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William Davis, A Day in Old Athens

 

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Page 5

Footwear and Head Coverings

 

    Upon his feet the Athenian frequently wears nothing. He goes about his home barefoot; and not seldom he enjoys the delight of running across the open greensward with his unsandaled feet pressing the springing ground; but normally when he walks abroad, he will wear sandals, a simple solid pair of open soles tied to his feet by leather thongs passing between the toes. For hard country walking and for hunting there is something like a high leather boot,[6] though doubtless these are counted uncomfortable for ordinary wear. As for the sandals, simple as they are, the Attic touch of elegance is often upon them. Upon the thongs of the sandals there is usually worked a choice pattern, in some brilliant color or even gilt.

    The Athenians need head coverings even less than footgear. Most of them have thick hair; baldness is an uncommon affliction; everybody is trained to walk under the full glare of Helios with little discomfort. Of course certain trades require hats, e.g. sailors who can be almost identified by their rimless felt caps. Genteel travelers will wear wide-brimmed hats; but the ladies, as a rule, have no headgear besides their tastefully arranged hair, although they will partly atone for the lack, by having a maid walk just behind them with a gorgeously variegated parasol.

 

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