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Why are they called trousers? - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Yes the Celts and Romans both did not wear pants. The Romans like the Greeks before them encountered pants the first time they saw Persians. The Greeks coined the term barbarian to all non-Greek speakers, and had a low opinion of them - the barbarians. Both Greeks and Romans viewed the wearing of pants as effeminent (sp?) less manly like the makeup wearing, pants clad Persians. The wearing of pants spread from the Persian and those who were under their controll and those who migrated from Persian dominated areas, as in the Germanic tribes who pushed the native Celts out of Germany and Gaul (France) to the British Isles.
post #17 of 29
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You would have a very long list if you were to track all the settlers and invaders from 200BC - 1200AD.  My main point is that the Celtics are true "English" blood, and primarily only Celtic traditions/customs could be considered truly and uniquely "British" or "English." (outside of the Bretons and Picts, who it is argued were actually Celtic).  The Celtic men did not wear (or at least it probably would have been highly unusual if they ever did) pants, but rather, wore wrapped cloaks with embroidered or plaid designs.  So, the wearing of pants did not originate in the British Isles, nor was it a "British" custom.
The Gauls wore "braies": http://img208.exs.cx/img208/4426/braies4uw.jpg
post #18 of 29
Here are some from 1250:
post #19 of 29
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(linux_pro @ Feb. 22 2005,15:16) You would have a very long list if you were to track all the settlers and invaders from 200BC - 1200AD.
Not so long, I don't think, at least not if we exclude "settlers."  A cross-Channel invasion has been pulled off only twice in history.  And the Romans built a lasting civilization in Britain -- imposed at swordpoint, to be sure, but it had an impact that lasted long after the Romans were gone.  Thus the English language is a very curious mix of "North" (Celtic and Saxon) and "South" (Latin and French).  Even more curious is that it appears to have developed in "layers": first the ancient Celtic, then Latin, then Saxon (which is a later version of the earlier Celtic) then French, which is derived from Latin.
Manton, thank you for giving me an opportunity to show off a tidbit of knowledge that you apperently do not know - something that I hadn't thought I would ever have a chance to do. the scale of the invasions of the saxons and the vikings in England were close in numbers and complexity to those of the romans and the normans, they were simply much more poorly documented. granted, you could call them "waves of settlement", but they were "waves of settlement" of armed men formed into armies.
post #20 of 29
This is not the way Churchill describes it in History of the English Speaking Peoples. Perhaps he is biased. He is definitely impressed by Caesar and William, to be sure.
post #21 of 29
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This is somewhat on topic. Having mostly Scottish/English roots, I had been thinking of having a pair of "trousers" made with a family tartan. I did a little internet search and found a shop in New England that carries them. I think they are MTM from Scotland. I think they could be neat in that Royal Tenenbaum's kind of way. (If I could only get my wife a matching pair). http://www.lindaclifford.com/Trousers.html
These are known as "trews." English regiments have specific ones, I believe. I've met an English general wearing them with a dinner jacket at a formal event.
post #22 of 29
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This is not the way Churchill describes it in History of the English Speaking Peoples.  Perhaps he is biased.  He is definitely impressed by Caesar and William, to be sure.
I would have to concede that pretty much anything churchill said I would tend to agree with, but I think that he had a bias when it came to the issue of invasions of England. I haven't read that book in years. have you read Keegan's biography of Churchill? very nice, although very short.
post #23 of 29
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I think that he had a bias when it came to the issue of invasions of England.
He basically presents the Vikings as raiders, some of whom settled, and the Saxons as settlers. He does not give them credit for anything like the mass invasion of Caeser, or for winning an all-or-nothing battle like Hastings.
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I haven't read that book in years. have you read Keegan's biography of Churchill? very nice, although very short.
Yes, very good. A crying shame that will never get Volume 3 of Manchester.
post #24 of 29
Thread Starter 
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Manton, thank you for giving me an opportunity to show off a tidbit of knowledge that you apperently do not know - something that I hadn't thought I would ever have a chance to do. the scale of the invasions of the saxons and the vikings in England were close in numbers and complexity to those of the romans and the normans, they were simply much more poorly documented. granted, you could call them "waves of settlement", but they were "waves of settlement" of armed men formed into armies.
