Location: Barony of An Crosaire, Trimaris
Category/Level: Historically Focused/Advanced
Her Project Update Blog: Dulcia’s Roman Closet
About Marcia: In the Society for Creative Anachronism I am known as Comitessa Marcia Dulcitia (also known as Countess Dulcia MacPherson) and I live in the Barony of An Crosaire, in the Kingdom of Trimaris. I have been honored to be elevated to the Orders of the Laurel, Pelican, and Rose. I’m a former Queen of Trimaris, and a former Baroness of An Crosaire. My most important role in the SCA, and out of it, is being the wife of Syr Turold Dunstan Arminger. I joined the SCA in the March of the Marshes, a Canton of the Barony of Red Spears in the Middle Kingdom in 1991 as a graduate student studying medieval and renaissance music history at Bowling Green State University. I was elevated to the Order of the Laurel in 1999 in Trimaris for my research, period music, and Elizabethan costuming. I changed my focus and persona to ancient Rome a few years ago, after the Board of Directors removed the starting date of the SCA. Ancient Rome has always been an obsession of mine, and I have enjoyed finally feeling free to truly explore and enjoy this wonderful period of history with my SCA friends and family. I have been actively exploring all parts of the Roman world, with most of my focus devoted to Roman religion and religious practices (especially religious practices within the Roman home), Roman textile arts, Roman food, and, of course, clothing.
Project: I will be creating the attire worn by Roman patrician women during the reign of Augustus and Livia, the first Roman Emperor and Empress, c. 1 CE. This will be based off the extant images, especially statuary, depicting Empress Livia and other Roman noblewomen of that time. My Roman persona is actually based almost a century later, during the reign of Hadrian and Vibia Sabina, but as I continue to research ancient Rome I find myself increasingly drawn to Livia Augusta. One of Emperor Augustus’ chief goals from the beginning of his reign was to restore Rome and the Roman people to their ancient glory. He felt strongly that the faith, morals, and values of Rome had decayed, and with it the strength of the Empire. He realized that in order to rebuild Rome he had to revive the customs and traditions of the past, and restore the faith and values of its people. A large part of his attention was focused on the public and private lives of the upper classes. Together, Augustus and Livia became the role models that they expected the Roman nobles to emulate. Livia, especially, set the pattern for the noble Roman matrona – wearing neither excessive jewelry nor pretentious clothing. She took care of the household and her husband, made most of the family’s clothing herself, observed all the public and private religious rites, was renowned for her chastity and faithfulness, and was known to also be educated and intelligent enough to become one of Augustus’ advisors. Ancient sources generally portray Livia as a woman of proud and queenly attributes who was a worthy consort to her husband – forever poised and dignified. A woman I would wish to emulate.