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« on: July 05, 2011, 06:41:40 PM »

I have a question about the history of different designs of the bishop's miter. It seems that in the East, the Metropolitans and Patriarchs wear a relatively rounded type of headgear, which bears resemblance to the monarch's crowns of some countries; whereas in the West, such as with Roman Catholic bishops and other prelates, the tall, elongated diamond shape developed (it looks like a chess piece, for lack of a better term). Does anyone know why and when this difference came about?

Thank you.
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« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2011, 06:48:39 PM »

Not sure exactly when any differences came about, but the Eastern mitres are crowns, in the sense that the bishop is the king of his diocese, under our Great King and God Jesus Christ.

In the West, the "chess piece" looking mitre is actually intended to looks something like a tongue of fire, implying that the bishops are the descendants of the Apostles.  These types of mitres are also used amongst certain OO groups, as well as the West (which one's I can't precisely recall right now - forgive me!).

That's all I can remember off the top of my head.  I'm sure someone will come along with more info soon.
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« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2011, 07:04:16 PM »

I know the crown/turban style mitre of the Eastern Orthodox isn't the only style, at least the Russians used to wear something else before the Nikonian Reforms. The Old Believers still wear mitres with some kind of fur lining along the bottom:



I personally prefer the older style for the variety. Plus it just looks so much more rustic and Russian to have fur along with all of that hair!
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« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2011, 08:00:15 PM »

As I understand, mitres were not worn in the East before the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans.

Because the Patriarch acquired the status of ethnarch, ie: was given temporal/secular powers over Christians within the Ottoman empire, he began to wear the Byzantine emperor's crown.

The Western mitre apparently developed separately and was in use much earlier. In fact, I recall reading that Eastern Christians would criticise Western bishops for liturgising wearing mitres, signifying a lack of humility before the Throne of God.
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« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2011, 10:23:54 PM »

I have a question about the history of different designs of the bishop's miter. It seems that in the East, the Metropolitans and Patriarchs wear a relatively rounded type of headgear, which bears resemblance to the monarch's crowns of some countries; whereas in the West, such as with Roman Catholic bishops and other prelates, the tall, elongated diamond shape developed (it looks like a chess piece, for lack of a better term). Does anyone know why and when this difference came about?

Thank you.
it looks like a chess piece because, as far as i know, the Bishop chess piece is models after either the roman bishops, or the english
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« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2011, 11:58:12 AM »

As I understand, mitres were not worn in the East before the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans.

But I don't see how this could be, because like I said it appears Russia had its own traditional style of mitre at the time of the Nikonian Reforms about 200 years later. I guess it just seems like if it was related to political position that it wouldn't have spread to all bishops throughout the world regardless of secular status.
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« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2011, 12:07:55 PM »

As I understand, mitres were not worn in the East before the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans.

But I don't see how this could be, because like I said it appears Russia had its own traditional style of mitre at the time of the Nikonian Reforms about 200 years later. I guess it just seems like if it was related to political position that it wouldn't have spread to all bishops throughout the world regardless of secular status.

It's very hard to find solid information on this. I've been trying for many years. As far as I can tell, clerical head gear underwent a reformation in the 12th and 13th century across the entire Christian world, from Germany to Syria to Constantinople to the Rus'. Increased trade and cultural contact, including the Crusades, likely played a role. But there are many puzzles: The headgear (or lack therefore) of all Bishops, including those in the West, was quite different before the 12th century.

Interestingly enough, the 12th century was a period of renaissance almost everywhere.
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 11:56:57 AM »

I'm not comfortable with a mitre being worn.   

People should not be treating bishops like a king, and they are not kings.  They are sinful men just like the rest of us.

A bishop should be more humble than to wear a "crown".
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« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2011, 11:39:04 AM »

I'm not comfortable with a mitre being worn.  

People should not be treating bishops like a king, and they are not kings.  They are sinful men just like the rest of us.

A bishop should be more humble than to wear a "crown".

Are kings not sinful? Was it okay for the Byzantine emperor to wear a crown, despite his sinfulness? Is it okay for the Queen of England (a sinner) to wear a crown. If yes, then what really is your problem with bishops wearing crowns, imaging Christ's kingship? If no, it would seem your objection is not so much a theological one as a political one.

Wearing a crown in obedience to Church tradition does not make one prideful.

Also, frankly, bishops, while certainly sinful, are not "just like the rest of us": they have received special grace to be high priests in God's assembly.

The Apostles wore mitres, just like the Jewish high priest (as commanded by God in the Torah) did.
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« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 11:47:07 AM »

I'm not comfortable with a mitre being worn.   

People should not be treating bishops like a king, and they are not kings.  They are sinful men just like the rest of us.

A bishop should be more humble than to wear a "crown".

I suspect that bishops themselves are not terribly comfortable wearing their crowns--certainly in a physical sense. Do you have an idea how much they weigh?  Wink
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 12:11:17 PM »

Josephus was the first to describe bishops as wearing a turban, which I think appears from the description to be very much like the hat worn by Coptic bishops.



What is very clear from iconography is that vestments came to be added as the weather got colder.  During the time of of the early Byzantine Empire, the bishops wore loose clothing because it was hot.  As the 'Mini-Ice Age' came along, bishops started to wear hats and, as their hats got bigger, the smaller ones got handed to the clergy.

The modern kamylavchi is the core of the bishop's turban, a turban no longer worn by Byzantine bishops but still worn by the Syriac hierarchs.



In general, a turban worn frequently is a pain in the neck to wind, and so they tend to get sewn to an inner felt lining (as Josephus describes).  The Byzantines popped out the felt liner and the rest is 'history.'

