Loros

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The loros (Greek: λῶρος lōros) is one of the most important and distinctive parts of the imperial Byzantine costume. It developed out of the trabea triumphalis of the Roman consuls. The loros was a long, narrow and embroidered scarf which was wrapped around the torso and dropped over the left hand.

The first representations of the loros are on coins from the reign of Justinian II (r. 685–695 and 705–711). Until the 10th century, the loros was wrapped around the torso in a specific way, following the ancient trabea. However, increasingly from the 11th century, the loros acquired a new design. The new loros was provided with an opening and was pulled on over the head. Already since the Komnenian dynasty, the old loros was completely abandoned. Despite the modifications, the loros was the most important part of the imperial costume up until the end of the empire in the 15th century. Although in practice it was worn only in exceptional occasions such as on Easter Sunday, the Pentecost and a few other holidays, the loros was an integral part of the imperial portraiture.

According to the De Ceremoniis by Constantine VII, the loros was also worn in Easter by the "twelve dignitaries", holders of the ranks of magistros and anthypatos, as well as by the Eparch of Constantinople and the zoste patrikia during the ceremonies of their promotion.

Gallery[edit]

Depictions of loros
A Roman consul wearing the trabea triumphalis, 517 AD. 
Nikephoros II Phokas wearing the traditional loros, 10th century. 
Constantine VII wearing the traditional loros, 945 AD. 
Manuel I Komnenos wearing the modified loros, 12th century. 

References[edit]