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33

They were not supermen by any means :) But yes, temperatures were higher, by more than 1 degree (Kent and Wales were famous for their wines, right now it's far too cold there for that for example). And don't forget that in the Roman era, wars were fought in summer almost exclusively, later expanding into spring and autumn as the conscript army was replaced ...


20

We have essentially three references on this topic. Of these, only Caesar's could have had political motivations, as he was engaged in a campaign against the Britons. His account, however, is only marginal compared to the others, in that he does not clearly state that the Celts went to battle naked. On the other hand, both Polybius and Diodourus Siculus look ...


17

Leather was probably the most common material. The most basic transportation technology of the medieval era was the foot ... Those who did not go barefoot ... wore simple shoes. These shoes were made from leather, including the flat sole. - Wigelsworth, Jeffrey R. Science and Technology in Medieval European Life. Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. ...


13

Wigs became almost instantly fashionable after Louis XIII started wearing one in 1624 to hide his baldness, and were almost universal for European upper & middle class men by the beginning of the 18th century. Their main purpose was to mask receding or graying hair, and as a fashion item. One excellent source is the very detailed diary of Samuel Pepys ...


12

Diapers back then were not made of synthetic materials, and thus were not really a "consumer good". The first consumer disposable diaper did not come along until 1948 (right after the war). Instead, they were made of cloth, and were washed between uses. People of middle-class or better means typically had a service for this purpose. Much like a milk ...


12

Switzerland, and the Germanies, 1500s and 1600s in the form of the Landsknecht who were given a legal dispensation from the sumptuary (clothing) laws to be so fabulous. There is a contemporary recreation community who have some colour pictures of recreated clothes draped on people, and a wide variety of pictures online, including some colour prints from ...


12

The imperial regalia of Rome were not a single thing but a collection of various objects carried in tow during processions of the emperor. The main items were various lances and spears along with a standard, which was an embroidered banner surmounted by a gold eagle. The emperor also carried a scepter. The regalia of the Byzantines were all probably lost if ...


12

One kind of shoe not mentioned in the other answers are those using bast soles. "Bast" is fiber from tree bark. Bast shoes or lapti, were once worn by poorer members of Northern European cultures. These were usually made from birch or linden. They are woven like a basket, and so are quite distinct from the wooden clog or hard wooden-soled shoes mentioned in ...


11

As always, the uniform would differ from one school to another school. But in the Showa period (1920s-1985) school uniforms is highly characterized by a strong influence from the military - especially the navy. Japan had been in rigorous military transformation since the start of Meiji period (1868), and it is reflected in the education system it produced - ...


11

Actually, for a brief span of seven years there was such an army (or, strictly speaking, a corps) - the Palmach, founded in 1941. Its officers wore no special insignia (and in fact, there were no ranks in the usual sense, only command-titles such as "platoon commander"), got the same pay as the privates - and ate together with them. This all makes a lot of ...


11

http://www.romanarmy.net/coldweather.htm Seems to address cold weather clothing very well. It seems they did what we did, scarfs, multiple layers, hats, enclosed boots etc but with the exception of trousers, which they saw as barbarian. They went for lower leg coverings instead. I would point out these guys seem to manage without trousers. Except actually ...


9

Wikipedia to the rescue: This article on caligae (military boots) states that Socks were not normally worn with caligae, although in colder climates such as Britain, woolen socks were used. This one on Roman military personal equipment mentions that [The sagum and the paenula] were made from wool, which insulated and also contained natural oil ...


9

In Europe, different demands were placed on shoes based on different climates. People around the Mediterranean tended to wear sandals with wooden soles and leather thongs due to the warmer climate. If complete coverage was required, the entire foot might be encased in leather. In some places or situations, a clog would be worn, particularly if one was ...


8

Since this during a morning levée I assume it's a negligé cap. The purpose of this is to cover the head (which was typically shaved) when you did not have a wig.


8

George Washington made a point of NOT wearing a military uniform in civilian life. In his First Inaugural speech, he pointedly wore a "cloth coat" to set an example for other citizens of the fledgling Republic. Source http://suite101.com/article/washingtons-american-made-inaugural-clothes-a213962


8

The first thing to note is that fashions changed rapidly in ancient times, just like they do today and one "Phoenician" might be wearing something completely different than another one. Also, a foreigner who was doing business in Rome normally would dress just like the Romans. Wearing foreign garb in Augustan Rome would not be a recipe for success. Also, ...


