Masculinity and Dress in Roman Antiquity: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Masculinity and Dress in Roman Antiquity

1st Edition

By Kelly Olson


200 pages | 37 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138932937
pub: 2017-05-15
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In Masculinity and Dress in Roman Antiquity, Olson argues that clothing functioned as part of the process of communication by which elite male influence, masculinity, and sexuality were made known and acknowledged, and furthermore that these concepts interconnected in socially significant ways. This volume also sets out the details of masculine dress from literary and artistic evidence and the connection of clothing to rank, status, and ritual. This is the first monograph in English to draw together the myriad evidence for male dress in the Roman world, and examine it as evidence for men’s self-presentation, status, and social convention.


With her customary insight and remarkable clarity Kelly Olson, in her Masculinity and Dress in Roman Antiquity, offers a rich and fascinating exploration of a key aspect of the language of clothing in Classical antiquity. With an eye to unexpected ancient sources, and even to the bizarre, Olson explores what it meant to be a man in Roman society and how dress confirmed, stressed or undercut the core values of masculinity. Olson is a leading scholar of ancient dress studies and this latest work confirms her reputation for excellence.

- Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Professor of Ancient History, Cardiff University, UK

Table of Contents

List of illustrations



Introduction: Roman clothing

1 Tunic and toga: clothing and rank

2 Other aspects of costume

3 Poverty, mourning, and sordes

4 Clothing and status

5 Class and Sexuality




About the Author

Kelly Olson is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Her other works include Dress and the Roman Woman (Routledge, 2008).

About the Series

Routledge Monographs in Classical Studies

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General