Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Pants: to the Bulgars
I thought you might enjoy this from "The Responses of Pope St. Nicholas I to the Questions of the Bulgars" (Letter 99), Chapter LVIIII, A.D. 866. It concerns "femoralia", women's things(?) which in this case are trousers or in the case of Americans are pants. It appeals to the schoolboy in me. I also find Pope Nicholas' reasoning elegant.
Trousers were a big issue then, they were considered un-Roman and therefore a mark on barbarianism: could one remain a trousered barbarian and be a Christian?
In Nicholas' "Response" he is answering the question: should Christianity extend beyond the ancient borders of the Roman Empire?
Of course it would take many more centuries for the Church to decide if it was appropriate for its clergy to wear trousers and dress as barbarians, in women's things, the femoralia.
Posted by Fr Ray Blake