Dear List Members,
Thank you for all the very constructive and enlightening inputs.
After considering each closely I have redone the English Translation
[thanks for the heads-up, for a Latin phrase regarding black and while was
omitted from the Latin text]
Let the brothers above all of this fraternity, commmonly be dressed in
cloth humble in price and color, not utterly white nor black, unless it has
been dispensed for a time in some place by means of the visitators on the
counsel of the ministers, on account of a legitimate and manifest reason.
Also let the abovesaid brothers have cloaks [chlamydes] and leather
clothing [pelles], without low necklines [absque scollaturis], split down
the front [scissas] and/or whole, nevertheless clasped or open, as befits
honesty, and [with] closed sleeves. Also let the sisters dress in a cloak,
and a tunic made from humble cloth of this kind, and/or at least let them
have with the cloak a gown [guarnellum], or a Piacenzean garment
[placentinum], white or black in color; or a full cloak [paludellum] made
from hemp, or linen, stiched without any pleating [crispatura]. Concerning
the humbleness of the cloth and the leather [pellitones] of the sisters
themselves, one can be dispensed in accord with the condition of each, and
the custom of the place. Let them not use tight [bindis] or silken bindings
[ligaturis sericis], [and] let both the brothers as well as the sisters
have nothing fancier than [dumtaxat] lambskins, purses made of hide
[corico] and shoestrings, made simply without any silk [serico] and not
otherwise, after having put off the other vain ornaments of this age (in
accord with the sober counsel of Blessed Peter the Prince of the Apostles).
Regarding specifice terms:
1) there was a consensus that contemporary terms such as "dress" and
"blouse" and "coat" be omitted; and I think this is best; anachronisms do
translations a disservice. Not being familiar with clothing terms at all,
let alone those of the fairer gender, I admit that the original attempt was
2) Terms for leather: The paragraph has three different words, refering
apparently to some sort of distinction among leather material
<pelles>: which is either the untreated pelt or a generic term for material
taken from it, such as leather clothing in general. I am not quite sure
whether a fur coat even in modern terminology is considered a form of
leather clothing, but I imagine that that would be pushing it too far.
<pellitones>: a term which I cannot find, perhaps some part of the skin of
<coricus>: a term for the upper skin layer of the pelt; I used "hide"
3) chlamydes: general consensus that this is a "cloak"; though perhaps not
the techincal military cloak of classical times
4) absque scollaturis: an Italianism for <absque discollaturis: i.e.
without low-necklines. The mention of Dante's use of this term is not
surprising, since he was a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, and
observed this very Rule, of which this paragraph is chapter iii.
5) guarnellum: not yet positively identified, though <guarnacca>, a 14th
Cent. French Jacket appears to be related. Considering that it must refer
to woman's clothing it seems that <gown> is a good tentative translation.
6) placentinum: not yet identified, apparently the fashionable wear of the
period, orginating in Piacenza
7) palludelum: not yet positively identified; the word is a diminutive of
the root from which the Roman military cloak, palludamentum is derived; it
appears therefore to be a woman's version of the chlamys, or another
garment worn together with a cloak.
8) absque ulla crispatura: a reference to "gathering", "boarders", or
"curles", hence "pleating". Pleating seems to be more likely, since there
are more usually terms for "boarders", but what is gathering? Ruffles was
anachronistic, even if possible liguistically by a stretch.
9) Bindis et ligaturis sericis: linguistically appears to be one idea
refering to two kinds of ligatura; the Third Order members would naturally
be discouraged form costly and immodest forms of dress, so "tight and
silken" is coherent.
10) bursas de corio et corrigias: shoestrings seems to be the more usually
use of corrigiae, but as one listmember pointed out it may refer to
tiestrings of the bursa. One would have to know something more of the
fashion of the day: I do admit that it seems unlikely that silk would be
used as a shoetring, on account of its delicacy, but perhaps the
shoestrings had silk decorations attatched somehow, and thus I left it
If anyone should have some more insight into thise points, I would be most
Sincerely in Christ,
Br. Alexis Bugnolo
The Franciscan Archive
"A WWW Resource on St. Francis and Franciscanism"
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Mansfield, MA 02048
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