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Re: [Authentic_SCA] Merovingian

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  • Arianne de Chateaumichel
    ... There are three visible layers to the Merovingian look, although the surtout ( caftan ) layer is not always present. In fact, it is present in less than
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29, 2004
      Regarding a previous message of mine, Ennoguent quoted me and wrote:

      >... The researchers still have the short-sleeved overgown layer with
      >> separate sleeves sewn on, while to me the artworks look like a wide rectangle,
      >> approximately elbow to elbow, got belted in...

      >Are you thinking of a different style? I don't have Boucher so I can't
      >look at what you're talking about, but afaik, the sleeves of the
      >overgown/caftan are always pictured as long...

      There are three visible layers to the Merovingian look, although the surtout ("caftan")
      layer is not always present. In fact, it is present in less than half of the artwork of the
      period that I've found. Under it is the short-sleeved gown that I was describing above,
      and under that is the long-sleeved undergown. I'm sorry if my use of the term
      "overgown" threw you. For myself, I think of it as a "stole," which several of the writers
      use to describe it, but around here it is generally called an overgown, to differentiate it
      from the undergown ("which gown?" "the overgown"). The top layer is thought of locally
      as a coat layer, not a gown layer, and is generally called a caftan (I hate that term --
      wrong ethnicity) or a coat (sounds too much like "cote"), thought I'm trying to promote
      the use of the word "surtout" for it, as I found it being used by some researchers / writers
      and it's at least of the right ethnicity. It's French, and literally means "over all" or "over
      everything." As far as I know, nobody knows what the Merovingians actually called it.

      >... I have heard the undertunic
      >long/short controversy before. I honestly don't think we'll ever have
      >this answered conclusively. Recently, I have also heard that the
      >undertunic may have been sleeveless, which makes sense if it's either
      >borrowed from the Roman tunica style, or perhaps a peplos dress (which
      >I've done for convenience' sake long before I heard of this).

      Which layer are you talking about here, the stole (middle or "top of 2" layer) or the layer
      under it (tunic, undergown, whatever)? If you're talking about the stole, I think what
      you've heard is probably right, at least for early Merovingian. We know this layer
      eventually developed sleeves, but as late as the 8th c. the artwork seems to strongly
      support the idea of a full sleeveless rectangle that is approximately floor-length. I
      doubt you're talking about the undergown (bottom layer), since everything I've seen
      suggests that it was long sleeved (and we are talking a strict, early Christianized culture
      here), but I'd be interested in anything you've got!
      Your Servant,
      Honourable Lady Arianne de Chateaumichel

      Shire of Starhaven,
      Kingdom of Trimaris

      On the web at <http://www.chateau-michel.org>
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