The sailor buys the picture and gives the money to Claudia. Claudia puts the money in her pocket. Simple. Except that the Romans didn’t have pockets, nor a word for them. From what I can determine, the first pockets made their way into garments in the 13th Century. The word ‘pocket’ comes from the French poket(e) which means ‘a little poke’, a poke being a ‘pouch’.
So what to do about pockets? Smith’s A Copious and Critical English-Latin Dictionary (1874) says for pocket, ‘no exact word : perhaps sacculus vestimento assutus’. This translates as ‘a small sack sewn into the clothing’. Accurate, but hardly convenient. A modern German-Latin dictionary suggests funda vestis. But a funda is a sling, used to hurl stones and shot in battle. So, while there may be similarities of shape, there are certainly none of usage. Cassell’s Latin Dictionary begins like this: ‘Render,’ it says, ‘by sacculus (=small bag) or crumena (=purse).’ But then it gets interesting; ‘Or render by sinus, since the ancients had no pockets in their garments, but used the folds in their toga.’
A sinus (pronounce the i like pin) is a bending, curve or fold. Cicero uses it to describe curls of hair and Ovid to describe the windings of a snake. It is used by Virgil for the belly of a sail swollen by the wind. A sinus maritimus is a curving of the coastline, a bay or gulf. And, sure enough, a number of authors use sinus to describe folds in clothing. (Finally, in the 15th Century, it entered medical terminology as a cavity of the body, especially those within the nose.)
But what evidence exists that the folds of a garment were used as pockets? Enough. Ovid speaks of filling the folds with flowers. Both Cicero and Livy have them carrying letters. Marcus Fabius Quintilianus even suggests that they be used for holding money. Hence Cassell’s advice that sinus be used for pocket. I like this line of reasoning, and so I, too, shall ‘render by sinus.’
The sailor is very happy. He immediately takes the picture and hands over one hundred dollars to Claudia. Claudia places the money in her pocket.