting of modern resonances, which here were expressed in the short final paper by Brigitte Lion on a 1970s interpretation of Sumerian clothing, repurposed (or perhaps not) as unisex. The geographical range was also wide, from the Near East, to north Africa across the Mediterranean to Europe. The papers posed as many questions as they answered. Surviving evidence, as addressed by the various scholars at the conference, revealed a focus on women as textile workers and raised questions about the gendered division of labour and organization rather than on the craft production of textiles. Raw materials such as wool and flax, tools and techniques such as spindle whorls, loom weights, fringes and bands were mentioned but not generally included as key elements in the discussions. The organization described in texts is generally for complex organized societies and large-scale production of high-quality textiles. However, domestic production for 297

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everyday use is often invisible. Various papers demonstrated that women were certainly involved in this ‘industrial’ production and maybe in the manufacturing of textiles even if their roles are not always clear. The seals from Middle Bronze Age Crete do not directly include women (Ulanowska), while the Linear-B texts indicate that women could be supervisors. In these texts, spinners and weavers are mentioned but more men are named than women (Landenius Enegren). Is textile production a gendered practice and behaviour but not a part of femininity or can it also be a part of femininity was one of many questions that was raised (Larsson Lovén). There is no clear answer and it is important to include considerations of time but also age, family affiliation, social status, occupation, religion and ethnicity. It is equally essential to separate the idealized picture of how women and men should behave according to social and political stereotypes and social realities across space and time (Agut-Labordère, Wagner-Hasel, Öhrman). Several chapters examine texts and iconography from the ancient Near East where it is clear that the archaeological material in the form of textiles is very scarce (spindle whorls and loom weights survive). The general assumption is that there was a strong gender division between men and women in the ancient Near East but actually very little evidence of this when it comes to clothing. For instance, the terminology of garments as used in the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian language is usually not gendered and it is clear that cross-dressing existed in Mesopotamia, but it is also important to note that even if the vocabulary was similar, it did not mean that clothes were exactly the same (Abrahami and Lion, Quillien). For example, gender could be signified by the draping, shape and colour of a garment. This is demonstrated through the iconography, which undoubtedly shows garments that express a gender identity, and that a clear difference between male and female attire existed (Quillien, Michel). The differences could also be visible in ways in which men and women wore accessories such as pins, belts and headdresses (Michel, Matoïan and Vita). It is also interesting that the references in the texts state that men should never be dressed like a woman but not the opposite. Why is there so little evidence for gendered clothing? Is it just because the evidence is missing or are we asking the wrong questions? Would it be possible to include other genders and focus more on social and cultural aspects as done by some of the contributors here? It is not possible to interpret any material/source from a completely objective viewpoint – we are clearly influenced by our own time. The danger is that we are looking for something which might not have been so relevant in an ancient society and when we do not find the evidence for it, we blame the materials instead of asking our questions differently. However, the papers also clearly demonstrate the importance of working interdisciplinarily and combining and comparing different source material. The question is whether the depictions in general really have any basis in a reality; whether they might reveal identity, and if they might indicate status, social or professional. Many contributions here address the problems of ideology versus social reality, or how different genres provide different insights into any supposed reality (Couturand, RenduLoisel, Wagner Hasel, Larsson Lovén, Ohrman, Brøns and Harlow, Place), suggesting that all source materials should be considered and combined when scholars examine these issues. 298

Concluding Remarks

Collectively the conference confirmed that textiles are important not just for the living but equally for the dead and maybe even more so for rituals and ceremonies (Biga, Breniquet et al.). The importance of dressing gods and goddesses is a very old tradition and the production of textiles for this use would have been very time-consuming and expensive. Why this was so important is less discussed, but of course it was obvious for the authors of the ancient texts. Was it only to worship the gods and goddesses or was it, as indicated in some texts, also important for society to demonstrate their status in relation to neighbouring communities or outsiders (Biga, Joannès). The archaeological material from Les Martres-de-Veyre, gives an insight into how much we lack textiles from an archaeological context in general. However, it is equally difficult to understand gendered costume traditions even if textiles are well preserved (Breniquet et al.). New methods are also changing our perception of the ancient world. Polychromy studies are revealing that more colours than previously thought were accessible both as pigments and as dyes. These avenues of research are highlighting a discrepancy and reality gap in the ancient texts (particularly Greek and Roman rhetoric) in terms of attitude and perceived values (Brøns and Harlow, Place). What does this tell us about past societies and how can we use this in our interpretation of the need for and use of dress by the individual? One innovative approach here was to examine climate change which can affect clothing fashion as well as people (Rollason). It is important not to forget the practical aspect of why we are wearing textiles, today and in ancient times. The contributions at this conference have provided new insights and perspectives but have also opened up new questions and queried assumptions such as: in general, is it a production of high-status textiles and/or production of more general work that is described? When men are mentioned more often in texts or mentioned differently to women, what can we really tell about the producers? For whom is a text written, and for whom is the iconography made and visible to? The archaeological materials are scarce and can never give a true picture of the scale of production; how can the gaps be filled? All papers at the conference and accompanying discussions demonstrated the strengths and advantages of combining different sources/materials. We need to continue to work along interdisciplinary lines and ideally this collaboration should start before we arrive at our final results and/or interpret our materials. It is also important to contextualize and compare with other materials. This is, of course, not always possible and conferences and workshops can provide us with a unique opportunity to discuss and compare results in a wider contextual framework. Combined research will undoubtedly give us a better understanding of how textiles and gender are intertwined and the complexity of cloth culture, costume traditions and fashions. We can combine the sources more usefully and we should not just look for similarities, as differences are equally important and intriguing. More research can be done on the production of textiles and how manufacturing was organized. This approach highlights the important roles of both women and men as strong and active agents in networks of textile production, use and economy, while also providing new perspectives on gendered power and identity. In order to understand the complexity of production we can also include 299

