Tertullian

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On the Pallium

List Price: $3.95
5.5" x 8.5" (13.97 x 21.59 cm)
Black & White on White paper
26 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1523323111
ISBN-10: 1523323116
BISAC: Religion / Christian Theology / General
 

Speakingof the Greek priests of Korfou, the erudite Bishop of Lincoln, lately deceased, has remarked, “There is something very picturesque in the appearance of these persons, with their black caps resembling the modius seen on the heads of the ancient statues of Serapis and Osiris, their long beards and pale complexions, and their black flowing cloak,—a relic, no doubt, of the old ecclesiastical garment of which Tertullian wrote.” These remarks are illustrated by an engraving on the same page. He thus identifies the pallium with the gown of Justin Martyr; nor can there be any reasonable doubt that the pallium of the West was the counterpart of the Greek, which St. Paul left at Troas. Endearing associations have clung to it from the mention of this apostolic cloak in Holy Scripture. It doubtless influenced Justin in giving his philosopher’s gown a new significance, and the modern Greeks insist that such was the apparel of the apostles. The seamless robe of Christ Himself belongs to Him only. Tertullian rarely acknowledges his obligations to other Doctors; but Justin’s example and St. Paul’s cloak must have been in his thoughts when he rejected the toga, and claimed the pallium, as a Christian’s attire. Our Edinburgh translator has assumed that it was the “ascetics’ mantle,” and perhaps it was. Our author wished to make all Christians ascetics, like himself, and hence his enthusiasm for a distinctive costume. Anyhow, “the Doctor’s gown” of the English universities, which is also used among the Gallicans and in Savoy, is one of the most ancient as well as dignified vestments in ecclesiastical use; and for the propheticor preaching function of the clergy it is singularly appropriate. “The pallium,” says a learned author, the late Wharton B. Marriott of Oxford, “in the Greek, is the outer garment or wrapper worn occasionally by persons of all conditions of life. It corresponded in general use to the Roman toga, but in the earlier Roman language, that of republican times, was as distinctively suggestive of a Greek costume as the toga of that of Rome.” To Tertullian, therefore, his preference for the pallium was doubtless commended by all these considerations; and the distinctively Greek character of Christian theology was indicated also by his choice. He loved the learning of Alexandria, and reflected the spirit of the East

 
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