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The undershirt worn by the Greeks, corresponding to the Roman tunica. Two kinds were commonly distinguished, the short Doric chiton of wool (fig. 1) and the long Ionic tunic of linen, which was worn at Athens down to the time of Pericles. The chiton consisted of an oblong piece of cloth, wrapped round the body. One arm was passed through a hole in the closed side, while the two corners were joined together by a clasp on the shoulder. The garment, which thus hung down open on one side, was fastened together at both corners, or sometimes sewn together below the hips. At the waist it was confined by a belt. In course of time short sleeves were added to the arm-holes. Sleeves reaching to the wrist were by the Greeks regarded as effeminate; but they were worn by the Phrygians and Medians, and often appear on monuments as part of the dress of Orientals. The chiton worn on both shoulders was distinctive of free men. Workmen, sailors and slaves wore a chiton with one armhole only for the left arm, while the right arm and right breast were loft uncovered. This was called the exomis. Country folk wore a chiton of skins. The chiton worn by Doric ladies was a long garment like a chemise, slit upwards on both sides from the hips and held together by clasps at the shoulders. In the case of young girls it was fastened up so high that it hardly reached the knees. For the rest of Greece the usual dress of a lady was the Ionian chiton, long, broad, reaching to the feet in many folds, and only drawn up a short distance by the girdle. From this long ladies' chiton was developed the double chiton, a very long and broad piece of cloth, folded together round the body, and fastened with clasps at the shoulders. It was folded double round the breast and back, and was open or fastened with clasps on the right side, and fell simply down to the feet. Sometimes the open side was sewn together from the girdle to the lower edge. For the garments worn over the chiton see HIMATION, CHLAMYS, and TRIBON.

Pictures and Media
SOLDIERS IN A DORIC CHITON.(Bas-relief from Muller's) Denkin. I. taf, xxix.)
DOUBLE CHITON. (Bronze statuette from Herculaneum, in Naples Museum.)
Type: Standard
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