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Abstract

Writers on the history of academic dress sometimes mistake which medieval garments were the antecedents of those worn in modern times. This happens especially when they misinterpret the evidence from memorial brasses and other pictorial sources. The situation is complicated by the fact that several Latin terms are used for a single article of dress in early university and college regulations and one term may refer to quite different articles at different periods. Now, as then, it is common to use words for clothing in both a narrow and a broad sense. However, if we can identify the various articles of academic dress in the lateMiddle Ages and how they were worn together in layers, I believe it will be easier to understand how they evolved into the garments in use today. We shall see that each of these articles remains within the particular category of garments to which it belongs (cassock, gown, habit or hood), although it may alter significantly in appearance over the centuries. [Excerpts].

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