Dress

costume, ancient, jews, sculpture, dresses, wear, desert and worn

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All the men wear sandals. Some of them are clad only in a short tunic or shirt, with close sleeves; others wear over this a kind of sleeveless plaid or mantle, thrown over the left shoul der, and passing under the right arm. It is of a striped and curiously figured pattern, and looks exceedingly like the fine grass woven cloth Of the South Sea. Others have, instead of this, a fringed skirt of the same material. All the fig ures are bare-headed, and wear beards, which are circumstances favorable to the identification. The fringed skirt of figure i is certainly a remarkable circumstance. Moses directed that the people should wear a fringe at the hem of their gar ments (Num. xv :38) ; and the probability is that this command merely perpetuated a more ancient usage.

(4) Egyptian Sculpture in Other Tombs. This fringe reappears, much enlarged, in the other Egyptian sculpture in which Jews are sup posed to be represented. These are in a tomb discovered by Belzoni, in the valley of Bab-el Melook, near Thebes. There are captives of different nations, and among them four figures, supposed to represent Jews. The scene is imag ined to commemorate the triumphs of Pharaoh Necho in that war in which the Jews were de feated at Megiddo, and their king Josiah slain (2 Chron. xxxv, xxxvi). It will be seen that the dress of these figures differs little, excepting in the length of the fringe, from that of the skirted figure in the earlier painting; and so far this is a corroborative circumstance in favor of both.

(5) Behistun Rock. On the face of a rock, at Behistun, on the Median border of the ancient Assyria, there is a remarkable sculpture, repre senting a number of captives strung together by the neck, brought before the king and conqueror, who seems pronouncing sentence upon them. The venerable antiquity of this sculpture is un questionable; and Sir R. K. Porter was led to fancy that the sculpture commemorates the sub jugation and deportation of the tcn tribes by Shal maneser, King of Assyria (2 Kings xvii :6).

There is no reason to think that the dress of the Jews was in any important respect different from that of the other inhabitants of the same and immediately bordering countries. The pre vailing style was a close tunic under a loose outer garment, the latter being replaced sometimes by a cloak. The dresses were often of brilliant col ors and variegated pattern.

Such is the information to be derived from ancient monuments.

has remained as a nation from ancient times—that the antiquity of this costume may be proved.

This is undoubtedly the most ancient costume of Western Asia, and while one set of proofs would carry it up to Scriptural times, another set of strong probabilities and satisfactory analogies will take it back to the most remote periods of Scrip tural history, and will suggest that the dress of the Jews themselves was very similar, without being strictly identical.

(I) Desert Tribes. It is to be observed, how ever, that there are two very different sorts of dresses among the Arabians. One is that of the Bedouin tribes, and the other that of the inhabi tants of towns. The distinction between these is seldom clearly understood, or correctly stated; but is of the utmost importance for the purpose of the present notice. Instead therefore of speak ing of the Arabian costume as one thing, we must regard it as two things—the desert costume, and the town costume.

If, then, our views of Hebrew costume were based on the actual costume of the Arabians, we should be led to conclude that the desert costume represented that which was worn during the pa triarchal period, and until the Israelites had been some time settled in Canaan; and the town cos tume that which was adopted from their neigh bors when they became a settled people.

This is a subject which, more than any other, requires the aid of pictorial illustration to render the details intelligible. I laving provided our selves with these, our further observations will most advantageously take the form of explana tions of them, and of comments upon them.

Under the notion that the desert costume be longs to the patriarchal period, the precedence is here given to it. Only the outer articles of dress arc distinctive, those which are worn under neath being similar to other articles worn by the town and peasant classes, and which as such will be hereafter noticed.

3. Tradition. That to be obtained from tradition is embodied in the following: (1) Monks and Pilgrims. In the dresses of monks and pilgrims, which may be traced to an ancient date, and which arc an intended imitation of the dresses supposed to have been worn by the first disciples and apostles of Christ.

(2) Conventional Garb. The garb conven tionally assigned by painters to Scriptural char-' acters, which was equally intended to embody the dress of the apostolical period, and is corrected in some degree by the notions of Oriental costume which were collected during the Crusades.

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