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the knowledge of invisible crafts – what do we not find, and why? Use of iconography to better understand how the textiles were manufactured, and not just what garments looked like, should include all aspects of gender. As demonstrated in the conference Textiles & Gender: Production to Wardrobe from the Orient to the Mediterranean in Antiquity 2018, textiles and gender are highly relevant research fields. This research undoubtedly has the possibility to promote a new and holistic model of incorporating textiles into the scientific discourse, highlighting their crucial position in all economic and political strategies, and offering new academic perspectives for this essential but underexploited source material.

References Andersson Strand, E. et al. (2010), ‘Old Textiles – New Possibilities’, European Journal of Archaeology, 13 (2): 149–73.



Achilles 111–13, 115, 144 n.4 Adad-guppi’ 205 Agamemnon 111–15 Ahat-milku 14, 24 n.7 Ahatumalki 43 ˘ Alcinous 113, 115–16, 118 Alexander Severus 231, 283 Amenemhat 85, 283 Anastasiadou, Maria 61–4, 66–9, 74 ‘Anatu 43, 50, 53–4 Andromache 116–17 Arete, Phaeacian queen 114, 116–18 Assurbanipal, king of Assyria 211–14 ‘Attartu 52 ˉ Audollent, A. 242–7, 249, 252, 255 n.8. Augustus 128, 130, 222, 231, 281, 288 Baal 13, 45 Bābu-aha-iddina, high-ranking official in Assyria 16–17 Boserup, Ester 92 Caligula 221–2, 280 Caracalla 282–3 Cicero 234, 275, 280 Clement of Alexandria 229–30, 266 Cleopatra VII 131 Cutler, Joanne 60, 71–2, 105 Cyprian of Carthage 259, 263–71 Damurdashein 155 Darib-damu, princess of Ebla 157–8 Dumuzi, Sumerian god 197–8 Elagabalus 284 Enki, Sumerian god 193, 201 Enkidu, Mesopotamian hero 179, 185, 195, 197 Enlil, Sumerian god 17, 25 n.22, 181, 195–6 Ereškigal, Sumerian goddess 194–5 Esarhaddon, king of Assyria 207 Estérel, Jacques 9, 295–6 Fulvia 131, 133 Fundilius, Gaius Fundilius Doctus 221, 237 Gilgameš, hero and king of Uruk 179, 185–7, 195, 197, 199

Helen of Troy 116–17 Herodotus 83, 120, 289 n.3 Homer 5, 115–18, 120 Inana, Sumerian goddess (see also Ištar), 181, 184, 193, 196–9, 201 Ipuy 86–7 Ishar-damu, last king of Ebla 158, 160 n.11, 161 n.17 Išme-Dagan, king of Ekkallatum, 181, 194 Ištar, Akkadian goddess (see also Inana) 7, 24 n.12, 31–7, 39 n.8,181, 187–8, 209 Jerome 137 Justinian 275–6, 285 Khnumhotep II, (governor, Egypt) 83–6, 91 Kuhn, J.-E. 243–4 Libbali-šarrat 211, 213 Lucretia 5, 126–8, 133, 139–41, 144, 145 n.15, 146 n.18 Marcus Antonius 127, 131 Marduk, Akkadian god 17, 34–5, 39 n.1, n.6 Martial 231, 234–5 Meli-šipak, Babylonian king 210 Menelaus 113, 117 Nabonidus, king of Babylonia 23 n.3, 31–2, 35–6, 39 n.6, 40 n.9 205 Nabu, Akkadian god 33–5, 39 n.1, n.2, n.6 Nanaja, Akkadian goddess 3, 31–7, 39 Nebuchadnezzar (II), king of Babylonia 23 n.3, 31–2, 35, 37 Neriglissar, king of Babylonia 32 Nero 222, 234, 280 Ninlil, Sumerian goddess 181, 195–6 Nūr-Eru’a 17 Octavia 131–2 Odysseus 113, 116–18, 142 Ovid 127, 140–3, 235, 237, 283 Paul, Pauline doctrine 264, 268 Penelope 114, 116–18, 142–3, 146 n.26 Plautus 129, 236–7 238 n.6 Puabi, Sumerian queen 172


