Their education inculcated the practice of immorality. All ideas of modesty were by a deliberate public training obliterated from their minds. Scourged with the whip when young, taught to wrestle, box, and race naked before assemblages of men, their wantonness and licentiousness passed every bound. Marriage, indeed, was an institution of the state; but no man could call his wife his own.
Binding and pulling grain in the Egypt of the pharaohs
Vase-painting—Dress with two Overfold
Vase-painting in the Polygnotan Style
Vase-painting from Lucania
Vase-painting by Hieron
Vase-painting by Falerii
Vase-painting by Euxitheos
Vase-painting by Euphronios
Vase-painting by Brygos
The Doric Himation
The Chlamys and Petasos
The snake goddess and her votary from Knossos have, in addition, a kind of apron reaching almost to the knees in front and behind, and rising to the hips at the sides. The costume is completed by the addition of a high hat or turban.
Looking at the snake goddess more in detail, we find that the jacket is cut away into a V-shape from the neck to the waist, leaving both the breasts quite bare; the two edges are laced across below the breast, the laces being fastened in a series of bows. The jacket is covered with an elaborate volute pattern, the apron with spots and bordered with a “guilloche.”
From the François Vase
Perhaps the earliest people to form real cities in this part of the world, or indeed in any part of the world, were a people of mysterious origin called the Sumerians. They were neither Semites nor Aryans, and whence they came we do not know. Whether they were dark whites of Iberian or Dravidian affinities is less certainly to be denied. They used a kind of writing which they scratched upon clay, and their language has been deciphered.
The earlier Pharaohs were not improbably regarded as incarnations of the dominant god. The falcon god Horus sits behind the head of the great statue of Chephren.
It was Cheops and Chephren and Mycerinus of this IVth Dynasty who raised the vast piles of the great and the second and the third pyramids at Gizeh. These unmeaning sepulchral piles, of an almost incredible vastness, erected in an age when engineering science had scarcely begun, exhausted the resources of Egypt through three long reigns, and left her wasted as if by a war.
Opinions upon Amenophis IV, or Akhnaton, differ very widely. There are those who regard him as the creature of his mother’s hatred of Ammon and the uxorious spouse of a beautiful wife. Certainly he loved his wife very passionately; he showed her great honour—Egypt honoured women, and was ruled at different times by several queens—and he was sculptured in one instance with his wife seated upon his knees, and in another in the act of kissing her in a chariot; but men who live under the sway of their womenkind do not sustain great empires in the face of the bitter hostility of the most influential organized bodies in their realm. Others write of him as a “gloomy fanatic.” Matrimonial bliss is rare in the cases of gloomy fanatics.
Etruscan painting of a Ceremonial Burning of the Dead
It was out of those two main weaknesses of all priesthoods, namely, the incapacity for efficient military leadership and their inevitable jealousy of all other religious cults, that the power of secular kingship arose. The foreign enemy either prevailed and set up a king over the people, or the priesthoods who would not give way to each other set up a common fighting captain, who retained more or less power in peace time. This secular king developed a group of officials about him and began, in relation to military organization, to take a share in the priestly administration of the people’s affairs. So, growing out of priestcraft and beside the priest, the king, the protagonist of the priest,appears upon the stage of human history, and a very large amount of the subsequent experiences of mankind is only to be understood as an elaboration, complication, and distortion of the struggle, unconscious or deliberate, between these two systems of human control, the temple and the palace. And it was in the original centres of civilization that this antagonism was most completely developed.
Over the portico of the Theban temple there is usually a ball or sun, ornamented with outstretched wings, representing the all-seeing Providence thus watching over and sheltering the world. From this sun hang two asps wearing the crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt.
The costume is considered to be that of a Jewish captive of the Persian conqueror and dates sixth to fifth centuries B.C
6th to 5th Century BC
From Hope's "Costume of the Ancients."
With the Greeks the tunic was the principal article of attire. It was worn next to the skin, and was of a light tissue. In the earlier time it was composed of wool, in later periods of flax, and in the latest periods it was either of flax mixed with silk or of pure silk. The illustration given will serve to show its construction. It was a simple square bag, open at the two ends, made sufficiently wide to admit of the folds being ample, and sufficiently long to allow of its being gathered up about the waist and breasts. It was kept in its place by various means, either by a simple girdle round the waist or by cords drawn crosswise between the breasts, over the shoulders, looped at the back, and again drawn round the waist, or by an arrangement of cords or ribbons drawn over each shoulder and attached to the girdle.
From Hope's "Costume of the Ancients."
The material of the toga was wool, in the earlier time and for the common people; afterwards silk and other materials were used, coloured or bordered according to the `rank` or station of the wearer.
The illustration shows a priest wearing nothing but a loin cloth and a leopard skin.