AFTER our study of the Mycenaean fortress and dwelling and of the tomb, -- that real compendium of an ancient people's life, -- we may now see what the monuments have to say of Mycenaean dress. Hitherto we have looked to Homer and the slight archaeological notices of the historians, along with the works of classical art, for our notions of the primitive garb of the Greeks; but these were sources of doubtful character and beyond any scientific control.
Now, however, we possess a great mass of actual Mycenaean jewelry -- entire toilets, we might almost say, as well as contemporary art representations, in the round, in relief and intaglio, in vase and fresco painting -- of men and women, from the rudest to the most refined stage of Mycenaean culture. These enable us to trace the evolution of dress from the primitive Aryan breech-cloth to fashions which at least foreshadow the elegance of Ionian Greece. This observation, indeed, applies rather to the women, -- the gentleman in full dress being very little in evidence, except as the sumptuous funeral outfit speaks for him.
One monument -- the famous siege scene on the Silver Vase -- shows us Mycenaean warriors in a state of absolute nudity defending their fortress walls with bow and sling; but this can hardly be typical of everyday life. We have a truer starting-point for our study in
The Loin- Apron
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Publication information: Book title: The Mycenaean Age:A Study of the Monuments and Culture of Pre-Homeric Greece. Contributors: Chrestos Tsountas - Author, J. Irving Manatt - Author. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin. Place of publication: Boston. Publication year: 1897. Page number: 159.
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