Index of Names Quintilian 136–7, 289 Saint-Laurent, Yves 295 Šamhat, prostitute in the Gilgameš Epic 179 Šar-elli, queen of Ugarit 44, 55 n.5 Sargon, king of Assyria 173, 182, 184, 186, 211 Šibtu, wife of king Zimrī-Lîm of Mari 182 Solon 119


Tanaquil 126–8, 133 Tertullian of Carthage 259–71 Tiabarzu, girl of the court of Ebla, of the family of the vizier Ibrium 155–6 Vergil/Virgil 137–8, 143, 289 n.3 Zanehimari, princess of Ebla 156–7 Zimrī-Lîm, king of Mari 37, 182


accessories 6, 47, 66, 172, 183, 188, 193–6, 205, 211, 215, 245, 298 adīlu (Akkadian: tassel?, item of clothing) 15, 16 Aghios Vassileios 95 akītu (Akkadian) religious festival of the New Year 34 Akrotiri, Thera 60, 102 Alašiya, Cyprus 182 ἀναξυρίδες (see also leggings, bracae) 277, 288 289 n.3 an-ta-dul, man-dul (Sumerian) blanket 20, 27 n.39 Aqhatu Legend 49 a-ra-ka-te-ja (Linear B) women spinners 97 Aššur 165, 187, 205, 207, 215 n.2 Assyria 208–9, 214 atrium 135–6, 145 n.7, n.8, n.15 Ayia Irini, Kea 60 a-ze-te-ri-ja (Linear B) women in charge of finishing textiles 98, 101–2 Babylonia (region) 13, 31–2, 34, 36–7, 205–6, 209, 214 Babylon (city) 17, 25 n. 22, 32–7, 39 n.5, n.6, n.8, n. 9, 40 n.9, 206, 214 balteus 221 barbarian dress, so-called (see also Gallic; Germanic; Persian dress styles) 7, 275, 282, 287–8 barbarian(s), so-called, 276, 279–80, 288 Bargoin museum xvi, 241–4, 247–51, 255 n.2 belts/waistbands (see also musārum, šakkukum, íb+I/II/III/IV/V, hus.annu, hušuhhu, išrum) 48, 54 n. 3, 185–8, 190 n.9, 210–11, 213–14, 244, 251–3, 277 Bēltija 31–2, 35, 37 Beni Hassan 83–6, 89 blanket (see also an-ta-dul, man-dul, pahantarri) 154, 207–8, 245, 253 bleaching/bleachers 85–6, 88, 91–2, 93 n.6, 230 blue (see colours) boots (see also tzangae, footwear) 22, 297 borders (of clothing) 45, 64, 102, 121, 219–22, 224–6, 228, 231 Borsippa (city) 31–7, 39 n.1, 208 boundaries (spatial, permeable) 135–6, 138–9, 141–4, 262, 280

bracae, bracati (see also leggings, trousers) 277, 280, 287–8, 298 n.3 bridal gifts (see also gifts) 15, 111–12, 190 n.5 bride-wealth 112 bu-di (Eblaite) (see also pins, tudittum) toggle pin(s) 6, 155–9, 180, 183–5, 190 n.7, n.8 cap (see also sagšu, kubšu) 261 carpet or curtain (see also mardatu) 14, 97 Carthage 259, 261, 263–4, 267, 269 census lists 88, 90–1 chaîne opératoire 1–2, 4, 6, 59, 61, 84, 129 Chania 95 chastity (castitas) 261–3, 265 chiridotae, chiridōtos χειριδωτός 277, 280 chlamys 282, 285 Christianity, attitudes to dress 7, 143, 229, 259–71, 277 climate 229, 242, 254 climate change 275–89, 299, climate change data (see dendrodata; glacier movements; ice cores; solar activity; speleothems; volcanic activity) climate change periods Late Antique Little Ice Age (LALIA) 277, 279, 283 Roman Climate Optimum 277, 279 Roman Transitional Period 277, 279, 281 Roman Warm Period 277, 279 cloaks (see also chlamys, hullānu, kuzippu, nalbašu, sagulum, sagum, túg-me) 44, 140, 142, 146 n.18, 169, 185, 207, 227, 231, 235–6, 244–6 253–4, 275, 282, 284–5 carders/carding 88 coat (see Gallic coat, gú-è, hullānu, kusītu, nahlaptu, nalbašu) colour/colours/coloured (see also dyes/dyeing) 3, 6, 15, 22–3, 27 n.39, n.42; 32 181, 188, 193, 195, 205, 219–38, 285, 288, 298 blues 22, 32, 44, 226, 232, 234; Egyptian blue 219–21, 226; woad 229 greens 219, 232, 234 (galbinus) 234 (prasinus/ blue-green) 234 purples 16, 37, 141, 205, 219, 221, 223–5, 230–1, 234, 236, 262; blue-purple 18, 21, 26 n.35, 32, 39 n.3, 48, 226; lavender/


