What Not To Wear: A Short History Of Regulating Female Dress From Ancient Sparta To The Burkini

Over on the Forbes blog, I talk about the history of dress codes for women. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I think a lot about clothing, color, and historical dress. This post is reacting to the recent burkini bans in towns along the French Riviera by mentioning the fact that Sparta, Rome, theContinue reading “What Not To Wear: A Short History Of Regulating Female Dress From Ancient Sparta To The Burkini”

Encouraging the PhDivas: My Top 5 Posts for Dorothy King

An anthology of posts I wrote while blogging for PhDiva.blogspot.com on everything from Caligula in modern film to the danger of death by roof-tile in antiquity.

The Fall of the Roman Umpire: A Short History of Ancient Referees

At the Australian Open in 2008, tennis player Andy Roddick famously unleashed a tirade against court umpire Emmanuel Joseph, telling the crowd at one point: “Stay in school kids or you’ll end up being an umpire!” During the MLB playoffs this week, there were similarly slanderous remarks against the umpires uttered either directly to them, or muttered under theContinue reading “The Fall of the Roman Umpire: A Short History of Ancient Referees”

Good Mourning: Roman Clothing, Courtrooms, and the Psychology of Color

Romans often reserved the dark colors of mourning for a trip to the courtroom. Usually it was the defendants who chose to clothe themselves in dark and ragged vestments–though some people broke with this habit. In a letter dated to 468 CE, the diplomat and bishop Sidonius Apollinaris discussed the treason trial of a friend and Praetorian prefect named ArvandusContinue reading “Good Mourning: Roman Clothing, Courtrooms, and the Psychology of Color”