Togas? I’m Forum!

Vergil, Aeneid 1.278-282:

On these I place neither spatial nor temporal limits: I have given them power without end. Indeed even harsh Juno, who now wears out sea and land and sky with fear, will change her mind for the better, and with me she will cherish the Romans, masters of the world, the toga-bearing nation.

His ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono;
imperium sine fine dedi. Quin aspera Iuno,
quae mare nunc terrasque metu caelumque fatigat,               280
consilia in melius referet, mecumque fovebit
Romanos rerum dominos gentemque togatam:

Suetonius, Divus Augustus (40)

Augustus even sought to bring back the old fashion of clothing, and when once he saw before the assembly a crowd dressed like commoners, he was angry and shouted, “Behold the Romans, masters of the world, the toga-bearing nation!” He gave the aediles the job of ensuring that they not allow anyone afterward to stop in or around the forum unless they were wearing a toga without an overcoat.

Etiam habitum vestitumque pristinum reducere studuit, ac visa quondam pro contione pullatorum turba indignabundus et clamitans: “en Romanos, rerum dominos, gentemque togatam!” negotium aedilibus dedit, ne quem posthac paterentur in Foro circave nisi positis lacernis togatum consistere.

toga | Art History Glossary


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