7

The French Légion étrangère has the closest interaction between officers and soldiers that I know of. For example, they all spend Christmas or any other official holidays together. Officers are as well expected to be able to do what the soldiers do and frequently have to. My experience of Legionary officers and homme du rang is that they share more in ...


7

Perhaps the story of Odoacer is not quite the right place in which to look for a description of the insignia as they only appear there briefly for metonymycal purposes. However, something can be done from other sources. Jewelry One kind of insignia is the obvious - a crown. Another, less obvious, is a special kind of brooch. Or at least so claims Ann ...


7

This is an interesting and difficult question. Unfortunately, not much is known of Viking equipment, including clothing, because such military goods were relatively expensive and rare. For example, in those times (800-1000 AD) it was common for people to go barefoot, shoes were so expensive. Written works from the time rarely discuss viking clothing in any ...


6

For our purposes, there are two kinds of Vikings; western, or Norwegian Vikings that settled Greenland, Iceland, and Normandy, and eastern, or Swedish Vikings who settled Russia and the Baltic region. There is a fair amount of literature on the first group of Vikings, who were called "Norsemen" (later Normans). One example is from Encyclopedia Britannica: ...


5

First of all, tt was the age's fashion. But the main purpose was to cover the unhygienic hair. The general hygiene was really on a low level in Europe from the beginning of the dark ages until the end of the 19th century when people started to realize that most of the diseases can be prevented by simple methods like taking bath, washing hands, and by ...


5

I know that in the British armed forces there has always been a difference in equipment/clothing/food/messes between officers and enlisted men/women. For example, the British Army at it's earliest was constructed of militia etc. commanded by the local nobility/land owners - which was an extension of the feudal system. As things have modernised and developed ...


5

I doubt a whole army would have gone into battle en masse naked, but there is enough hearsay to assume that there were some naked warriors. I think it almost impossible to prove or disprove this, but I believe it likely that there were celtic warriors who fought naked. Where they Viking style beserkers who had too many hallucinogens, or where they slaves ...


5

In the case of Albert Ball, he was simply wearing his side or field cap in the manner that was usual in many armies of the time. See also the Glengarry. In the British Army, the first cap to be adopted of this style was the "Glengarry", which was authorised for all British infantry regiments in 1868...An all-khaki version [of the cap] was also selected ...


4

I agree with @spyder in that I think equality never happened for both historic (officers' roles descended from noble men's) and practical (clear separation helps discipline at least in certain situations) reasons. Perhaps communist countries subscribed to nominal equality in their lower ranks to some degree. However, here is one anecdotal evidence from ...


4

Unlike war in central plain of China and Europe, Indonesia was covered with heavyrain forest. Size of trees and leaves are way bigger than any other in the world. Therefore wearing armor will only slow the movement and ended up as bull's eye for poison arrows. Medieval Indonesian soldiers were usually chest naked and wearing coloured headband to ...


4

Washington conspicuously respected the subordination of military to civilian power as a general, and at his inaugurations and other official appearances as president, always wore civilian clothes. Still, that does not mean he never donned his uniform again. At least one surviving uniform is in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, and to quote ...


4

The website of Library of Congress provides us with a following description regarding the overall problem with uniforms during the First Battle of Bull Run: As Union and Confederate troops met for the first great land battle of the war, confusion was the only constant. Lack of standardized uniforms made it difficult to tell friend from foe. Still, ...


4

As you have noticed, buttons did not become popular as fasteners until around 1300. This is because before then clothing tended to consist of cloaks, robes, tunics and other loosely fitting garments that were easily secured with a pin (brooch or fibula). The Romans, Greeks and Levantines did wear buttons, but mostly as a sewn-on decoration, not as a ...


4

Answering in terms of western Europe after 1200CE: What did farmers use for boots? Farmers are large field agriculturalists created by the British enclosures and revolutions, and by the French and liberal revolutions in Europe. Farmers didn't exist until very slightly before rubber shoes/boots, and were rich enough to afford leather shoes or boots and to ...



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