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The first sentence clearly has been altered unappropriately.

The Ceasar Millan thing looks like vandalism. BC 1900 records of toga? Rome is thought to have been founded around the 9th century BC...


Just flicking through...didn't Roman prostitutes wear flame-coloured togas? I would add it to the article but it's just a memory and I have no more information than that. Does anyone else know? Possibly it's something to do with the wall paintings at Pompeii? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 12:55, 20 April 2006 (UTC)


I added the cleanup tag because the history section contradicts much of the lead section and because there is no mention of modern togas (college parties, frats, etc.) KyleGarvey 15:54, 29 May 2006 (UTC)

Which parts contradict? And the omission of modern togas would be grounds for {{expansion}}, perhaps, not {{cleanup}}. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 02:25, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
Cleanup is general. If you need a specific tag for every problem, that's going to be very, very intrusive. There is more than just expansion, and more than just contradiction as well. The history paragraph contradicts females' use of the toga, has a poorly constructed quote, and is very redundant also. KyleGarvey 02:52, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
The specific aspects needing cleanup should be mentioned on the talk page if they're not obvious. I don't see them as obvious. The contradiction between the lead and history was just a question of ambiguous wording, and is now fixed. There are no quotes in the history section, and I see nothing redundant there.

Certainly the wording should be cleaned up, though. It's pretty old-fashioned, due to its source. So I won't dispute the necessity of cleanup. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 06:11, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Am I the only one who finds the invention of the toga by a "Caesar Millan" somewhat suspicious? Iridius 03:02, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Recategorization OK?[edit]

Hi, several of us are trying to organize the various "history of clothing" categories into a coherent framework, and we'd like to replace Category:Roman era clothing with Category:History of clothing (ancient Rome).. Is that OK with you all? Please add your comments and suggestions here and I'll check back here in a few days -- thanks muchly! :) WillowW 15:35, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

Please do not degrade Category:Clothing by nationality with this undertaking. --The Editrix 18:05, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
I personally don't like using parentheses unless they're really, genuinely necessary, so I'd say no, sorry. —Simetrical (talk • contribs) 23:46, 25 June 2006 (UTC)

Togas are an important part of our old Latin heratige.

For the modern usage, information should be added on it's actual use, not costume parties. The soul heirs to the toga are the Libyans, and the toga, known as the 'jerrid' or 'howley' in libyan dialect, is the traditional dress for men, and a different variation of the same for women. Although the kids these days dont wear them, they're still very common among the older generations.

Silk Road, Buddhist statues etc.[edit]

I remember reading or hearing somewhere that togas travelled east and ended up on Buddhist statues in China. Does anyone know if this is correct? Ireneshusband 04:51, 4 December 2006 (UTC)

Megome = cheesegirl!!

toga cositsted of one piece of clothing they also where worn by the romans and greeks. It is said that the romas copied the greeks. Greek and geek are nothing a like so people stop making jokes about it.

Does anyone know why non Roman citizens couldn't wear togas? 21:39, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

- I assumed non-citizens didn't wear togas because togas were 'the' symbol of Roman could wear one, you'd just get in a bit of trouble if found out to not be a citizen. Tbarker 13:45, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

I've just been working on a translation of the Hymn of the Pearl and the protagonist wears a toga (Syriac: ܛܘܓܝ, ṭôg(î), '(my) toga'). It seems to be part of his Parthian royal garb. Does nayone know of records of the Roman toga being adopted by 3rd-century Parthian royalty? — Gareth Hughes 23:58, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

suster tolol bego jelek lagi? What on earth does this mean? T@nn 07:17, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Probably vandalism. I've reverted to the earlier edit. T@nn 07:20, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Plural of toga[edit]

Hello. Can someone add the plural of toga to the article? I think it is togae but I'm not sure. Thanks. 17:47, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it is togae. It's a feminine noun of the first declension — if you're learning Latin, that might make some sense to you. — Gareth Hughes 17:54, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Bit patronising.