General Index violet/amethystinus 231–2; murex 53, 229, 231, 234–5; red-purple 16, 39 n.3, 222, 226, 231, 235 reds (including pinks) 14–16, 18, 20–2, 26 n.34, 27n39, 39n3, 44, 53–4, 155–7, 159, 211, 221–3, 226, 228, 230, 234–6, 245, 251–2, 283 white 16, 18–19, 21–2, 24 n.15, 27 n.42, 102, 155–6, 158, 181, 195–7, 201 n.1, 219, 221–2, 224, 226, 228, 230, 236–7, 252–3 yellows 224, 226, 229, 232–4 combs, combing, combers 4, 16, 24 n.10, 61–3, 67, 69–70, 73–4, 251 for hair 132, 166, 181 concupiscence (concupiscentia) 261, 265 Cretan Hieroglyphic script 60, 62 Crete 62–3, 65–6, 74, 96, 119, 298 cross-dressing 6–7, 9, 180–1, 207–9, 298 cult statues 32–7 cultic journey (of the god) 31–3, 35–6 cut/cut and sewn 138, 153, 188, 209, 245, 251 cylinder seals 170, 172, 174, 195 decoration (see also fringes) 3, 7, 14, 16, 22, 27 n.38, n.39, 37, 45, 48, 52, 102, 128, 132, 154–7, 208, 211, 214, 219, 228–9, 236, 253, 288 Deir el-Medina 86, 89–90 Delos 226, 228, 232 dendrodata (see also climate change) 279, 281, 284 deviant dress 265, 268, 284 diptychs 284–6 distaff 126, 132, 145 n.10 domestic space 135–46 dowry 6, 13–16, 24 n.8, 112, 154–7, 206–7 drapery and draped cloth(es) 6, 209–211, 215, 222–4, 261 du-ni-zu (Sumerian) 22–3, 24 n.8 Dūr-Katlimmu (city) 16 du-ru12-ru12 (Eblaite) (see also shawl) 155–7, 159 dyes and dyeing 7, 16, 61, 174, 228–9, 230, 236–8, 254, 278, 299 purple dyeing 60, 97, 100, 229, 231 Eanna (temple) 31–2, 34–6, 39 n.2, n.6, n.7, n.8 Ebla (city) 6, 24 n.11, 50–1, 153–5, 157–8, 160 n.6, 171, 173–5 effeminacy 130–2, 180, 231–2, 234, 237, 275, 280–1, 288, Egypt, 4, 83–93, 102, 114, 131, 145 n.10, 254, 277, 288 El-Amarna (city) 13, 25 n.23 eleppu ša kusīti (Akkadian) processional boat 37 Emar (city) 13, 15, 23 n.2, 24 n.4, 158 embroideries 32, 37, 179, 211, 215


emotion 7, 195, 198–200 Epic of Gilgameš (see Gilgameš Epic) erotic fantasy 143 extravagance (luxuria) 261–2 fashion 2, 9, 130, 184, 231, 234, 252, 275, 284, 299 Fayum 91 female textile work/workers 4–5, 13, 25 n.17, 60, 96–7, 99–100, 101–2, 112, 116–17, 125, 127, 129–33, 135, 140, 144, 174 day-time 136–8, 143 night-time 138–44 femininity 1, 5, 125, 129–30, 132–3, 180, 184, 194, 298 footwear (see also boots, shoes, tzangae) 3, 21–3, 27 n.41, 83, 287 fringes (see also o-nu-ke) 61, 64, 72, 102–3, 210–11, 297 fringe-maker 102 fullers/fulling 46, 88, 100 funerary gifts/offerings 60, 157 funerary practices 242–3, 247, 253–4 Gallic dress 281–2, 284–5, 288 ‘Gallic tunic’/‘Gallic coat’ 277 gammīdu (Akkadian) garment, rug, blanket 207–8 garment (generic) (see gammīdu, gulēnu, gú-zu, hubalgi, išhenabe, ittinu, lubūšu, mus.iptu, túg-kur-ra, tuttuwe, ziqqu) shiny garment (see nāmaru, za-kum) gender gender distinction (or lack of) 164, 179–82, 185–9, 259, 295 gender identity 2, 7, 132–3, 295 gender performance 7, 193–201, 230, 259 gender(ed) dress code 6–7, 43, 74, 132, 175, 179, 205–15, 234 gendered social space 138–9, 142–4 gendered textiles/clothes 3, 7, 13, 16, 22–3, 43–9, 153–60, 182–3, 185–9, 205–15, 241, 247–53 gendered textile work (see also female textile work) 4, 45–6, 59–60, 65–7, 83–92, 95, 97, 99–101, 116–17, 125, 127, 132–3 gender-specific burial offerings (see also funerary gifts) 60, 242 gender-specific location of weaving (see also weaving) 5, 60 Germanic dress 282–3 gestures 62–4, 68–70, 73, 163, 184, 188, 194, 197, 200 gifts (see also bridal gifts and funerary gifts) 3, 13–15, 25 n.24, 26 n.32, 111, 113–15, 117–18, 121, 153–4, 159, 182, 187, 206,

