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Defining Personal Space: Dress And Accessories In Late Antiquity

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Chapter Summary

Late antique dress in its diversity offers a mirror to the heterogeneity and complexities of late antique society. This chapter presents a brief overview of the attire of various social groups in Late Antiquity?beginning from the imperial court and reaching down to the professionals of the world of public-spectacle?as this may be reconstructed from the archaeological, the written, and the artistic records. It highlights the importance of clothing and accompanying accessories as eloquent signs in an intricate communication system that enabled individuals and groups to articulate their identity and express it outwards in different physical settings and in a variety of social contexts. Late antique society was a society in transformation, in the process of reinventing itself under the pressure of changing historical conditions.

Keywords: imperial court; Late antique dress; late antique society



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