Teudogar and the Alliance with Rome

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During the time of the Germanic tribes people no longer covered themselves with animal hides since many centuries: It was more common to have clothing made from finely woven wool materials, and occasionally linen.

Women usually wore a simple sleeveless dress with a low neckline, which was held together with a clip at the shoulder and a belt around the waist. Skirts and blouses were also common. In the winter time the women wore the same kind of cloak that the men wore.

Men wore pants. The upper body was covered by a doublet, a kind of smock, similar to today's T-shirts, but worn over the pants and often reaching down to the knees. They also wore a belt around the waist. At that time pockets were unknown (to the Romans as well): Weapons and other articles used on a daily basis were worn on the belt.

Furthermore, many people wore an overcoat, or more precisely a cloak: A 6'x6' (2x2m) piece of cloth, which was held together by a clip at the shoulder. Often people would use their cloak as a blanket, wrapping it around themselves to sleep in it.

Women and men alike wore a lot of jewelry and accessories, such as clips, hooks on their belts, buckles, needles or pearls made from silver, bronze, iron, and glass.

Underwear and socks were still unknown (many Romans did wear underwear). Germanic men and women wore leather shoes. Headgear was uncommon, and only rarely were hats worn. In the winter time the more affluent people would keep warm with fur cloaks.

Clothing was quite expensive and were often patched up. It was estimated that on a magnificent cloak that was found in a swamp, a years worth of work had to be done by two weavers. But the production of clothing for everyday use, with dyeing, spinning, weaving, cutting and sewing, was very laborious too.

The Germanic doublet looked like the Roman tunica, the Germanic cloak resembled the Roman military cloak: The only thing that was truly disconcerting to the Romans were the pants. The Germanic people probably adopted the pants from the neighbors to the east, the Scythes, who were an equestrian people. Over time many Romans recognized the use of this clothing article, but the Roman Senate thought that Romans should not look like Barbarians. For this reason it was declared in 397 A.D. with the threat of deportation and repossession of all property, that it was unlawful to wear pants in the city of Rome.

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Teudogar and the Alliance with Rome - a Historical Role-Playing Game - © 2003-2012 by Wolf Mittag