Monday, July 16, 2012

Ancient Knickers

Sometimes, the surprised tone of media reportage regarding in-depth subjects without in-depth background (and the breathy, insinuating inventiveness often displayed by those with less of that background) is mildly amusing.

For instance, it turns out we didn't invent breast nor posterior coverings only 100 years ago.  Also, the human body has not radically altered in design for some millennia, so the stuff we as a species may be likely to protect hasn't migrated or anything.


Continued surprises may be found in ancient Roman depictions of underwear.



Mojourner said...

Do tell, what is the source of this image? Part of the interest is the star at top left--was this later?

To draw out my recent visual anthro fascination (assuming this is real), I notice these things:
-some guys like the groovy models, and some like the fitness models, but they all like cavorting
-Maria de Medeiros, in Pulp Fiction, bespake the ages when she adored her pot belly
-Betty Boop-ish behavior is nothing new in the repertoire of soft-porn models (see that one holding the BIG branch and touching the king's crown that just slipped onto her head)

K.E. Skedgell said...

There's been a few times I have had to do research on early Renaissance undergarments; it was interesting when I could find good information. It is kind of important to know these things when you have characters undressing and need to know what the undergarments looked like back then. The things writers research.

DLM said...

That IS a pretty interesting detail!

The image is from, and the fresco is in Piazza Armerina at the Villa Romana del Casale (

Looking at the famous mosaics from the Villa, apparently the design is typical throughout, so I do wonder what the layering indicates - it definitely appears to be one design covered the other, but both elements look to me of a piece with the further pictures from the site.

Count on the archaeologist to put me onto something so interesting!

DLM said...

Heh - my characters don't get undressed "onscreen" so to speak. Well, not in "Ax" - the WIP will be a very different piece (ahem) and I think the sex will probably be treated very differently as well ...

DLM said...

More images from the Villa are here:

Beautiful works, some in quite remarkable condition it appears. The medallions are wonderfully vivid. Some, of course, are in more interesting condition ...