Ancient Roman Slaves Clothing: Roman Slaves were the property of their masters and were slaves until the day they died.The only ways a slave could become free were if they paid their master the same amount of money as he had spent in purchasing the slave; or, if the master of the slave for some reason gave the slave freedom.
Roman Slaves Clothing
A Roman Slaves Clothing was dictated by the job they had to perform. And the number of jobs and roles performed by Roman slaves were extremely diverse.
The majority of Roman slaves were placed in positions where they had to undertake the most menial and unpleasant tasks, however, slaves with suitable backgrounds were given the roles such as teachers and artists.
Working men and slaves wore the same type of tunic, usually made of a coarser, darker wool, and they frequently hitched the tunic higher over their belts for freer movement. The slave’s tunic is another simple, belted tunic to be worn by slaves and features a leather collar with an identification tag for slaves that might try to run away.
slaves such as the agricultural workers would receive a tunic every year and a cloak and pair of wooden shoes every two years. The heads of many farm workers were regularly shaved and their hair was used to make wigs and hairpieces for wealthy Romans.
The slaves who worked the farms were not so fashionable and usually had to clothe with coarser materials. By law, the master of a farm slave had to give them certain articles of clothing each year.
Slaves were given a tunic, wooden shoes, and for bad weather, a cloak. Poor working class citizens probably wore the same thing. They have little use for them even if they had one.
Roman clothing facts
The Roman Slaves Clothing of educated and skilled slaves was of better quality materials as their appearance reflected on the status of their owners. Special skills were valued by the owners who used the slaves as artists, musicians, accountants, and teachers.
House slaves who attended to the everyday wishes of their masters and mistresses have dressed accordingly. Special value was placed on female slaves who were skilled in creating the elaborate hairstyles favored by wealthy Roman women. The Roman slave hairdressers were called oratrices.
Cannulae were also worn by slaves and were issued regularly to soldiers stationed where the climate was severe. However the philosopher Seneca tells of a proposal that was once made in the Roman senate requiring slaves to wear distinctive clothing so that they could be easily recognized.
But once the senators realized that the slaves might then become conscious of their strength, and make common cause against their masters, they abandoned the idea.
The Roman Slaves Clothing worn by gladiators in the arena were limited to simple loincloths and the armor required by the different types of gladiators. For everyday wear, gladiator slaves were given a basic tunic and occasionally cloaks to wear.