It appears in the Coptic Church that as hierarchs started to wear the Byzantine mitre, the priests started to wear the bishops' old one.



As I understand, mitres were not worn in the East before the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans.

But I don't see how this could be, because like I said it appears Russia had its own traditional style of mitre at the time of the Nikonian Reforms about 200 years later. I guess it just seems like if it was related to political position that it wouldn't have spread to all bishops throughout the world regardless of secular status.

It's very hard to find solid information on this. I've been trying for many years. As far as I can tell, clerical head gear underwent a reformation in the 12th and 13th century across the entire Christian world, from Germany to Syria to Constantinople to the Rus'. Increased trade and cultural contact, including the Crusades, likely played a role. But there are many puzzles: The headgear (or lack therefore) of all Bishops, including those in the West, was quite different before the 12th century.

Interestingly enough, the 12th century was a period of renaissance almost everywhere.
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« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2011, 12:12:54 PM »

I probably should have differentiated the liturgical crown from the public turban, but I think you all get the point.

Josephus was the first to describe bishops as wearing a turban, which I think appears from the description to be very much like the hat worn by Coptic bishops.



What is very clear from iconography is that vestments came to be added as the weather got colder.  During the time of of the early Byzantine Empire, the bishops wore loose clothing because it was hot.  As the 'Mini-Ice Age' came along, bishops started to wear hats and, as their hats got bigger, the smaller ones got handed to the clergy.

The modern kamylavchi is the core of the bishop's turban, a turban no longer worn by Byzantine bishops but still worn by the Syriac hierarchs.



In general, a turban worn frequently is a pain in the neck to wind, and so they tend to get sewn to an inner felt lining (as Josephus describes).  The Byzantines popped out the felt liner and the rest is 'history.'

It appears in the Coptic Church that as hierarchs started to wear the Byzantine mitre, the priests started to wear the bishops' old one.



As I understand, mitres were not worn in the East before the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans.

But I don't see how this could be, because like I said it appears Russia had its own traditional style of mitre at the time of the Nikonian Reforms about 200 years later. I guess it just seems like if it was related to political position that it wouldn't have spread to all bishops throughout the world regardless of secular status.

It's very hard to find solid information on this. I've been trying for many years. As far as I can tell, clerical head gear underwent a reformation in the 12th and 13th century across the entire Christian world, from Germany to Syria to Constantinople to the Rus'. Increased trade and cultural contact, including the Crusades, likely played a role. But there are many puzzles: The headgear (or lack therefore) of all Bishops, including those in the West, was quite different before the 12th century.

Interestingly enough, the 12th century was a period of renaissance almost everywhere.
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« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 12:38:44 PM »

whereas in the West, such as with Roman Catholic bishops and other prelates, the tall, elongated diamond shape developed (it looks like a chess piece, for lack of a better term). Does anyone know why and when this difference came about?

Interestingly enough, according to Father Aidan also Western bishops used to wear pretty Eastern-ish headgear:

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« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 12:49:47 PM »

Well, the West did not develop in isolation.  There's lots of examples of cross-pollination.

My suspicion is that the modern-day Byzantine mitre, along with this example, is a simplification of the turban's bulbous profile, make with a single layer of brocade fabric rather than a lot of windings.


whereas in the West, such as with Roman Catholic bishops and other prelates, the tall, elongated diamond shape developed (it looks like a chess piece, for lack of a better term). Does anyone know why and when this difference came about?

Interestingly enough, according to Father Aidan also Western bishops used to wear pretty Eastern-ish headgear:


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« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2011, 09:57:40 AM »

I have a question about the history of different designs of the bishop's miter. It seems that in the East, the Metropolitans and Patriarchs wear a relatively rounded type of headgear, which bears resemblance to the monarch's crowns of some countries; whereas in the West, such as with Roman Catholic bishops and other prelates, the tall, elongated diamond shape developed (it looks like a chess piece, for lack of a better term). Does anyone know why and when this difference came about?

Thank you.
it looks like a chess piece because, as far as i know, the Bishop chess piece is models after either the roman bishops, or the english

The chess piece called the "bishop" was originally an elephant/elephant tusk.
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« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2011, 08:12:22 AM »

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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2011, 09:59:28 AM »



lol!
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« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2011, 10:33:12 AM »

I'm not comfortable with a mitre being worn.  

People should not be treating bishops like a king, and they are not kings.  They are sinful men just like the rest of us.

A bishop should be more humble than to wear a "crown".

Are kings not sinful? Was it okay for the Byzantine emperor to wear a crown, despite his sinfulness? Is it okay for the Queen of England (a sinner) to wear a crown. If yes, then what really is your problem with bishops wearing crowns, imaging Christ's kingship? If no, it would seem your objection is not so much a theological one as a political one.

Wearing a crown in obedience to Church tradition does not make one prideful.

Also, frankly, bishops, while certainly sinful, are not "just like the rest of us": they have received special grace to be high priests in God's assembly.

The Apostles wore mitres, just like the Jewish high priest (as commanded by God in the Torah) did.

I agree wtih JLatimer. 

While our bishops are men, they have the Grace of God upon them.

We we not taught "where the bishop is, so is the Church...?"

Therefore, in our humility, we need to be able to award due respect to the office of our hierarchs and not think that we are on equal standing with them, because we are not.
Same holds true with our priests.

I would never consider myself to be on an equal level with any priest. 

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« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2011, 10:51:19 AM »


The Apostles wore mitres....
How do you know this?
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