From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Wed Oct 06 1999 - 15:50:10 EDT

At 3:45 PM -0400 10/6/99, Mary Pendergraft wrote:
>Linen was frequently used in Rome for clothing and other things (sails, some
>collections of documents): a quick look at Lewis and Short under _linum_
>shows citations from Horace, Ovid, Seneca, and other writers from the 1st
>century c.e.
>To judge from the garment care labels I have reason to read, flax is
>becoming less rare
>as a component in woven fabrics today, fabrics that apparently need to be
>dry cleaned.

It might be worth noting, however, that linen clothing was deemed
appropriate by Orphics and Pythagoreans who would, as good vegetarians, not
want to use wool or fabrics derived from animals. Had they known cotton,
now, that would have been another matter.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649

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