Costume as an Indicator of Status in Late Antique Mosaic Pavements of the Eastern Mediterranean
Zielinski, Risa Storlie
Holum, Kenneth G
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Romans used everyday costume to indicate status. The evidence analyzed here is mosaic pavements from Roman Syria and Palestine portraying a range of individuals from different social levels. Chapter 1 discusses costume as a means of communication and symbolic behavior, how the Romans used costume to indicate status, and why mosaics are useful in this analysis. Chapters 2 and 3 explore how everyday costume, as represented in mosaics, indicated status by using garment quantity, color, decoration, and jewelry. Chapter 2 analyzes mosaics from the second through fourth centuries AD, chapter 3 those of the fifth and sixth centuries. The main point is to show how costume in mosaics, and presumably in real life, changed in the transition from the High Empire to Late Antiquity.