Ancient Rome

According to history.com editors. (2009, October 14). Ancient Rome. In History. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-rome/ancient-rome. The universal use of Romance languages (Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian) originating from Latin, the current Western script and calendar, and the rise of Christianity as a major world religion are only a few of the many legacies of Roman domination.

Following Julius Caesar’s rise and fall in the first century B.C., Rome became an empire after 450 years as a republic. The Roman Empire’s long and glorious reign of its first emperor, Augustus, began a golden period of stability and prosperity; on the other hand, the Roman Empire’s collapse and fall by the fifth century A.D. was one of the most drastic implosions in human history.

Founding Myth

Altar to Mars (divine father of Romulus and Remus) and Venus (their divine ancestress) depicting elements of their legend. Tiberinus, the Father of the Tiber and the infant twins being suckled by a she-wolf in the Lupercal are below. A vulture from the contest of augury and Palatine hill are to the left. (From Ostia, now at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romulus_and_Remus

In history.com editors. (2009, October 14). Ancient Rome. In History. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-rome/ancient-rome. Romulus and Remus, twin sons of Mars, the god of war, created Rome in 753 B.C. In 753 B.C., the twins were left to drown in a basket on the Tiber by a king of nearby Alba Longa, but were saved by a she-wolf and went on to kill the king and find their own city on the river’s banks. Following the assassination of his brother, Romulus became the first king of Rome, which bears his name.

In a non-hereditary succession, a line of Sabine, Latin, and Etruscan (earlier Italian civilizations) kings followed. Romulus, Numa Pompilius, Tullus Hostilius, Ancus Martius, Lucius Tarquinius Priscus (Tarquin the Elder), Servius Tullius, and Tarquinius Superbus, or Tarquin the Proud, are the seven ancient kings of Rome (534-510 B.C.). Both kings after Romulus were chosen by the senate, despite the fact that they were referred to as “Rex,” or “King” in Latin.

The Early Republic

The Roman Republic (n.d.). In Ancient civilizations. Retrieved from https://www.ushistory.org For centuries, the Romans developed a system of government known as a republic, which was replicated by other countries. In reality, the United States’ government is focused in part on Rome’s model.

The patricians were ancient Rome’s wealthy and influential people, who ruled the city from the Senate. The equites, or men of land, were Rome’s legislative body during the republic, elected into office once a year by an Assembly of people. A few ancient families, such as the Cornelii, the Julii (the Caesars’ family), and the Aemilii, held much of the social and political influence. Under the emperors, the Senate lost much of its influence, but the patrician families continued to shape popular opinion. https://www.crystalinks.com/romepolitics.html

The Roman Republic (n.d.). In Ancient civilizations. Retrieved from https://www.ushistory.org It all started in 509 B.C.E., when the Romans defeated their Etruscan conquerors. The Etruscans, who were centered north of Rome, had ruled over the Romans for hundreds of years.

The Late Republic

Under the history.com editors. (2009, October 14). Ancient Rome. In History. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-rome/ancient-rome, weight of the expanding empire, Rome’s intricate political structures started to collapse, ushering in an age of internal strife and aggression. As wealthier landowners pushed small farmers off public land, the divide between rich and poor increased, while access to government became largely restricted to the social elite. Marcus Tullius Cicero, who was elected consul in 63 B.C., famously defeated the patrician Cataline conspiracy and earned a reputation as one of Rome’s greatest orators during this period.

Rise and Fall of Julius Caesar

The death of Julius Caesar in the Roman Senate – painting by Vincenzo Camuccini (1771-1844) Napoli, Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte (Photo by Leemage/Corbis via Getty Images)

When the history.com editors. (2009, October 14). Ancient Rome. In History. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-rome/ancient-rome, triumphant Pompey returned to Rome, he formed an unusual coalition with the influential Marcus Licinius Crassus and another emerging force in Roman politics, Gaius Julius Caesar, regarded as the First Triumvirate. In 59 B.C., Caesar returned to Rome after gaining military stardom in Spain to compete for the consulship. Caesar secured the governorship of three prosperous provinces in Gaul in 58 B.C. as a result of his agreement with Pompey and Crassus; he then set about conquering the rest of the country for Rome.

Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C., by a group of his opponents led by Republican nobles Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius. In the second Triumvirate, Consul Mark Anthony and Octavian (Caesar’s great-nephew) joined forces to defeat Brutus and Cassius and share authority in Rome with ex-consul Lepidus. In the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., Octavian defeated Antony’s troops and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt (also rumored to be Julius Caesar’s onetime lover). Antony and Cleopatra committed suicide as a result of their crushing loss.

Augustus von Prima Porta (20-17 v. Chr.), aus der Villa Livia in Prima Porta, 1863

By 29 B.C., Octavian was the sole leader of Rome and all it provinces, he made sure to make his position as absolute ruler acceptable to the public by restoring the political institutions of the Roman Republic. In 27 B.C. Octavian assumed the title of Augustus, as the first emperor of Rome. history.com editors. (2009, October 14). Ancient Rome. In History. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/ancient-rome/ancient-rome

As what is written in history, after a century of discord and injustice, Augustus’ reign restored harmony in Rome and culminated in the iconic “Pax Romana”–two centuries of stability and prosperity. He introduced a number of social reforms, gained several military successes, and encouraged the flourishing of Roman literature, painting, architecture, and religion. Augustus reigned over 56 years, accompanied by his massive army and an increasing cult of loyalty to him. Augustus was exalted to godhood by the Senate when he died, starting a long tradition of deification for famous emperors.

Culture

According to Gill, N. (2019, September 3). Culture of the Ancient Roman Republic: It still affects us today. In ThoughtCo.. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/roman-culture-117887, The early Roman influenced culture from their neighbors, especially the Greeks and Etruscans, but gave it their own unique mark.  The Roman Empire then expanded this culture around the globe, influencing many aspects of modern life. They also have colosseums and comedy for amusement, as well as aqueducts for water supplies and sewers for waste management. Rivers are still crossed by Roman-built bridges, and remote cities are linked by remains of Roman highways.

Assembly of God Around Jupiter’s Throne, Sala de Giganti, 1532-34 https://www.thecollector.com/ancient-greek-and-roman-gods-and-goddesses/

Hughes, J. (2020, January 27). Ancient Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses. In The Collector. Retrieved from https://www.thecollector.com/ancient-greek-and-roman-gods-and-goddesses/ The gods and goddesses of ancient Greece and Rome embodied a wide range of human characteristics, from bravery to foolishness. Their features were simplified or idealized representations of human personality attributes. They were worshipped in temples and revered in stories told by common people. The myths were portrayed in literature, architecture, and sculpture as tales of these deities were told and retold.

Art for all: Rome’s Contribution

Catwright, M. (2017, September 1). Roman Art. In World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://www.worldhistory.org/Roman_Art/ After the rediscovery and admiration of ancient Greek art in the 17th century CE, Roman art has had something of a prestige crisis. When art historians realized that many of the best Roman pieces were copies or at least influenced by older and frequently forgotten Greek originals, the appreciation of Roman art, which had flourished alongside all things Roman during the mediaeval and Renaissance eras, started to decline.

Relief from the Ara Pacis Augustae (Altar of Augustan Peace), 9 B.C.E. monument is dedicated, marble (Museo dell’Ara Pacis, Rome), photo: Steven Zucker (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/roman/beginners-guide-rome/a/introduction-to-ancient-roman-art

The Romans created art in a wide variety of ways after inheriting the Hellenistic world forged by Alexander the Great’s conquests, with an empire encompassing a vastly varied range of cultures and peoples, their own appreciation of the past, and simple thoughts about the best way to celebrate events and individuals. Seal-cutting, jewelry, glassware, mosaics, pottery, frescoes, sculptures, architectural sculpture, and even epigraphy and coins were all used to decorate the Roman world and express symbolism ranging from military prowess to artistic trend, says Catwright, M.

The mosaic from the House of Neptune Depicted are Neptune and Amphitrite. Neptune (Greek Poseidon) holds a trident, and his queen holds a royal staff and rests on her elbow on a “plinth.” It is surrounded by an extremely brightly colored wall featuring landscape and hunting scenes and is painted in bright orange, yellows and greens, so the house must have been absolutely stunning. Picture by Terez non (terez93) https://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Europe/Italy/Campania/Naples/Herculaneum/photo1040500.htm

Fashion

In ancient Rome, men and boys wore a short-sleeved or sleeveless, knee-length tunic, while women and girls wore a longer, normally sleeved tunic. Adult male citizens might wear a woollen toga draped over their tunic on formal occasions, while married citizen women wore a palla, a woollen mantle draped over a stola, a plain, long-sleeved, voluminous garment that hung to midstep. Sex, status, rank, and social class were all defined by clothing, footwear, and accoutrements. The unique, privileged official dress of magistrates, priesthoods, and the military exemplified this.