These aren't encyclopedic. By their own admission, these show things which aren't togas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pauldanon (talkcontribs)

The modern day ones? They show the modern usage of the word "toga" and "toga parties". Even though those aren't true togas, it's what modern culture considers to be togas.  hmwith  talk 14:03, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Wearing of Togae[edit]

I remember in my college Latin class that my professor made a big deal about what a toga was and was not. (She even sewed one and made one of the students wear it!) One of her points was that the way it was kept on the body kept the left arm immobile and useless, which made it okay as attire for Senators, who spent their days debating, but precluded the wearing of a toga for any sort of physical labor. This seems a major point to me. Can anyone expand this article to reflect this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:17, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

The book " The Roman toga / by Lillian M. Wilson, PH.D.: The Johns Hopkins press, 1924" makes the HUGELY IMPORTANT POINT that the SHAPE of the Toga changed with time. It was never rectangular!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Sheredot (talkcontribs) 19:46, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Why do call toga "Roman"?[edit]

Long before the advent of Rome, the toga is the clothing which classic Greek and Cypriot (600BC) sculptures adorn. It clearly has been the style of clothing in eastern Mediterranean since then, maybe even before.Mlavannis (talk) 20:28, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

"Toga picta" upload from Commons: picta but not toga[edit]

This is Etruscan, not Roman, and is from the Francois Tomb in Vulci, 350-330 BC. [1] (halfway down the page). It is sometimes interpreted as a possible model for the Roman toga picta. The figure is identified as Vel Saties. He is "probably" taking the auspices - his gaze is on a bird in flight. The smaller, rather dwarfish figure (which could equally be his servant or son) holds a tame or captive bird. According to Mary Beard, the interpretation and dating are problematic: but the garment is a cloak, not a toga: [2]. The picture doesn't register in the google-books preview; but the image in commons has definitely been reversed. Haploidavey (talk) 23:14, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

Modern scholarship...[edit]

...would be useful in expanding and refining this article. A googlebook preview of Judith Lynn Sebesta & Larissa Bonfante (co-authors and editors I think) The world of Roman costume looked promising. [3]

Might I also suggest a little more on the various ways of wearing the toga, other than the "classic style" of most surviving official statuary? Philip's is of course interesting:

Portrait bust of Philip "the Arab" circa 245 AD.

Cicero employs the various toga types and their intimations against Antony in his Philippics (2.4 & 2.8): clever, nasty stuff - see also the commentary on the linked page at Greek and Roman dress from A to Z (Cleland et al) [4] There's also Cicero's breastplate-under-toga melodrama for his set-piece against Cataline. He really knew how to milk it. Haploidavey (talk) 23:23, 21 September 2009 (UTC)

Any Practical use?[edit]

Everything on the web seems to rehash the same information, that the Toga was a status symbol and cultural necessity. I was wondering if there was any practical use to the Toga? It seems to be a clumsy attire. The article states that the Romans, like many other things, borrowed the Toga from the Etruscans. I wonder how the Etruscans or whoever invented the Toga developed it for. Was it just an accident/Fad or did it provide some type of genuine practical use in a tribal/technologically primitive society. Frankly, because of the excess in material it does make for a portable tent/pillow/cover all in one for someone who sleeps in the outdoors a lot or is itinerant.

Anyway, if anyone has any info I would appreciate it!BinaryLust (talk) 06:04, 30 October 2012 (UTC)

In North Africa[edit]

I've seen a book about clothing and fashion in the Ottoman Empire and I saw a drawing of an North African Muslim man with a white toga. Can anyone confirm this? Komitsuki (talk) 18:18, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

Lead confusion[edit]

The lead contains

  • After the 2nd century BC, the toga was a garment worn exclusively by men, and only Roman citizens were allowed to wear it.
  • After this time, women were expected to wear the stola; to distinguish prostitutes from respectable women, prostitutes were required to wear the toga.
There is a reference listed but I can not follow it, however, please read the two sentences to note that, according to the content, the toga was a garment worn exclusively by men, and only Roman citizens were allowed to wear it.. The first sentence has a beginning but no ending so could mean beginning at the 3rd century (after the 2nd) until possibly the end of the Roman era? The next sentence is confusing on several instances.
  1. - "After this time" would mean what? After the 2nd century BC or after some time at the ending of what started after the 2nd century?
  2. - After whatever time is being mentioned (anyone want to guess?) "prostitutes were required to wear the toga".
  • I guess we could get creative and guess that "maybe", since women were required to wear the stola that at some point men, that were cross-dressers that looked like women and were prostitutes, or maybe eunuchs that were prostitutes that dressed like a woman but could be identified as such, were required to also wear the toga. Apparently these would still have to be a Roman citizen. WOW! would it not be better to have content that is less confusing? I am just making funny guesses but the fact that it is confusing is without doubt, it is not encyclopedic, and my guesses could have merit. Otr500 (talk) 20:00, 23 October 2014 (UTC)
I just tweaked this language a bit to emphasize the male part without leaving out mention of prostitutes. I took out the reference to the 2nd c. as unreferenced and likely false (the toga was probably much older). I also removed the claim that the Etruscans were the origin. This attribution of everything to the Etruscans is typical of the Romans and older scholarship. - Eponymous-Archon (talk) 18:21, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Sex workers[edit]

