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plest kind of sandal worn, consisting of a sole with little more to fasten it to the foot than a strap across the instep) constituted a corporation or college of Rome.
The solea were generally worn by the higher classes only, for lightness and convenience, in the house; the shoes (calceus) being worn out of doors. The soccus was the intermediate covering for the foot, being something between the solea and the calceus; it was, in fact, precisely like the modern slipper, and could be cast of at pleasure, as it did not fit closely, and was secured by no tie. This, like the solea and crepida, was worn by the lower classes and country people; and hence, the comedians wore such cheap and common coverings for the feet, to contrast with the cothurnus or buskin of the tragedians, which they assumed, as it was adapted to be part of a grand and stately attire. Hence the term applied to theatrical performers “ brethren of the sock and buskin,” and as this distinction is both ancient and curious, specimens of both are here given from antique authorities. The side and front views of the sock (Nos. 1, 2) are copied from a painting of a buffoon, who is dancing in loose yellow slippers, one of the commonest colors in which the leather used for their construction was dyed. Such slippers were made to
fit both feet indifferently, but the more finished boots and shoes were made for one foot only from the earliest period. The cothurnus (fig. 3) was a boot of thc highest kind, reaching above the calf of the leg, and sometimes as far as the knee. It was laced as the boots of the ancients always were, down the front, the object of such an arrangement being to make them fit the leg as closely as possible, and the skin of which they were made was dyed purple, and other gay colors; the head and paws
of the wild animal were sometimes allowed to hang around the leg from the upper part of the cothurnus, to which it formed a graceful addition; an example is given upon our 2d plate, fig. 1, which is a side-view of such an ornamented boot, decorated all over with a pattern like the Grecian volute.
The sole of the cothurnus was. of the ordinary thickness in general, but it was occasionally made much thicker by the insertion of slices of cork when the wearer wished to add to his height, and thus the Athenian tragedians, who assumed this boot as the most dignified of coverings for the feet, had the soles made unusually thick, in order that it might add to the magnitude and dignity of their whole appearance.
The unchanging nature of a commodious fashion capable of adoption by the lower classes, may be well illustrated by fig. 2, plate II., which delineates the shoe or sandal worn by the rustics of ancient Rome. It is formed of a skin turned over the foot, and secured by thongs passing through the sides, and over the toe, crossing each other over the instep, and secured firmly round the ankle. Any person familiar with the prints of Pinelli, pictures of the modern brigands of the Abruzzi, or the models of the latter worthies in terra-cotta, to be met with in most curiosity-shops, will at once recognise those they wear as being of the same form. The traveller who has visited modern Rome, will also remember to have seen them on the feet of the peasantry who traverse the Pontine marshes; and the older Irish, and the comparatively modern Highlander, both wore similar ones; they were formed of the skin of the cow or deer, with the hair on them, and were held on the feet by