General Index Gilgameš Epic 179, 185–7, 195, 197, 199 glacier movements 279, 282 glyptic 4, 49, 51, 61, 64–7, 71, 74, 75 n.2 gown (see also maqat.t.u) 43, 207, 211, 213 gú-è (Sumerian) (see also nahlaptu) coat, wrap 14, 16, 25 n.17, n.19, 26 n.32, n.33, 36, 206, 215 n.1, n.2 gulēnu (Akkadian) garment/coat/wrap 206 gú-zu (Sumerian) gown, garment 18, 21–2, 25 n.23, 26 n.33, 27 n.37 n.40 hairdressing 205, 211, 213–14 half basket weave (see weaving) Hasanlu, Iran 183 hat (see also cap) 166, 210 head covering (see also du-ni-zu) 268, 270 headdress (see also polos, nargītum) 165–7, 172–3, 210–11 headscarf 181–2, 189 n.4 headwear (see sag-bur, sagxlum) Historia Augusta 282–4 Hittite ‘Oath of the first soldier’ 181 hubalgi (Hurrian) garment 15 hullānu (Akkadian) coat, wrap, outer garment 15–17, 25 humility (humilitatis) 263, 265 hus.annu, hušuhhu, (Akkadian) (see also išrum) belt 15, 187–8 Hymn to Inana/Hymn to Ištar 181 íb+I/II/III/IV/V (Eblaite) textile belt 6, 154, 156–9 íb-lá (Sumerian) (see also paršīgu, scarf, multicoloured) 14 ice cores 279, 284 iconography 2–4, 7–8, 45, 49, 51, 54, 59–65, 75 n.1, 91, 128, 132, 153, 156, 160 n.1, 163–4, 172, 179–80, 186–7, 195, 205, 209, 215, 216 n.9, 241, 251, 253, 297–300 identity 1, 7, 67, 74, 128, 130, 132, 146 n.22, 163–4, 167, 172–5, 179, 188, 194, 196, 209, 215, 254, 262–3, 266, 268–9, 280, 282–3, 295, 298–9 Iklaina 95 i’lu/šabattu (Akkadian) (see also sig4-za, strip) 14, 24 n.8 Inana/Ištar’s Descent to the Netherworld 184 inlays 6, 163–7, 169–75, 183 interdisciplinary 1–2, 8, 237, 297, 299 irbu (Akkadian) (see also offerings) 36, 40 n.9 išhenabe (Hurrian) 15–16, 24 n.15, 25 n.17 išrum (Akkadian) (see also hus.annu, hušuhhu) belt 15, 187–8 Ithaca 116–17 ittinu (Akkadian) garment 15 jerkin 208

Kalhu 26 n.30, 205–7 kaunakes 163, 169, 195 Khorsabad 211–12, 215 Knossos 5, 59, 67, 95–7, 99, 100–2 Kommos 97 ko-u-re-ja (Linear B) women makers of ko-u-ra cloth 97 kubšu (Akkadian) (see also sagšu Sumerian), cap 16, 19, 22, 27 n.43 Kültepe/Kaneš 184–5 kusītu (Akkadian) decorated coat or mantle 3, 16–17, 26 n.33, n.35, 31–40 kuzippu (Akkadian) suit or cloak 207 lanarius 132 lanificium 127–9, 133 lanipendus/lanipenda 132 Larsa 32, 34–6, 39 n.2, n.3 laundry/laundrymen 83–4, 86–90, 92 leg bands 245–6, 249 leggings (also trousers; bracae; bracati) 22, 244–7, 249–50, 254, 277–8, 280–2, 284–5, 288 Les Martres-de-Veyre 6, 241–55, 299 linen 14–15, 24 n.7, 44, 47–8, 83, 85, 87–8, 92, 93 n.6, 99, 114, 155–6, 193, 195, 199–200, 215 n.3, 230–1, 246, 262, 277 loom weights 4, 60–4, 67–74, 135–6, 297–8 seal-impressed 72, 74, 75 n.1 lubūšu (Akkadian) dress, garment 205 lust (see concupiscence) macramé 102–4 Madonna 3, 37, 161 n.21 man-dul (Sumerian) blanket 20, 27 n.39 mantle (see also palla, wrap) 25 n.18, 32, 222–4, 226, 235, 253, 261 mantle (of the king) 37 mantle of the Virgin/Madonna 3, 37 maqat.t.u (Akkadian) a gown 207, 215 n.3 mardatu (Akkadian) curtain 15 Mari (city) 24 n.6, n.8, n.11, 27 n.43, 37, 161 n.17, 163–75, 179, 182–4, 208 marriage 3, 43, 112, 115–18, 125–6, 131, 145 n.15, 154–6, 160 n.6, 161 n.12, 182, 184, 187, 206, 208, 260 Martres-de-Veyre (see Les Martres-de-Veyre) masculinity 1, 5, 133, 135, 180, 186–8, 211, 213, 215, 230–2, 234, 275, 279–80, 285, 288 MBA seals (see also Minoan seals) 59–65, 74 mešēn (Akkadian) (see also shoes, ú-bi-gal) 20, 22 mešēn kaballim (shoes with leggings) 20 Messenia 112, 114 Midea 95 Miletos 60