The illustration of ancient roman female clothes by Albert Kretschmer
Public Domain, via Wikipedia
Men’s Clothing in Ancient Rome Source: Costumes of All Nations by Albert Kretschmer

Read more at: https://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_rome/clothing.php
This text is Copyright © Ducksters. Do not use without permission.

Jewelry

In comparison to their Greek forefathers, who concentrated mainly on the manufacture of high-quality metalwork by skilled artisans, ancient Roman jewelry was marked by an interest in colored gemstones and glass.   In Rome, various styles of jewelry were worn by different genders and social backgrounds, and they were used to convey social signals of rank and riches as well as for artistic purposes.

File:Sofia – Odrysian Wreath from Golyamata Mogila.jpg https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Ancient Rome’s culture left an indelible mark on world history. In fields such as governance, law, language, architecture, infrastructure, religion, art, and fashion, the influence of Ancient Rome can still applied in which shaped today’s society and what we are today. In the field of art and fashion there are some exceptional talents that I want to address for showcasing such work-of-art through tapestry of high fashion.

First example is from the Alta Sartoria Men’s 2019 collection of Dolce and Gabbana showcasing the Ancient Roman Inspired clothes with the modern twist. As what Domenico Dolce said on Vogue, “The Alta Moda show at the temple in Agrigento was about the idea of Olympus and its goddesses. Tonight it is the turn of the gods.” as said to Leitch, L. (2019, July 7). Hey, God Lookin’: Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Sartoria Offers Classically Divine Menswear for Masters of the Universe. In Vogue. Retrieved from https://www.vogue.com/article/dolce-and-gabbana-alta-sartoria-sicily-2019

Here are some pieces of the collection: Photos courtesy of Dolce and Gabbana, and Vogue

Next is the Fall/Winter2015 of Valentino. Creative directors back then Maria Grazia Chiuri (she is the recent creative director of Dior up to this day) and Pierpaolo Piccioli (who then became loyal to Valentino). In this collection they showcase their Italian heritage which is inspired by the city of Rome itself, the home of Valentino, the city where Valentino Garavani build it’s couture house in the 60’s.

You can find ancient symbols all over the collection, from the clothes itself and the jewelry as well: These photos courtesy of Valentino and Vogue.

The Moschino Pre-Fall 2019, Jeremy Scott’s collection is giving us an out-of-the-ordinary, high camp inspired by a famous Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini, where most of the pieces are referenced to some of is iconic movies.

Photos courtesy of Moschino and Vogue:

These photos are based on my inspiration, my own view of how ancient fashion has influenced contemporary and changing fashion, it has nothing to do with the designer’s own inspiration and I don’t want to harm their brand, for me this is only for educational purposes and I hope we could have an expressive and open mind to this. Thank you.

Bibliography and Image Courtesy

History.com – Ancient Rome

Uhistory.org – Ancient Civilization

Thoughtco.com – Roman Culture

Thecollector.com – The Greek and Roman gods and goddesses

WorldHistory.org/World History Encyclopedia – Roman Art

Wikipedia – Ancient Rome

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romulus_and_Remus

https://www.crystalinks.com/romepolitics.html

https://www.thecollector.com/ancient-greek-and-roman-gods-and-goddesses/

https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/roman/beginners-guide-rome/a/introduction-to-ancient-roman-art

https://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Europe/Italy/Campania/Naples/Herculaneum/photo1040500.htm

Public Domain, via Wikipedia

https://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_rome/clothing.php

http://ickynicks.blogspot.com/2014/10/ancient-history-earrings-from-rome.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Special Thank You:

Dolce and Gabbana, Valentino, Moschino, and Vogue.com

Published by loisgomez

I am a Marketing and Merchandising for Fashion student of Visual College of Arts & Design located in Calgary. I love Fashion, I mostly do fashion sketches and illustrations and hopefully, someday, I could have my fashion brand. Most of my posts will be about history of fashion; how it started, where it all began and so much more.

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