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From: Matthew Malthouse <matthew.malthouse@guardian.co.uk>
Subject: (urth) Crowns and such
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 11:53:06 +0100

Last week a line about crown, diadems and mitres was quoted - alas I
forget by whom as I don't have the mail any more, neither do I have
the books to hand so cannot quote directly.

A comment was made about mitres indicating bishops. Yet this need
not be so. The OED gives

1. a. Antiq. As rendering of Gr. <mu><tau><rho><alpha>, L.
mitra: A headband or fillet worn by ancient Greek women; also, a
kind of head-dress common among Asiatics, the wearing of which by
men was regarded by the Romans as a mark of effeminacy.

which itself is less than it might be for the Greeks have the word
from the Persians where is was the "Crown" equivalent, a cap which
was part of the symbolic regalia of the Median and Persian kings.

(The transmogrification of cap to headband or fillet may be
Alexandrine as the equivalent Macedonian symbol was a purple fillet)

So the three references to symbolic headgear may all be royal
indicators with no episcopal reference intended at all (or, being
Wolfe, a dual reference and intentional confusion).

Does the interpretation of the passage change at all if a religious
connotation is excluded?


*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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