How is "sex workers" an anachronism? The first line of prostitution is "A person who works in this field is called a prostitute, and is a kind of sex worker." Ogress smash! 18:33, 18 July 2015 (UTC)

Because according to the same article the term "sex worker" was coined as recently as 1978. The "Toga" article relates primarily to ancient Rome - a civilization and culture of two thousand years ago. Your edit is a good faith one but the substitution of modern terminology is jarring. Suggest that we remain with "prostitutes". Buistr (talk) 21:04, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
@Buistr: Um... we are writing in English, which did not exist during the Roman Empire. Coining new terminology doesn't make it invalid. Language norms change over time, as does the terminology of the various scholarly fields. The replacement of archaic terminology is commonplace and normal as scholarly fields change over time. You object to the use of a term that exists as its own wikipedia page due to its use in modern scholarly studies of sex work: I think maybe you should chew over whether the "jarring" is just in your head or whether you actually have a valid reason to object to the change. Ogress smash! 21:50, 18 July 2015 (UTC)
I have acknowledged that your edit is a good faith one and there was no need for you to resort to personal insults. I just cannot understand why you insist that a translation which is still in common use ("prostitute" for the Latin meretrix) has to be replaced by "sex-worker". To make a random comparison it is like substituting "warrant-officer" for "centurion". Anyway there are about 90 other editors who are sufficiently interested in Classical Roman history to have this article watch-listed. Grateful for their views. Buistr (talk) 01:19, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
@Buistr: I did not resort to personal insults, I suggested you were startled (to use your own words, "jarred") and misjudged the term. I absolutely meant no offense and apologise for giving such an impression. I myself often think over edits that initially disturb me to be sure I am not reacting from the gut.
As for watchers, I welcome more conversation; I haven't noted anyone but anonymous or SPA accounts changing the term.
Since meretrix is actually a Wikipedia article, we could simply link directly to that? Is that what the source says, meretrices? Or is it more wide? Was it for all women who assumed extra-household sex work, or just actual women in brothels and on street-corners? Prostitution in ancient Rome involved many different roles for women, as you probably already know. Also, if we stick to the current text, can we please link directly to Prostitution in ancient Rome? Ogress smash! 02:31, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
Sorry about my over-touchy response. On reflection I take your point re the coining of modern terminology being an acceptable and often inevitable process. Its just that I feel kind of protective about my favorite ancient civilization :) . Re the tidying up that you propose - fine by me but lets wait for any input from northern hemisphere Latinphiles who may still be sleeping. Buistr (talk) 02:49, 19 July 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps we should see J. P. V. D. Balsdon, Roman Women (1966) p. 224, 252-4 and p. 327n (OCLC), as indicated on the "Meretrix" article, being a citation for meretrices wearing togas. The book may very well say whether all prostitutes wore togas, or which groups specifically did.--ɱ (talk · vbm) 03:16, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Toga/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Could use a longer intro; but otherwise comprehensive and well-referenced. Would probably pass a GA nom. Daniel Case 13:42, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Last edited at 13:42, 24 April 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 08:56, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

Ancient, "modern" and primary sources[edit]

Just a word or two for anyone watching here; much of this article has been based on Wm Smith's admirable but quite antiquated encyclopedic dictionary, which though often a delight should generally (to quote or misquote the excellent Bill Thayer) be "taken with a grain of salt" and due caution. I will, life permitting, be replacing most if not all Smith-based material with more up-to-date sources and text. Smith's work (or that of his editors/contributors) relied on material published up to a century before; and tend to swallow primary sources whole. He was a person of his time - a conservative upper-class Victorian gentleman with an excellent classical education and interests, but virtually no notion of the broader political and social sphere - rather like the almost invariably conservative upper-class Roman gentlemen who provide his primary sources, and utterly ignore most else. "Things" - history, historiography, society, sociology et al - have moved on considerably from both their times. Thus it will ever be. But meantime, in the here and now, we should only cite "primary" sources through the filter of up-to-date secondary scholarship. Sorry, didn't intend a lecture here.... Haploidavey (talk) 12:00, 24 June 2016 (UTC)

Additional sections required[edit]

The article needs a section on togas in Roman literature (as trope, for the most part; though there's already a fair bit of Martial and Juvenal in the Patronage and salutationes section): and one on togas in art and statuary. I've run out of steam, so if anyone's keen to make a start? Haploidavey (talk) 12:40, 23 July 2016 (UTC)


Ottmh, one of the "broad Eastern toga" would be very useful indeed; also a full-length, clear image of the "banded toga" (aka "stacked toga" and toga contabulata). Haploidavey (talk) 12:40, 23 July 2016 (UTC)