Shoes in Roman time / Typology

Shoes in Roman time / Typology

Shoes in Roman time / Typology


Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

<strong>Shoes</strong> <strong>in</strong> the <strong>Roman</strong> Times – Collective Information – Vers. 0.9 – www.vcrv.ch - Page<br />

<strong>Shoes</strong> <strong>in</strong> <strong>Roman</strong> <strong>time</strong> / <strong>Typology</strong><br />

Calceus/Calcei:<br />

(Calx, The heel; Calamen) The shoe that covered the whole foot, as dist<strong>in</strong>guished from a sandal, or<br />

Soleae. These are generally considered to be the center seamed or laced shoes with the separate<br />

<strong>in</strong>ner and outer soles. Calcei were formal shoes worn with the toga outside the house, while sandals<br />

were worn with the tunic <strong>in</strong>side the house. Slaves were not allowed to wear calcei. Free men put on a<br />

k<strong>in</strong>d of thick-soled, closed shoe or boot reach<strong>in</strong>g to the calf, with two holes at the side through which<br />

leather thongs were passed and tied round the leg. Open on the <strong>in</strong>side at the ankle, and fastened<br />

about the ankle and and calves with four wide straps (corrigiae), wound around the ankle two or three<br />

<strong>time</strong>s, to a distance about half-way below the calf, and tied <strong>in</strong> front with a knot. These straps ran from<br />

the sole and were wrapped around the leg and tied above the <strong>in</strong>step. A second pair of straps was<br />

attached on each side of the sole, at widest part of the foot, and crossed over the <strong>in</strong>step, fastened<br />

round ankle on top of the first pair of straps, and tied <strong>in</strong> a knot <strong>in</strong> front be the first one. Wear<strong>in</strong>g the<br />

straps (fasces crurales, tibiales; fasces fem<strong>in</strong>ales) any higher up the leg, for example to the thigh, is<br />

considered effem<strong>in</strong>ate.<br />

• Calcei senatorii / calceus senatorius<br />

Black with crossed laces / and for Magistrates Curules Red calceii with crossed laces.<br />

Boots for <strong>Roman</strong> senators, which were dist<strong>in</strong>guished by their red color from the patrician boot. The<br />

calceus senatorius was worn orig<strong>in</strong>ally by patricians only, but later boots of red leather were the<br />

dist<strong>in</strong>guish<strong>in</strong>g of senators and higher magistrates (curule). A silvered leather or red leather version that<br />

was adorned with a crescent shaped piece of ivory at the top (lunula) signify Important State officials<br />

from a noble family.<br />

• Calicae Mullei / Mulleus<br />

Boots for <strong>Roman</strong> Magistrates, consules or dictatores <strong>in</strong> charge of the Legion, which were dist<strong>in</strong>guished<br />

by their lion head decorated boot. The mulleus was worn orig<strong>in</strong>ally by patricians only, commanders <strong>in</strong><br />

chief for a batlle field operation to demonstrate the status of leader.<br />


<strong>Shoes</strong> <strong>in</strong> the <strong>Roman</strong> Times – Collective Information – Vers. 0.9 – www.vcrv.ch - Page<br />

Calicae equestres<br />

<strong>Shoes</strong> differentiated<br />

<strong>Shoes</strong> differentiated <strong>in</strong> the Edict of Diocletian from the Calcei senatorii.<br />

Calcei patricii<br />

Boots for <strong>Roman</strong> nobles which had closed uppers and a long tongue (as described <strong>in</strong> the Edict of<br />

Diocletian). They were hound to the leg with four thongs (corrigiae), two on each side attached<br />

between the sole and the uppers, front and back. The thongs tied around the upper ankle and the<br />

middle of the leg. Patricians wore the sole part <strong>in</strong> untanned leather and the four straps <strong>in</strong> black.<br />

Calcei muliebres<br />

Women wore boots like the men's, but made of th<strong>in</strong>ner, softer, leather, <strong>in</strong> a bright variety of colors,<br />

often <strong>in</strong> white, and decorated with precious stones and pearls. Some<strong>time</strong>s, <strong>in</strong> place of straps, narrow<br />

bands of coloured silk were used to tie on the boots.<br />

Calceolus / Calceolii<br />

A small shoe, or half boots, usually for women.<br />

Calcei repandi<br />

Po<strong>in</strong>ted-toed shoes, curv<strong>in</strong>g upward at the toe, that were worn by Etruscans <strong>in</strong> the sixth century<br />

