"Oxford Scholar clothing" John Wycliff?

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Shadowcat
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"Oxford Scholar clothing" John Wycliff?

Post by Shadowcat »

I've had a query through another site and thought someone here would know.

"I chose to go with the 14th century in honor of John Wycliffe. Are there any pictures of Oxford scholars' robes/hoods/caps etc. online? Wouls a belt have been worn - any other accessories?) "

The lady is hoping to adapt something she has, so a hood would be particularly useful. I doubt there is an answer to this, but will ask anyway "Were there "colours" for the colleges, as there are now?"

Thanks for any help.

S.

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sally
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Re: "Oxford Scholar clothing" John Wycliff?

Post by sally »

its a bit oblique, but the only thing I can think of that may be of interest is that picture of Chaucer from the Ellesmere manuscript (I think its that one), though I vaguely think he studied in London not Oxford. Just thinking it might be a starting point for what a known scholar may have looked like at the time?

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Brother Ranulf
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Re: "Oxford Scholar clothing" John Wycliff?

Post by Brother Ranulf »

I haven't looked in detail at academic clothing beyond the 12th century but my understanding is that throughout the medieval period all university students were considered to be equivalent to clerks in minor orders, meaning that they should have had their hair cut in a tonsure (the bald spot on top), perhaps only a small bald patch until they decided whether to aim for life as a monk or the secular clergy. Not everyone did, of course.

The cappa clausa ("closed cope or cloak") became the prescribed dress for students and "doctors" at Oxford, Paris and so on - this was essentially a black or very dark grey/brown (still considered to be "black") gown cut in a semicircle or even a full circle; it seems to have always been worn with some kind of hood or cowl. The overall impression is essentially much like a Benedictine monk. Colourful versions of the cappa evolved later, and then only for academic teachers, who might also sport fur-lined cowls or the pileus (a skullcap). The ecclesiastic cope was certainly a semicircular affair, so cappa clausa ought to imply a semicircular gown sewn up the front and either fitted with sleeves or with slits for the arms.

This website covers some of this, but doesn't give much info on your period:

http://home.uchicago.edu/~atterlep/cost ... othing.htm

This one gives 1222 as the date of introduction of the cappa clausa in England:

http://www.phildress.co.uk/london/origins.html

Edit: I found this image showing a master and students at Paris university, late 14th century. The master wears a cap, while the students are bare-headed and are all tonsured; they have a general resemblance to monks. The colours must be treated with caution since there was a general tendency to avoid depicting black clothing as black, since this was the normal outline colour and the outlines and drawn details would be lost:
paris.jpg


Hope this helps.
Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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Brother Ranulf
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Re: "Oxford Scholar clothing" John Wycliff?

Post by Brother Ranulf »

Just to illustrate the point about university "doctors" having all the colourful dress, this image is from MS Hunter 231 of the 14th century (an English document now at Glasgow University library); it shows three classical writers dressed as university doctors, complete with fur-lined gowns and (on the left) the pileus. They have both pendant sleeves and slits in their cappae clausae:
glasgow.jpg
Last edited by Brother Ranulf on Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Brother Ranulf

"Patres nostri et nos hanc insulam in brevi edomuimus in brevi nostris subdidimus legibus, nostris obsequiis mancipavimus" - Walter Espec 1138

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Shadowcat
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Re: "Oxford Scholar clothing" John Wycliff?

Post by Shadowcat »

Thanks Brother - I have passed on or your helpful notes to the lady who asked about this, and she is thrilled with so much information, as she had found virtually nothing.

S.

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