Hermes wearing Petasos. Coinage of Kapsa, Macedon, circa 400 BC
Hermes wearing Petasos. Coinage of Kapsa, Macedon, circa 400 BC

A petasos or petasus (Greek: πέτασος) is a broad brimmed hat of Thessalian origin worn by ancient Greeks, Thracians and Etruscans,[1] often in combination with the chlamys cape. It was made of wool felt, leather, straw or animal skin. Women's versions had a high crown while those for men featured a lower crown.[2] It was worn primarily by farmers, travellers and hunters, and was considered characteristic of rural people. Elite Greek men generally chose not to wear hats.[3][4] As a winged hat, it became the symbol of Hermes, the Greek mythological messenger god.[5]

Along with the pileus, the petasos was the most common hat worn in Greece between 1200 and 146 B.C.E.[6] Its wide brim protected the wearer from the sun and rain while a lengthy strap allowed wearers to secure it under the chin. When not needed, the hat was often worn hanging behind the head. Its popularity later extended to the Etruscans, the Byzantine Empire and the Roman Empire, in slightly modified forms.[7]

A type of metal helmet worn by Athenian cavalry was made in the shape of a petasos. Some examples have holes around the outer edge of the brim, presumably so a fabric cover could be attached. These are known from reliefs and vase paintings, with at least one archaeological example found in an Athenian tomb.[8]

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See also

References

  1. ^ Bonfante, Larissa (2003-10-31). Etruscan Dress. JHU Press. ISBN 9780801874130.
  2. ^ Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. "petasos". Encyclopedia Britannica, 26 Jul. 2010, https://www.britannica.com/topic/petasos. Accessed 29 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Greek Headwear." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear Through the Ages, edited by Sara Pendergast, et al., 2nd ed., vol. 1: The Ancient World, UXL, 2013, pp. 127-134. Gale In Context: World History. Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.
  4. ^ Lee, Mireille. Body, Dress, and Identity In Ancient Greece. E-book, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2015, p. 159.
  5. ^ Sacks, David. "clothing, ancient Greek." Encyclopedia of the Ancient Greek World, David Sacks, Facts On File, 3rd edition, 2015. Credo Reference. Accessed 29 Nov. 2021.
  6. ^ "Greek Headwear." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear Through the Ages, edited by Sara Pendergast, et al., 2nd ed., vol. 1: The Ancient World, UXL, 2013, pp. 127-134. Gale In Context: World History. Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.
  7. ^ "Headwear of the Byzantine Empire." Fashion, Costume, and Culture: Clothing, Headwear, Body Decorations, and Footwear Through the Ages, edited by Sara Pendergast, et al., 2nd ed., vol. 2: Early Cultures Across the Globe, UXL, 2013, pp. 257-259. Gale In Context: World History. Accessed 28 Nov. 2021.
  8. ^ Nicholas Sekunda, The Ancient Greeks (Osprey Publishing, 1986, 2005), p. 19.