B.C. These, <strong>in</strong> theory, were the model for the later <strong>Roman</strong> senatorial calcei with lac<strong>in</strong>g and straps.<br />

Cicero says that only statues of Juno Sospita cont<strong>in</strong>ued to use the po<strong>in</strong>ted-toe calcei repandi, but a<br />

rounded-toe version may have been <strong>in</strong> use as late as the third century A.D.<br />


<strong>Shoes</strong> <strong>in</strong> the <strong>Roman</strong> Times – Collective Information – Vers. 0.9 – www.vcrv.ch - Page<br />

Caliga / Caligae (militaris)<br />

A type of Calcei, with a s<strong>in</strong>gle piece upper and a separate <strong>in</strong>ner and outer sole.<br />

Eng<strong>in</strong>eers and laborers wore special, stoutly made half boots called Caligae with heavily nailed soles,<br />

the uppers be<strong>in</strong>g made of a separate piece of leather thongs which left the toes free but bound the<br />

ankles and the foot <strong>in</strong> a web of leather. They some<strong>time</strong>s appear to have been worn so that the upper<br />

edge could be turned down.<br />

There seem to have been a variety of nailpatterns<br />

<strong>in</strong> the soles. Caligae are also referred to<br />

<strong>in</strong> the Edict of Diocletian as "boots for mule<br />

drivers or farm workers, first quality, without<br />

hobnails." Note that after about 100 CE, these<br />

boots seem to disappear from the archaeological<br />

record as strictly military wear.<br />

e.g. Caligae Typus castleford / replica to buy at<br />

www.armamentaria.com<br />


<strong>Shoes</strong> <strong>in</strong> the <strong>Roman</strong> Times – Collective Information – Vers. 0.9 – www.vcrv.ch - Page<br />

Calige muliebres<br />

Boots for women, similar to those worn by soldiers, but without hobnails. Caligae muliebres<br />

cost only 60 sesterces <strong>in</strong> the Edict, but those for soldiers, without nails, cost 100 sesterces.<br />

(no picture)<br />

Campagus/campagi<br />

Soldiers' shoes, also called campagi militares. In the Edict of Diocletian, these cost 75 denarii.<br />

Campagi imperiales<br />

A shoe, similar to that of the soldiers, worn by emperors <strong>in</strong> the late empire (e.g., Maxim<strong>in</strong>us<br />

and Gallienus) and by Byzant<strong>in</strong>e emperors.<br />

Solea / Soleae<br />

These sandals are merely simple soles, some<strong>time</strong>s hobnailed, of leather or matt<strong>in</strong>g attached to the<br />

feet by a thong between the toes or with a few thongs of leather tied round the ankle. They were worn<br />

with a tunic when it was not covered by an outer garment; customarily their use was limited to the<br />

house. It was not considered suitable for a man to go out <strong>in</strong> sandals. Sandals were not worn at meals;<br />

host and guests wore them <strong>in</strong>to the d<strong>in</strong><strong>in</strong>g room, but as soon as the men took their places on the<br />

couches, slaves removed the sandals and kept them until the meal was over. The phrase soleas<br />

poscere (ask for one's sandals) came to mean "prepare to leave."<br />

* Solo alto:<br />

A phrase describ<strong>in</strong>g the high platform shoe of the actor.<br />

* Ur<strong>in</strong>a:<br />

An oxhide sandal for women which could be made s<strong>in</strong>gle- or double-soled, accord<strong>in</strong>g to the Edict<br />

of Diocletian (9.16).<br />

* Baxa/Baxae:<br />

A sandal made from vegetable fibers, leaves, and so forth.<br />

Sources / where to buy:<br />

http://www.armamentaria.com<br />

calceus (t22)<br />

http://www.battlemerchant.com/product_<strong>in</strong>fo.php?<strong>in</strong>fo=p2046_Mittelalterliche-Schnuerschuhe--halbhoch--Gr--43.html<br />

<strong>in</strong>fo@battlemerchant.com<br />

http://www.personal.utulsa.edu/~marc-carlson/shoe/SHOES/ROME/romelist.htm<br />


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!