Weekend Reading: Dolce et Decorum Est

The Classical Internet has been buzzing this week with interest in Dolce & Gabbana’s Alta Moda (women) and Alta Sartoria (men) 2019 show, inspired by the ancient world. Classicists around the globe have been engaging in the important business of deciding which outfit to wear for the first day of term.



This one’s my understated choice for next year’s tutorials, by the way…




…although the one with the vase sleeves would certainly generate some classroom discussion…




The women’s collection is pretty versatile, giving us the choice to dress as a warrior, a goddess or a decorated plate. It’s always nice to have options.




There was also an intriguing headdress element to some of the costumes, I noticed. With a hairband, a glue gun and a plaster replica statue I reckon I could make my own version, as long as I don’t ever need to bend down to tie my shoelaces…




It’s a shame my tutorials will be mostly online next year.

But it’s the men’s clothes that seem to have really captured people’s interest online: perhaps because a lot of male classicists already have a degree of fondness for cravats, waistcoats and striking suits which is not entirely representative of the population as a whole.



All of which leads me to the conclusion that if institutions paid us more money, classicists would be the snazziest academics in every university on the planet.

It was only when I followed the various Twitter threads that I realised what I’d been missing over the last few years: the D&G/SMEG kitchenware collaboration. Now I desperately want an antiquity-themed kitchen to wear my antiquity-themed gowns in…




There’s been a lot of Classics-inspired fashion news over the last few months, including a Gucci fashion show at the Capitoline Museums. But the classical trend is nothing new. When the antiquity-inspired Chanel Cruise Collection came out a couple of years ago, the designer said of it, ‘Reality is of no interest to me. I use what I like. My Greece is an idea’. I think I might have to borrow that as a personal motto.

Sadly all of this is far out of the reach of my humble budget: although that’s probably just as well, since wearing a column-themed ballgown with a statue on my head might attract the wrong sort of attention on North-East public transport. But classicists do tend to accumulate random classical stuff: so I have my Medusa pendant for when I’m feeling fierce, a Roman glass bracelet for when I’m feeling optimistic (I can only just squeeze my hand into it, and then I tend to panic in case I can’t get out of it again), and my lyric poetry boots for when I feel like explaining Horace to people on the metro. And of course my wardrobe is fully stocked with the required amount of tweed. So thanks, Dolce and Gabbana, but I’m ok to wait until Primark does Antiquity.


Who needs designer clothes when you have gold model paint and a willingness to use it…?


*PS. I’d like to take credit for the title of this post, but I’m pretty sure I pinched it from the Rogue Classicist on Twitter!



Elsewhere on the classical internet…



Bombs and Pompeii – The Telegraph 

Exeter’s Roman past – Devon Live 

Villa of the Papyri display – BBC Culture

The origins of Ancient Greece – The Independent 




Comment and opinion

The Ancient Greeks and Brexit – UK and EU 

Politics and Pandora – The Spectator

Bees on coins – Coin Week 

Alien toes and the Colosseum – Idle Musings

The women in ancient philosophy – New Statesman America

Medusa the trending icon – The Mary Sue 

Visiting the oracle at Delphi – The New York Times 

Key finds of Hadrian’s Wall – Current Archaeology 

Which humour are you? – Classical Wisdom Weekly

Forgetting Thucydides – Sphinx 

Tombs of the Ancient Poets (my latest book review) – Classics For All [Spoiler: good book but pricey]





Podcasts, video and other media

Odysseus comes home – Odyssey: the Podcast 

Inside the Domus Aurea – Corriere TV 

Cleopatra and her context – Ancient History Fangirl

Object narratives: a bronze ring – Open Material Religion 

6 thoughts on “Weekend Reading: Dolce et Decorum Est

  1. Hi Cora,

    You forgot to mention the best part of this fashion extravaganza, my friend Thanasis Kleopas playing his lyre! His clothes are the most classical too in their unostentatious simplicity. Unfortunately, he’s seen and not heard in the promo video. Mute the sound and replay it with his music https://soundcloud.com/kleopas for a very different effect…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent collection, and you definitely should go for the statue on the head look! Tim has announced that he would rather like the one that looks like a dressing gown with Greek script on it. I’m trying not to think of him swanning around the house in it!


  3. For a stark personality reality check do try the ‘what’s your humour’ predictor quiz via the “Which humour are you? – Classical Wisdom Weekly” post link above.

    My ‘weaknesses and natural vices’ are, :apparently, that I am: aggressive, ambitious, angry, antagonistic, argumentative, bossy, combative, dismissive, domineering, harsh, impatient, intolerant, oppositional, prideful, pushy, relentless, shrewd, stubborn, unapologetic, unempathic and unsympathetic.

    Some work to do there then! 😕🤔


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