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What were the original togas made of, and how big were they?

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yacel0762 | Valedictorian

Posted July 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM via web

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What were the original togas made of, and how big were they?

Tagged with ancient rome, history, toga

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted July 7, 2013 at 8:28 PM (Answer #1)

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The toga was the national dress for Roman men.  It was, at one point in Roman history, used by women as well.  However, it later came to be used only by men and by some “disreputable” women such as prostitutes. 

The toga was typically made of wool or linen.  This made it rather heavy and cumbersome.  However, it was still worn by citizens on many occasions. 

The toga was a very large garment.  This is why, as can be seen in this link, modern people who are trying to wear historically accurate togas are told to wear whole bed sheets.  If anything, these sheets can be smaller than actual Roman togas were.  According to What Life Was Like When Rome Ruled the World, put out by Time-Life books, Roman togas could be up to 20 feet by 10 feet (p. 85)! 

Thus, togas were very large and very heavy garments.

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