Woven Identities of Women and Warriors in Southern Italy in the 4th century BCE


Institutum Romanum Finlandiae
Via Garibaldi 31 (sede temporanea)

Data evento
12 June 2024

In painted tombs in Campania and Lucania in the fourth century BCE, men and women appear in roles that reflect indigenous, pre-Roman social norms, and their clothing is a valuable tool for exploring identities and self-presentation. Female clothing types are particularly distinctive, and they act as a distinguishing marker from community to community in the region. These funerary portraits enable us to understand how women, whose activities were rooted in the domestic and familial sphere, played a significant role in preserving gendered and ethnic identities displayed through traditional dress. Men, in the ritorno del guerriero scenes, on the other hand, wear tunics that were broadly similar everywhere in the region, but the numerous differences in colours and patterns indicate that there was scope for personalisation on an individual basis in the dress of the male warrior. In general, the depiction of men and women in decorated textiles demonstrate the value of studying clothing as expressions of fine-grained identities on a local, rather than a national level.