medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

A quick consultance of major books of reference does not reveal any
simple answer regarding the use of red shoes.

Joseph Braun: Die Liturgische Gewandung (Freiburg 1907, reprint 1964)
has a very clear statement: before the 12th cent. did all popes wear
black sandals (Sandalia).

Later (c.1290) does Durandus [Rationale divinorum officinorum] include
the socks (Caligae) with the shoes, and mention that some socks could
be violet (Hyacinth color). It appear to be part of a new trend to
follow the liturgical colours during the year.
The shoes remained black (or perhaps sometimes white).

An inventory from 1295 printed by J. Braun has a long list of rich
shoes and socks of silk, in various colours.
Several red socks are mentioned: 'sandalia cum caligis de rubeo sameto'.
To judge from this and other inventories was the red colour not
symbolical, but a natural consequence of the use of rich imported
luxury of all kind, like oriental embroideries with inlaid pearls.

Only difference between bishops and popes seems to be the right to
have a cross on the shoes. This is, however, not testified as a
papal privilege before the time of pope Nicolas V. when he forbade
the detronized antipope Felix V. to retain the cross on his shoes.

It seems we must up into the early renaissance to find red papal
shoes! Surviving pictures are here an important source. Please
notice that the 7th century mosaics have been so heavily restored
in later times that any details must be taken with great caution!
Large areas of the mosaics are entirely new, and single pieces
of glass were still tumbling down on the floor from time to time,
as late as in the 1960'ies.

No 3-liner entry on this subject suitable for the American market,
Erik Drigsdahl

At 20:20 +0200 10/04/05, Diana Wright wrote:
>medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture         What is the first documented use  we have of the Pope wearing red shoes?   DW

_____________________________________________________________________ Erik Drigsdahl   CHD Center for Haandskriftstudier i Danmark
Kapelvej 25B         Phone: +45 +35 37 20 47
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