What is the origin of the Phrygian cap?

What is the origin of the Phrygian cap?
What is the origin of the Phrygian cap?

Often associated with Marianne, it was also chosen as the mascot of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. In France, the Phrygian cap is originally a symbol of the French Revolution, but also of democracy and freedom. Moreover, he was represented in a painting that has now become world famous: “Liberty Leading the People” by Eugène Delacroix. But if this hairstyle has become an emblem of the French Revolution, its history is much older. And before covering the heads of sans-culottes, the red cap served as headgear in Asia Minor.

According to historians, the Phrygian cap was born during Antiquity. It is linked to the people of the Phrygians, which includes illustrious figures such as King Midas. This people, long settled in Macedonia, fled the Roman Empire to settle in Asia Minor. However, he would not be the only one to have worn this traditional hat, even if he gave it his name. Indeed, even if the kinship of the cap is granted to the Phrygians, other peoples such as the Traces and the Scythians of central Eurasia wore it. However, this symbol has undergone several evolutions throughout its history. But it has always been linked to the idea of ​​freedom.

The first to wear this traditional cap were the slaves of Rome. During the Greco-Roman period, it was customary to put a conical cap called the pileus on the shaved heads of slaves being freed. If it’s not about the hat (…)

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