^The Byzantine costume tradition took its form from the Roman Empire (27 B.C.E.-476 C.E.) and its color and decorative tradition from the Orient and the Middle East. The Roman roots are easy to understand. After all, the Byzantine Empire began in the fourth century C.E. as the Eastern Roman Empire; its capital, Constantinople, was for a short time the capital of the entire Roman Empire. From the Romans the Byzantines inherited their basic clothing forms, the tunic and toga for men, and the stola, a type of long dress, for women, as well as their shoes and their hairstyles. These basic garments had become more ornate and luxurious late in the Roman Empire, yet it was not long after the fall of the Roman Empire in 476 C.E. that the Byzantines began to modify and extend the Roman costume tradition to become something uniquely their own.
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