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Clothing Of The Babylonians

( Originally Published 1928 )

THEIR history begins several centuries later than that of the Egyptians. The writings of Herodotus and the tablets found in excavations of ancient cities tell of their culture and learning. They believed in spirits and were astrologists, the Chaldeans being famous for their powers to foretell events by the stars.

Assyrian bas-reliefs show that strong, brilliant color was used in costume, vermilion predominating. The Babylonians dressed their idols in blue and purple. Linen was more common than wool.

The Tunic and Mantle.—Both were long, fringe being used a great deal for borders; sleeves, elbow length. The round neck, also the edges of sleeves and skirt, received much decoration in the form of embroidery. An outer tunic or peplum was so folded about the hips that the trimming with which it was bordered ran diagonally, one row above another from skirt hem to waist, causing the costume to be drawn in about the knees and hips. The fringed mantle was folded with the upper part over the lower, then placed under the right arm and fastened on the left shoulder, thus creating more diagonal lines.

Hairdressing.—The hair was arranged in a series of corkscrew curls. A curling iron was undoubtedly applied to the beards, which were long, square cut and presented alternate rows of spiral curls and a circular, roselike formation.

A high, round bonnet rising in tiers, sandals strapped to the bare feet and jewelry in the form of heavy armlets and bracelets completed the costume.

Nineveh fell in 606 B.C., Babylon in 538 B.C.

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