Braccae


Braccae

Braccae is the Latin term for "trousers", and in this context is today used to refer to a style of pants, made from wool. The Romans encountered this style of clothing among peoples whom they called "Galli" (Gauls) [Diodorus Siculus, "Bibliotheca Historica"] . This is often assumed to mean speakers of Celtic languages, though many scholars (eg. John Collis [Collis, John (2003). "The Celts: Origins, Myths, Inventions", Tempus. ISBN 0-7542-2913-2] , Peter S Wells [Wells, Peter S (2001). "Beyond Celts, Germans and Scythians", Duckworth Debates in Archaeology. ISBN 0-7156-3036-9] , Stephen Oppenheimer [Oppenheimer, Stephen (2006). "The Origins of the British", Constable & Robinson.] ) doubt that the term "Galli" was primarily based on linguistic affiliation.

Braccae were typically made with a drawstring, and tended to reach from just above the knee at the shortest, to the ankles at the longest, with length generally increasing in tribes living further north.

When the Romans first encountered the braccae, they thought them to be effeminate (Roman men typically wore tunics, which were one-piece outfits terminating at or above the knee). However, braccae eventually became popular among Roman legionaries stationed in cooler climates to the north of southern Italy.

Etymology

The word is cognate with the English "breeches". It appears to derive from the Indo-European root *"bhrg"- 'break', here apparently used in the sense 'divide', 'separate'. The consonant sequence *"b.r.k" implies an origin in the Germanic (with regular sound change *"g" > *"k") rather than the Celtic branch of the Indo-European languages; Celtic would regularly have *"b.r.g" instead, as in Scottish Gaelic "briogais". The word is well-attested in the Germanic languages (see breeches).

If the Romans learnt this word from Celtic-speakers, it seems odd that the Latin word has "cc", apparently resembling the Germanic form with *"k" rather than the Celtic form with *"g". There are several possible explanations for this:

* The Romans first heard the word from Celtic-speakers who had in turn borrowed it from Germanic-speakers.
* The Romans first heard the word from Germanic-speakers.
* The Romans first heard a form with Celtic *"g", but the pronunciation they came to use in imitation did not accurately reflect what they originally heard.

Notes


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BRACCAE — apud Ael. Lamprid. in Alexandro Sever. c. 46. extr. Fasiis semper usus est, braccas semper habuit; ἀναξυρίδες Graecorum sunt; quâ utrâque voce feminalia, tibialia et pedulia, h. e. feminales et crurales et pedules fascias, non raro comprehendunt… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Braccae — (lat.), so v.w. Beinkleider; daher Gallia braccata, so v.w. Gallia narbonensis, weil die Bewohner Hosen trugen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Braccae — Les braccae sont le terme latin désignant les pantalons de laine utilisés dans l Armée romaine. D origine gauloise, ils sont d un usage tardif. Portail de la mode …   Wikipédia en Français

  • braccae — brac·cae …   English syllables

  • braccae — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Büxe (Braccae, Hose) — Adelung hat auch dies Wort unter »Büchse«; Grimm (Wörterbuch, II, 598) führt es wegen des mangelnden Umlauts in vorstehender Schreibung auf. Schmeller (I, 248) hat »Buchse«. Weigand (Wörterbuch, I, 189) unterscheidet in der Bedeutung Hose… …   Deutsches Sprichwörter-Lexikon

  • БРАККИ —    • Braccae,          штаны у греков и римлян совсем не употреблялись и носились только варварами (barbara tegmina crurum. Verg. Aen. 11, 777). Cic. ad. fam. 9, 15. Suet. Caes. 80. ср. выражения Gallia togata и braccata, Одежда. Одежда эта… …   Реальный словарь классических древностей

  • Equipo personal en el ejército romano — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda El equipo personal en el ejército romano se caracterizó por haber sido producido en grandes cantidades y en serie, conforme a diseños ya establecidos y para que fuese utilizado de una forma concreta. Estos diseños y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Tunic — A tunic is any of several types of clothing for the body, with or without sleeves, and of various lengths reaching from the hips to the ankles. The name derives from the Latin tunica commonly worn by both men and women in Ancient Rome, which in… …   Wikipedia

  • Cornish tartans — are thought to be a modern tradition started in early to mid 20th Century. The first modern kilt was plain black, and other patterns followed. It is documented that a garmant known as a braccae (a reddish checkered tunic) was worn by Celtic races …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.