This is true. And if you crack Vol. 4 of Gibbon's Decline and Fall, you can find numerous other references to various invaders of the British Isles. According to Gibbon, word had spread throughout many of the "barbarian" tribes located in Europe that the British Isles were a great place for farming, and inhabited with easy slaves. There were waves of barbarian invaders of all sorts from 300-500 AD. Some bands were small, as in 5 or 6 boats, and driven off easily by invaders already settled there, or by the Romans, as "Briton" did not gain its independence from Rome until early 400AD (I believe 410-415, something like that). When Vortigern ruled in the mid-400's, he was paranoid of Roman invasion, and overlooked various other barbarian invasions, which were generally fought off by the Picts and Celts. There were multiple hundreds of "barbarian" tribes throughout France and Germany, and Eastern Europe. The largest and most powerful are generally the only ones to be recognized in more cursory historical documents: the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Moors, etc. The Persians did not become a serious threat to the Roman empire (and Europe) until the rule of Chosroes, when the various barbarian tribes had already successfully invaded most of the Western Roman Empire and controlled the African regions also. Chosroes' battles in Europe were primarily with the Moors and Vandals, along the Danube and into the Slavic regions. He had allied with Rome and was seeking to invade Barbary and Gaul. However, Justinian betrayed Chosroes (allying with Visigoths was it? I forget exactly), so Chosroes came back south for revenge, and focussed his attacks on the Eastern Roman Empire and Africa (which after Justininian's betrayal of Belisarius had fallen back into the hands of primarily the Vandals and Ostrogoths, I believe). Gibbon makes many references to the customs of various barbarian tribes in Vol. 4 of Decline and Fall. According to Gibbon, the barbarian tribes were wearing pants long before the first Turkish empire or the Persian empire had invaded Europe and Africe. He quotes in Vols. 2-4 some of the writings of Roman merchants and historians which gave quite colorful descriptions of pants (and dress) worn by various barbarian tribes who had come to trade with the Roman empire. The Visigoths, according to Gibbon, wore pants when they invaded the Western Roman Empire, and says that Romans in various occupied cities like Ravenna viewed the barbarian manner of dress (and behaviour) as extremely crude - although Theodoric would change that, and his wise rule would lead to adoption of various Gothic customs by the Western Romans, as well as an adoption of various Roman customs by the Visigoths. Gibbon mentions in Vol. 4 that Theodoric himself wore pants. It is worth noting that Theodoric ran from nobody, and was defeated in exactly one battle - that with Belisarius. He had called for all Visigoths to join him in a very deadly march to occupy the Western Empire only after Justinian had turned down his extortionary efforts demanding higher payment for the Visigoth alliance (they had been mercenaries for Justinian). This made him very mad, so he decided to claim the Western empire for himself. Ha ha ha. Theodoric was one hell of a warrior, and I doubt the Visigoths would ever have run from the Persians under his rule. As a matter of fact, had Theodoric been alive, he probably would have easily defeated Chosroes, as he was a brilliant strategician with highly disciplined and fierce soldiers. Every tribe in Europe feared the Visigoths at that time, and Belisarius' successful battles against them sealed his fame. The Moors, who commonly clashed with the Persians, Turks and Mongols, did not wear pants. According to Gibbon, they wore animal hides, and fought battles completely naked. Anyway... Gibbon's Decline and Fall, especially Vol. 4, has a ton of great information about pants. It's worth reading if you are really interested. I've blabbered enough.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
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(Manton @ Feb. 22 2005,12:42) This is not the way Churchill describes it in History of the English Speaking Peoples. Perhaps he is biased. He is definitely impressed by Caesar and William, to be sure.
I would have to concede that pretty much anything churchill said I would tend to agree with, but I think that he had a bias when it came to the issue of invasions of England. I haven't read that book in years. have you read Keegan's biography of Churchill? very nice, although very short.
I wonder where Churchill was getting his data?
post #26 of 29
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I wonder where Churchill was getting his data?
Decades of reading, mostly. That and he had a staff of about half-dozen part time researchers, mostly students from Oxford and Cambridge.
post #27 of 29
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Gibbon's Decline and Fall, especially Vol. 4, has a ton of great information about pants.
