Unveiling the Fashion of Ancient Carthage: What Kind of Apparel Did Carthaginians Wear?

When we think of ancient civilizations, we often conjure up images of great architecture, fierce battles, and influential leaders. However, exploring the clothing and fashion of these societies adds a vibrant layer to our understanding of their daily lives. In this article, we delve into the fashion of the Carthaginians, the inhabitants of the ancient city-state of Carthage, located in modern-day Tunisia. Let us unveil the clothing that adorned the Carthaginians and discover the rich sartorial heritage that defined their culture.

The Carthaginian tunic: A staple of comfort and elegance

The basic garment worn by both Carthaginian men and women was the tunic. Carthaginian tunics were typically knee-length and made of linen or wool, depending on the climate and occasion. Men wore a tunic known as a “chiton” or “tunica” that was often belted at the waist. Wealthier men chose longer tunics with decorative elements, such as embroidered borders or intricate patterns, to show their social status and wealth. These tunics offered both comfort and style, allowing freedom of movement while exuding an air of sophistication.

The graceful drapery of Carthaginian women: Stolas and Peplos

Known for their elegance and grace, Carthaginian women wore long, flowing gowns that exemplified their fashion sense. The primary garment for women was the stola or peplos, a loose-fitting dress made of fine linen or wool. The stola draped gracefully over the body, often reaching to the ankles, and exuded an aura of femininity and modesty. Women’s garments featured colorful borders, intricate patterns, and embroidered embellishments, demonstrating their artistic expression and attention to detail. To complete their ensembles, Carthaginian women adorned themselves with an array of jewelry, including necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, which added a touch of opulence and enhanced their overall appearance.

The versatility of Carthaginian garments: Pallium and Paenula

To combat varying weather conditions and for formal occasions, both men and women in Carthage wore outerwear. Men often wore a cloak or mantle known as a pallium or paenula. These items, made of wool, were worn over their tunics to provide warmth and protection. The pallium and paenula also served as symbols of social status, with wealthier individuals opting for more luxurious materials and intricately designed outerwear.

Accessories and Adornments: The Finishing Touches

Carthaginians valued personal adornment and used accessories to enhance their clothing. Both men and women adorned themselves with jewelry, which included necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings. These accessories were made from a variety of materials, including gold, silver, precious stones, and shells. Carthaginian jewelry showed their wealth, artistic taste, and cultural influences. In addition, accessories such as belts and sandals served both functional and decorative purposes.

Textile Production

The Carthaginians were highly skilled in textile production. They excelled at weaving, spinning, and dyeing fabrics. They used natural dyes derived from plants, insects, and shellfish to create a wide range of vibrant colors. This expertise in textile craftsmanship allowed them to create intricate patterns and designs that further enhanced the beauty of their garments.

Toga-like garments

In addition to tunics, Carthaginian men sometimes wore a garment similar to the Roman toga, known as a togalike. This wraparound garment was draped over the left shoulder and under the right arm, leaving the right shoulder exposed. The toga-like garment denoted formality and was typically reserved for special occasions or individuals of high social standing.


Carthaginians, both men and women, often covered their heads. Men wore various types of caps, such as skullcaps or conical hats. Women, on the other hand, adorned their heads with veils or headscarves, which could be plain or intricately decorated. These head coverings served practical purposes, such as protection from the sun and dust, while also signifying modesty and cultural norms.

Influence of Phoenician Origins

The Carthaginians were descendants of the Phoenicians, a seafaring civilization. As such, their fashion was influenced by Phoenician traditions. Phoenician clothing was often characterized by embroidered borders, fringes, and decorative motifs inspired by nature, such as animals and plants. These design elements continued to influence Carthaginian clothing, giving it a touch of their ancestral heritage.

Military dress

Carthaginian soldiers had a distinctive uniform. They wore a short tunic called a “sagum,” made of wool and often dyed in shades of red or brown. The sagum was accompanied by a cloak called a “paludamentum,” which was fastened at the shoulder with a brooch. This military dress provided practicality, mobility, and a sense of unity among the troops.

Influences of Mediterranean Trade

Carthage was a major trading hub in the Mediterranean, and as a result, their fashion was influenced by the various cultures they encountered. Their clothing incorporated elements of Egyptian, Greek, and Eastern Mediterranean styles. Through trade, the Carthaginians acquired luxurious fabrics such as silk, which further enriched their sartorial choices.


