Statue of Livia Drusilla wearing a stola and palla.

The palla was an elegant cloak or mantle that was wrapped around the body. It was worn outside the house by (affluent) Roman women. It was a luxurious version of the Roman women's pallium.[1][2][3][4] The palla was a traditional ancient Roman mantle worn by women, fastened by brooches. The shape was rectangular instead of semi-circular, as with the traditional toga.[5] The garment dates to the 3rd century BC,[6] but the type of dress must be much older.[1] In Latin literature, the term palla is used ambiguously.[7] It can denote not only a cloak, but also a foot-long sleeveless dress with straps (or a brooch) worn directly on the skin. The second is a common dress form in the entire Mediterranean world. In a Greek cultural context, this is called peplos. In a Roman cultural context, if worn by a Roman matron, it also takes the name stola.

See also


  1. ^ a b Radicke, Jan (2022). palla. Berlin: De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110711554-019. ISBN 978-3-11-071155-4.
  2. ^ Wilson, L. M. (1938). The Clothing of the Ancient Romans. Johns Hopkins Press. pp. 148–150.
  3. ^ Scholz, Birgit Ingrid (1992). Untersuchungen zur Tracht der römischen matrona. Cologne: Böhlau. pp. 100–106. ISBN 3-412-01491-5. OCLC 27443395.
  4. ^ Cleland, Liza; Davies, Glenys; Llewellyn-Jones, Lloyd (2007). Greek and Roman dress from A to Z. Glenys Davies, Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones. London: Routledge. pp. 136–137. ISBN 978-0-415-22661-5. OCLC 122309175.
  5. ^ James, Sharon L.; Dillon, Sheila (2015-06-15). A Companion to Women in the Ancient World. John Wiley & Sons. p. 485. ISBN 978-1-119-02554-2.
  6. ^ Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Incorporated. 1970. p. 681.
  7. ^ Radicke, Jan (2022). palla. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 292–297. doi:10.1515/9783110711554-019. ISBN 978-3-11-071155-4.