by Heather Rose Jones
copyright © 2001, 2004, all rights reserved
(This article was originally published in Tournaments Illuminated #137 (Winter 2001). The current version has additional commentary based on subsequent discussions with other researchers)
A 13th century linen tunic, associated with Saint Louis, is preserved in the treasury of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It is unusual for linen garments to survive from medieval Europe except for those that have been preserved due to their association with saints. Other examples from the 11-13th century include albs associated with Saint Thomas Becket at Sens (France) and Santa Maria Maggiore (Rome, Italy), one associated with Saint Bernulf at Utrecht (Netherlands), one associated with Saint Hugh at La Valsainte (Switzerland), and several whose connections I have not yet been able to identify in Munich, Assisi, and Rome. Of these, the Saint Louis garment is by far the simplest in design and construction and seems more likely to represent an ordinary everyday undergarment as contrasted with the elaborate ceremonial vestments that several of the others clearly represent.
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