Attalic Embroidery (Turkey)

The theatre of ancient Pergamum in northwestern Turkey. The theatre of ancient Pergamum in northwestern Turkey.

There is a reference to what may have been (Attalic) embroidery, which was probably a form of goldwork embroidery, in Pliny the Elder’s (AD 23-79) Naturalis Historia. This series of encyclopaedic books was probably completed in c. AD 77.

The relevant reference from Book 8, chapter xliv states: aurum intexere in eadem Asia invenit Attalus rex, unde nomen Attalicis ('King Attalus, who also lived in Asia, invented the art of embroidering with gold, from which [these garments] have been called Attalic'). The capital of King Attalus was Pergamum. Asia here refers to what is now Northwest (Asian) Turkey.

This sentence should not be taken as fact. It represents information available to Pliny rather than actual historical events.

See also the TRC Needles entry on Phyrgian embroidery.

Digital source of illustration (retrieved 18 April 2017).


Last modified on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 13:00