I love Gibbon, but I don't remember the part about the pants. I have to take another look. Maybe I'll add it to my sartorial bibliography.
post #28 of 29
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Manton, thank you for giving me an opportunity to show off a tidbit of  knowledge that you apperently do not know - something that I hadn't thought I would ever have a chance to do. the scale of the invasions of the saxons and the vikings in England were close in  numbers and complexity to those of the romans and the normans, they were simply much more poorly documented. granted, you could call them "waves of settlement", but they were "waves of settlement" of armed men formed into armies.
This is true.  And if you crack Vol. 4 of Gibbon's Decline and Fall, you can find numerous other references to various invaders of the British Isles.  According to Gibbon, word had spread throughout many of the "barbarian" tribes located in Europe that the British Isles were a great place for farming, and inhabited with easy slaves.  There were waves of barbarian invaders of all sorts from 300-500 AD.  Some bands were small, as in 5 or 6 boats, and driven off easily by invaders already settled there, or by the Romans, as "Briton" did not gain its independence from Rome until early 400AD (I believe 410-415, something like that).  When Vortigern ruled in the mid-400's, he was paranoid of Roman invasion, and overlooked various other barbarian invasions, which were generally fought off by the Picts and Celts. There were multiple hundreds of "barbarian" tribes throughout France and Germany, and Eastern Europe.  The largest and most powerful are generally the only ones to be recognized in more cursory historical documents: the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Moors, etc.  The Persians did not become a serious threat to the Roman empire (and Europe) until the rule of Chosroes, when the various barbarian tribes had already successfully invaded most of the Western Roman Empire and controlled the African regions also.  Chosroes' battles in Europe were primarily with the Moors and Vandals, along the Danube and into the Slavic regions.  He had allied with Rome and was seeking to invade Barbary and Gaul.  However, Justinian betrayed Chosroes (allying with Visigoths was it?  I forget exactly), so Chosroes came back south for revenge, and focussed his attacks on the Eastern Roman Empire and Africa (which after Justininian's betrayal of Belisarius had fallen back into the hands of primarily the Vandals and Ostrogoths, I believe). Gibbon makes many references to the customs of various barbarian tribes in Vol. 4 of Decline and Fall.  According to Gibbon, the barbarian tribes were wearing pants long before the first Turkish empire or the Persian empire had invaded Europe and Africe.  He quotes in Vols. 2-4 some of the writings of Roman merchants and historians which gave quite colorful descriptions of pants (and dress) worn by various barbarian tribes who had come to trade with the Roman empire.  The Visigoths, according to Gibbon, wore pants when they invaded the Western Roman Empire, and says that Romans in various occupied cities like Ravenna viewed the barbarian manner of dress (and behaviour) as extremely crude - although Theodoric would change that, and his wise rule would lead to adoption of various Gothic customs by the Western Romans, as well as an adoption of various Roman customs by the Visigoths.  Gibbon mentions in Vol. 4 that Theodoric himself wore pants.  It is worth noting that Theodoric ran from nobody, and was defeated in exactly one battle - that with Belisarius.  He had called for all Visigoths to join him in a very deadly march to occupy the Western Empire only after Justinian had turned down his extortionary efforts demanding higher payment for the Visigoth alliance (they had been mercenaries for Justinian).  This made him very mad, so he decided to claim the Western empire for himself.  Ha ha ha.  Theodoric was one hell of a warrior, and I doubt the Visigoths would ever have run from the Persians under his rule.  As a matter of fact, had Theodoric been alive, he probably would have easily defeated Chosroes, as he was a brilliant strategician with highly disciplined and fierce soldiers.  Every tribe in Europe feared the Visigoths at that time, and Belisarius' successful battles against them sealed his fame. The Moors, who commonly clashed with the Persians, Turks and Mongols, did not wear pants.  According to Gibbon, they wore animal hides, and fought battles completely naked. Anyway... Gibbon's Decline and Fall, especially Vol. 4, has a ton of great information about pants.  It's worth reading if you are really interested.  I've blabbered enough.
the greeks, when rome was still a fledgling republic, portrayed the persians in pants in their art.
post #29 of 29
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(linux_pro @ Feb. 22 2005,16:23) Gibbon's Decline and Fall, especially Vol. 4, has a ton of great information about pants.
I love Gibbon, but I don't remember the part about the pants.  I have to take another look.  Maybe I'll add it to my sartorial bibliography.
the one really classy thing that I inherited is a set of leather bound gibbon from 1806 - a sixth addition. one day maybe I will have a classy enough study to house it.
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