A Roman bag.

Unfortunately we do not have many leather or textile bags or purses surviving from Roman times. In Holland a purse containing 312 denari was found in 1952. The youngest coins date from Commodus reign which dates the find to the late 2nd century.

In Palestine a bag with letters was found in a cave in 1961. The bag belonged to a woman called Babatha. She was Jewish and running from Roman troops. The bag contained legal documents that date the find to the Bar Koachbar oprising in 132 to 135 after Christ. That does not mean that this kind of bag was used by Roman civilians or soldiers. It is contemporary and might have been used by Romans as well.

It is a nice bag, medium size 34 by 34 cm in goatskind and it is easy to make. Another purse was found in Vindolanda near Hadrians Wall. It is very simple 26,5 cm in diameter and 7 slots for a pull string. It might have been used for everyday items or tools.


Juliane Schwartz, Ermelinde Wudy Römer selbst erleben. Kleidung, Spiel und Speisen selbst ausprobiert. Konrad Theiss Verlag Stuttgart 2010

Oliver Teske Römischer Geldbeutel www.antike-heilkunde.de

Martin Moser Leatherwork through the ages. This is a very interesting blog.

Yadin Yigael The finds from The Bar-Kokhba Period in the cave of letters. Jerusalem 1963

Carol van Driel-Murray, John Peter Wild Vindolanda Research Reports. Volume 3 The early wooden forts.

The picture on the right side is from the legion in Arabeia, Hadrian`s Wall and shows a reconstruction of the pursr found in Vindolanda.