General Index military dress 188, 207, 213–14, 254, 275–7, 280, 282–4, 287–8 Minoan palaces 60 Minoan seals (see also MBA seals) 59, 75 modesty (modestia) 129, 261, 263–8, 270 morality 5, 262, 264, 268–9 mosaics 183, 275, 288 musārum (Akkadian) metal belt 187–8 mus.iptu (Akkadian) garment 208 Mycenae 116 Mycenaean 59, 95, 105, 112, 116, 118–19 nahlaptu (Akkadian) (see also gú-è) coat, wrap 14, 16, 25 n.17, n.19, 26 n.32, n.33, 36, 206–7, 215 n.1 naked 66, 164, 167, 169, 179, 184, 190 n.6, 195, 223 nalbašu (Akkadian) (see also túg-me (Sumerian)) luxurious cloak 14–15, 24 n.5, n.6, 154 nāmaru (Akkadian) shiny garment/with coloured edges 18, 21–2, 25 n.23 nargītum (Akkadian) headdress 19, 22–3 natron 90–1, 93 n.6, n.7 Nineveh 205, 207, 211–15, 215 n.3 Nippur 14–17, 21, 25 n.22 Nippur Compendium 34 Nuzi 4, 13, 15, 17, 24 n.3, 25 n.18, n.20, 27 n.38, 55 n.15, 190 n.6 Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek 220–1, 224 offering/s (see also funerary gifts, irbu) 16, 33–4, 36–7, 39 n.2, 52–3, 60, 120–1, 164, 179, 187, 195, 249, 251, 253–4 Old Assyrian Sargon Legend 182, 184, 186 o-nu-ke (Linear B) edges, fringes 98, 101–2 o-nu-ke-ja (Linear B) women makers of o-nu-ke edges/fringes 98, 101–2 outfit 3, 5, 7, 14, 49, 56 n.17, 154, 167, 169, 205, 214–15, 275, 282, 284, 288 pahantarri (Hurrian) blanket or cover 15, 24 n.4 palla 232, 261 paršīgu (Akkadian) (see also scarf) 14 pe-lu-li-zi (Hurrian) textile 15 Persia 164, 206, 211 Persian dress 288–9 n.3 peruzzina (Hurrian) textile 15 pigments (see also colours) 219, 221–2, 226, 228, 232, 237–8, 299 pins/toggle pins (see also bu-di, tudittum) 44, 166–7, 169–73, 243, 298 polos 165–6, 169–70, 172–3 polychromy 211, 219–22–4, 226, 228–9, 299 po-pu-re-jo (Linear B) purple dye specialists 97 power 5, 7, 33, 37, 60, 67, 115, 127, 131, 164, 175, 181, 185–8, 193–6, 200 n.1, 264, 267, 280, 288, 299


priestess 53, 172–5, 179, 208 cultic dressing of 13–14, 23 n.3 prostitute/prostitution 179, 261–2, 265 processional boat (see also eleppu ša kusīti in Akkadian) 37 purple (see colour) purple-dye worker 97, 100 Pylos 59, 95, 97, 100–2, 111 Qatna 13–15, 23 Quartier Mu, Malia 59, 61, 71–3 quasillaria 133 quasillum 129, 132 queen/s (see also Personal Names index) 3, 47–9, 56 n.16, 157–8, 161 n.12, 181, 184, 197 ready-to-wear garment(s) (see also tailor/tailoring/ tailored) 179 red (see colours) religion 7, 43, 253, 298 religious festival of the New Year (see also akītu) 34 ritual 13–14, 23 n.2, 37, 44–5, 52–3, 60, 118, 121, 154, 157, 159–60 n.4, 161 n.12, 164, 188, 197, 200 n.1, 207, 231, 299 rug (see also gamm¯ı du) 207–8 šabattu (Akkadian) strip 14, 24 n.8, 44, 55 n.4 sag-bur (Sumerian) (see also sagxlum) headwear 19, 22–3, 25 n.6, 27 n.38, n.43 sagšu (Sumerian) cap (see also kubšu, Akkadian) 16, 19, 22, 27 n.43 sagulum, sagum (see also cloak) 282, 285 sagxlum (Sumerian) (see also sag-bur) headwear 19, 22–3, 25 n.6, 27 n.38, n.43 Sais 88 šakkukum (Akkadian) girdle, decorated metal belt 187 Samian ware 242–3, 251–2, 254 sash 47, 185, 187 Satire of Trades 88, 92 Šawuška 52–3 scarf (see also paršīgu) 182, 210, 253 multicoloured (see íb-lá) 14 sequin (ornament) 32–3 sew/sewing 102, 209, 211, 245, 251–2 shame (pudor) 259, 264 shared domestic space 135–49 shawl (see also du-ru12-ru12) 48, 52, 167–70, 173, 181, 210–11, 215, 236 shoes (see also boots, footwear, mešēn, ú-bi-gal) 3, 17, 20, 27 n.41, 182, 188, 242, 244, 246–8 shoes with leggings (Akkadian: mešēn kaballim) 20, 22 sig4-za (Sumerian) (see also i’lu/šabattu, strip) 14, 24 n8

