Church History Forum: Mitres
Mitres QUESTION from Dean Rose November 7, 2001 What is the origin of the mitre and when and why did it get introduced into church practise?
ANSWER by Q & A Staff on December 3, 2001 Dear Dean
Mitres as a head covering first appeared in Roman times. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia,
the mitre was first used at Rome about the middle of the tenth century, and outside of Rome about the year 1000. On the subject of pontifical, as opposed to mere episcopal, mitres, the same article says
it is derived from a non-liturgical head-covering distinctive of the pope, the camelaucum, to which also the tiara is to be traced. The camelaucum was worn as early as the beginning of the eighth century, as is shown by tho biography of Pope Constantine I (708- 815) in the Liber Pontificalis. For more information on the subject of mitres, the reader is referred to the above quoted article Catholic Encyclopedia: Mitres
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