(BEING CONTINUED FROM 18/08/13)
THE TOGA PRAETEXTA
The patrimi et matrimi wore the toga preatexta (51). Warde Fowler has devoted to this dress as wom by children one of his
most penetrating essays (52). lts purport comes tho this: Roman children of free birth, both boys and gids, from the moment
they could walk to the age of puberty wore the toga praetexta,the well known robe with purple border. They shared this
costume with the so-called curule magistrates, i.e. those magistrates whose authority descended from that of the Rex. They alone
originally possessed the right to offer sacrifice in behalf of the community though in course of time there we re extensions of
the privilege. Next to the magistrates the priests of the ancient orders wore the toga praetexta during sacrifice, also the Fratres
arvales, and the person who devotes himself during battle together with the enemy to the Powers of death: prototype of the
simul hostia ac sacrificator. The Vestals did not wear the toga,but they and also the flaminica wore a headdress with a purple
border (53). The most important of the ancient priesthood, the flamen dialis, wore the praetexta always and everywhere.
Fowler concludes th at it was a holy garment wom by those who sacrifice.
In this capacity, according to Fowler, it is also the dress of the camilli and camillae; they are investes, i.e. not yet ripe for
the toga virilis; they “were holy and wore the holy garment”,
(TO BE CONTINUED)
BY G. VAN DER LEEUW