General Index silk 129, 234, 237, 246, 262, 277, 284 sinus 221 Sippar 32–3, 208, 216 n.7 slave/slavery 43, 60, 100, 116, 118–19, 127, 130, 133, 137, 139–41, 145 n.12, 146 n.22, 182, 184, 208, 231, 275 sleeves 16–17, 179, 210–11, 213–14, 279, 280, 284–5 socks 244–7, 250, 254 soft stone prisms 61, 72, 74 solar activity 279, 282, 284, 289 n.5 Sparta 112, 116–20 speleothems 279 spindle/spindle whorls 4, 61–3, 65, 67, 70–3, 112, 116, 126, 140–1, 173, 193–4, 297–8 spinners/spinning 4–5, 45, 63, 70, 73, 114, 116, 118, 125–7, 129–33, 135–7, 139–44, 144 n.4, 146 n.23 statues 7, 120, 126, 158, 160 n.1, 165–70, 172, 181, 186, 219, 221–3, 226–7, 237, 261 statues of gods and goddesses 3, 24 n.12, 31–7, 159, 161 n.21, 224, 226, 228 stola 128, 132, 261 strophion 235, 251–2 strip (see also i’lu/šabattu, sig4-za) 14, 24 n.8, 49, 165–6, 173 hand-strip (see úr-šu) 21 loin?-strip (see úr-du10) 19, 21 pointed strip (see úr-me-lal) 19, 22 s.ubātu (Akkadian) textile 205 suit or cloak (see kuzippu) 207 Sumériennes 295 tabard 208 tailor/tailoring/tailored 182, 188, 208–9, 254 tapestry 246, 253 ta-ra-si-ja (Linear B) allocation of textile raw material for work 96 tassel (see adīlu) 15–16 tax/taxation 83, 90–1, 113, 120, 283 temples 31–7, 39 n.2, n.8, 40 n.9, 52, 56 n.18, 88, 120–1, 126, 164–5, 167, 173–4, 206, 208–9, 224 temple college 31 te-pe-ja (Linear B) women makers of te-pe carpet 97–8 textile (see linen, pe-lu-li-zi, peruzzina, silk, s. ubātu, wool; see also textile production) textile production 1–5, 45–52, 59–65, 67–8, 71–4, 75 n.1, 95, 96–7, 100, 105 n.2, 116, 125–30, 132–3, 135, 143, 144 n.2, n.3, 145 n.6, 188, 193, 205, 297–9 Thebes 86, 95, 102 toga 128, 130, 132, 221–3, 236–7, 281, 285 toga praetexta 221–2, 231 toga picta 221–2

toga purpurea 221–2 togatus statues 222 toggle pin(s) see pins tribute 113, 120 trousers (see also bracae, bracati, leggings) 277–8, 280, 282–5, 289 n.3, 295 Troy 111, 116 túg-kur-ra (Sumerian) specific garment 208–9 tudittum (Akkadian) (see also bu-di, pins/toggle pin(s)) 6, 155–9, 180, 183–5, 190 n.7, n.8 túg-me (Sumerian) (see also nalbašu) luxurious cloak 14–15, 154 tu-ka-te (Linear B) daughter 95 Tukriš 16, 18, 21, 24n11, 26n36, 27 n.37 tunic (see also chiridotae, chiridōtos, χειριδωτός, ‘Gallic’ tunic; ‘Gallic coat’) 25 n.18, 26 n.30, n.35, 52, 87, 154, 188, 207, 221–2, 224–6, 232, 237, 241, 244–7, 251–3, 261, 277, 279–80, 282, 284, 288, 289 n.3 tunica recta 5, 126 tunica manicata 277, 282, 284 Tuttub 14–15 tuttuwe (Hurrian) garment 15 tzangae (see also boots, footwear) 287 ú-bi-gal (Sumerian) (see also mešēn, shoes) 20, 22 Ugarit 43–58 unisex clothes 9, 22, 295, 297 Ur 166–7, 171–4, 195, 197 úr-du10 (Sumerian) loin?-strip 19, 21 úr-me-lal (Sumerian) pointed strip 19, 22 úr-šu (Sumerian) hand-strip 21 Uruk 3, 31–7, 39 n.1, n.2, 179–80, 190n9, 208 veil, veiling (velato) 27 n.38, 47, 53, 155–7, 159, 160 n.9, 189 n.4, 200, 234, 261, 264–5, 267–8, 270 textile-veil (PAD at Ebla), 155–6 ventriloquized speech 141–3, 146 n.20 virgins (virgines) 7, 259, 263–70 visual representations of dress 3–4, 6, 27 n.43, 63, 125, 128–30, 132, 167, 171–2, 180, 184, 196–9, 205, 220, 223, 229, 237, 262–3, 277, 282, 284, 287 volcanic activity 279, 282 waistbands (see belts) warrior women 49, 53, 56 n.17 washermen 4, 87, 89, 91 weavers/weaving 3–5, 13, 17, 24 n.8, 25 n.17, 36, 39n7, 45–6, 60–4, 69–70, 73–4, 86, 97, 99–102, 104, 114, 117, 126–7, 129–30, 133, 135, 137–8, 141–4, 145 n.10, n.13, 173–5, 179, 197, 209, 252–4, 278, 298 gender-specific location of weaving 60 weave, half-basket 251, 253


