Gifts of Clothing in Late Antique Literature
Nikki Rollason's new book Gifts of Clothing in Late Antique Literature has just been published by Routledge.
Both clothing and gifts in the ancient world have separately been the subject of much scholarly discussion because they were an integral part of Greek and Roman society and identity, creating and reinforcing the relationships which kept a community together, as well as delineating status and even symbolising society as a whole. They have rarely been studied together, however, despite the prevalence of clothing gifts in many ancient texts.
Nikki Rollason’s new book, based on her University of Nottingham PhD thesis, addresses this gap by focusing on gifts of elite male clothing in late antique literature. She suggests that authors used items which usually formed part of the costume of authority of the period – the trabea of the consul, the chlamys of the imperial court and the emperor, and the pallium of the Christian bishops – to 'over-write' wearers and donors as confident figures of 'official' authority when this may have been open to doubt.
This book shows that when they appeared in texts, therefore, these items were not only functioning in an historical or 'real-life' sphere but also as a literary space within which authors could discuss ideas of social relationships and authority in Late Antiquity.
Visit Routledge for more details.
Posted on Thursday 10th November 2016