|Hooded cloak like my mother's|
If I’d lived two thousand years earlier in Roman Britain, I would have been more than sad; I would have been mad.
|replica Roman loom with "loom sword" at Fishbourne|
|a bardocucullus from the Roman Mysteries|
Here’s part of a lead curse tablet found in the famous hot springs of Bath Spa:
|drawing of lead curse tablet by Richard Lawrence|
Docilianus of Bath Spa was angry, but not as angry as the man who wrote this curse from Caerleon in Wales:
To the goddess Nemesis, I give you my stolen cloak and a pair of boots; let the man who is wearing them now pay for them with his life and blood!
What a contrast to hear the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:40, And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. Or his words in Luke: ...from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either.
Looking at the gospel passages, I remembered the story of a young Roman soldier named Martin who became a saint after he took pity on a freezing and naked beggar by the town gate of Amiens, (in what is now Northwest France), and gave him half his cloak. In fact, the word chapel comes from one of the Latin words for cloak: cappa, because the very first chapel held the remaining half of St Martin’s cloak, now a holy relic.
Hooded cloaks have long been associated with Druids and other mysterious figures. The hood and voluminous silhouette of the garment can hide the wearer’s identity, age and gender.
|terra cotta figure and bronze figure with hidden phallus|
|A relief from Corinium (modern Cirencester)|