The Origins of the Papal Tiara & Triple Crowns
Historians aren’t completely sure about when the papal tiara was first used. The first mention of some sort of papal crown dates to the 8th century, and artwork from the time period shows popes wearing a cone-shaped helmet with a small crown attached to the bottom.
The first mention of the word tiara being used to describe the headgear of the pope dates to around the early 12th century.
Sometime in the 13th century, a second crown was added. The two crowns apparently symbolized the fact that the pope had authority over both spiritual matters and, ultimately, temporal matters, and also distinguished the pope’s tiara from single-tier monarchial crowns.
In the 14th century, a third crown was added. The exact intended meaning of the three crowns is not clear, and a wide range of interpretations have been offered over the centuries. Some say the three crowns represent the threefold office of Christ, priest, prophet, and king; another interpretation says they represent the bishop of Rome’s roles as the Universal Pastor, as having universal ecclesiastical jurisdiction, and having temporal power. Whatever the meaning, the three-tiered papal tiara was used for the next six centuries. https://churchpop.com/2015/08/12/when-popes-wore-crowns-a-pictorial-history-of-the-papal-tiara/
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