Monday, April 21, 2014

Keeping Track

In 1194 B. C., Achilles went to war in a backless sandal. The rest, as they say, is history.

Brad Pitt as Achilles, Troy (2004)

Other warriors wore more sensible ankle-high boots, with socks brightly patterned in the Cretan style: or greaves--leg protectors linked with silver fastenings.

Later Greek boots laced, either through eyelets or around double rows of buttons.

Renee O'Connor as Gabrielle, Xena (1995-2001)

And while many soldiers sported latticework or fur-trimmed boots, Hermes, messenger of the gods, got an extra lift--his boots had built-in-wings.

Immortals (2011)


After the war, the Greeks made leather sandals, with double soles for height and jeweled ones to strap around a feminine ankle. The Greeks even distinguished left from right shoes. But don't grow up to be a sandalmaker if you want to buy a palatial estate in the country--the job promised only limited earning potential.

Troy (2004)

Greeks did wear sandals on trips abroad, but they preferred to walk barefoot when they could.

Henry Cavill as Theseus, Immortals (2011)

Of course, if he was wearing sandals, you could find out if that young Adonis of 1000 B. C. was free to fool around--Greek husbands carved the names of their wives on the bottoms of the soles of their shoes, leaving witness to their devotion wherever they tread.

 - Courtesy of Let There Be Clothes by Lynn Schnurnberger -

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