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Dignity And Dress

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Chapter Summary

Practical and theoretical, religious and secular elements combined to define a cardinal in the fifteenth century. This chapter focuses on their positions in relatively rare moments in the period. It discusses the extent of their jurisdiction in relation to that of the pope was most clearly articulated through their dress, the most visible feature of their rationalization during the period. This chapter discusses how John Kemp needed to have his hat sent from Rome to England so that he could properly call himself a cardinal. By the second half of the fifteenth century cardinals' dress had evolved to combine the best materials, dyes, and styles to stand up in both the secular and ecclesiastical contexts in which they operated. What cardinals wore was the most visible symbol of their proximity to the pope and the dignity-and therefore superiority-they derived from him which made them the equals of kings.

Keywords:cardinal; dignity; dress; John Kemp; pope; Rome



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