Of course, ankles are one of the most sensual parts of the body, and must be covered up to ensure decency, and to avoid driving men wild with desire. The Roman poet Ovid for one couldn’t resist a nice ankle. In his Ars Amatoria he expresses his frustration over long skirts:
Este procul, vittae tenues, insigne pudoris,
Quaeque tegis medios, instita longa, pedes.
Far away from here, you badges of modesty,
the thin headband, the ankle-covering dress.
(Ars Amatoria, I.31-2)
And later on, he instructs his reader how to steal a glimpse of a girl's ankle while flirting at the races:
Pallia si terra nimium demissa iacebunt,
Collige, et inmunda sedulus effer humo;
Protinus, officii pretium, patiente puella
Contingent oculis crura videnda tuis.
If her skirt is trailing too near the ground,
lift it, and raise it carefully from the dusty earth:
Straightaway, the prize for service, if she allows it,
is that your eyes catch a glimpse of her legs.
(Ars Amatoria, I.153-6)