The clothing of the Carthaginians was a testament to their rich cultural heritage and their appreciation for comfort, elegance, and personal expression. From versatile tunics to flowing stolas, the Carthaginians embraced fashion as a means of reflecting their social status and individuality. Their clothing choices, combined with carefully selected accessories, provided a glimpse into the daily lives of these ancient people, showcasing their artistry, sophistication, and cultural values. By exploring their clothing, we gain a deeper understanding of the Carthaginians and their contributions to ancient fashion.


What kind of apparel did Carthaginians wear?

Carthaginians, inhabitants of the ancient city-state of Carthage (located in modern-day Tunisia), typically wore clothing made of linen and wool. Their clothing consisted of tunics, cloaks, and robes that varied in style and design according to social status and occasion.

For men, the basic garment was a knee-length tunic called a “chiton” or “tunica”. It was usually made of linen and worn with a belt at the waist. Wealthier Carthaginian men might wear a longer tunic with decorative elements such as embroidered borders or embellishments. They also sometimes adorned themselves with a cloak or mantle known as a “pallium” or “paenula,” which could be worn over the tunic for added warmth or as a symbol of status.

Carthaginian women usually wore long, flowing gowns called “stolas” or “peplos.” These garments were often made of fine linen or wool and draped elegantly over the body. Women’s clothing could be decorated with colorful borders, patterns, or embroidery. They also added jewelry, such as necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, to enhance their appearance and display their wealth.

What did Carthaginian soldiers wear?

The heavy infantry fought in close formation, armed with long spears and round shields, wearing helmets and linen cuirasses.

What clothes did the Phoenicians wear?

They wore sandals, and loose tunic-type clothing. The women wore their hair in intricately pinned to their head. Jewelry was also part of Phoenician fashion.

What type of clothing did the Romans wear?

Ancient Romans wore two types ofbasic garments, tunics and togas. Tunics were informal and indoor costumes,while togas were official and outdoor costumes. Both were made of spun wool. Tunicwas comfortable for working and moving around indoors.

What clothes did patricians wear?

The tunic worn by patrician men was made from white wool or expensive linen, while the poor would wear whatever fabric was readily available. Similar to the toga, distinct tunics were worn to signify one’s title.

What was Hannibal’s armor called?

He would be equipped with phylax armor, a sword (let it be a gladius), and two pilum javelins (as described by Polybius), but most importantly, he would be protected by a 1.2-meter long and 0.8-meter wide oval shield.

What is a Carthaginian helmet called?

The Phrygian helmet, also known as the Thracian helmet, was a type of helmet that originated in ancient Greece and was widely used in Thrace, Dacia, Magna Graecia and the Hellenistic world until well into the Roman Empire.

What did ancient Assyrians wear?

The Assyrians usually wore two types – the tunic and the shawl. These two types were worn alone, or in combination and changes were introduced by varying the proportions of the tunic or shawl. The tunic appeared to be of the sleeves are short and reaching to the ankles or shortened to knee length according to the rank.

What race were Carthaginians?


In short, the Carthaginians were Phoenicians, that is, northwest Semites, probably Canaanites, and of the same stock and almost the same language as the Hebrews.

Did cavemen wear clothes?

The last Ice Age occurred about 120,000 years ago, but the study’s date suggests humans started wearing clothes in the preceding Ice Age 180,000 years ago, according to temperature estimates from ice core studies, Gilligan said.

What weapons did Carthaginians use?

The weapons used by the Carthaginians include swords, javelins, spears, slings, greaves (armor), and helmets, specifically the Thracian, originally designed by the Greeks. Most of the weapons used by these people resembled those of the Greeks. The spears were known as the Sarissa, measuring 15-19 feet long.

Did the Carthaginians crucify their generals?

The Carthaginian commander, Hamilcar, split his forces to blockade the rebels from both north and south. At the northern camp, commanded by his subordinate Hannibal, he had the ten captured rebel leaders tortured to death and their bodies crucified before returning to his own base to the south of Tunis.

What are the colors of Carthage?

The Carthage athletic identity is no different. Throughout the rich history of Carthage Athletics, Red and Black have always been the primary colors.

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