Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

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Laws and prohibitions: ecclesiastical
(1,377 words)

There is little evidence of efforts to regulate clerical clothing in the Anglo-Saxon Church in the earliest surviving records. The tonsure cut out of a priest's hair apparently was regarded as setting the clergy apart. Only a papal legate's synod in 787 decreed that bishops should see that canons and canonesses, monks and nuns conduct themselves properly in dress. They were forbidden rich clothing, including that dyed 'with colours of India'. A century later, Pope John VIII warned the English cl…

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Thomas Izbicki, “Laws and prohibitions: ecclesiastical”, in: Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles, Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Maria Hayward. Consulted online on 19 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2213-2139_emdt_COM_282>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004124356, 20120503

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