General Index wedding 3, 5, 13–14, 16–18, 20, 22 113, 119, 125–6, wool 5, 16, 32, 37, 39 n.3, 44, 47, 59–60, 70, 72–3, 88, 96, 98–9, 113, 116, 118–19, 121, 125–30, 132–3, 140, 155, 205, 209, 215, 230, 236–7, 246, 251, 254, 277, 297 wool work 5, 118, 125–33, 138–9, 141–2, 144, 144 n.4, 145 n.12


wrap (see also mantle) 17, 25 n.19, n.20, 26 n.32, n.33, 206 wrap-around garment(s) 179, 183 Yamhad 182 za-kum (Sumerian) shiny/polished garment 15 ziqqu (Hurrian) garment 26 n.30

Plate 1 Detail from the Tomb of Ipuy. Wall no. 2. The ‘laundry scene’ © IFAO.

Plate 2 Hand-woven fringe by the weaver Carolina from Uggiano la Chiesa in the Salento area of Apulia.

Plate 3 Gold toggle pins from Kültepe. Ankara Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi.

Plate 4 Silver toggle pins from Kültepe. Ankara Anadolu Medeniyetleri Müzesi.

Plate 5 Belted nude hero on a marble cylinder seal from Tello, period of Akkade, middle of the third millennium bce (MNB1344). Photo M. Esline, with the kind permission of the Louvre.

Plate 6 a: The Sciarra amazon. Mid-second century ce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. IN 1568. b: VIL-image illustrating the use of Egyptian blue for the border of her chitoniskos. Photos: M. L. Sargent.

Plate 7 Detail of the group of Artemis and Iphigenia, illustrating the incised border, indicating to the painter how to render the polychromy. Second–first century bce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, IN 481–482.

Plate 8 Three reconstructions of the statue of Caligula depicting the Emperor wearing three different types of togas. From left to right: Toga praetexta, toga purpurea, toga picta. The model was made by Direct Dimensions and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, University of Virginia. © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Photo: Direct Dimensions and the Virtual World Heritage Laboratory, University of Virginia.

Plate 9 Headless statue of an emperor dressed in red mantle. First half of the first century ce . Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth, no. T 389. Photo: Petros Dellatolas. American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Corinth Excavations.

Plate 10 Statue of the goddess Kybele, c. 60 bce . Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, no. IN 480.

Plate 11 VIL-image illustrating the use of Egyptian blue for the vertical border along the hemline of her tunic of the goddess Kybele. Photo: S. B. Hedegaard.

Plate 12 Microscope image illustrating some of the different colours of the tunic of Kybele. Here superimposed stripes of blue, purple and pink. Photo: S. B. Hedegaard.

Plate 13 Reconstruction of the polychrome painting of a Delian cloaked statue of the Small Herculaneum woman type, Athens, National Archaeological Museum. Reproduction printed with kind permission of Clarissa Blume.

Plate 14 Attributed to Malibu Painter (Romano-Egyptian, active 75–100 ce ) Mummy Portrait, 75–100 ce , Encaustic wax technique on lime wood panel. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California.

Plate 15 Unknown. Mummy Portrait of a Young Woman, about ce 170–200, tempera on wood. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California.

Plate 16 Panel painting of a woman in the blue mantle, 54–68 ce Roman period, from Egypt. Medium: Encaustic on wood. Director’s Fund, 2013. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Accession Number: 2013.438.

Plate 17 The complete tunic from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © F. Giffard, Musée Bargoin.

Plate 18 Box with bones and textiles mixed from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © Musée Bargoin.

Plate 19 Leather shoes from Les Martres-de-Veyre, ©M. Veschambre, Musée Bargoin.

Plate 20 Wooden shoes from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © M. Veschambre, Musée Bargoin.

Plate 21 Slippers with cork soles from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © C. Gaumat, Musée Bargoin.

Plate 22 Leggings from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © F. Giffard, Musée Bargoin.

Plate 23 Socks from Les Martres-de-Veyre, © M. Veschambre, Musée Bargoin.