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Roman Costumes

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If you want to travel back in time to ancient Rome, check out our collection of Roman costumes. You can be a god or goddess; a mortal human warrior; a mythical satyr, minotaur or Cyclops; or a hero like Hercules or Odysseus. You can act out stories from mythology, or make up your own. Find a Greek or Roman costume thats right for you. We have costumes for men, women and kids, along with accessories to add that perfect finishing detail!


Where did those gods & goddesses come from? The Greeks have a lengthy creation story that tells how the Olympian gods came to be. When the Romans conquered Greece in 146 BC they absorbed Greek culture and religion, but added a few touches of their own. That's why most of the gods and goddesses have two names--a Greek name and a Roman one. The Romans also believed that their emperors descended from the gods.


What did the Greeks and Romans wear? Where did the Spartans fit in? Weren't they all pretty much the same? Didn't they all wear togas? No, they weren't the same, and they didn't all wear togas. 


Athens and Sparta were the two pre-eminent city-states of ancient Greece, and their citizens wore similar clothing. Men and women alike wore a tunic called a chiton. It was two fabric rectangles--linen in summer, wool in winter--joined over the shoulders and down the sides with pins or clips. A man's chiton was shorter than a woman's, and Spartans' clothing was shorter and skimpier than Athenians'. Spartans often went nude, even in public.


Only Romans, and not all of them, wore togas. It was a privilege, for adult male Roman citizens only. Free-born women and children, as well as slaves and foreigners, just wore a tunic. Married women wore a draped outer garment called a stola over their tunics.


What's the story about soldiers and gladiators? The Spartans were by far the best soldiers of the Greek world. All Spartan boys had military training and all men were expected to serve in the army if needed until they reached age 60. Athens valued intellectual pursuits above warfare, though it did have an excellent navy. Even the Spartans only fought when necessary. The Greeks didn't fight for fun or as a spectator sport. The Romans did.


At its height the Roman Empire had the greatest army the world had ever seen. It was a way that free-born men could earn distinction. But warfare and sport were entirely different things. The gladiators who fought before spectators in the Colosseum were often from the dregs of society. Prisoners of war. Slaves. Criminals. Gladiators could atone for their crimes or win their freedom, IF they survived. The Colosseum was a brutal place. The men (and a few women) who fought there rarely did so by their own choice.


So if you want to re-enact the first Olympic games, a gladiatorial bout, or a session of the Roman Senate, try one of our great costumes!