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Male dress in Rômania

Governor of the City

Junior courtier

Court undress

Aristocratic casual

Noble outer wear

Common dress

Sunday best


An affluent man’s informal outer wear

byzantine man's costume, byzantine costume, byzantine dress

This twelfth-century outfit is a fine example of the cultural fusions of this era. The tunic is covered in some detail on another page. The coat (originally Persian) with its underarm openings has done the full cycle from civilian dress to military garment (see the military pages) and back into civilian dress again over the course of five centuries. From this time onwards it carried its miltary name, epilôrikion, to distinguish it from the more usual type of coat, and by the fourteenth century divergent forms of the miltary coat had become court regalia.

Tessalated brocades like this become a dominant form in the next two centuries, spreading out from Constantinople to be widely imitated in the numerous new silk industries that were established around the northern coast of the Mediterranean.

The hat is more recent Persian import. One of its names, kalansuwa was probably adapted into Greek as kausia. By the fourteenth century it had been adopted into court regalia, and from there became the Turkish fez.

Belts with ornamental metal fittings go a long way back in the Roman Empire, but this one shows strong European influences, especially in the long trailing end.

Entire outfit by Timothy Dawson