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Two men wearing abollas, as seen on the bas-reliefs on the triumphal arch of Septimius Severus at Rome.

An abolla was a cloak-like garment worn by Ancient Greeks and Romans. Nonius Marcellus quotes a passage of Varro to show that it was a garment worn by soldiers (vestis militaris), and thus opposed to the toga.

The abolla was, however, not confined to military occasions, but was also worn in the city.[1] It was especially used by the Stoic philosophers at Rome as the pallium philosophicum, just as the Greek philosophers were accustomed to distinguish themselves by a particular dress.[2] Hence the expression of Juvenal facinus majoris abollae merely signifies, "a crime committed by a very deep philosopher".[3][4][5]

The word abolla is actually a Latinization of the Greek ambolla (ἀμβόλλα) or anabole (ἀναβολή), for a loose woolen cloak.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Suetonius, Caligula 35
  2. ^ Mart. iv. 53, viii. 48
  3. ^ Juvenal, iv. 75
  4. ^ Heinrich, On Juvenal l.c.
  5. ^ Becker, Gallus vol. ii. p. 99
  6. ^ Smith, William (1870). "Ambolla". In William Smith. Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. 1. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2010-02-13.

Other sources[edit]

External links[edit]

  • Abolla (article in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities)