Roman Reenactment Guide: Focale

The focale is a scarf or neckerchief worn to protect the neck from being pinched or chafed by the armor.  It was apparently introduced at the same time as the lorica segmentata, but quickly became popular even with troops who wore different types of armor.  Its shape is difficult to determine but probably varied, and there is little evidence for its color.

The focale is possibly a nonstandard item.  It may be linen or wool of any reasonable color, and can be triangular (cut or folded from a c. 36″ square) or a long strip.  Remember to hem the edges by hand.  The focale may be knotted at the throat or simply tucked into place, but may NOT be pinned with a brooch of any sort.

The core content of this guide was originally created by Matthew R. Amt and published at It is republished here to provide the reenactment community a wiki-like venue to expand and update this excellent content in order to improve the hobby.
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