2,000 Years of the Necktie
Did Romans Wear Ties?

by David Johnson

NECKTIES
THROUGH THE AGES
 
Introduction

210 B.C.
China's First Emperor

113 A.D.
Did Romans Wear Ties?

17th Century
Croatian Cravats for the King of France

Cravats Go to England

Real Men Wear Lace

18th Century
Cowboy Bandannas from India

Sailing the Seven Seas

19th Century
Business Suit Takes Shape

Cambridge & Oxford School Ties

Ties Fit for Officers and Gentlemen

Bow Ties Center Stage

A Tie Singing Dixie

Lord Byron's Legacy

Women Tie the Knot, Too!

20th Century
Paris Presents Designer Ties

Celebrities & Rock Stars

Ascots Cross Finish Line

Bolo: The Tie That Won the West

Turtleneck: The Anti-Tie

 
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In 113 A.D., one of Rome's greatest Emperors, the military genius Trajan, erected a marble column to commemorate a triumphant victory over the Dacians, who lived in what is now Romania.
The 2,500 realistic figures on the column sport no less than three different styles of neckwear. These include shorter versions of the modern necktie; cloth wound around the neck and tucked into armor; and knotted kerchiefs reminiscent of cowboy bandannas.

While Roman orators often wore cloths to keep their throats warm, soldiers did not cover their necks. In fact, writers such as Horace and Seneca said only effeminate men covered their necks.

Skilled warriors

Trajan's column is the only representation of legionnaires with neckwear. Historians believe the legionnaires wore cloths for reasons similar to those of Shih Huang Ti's terracotta army. Truly great fighters must be visibly honored. And, the legionnaires were so skilled in battle that they were immune to perceptions of appearing feminine.

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