On the Pallium background information.

Early Christian Writings

Title: De pallio (On the philosopher’s cloak) 


From: (tertullian.org)

Ante-Nicene Fathers

Τὰ ἀρχαῖα ἔθη κρατείτω. The Nicene Council

Related Link:   

By: Roger Pearse  

Our Ref:
ECST: 167.26.1.T77

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A short humorous speech on why he has stopped wearing the Roman toga and started instead to wear the pallium.


One of the shortest of Tertullian’s works, in 6 chapters.

Tertullian has been attacked because he doesn’t wear the toga any more, but instead the pallium, the cloak associated with philosophers. He defends himself with a smile, with many rhetorical flourishes, and lots of references to other classical writers and famous persons, and to matters of interest to an antiquarian.

An article on the work by Paul McKechnie is available online here.

From Cureton’s tr. of Eusebius, History of the Martyrs in Palestine, (1861), p. 83-4: ‘Valesius has this Note on Book 6, ch. 19 of Ecc. Hist. (p):–” The philosophic habit was the pallium or cloak, which was the usual badge of the Greek philosophers, different from that which was worn by the ordinary Greeks, which those Christians still kept to, who, before their conversion, were philosophers.”–See Eng. Trans. [English Translation of Eusebius’s Ecclesiastical History in “The History of the Church: fol., London, 1709] p. 101. And on this place (n):–“This garment is in the Greek termed ecwmij: see its description, A. Gellius, Book 7, ch. 12.” ibid. p. 168.’




In ch. 2 there is a reference to 3 emperors, although scholars argue about the reference. But it is probably to Septimius Severus, and his two sons Geta and Caracalla:

How many cities has the triple power of our existing empire either produced, or else augmented, or else restored! While God favours so many Augusti unitedly, how many populations have been transferred to other localities! how many peoples reduced! how many orders restored to their ancient splendour! how many barbarians baffled! In truth, our orb is the admirably cultivated estate of this empire; every aconite of hostility eradicated.

An interesting discussion of how the toga was worn, which refers to de pallio, is online here.


This text is found only in the members of the Cluny collection. (q.v.). 

The primary witnesses, therefore, are:

• The 15th century Florence MS, Codex Florentinus BNC Conventi soppressi J.6.9 (N). (From the Alpha branch).  The text is not in P or M, the earlier codices. 

• The 15th century Luxembourg MS, Codex Luxemburgensis 75 (X). 

• The 15th century(1426) Florence MS, Codex Florentinus BNC Conventi soppressi 6.9.10 (F). 

• Rhenanus edition of 1521.  This is because his only source for this work was the now lost Hirsau MS (H), the ancestor of F and X.

Sometimes considered in the past were:

• The Naples MS, Codex Neapolitanus, Mus. Naz. 55, portions of which were once in Vienna as Codex Vindobonensis 4194 (V).  This is however just a copy of F.

• The BPL Leiden MS, Codex Leidensis latinus 2 (L) has been considered independent but is merely a copy of V.

The Salmasius edition makes use of the lost Divionensis (D).

TITLE VARIATIONS[1]http://www.tertullian.org/manuscripts/title_variations.htm

. Conventi soppressi VI, 9 (N)
Explicit liber de monogamia. Incipit liber Tertulliani de pallio Florentinus Magliebechianus, Conventi soppressi VI, 10 (F)
Quinti Septimi florentis Tertulliani de Monogamia liber finit eiusdem de pallio incipit Leidensis 2 (L)


This runs up to 1956.  Where not otherwise indicated, details are from Quasten’s Patrology, 2 (1955). See also Editions page and Critical Editions page for more information.

[Note: I need to add some biblio, from l’Annee Phil. for the years 1954-1974, and from CTC to date].


• G. MARRA, Tertulliano, De Pallio. Prima trad. ital. con testo critico e comment. (Corpus script. lat. Paravianum 59). Turin, 1933.

• A. GERLO, Tertullianus, De pallio. Critische uitgave met vertaling en commentaar. Wetteren : Uitgeverij De Meester, 1940.  2 vols. 25cm. Contents: deel I. Inleiding, tekst en vertaling.–deel II. Commentaar. Checked.

• Q. CATAUDELLA, Il mantello di sagezza. De pallio. Testo crit. vers. e note. Genua, 1947.

• A. GERLOCCSL II (1954), p.731-750. Text only online.  Checked.

• J. (Josephus = Giuseppe) MARRA, De spectaculis, De fuga in persecutione, De Pallio. Series: Corpus scriptorum Latinorum Paravianum. Torino Paravia (1954). 2nd ed. xviii+162p. 20cm. 800L. (Details APh26.p169 – extra details, Dr. Andrea Nicolotti).  With translation.

• V. BULHART, CSEL 76 (1957), p. 104-125. Checked.

• V. HUNINKTertullian, De Pallio, a commentary by Vincent Hunink, J.C. Gieben, publisher, Amsterdam 2005; ISBN 90 5063 439 7; [332 p].  Latin text and English translation online.

• Marie TURCANTertullien, De pallio. Introduction, édition critique, traduction française, commentaire et index, (mis en ligne en mars 2006), Sources Chrétiennes 513, Editions du Cerf (2007).



• S. THELWALLANCL 18 (1870), 181-200; reprinted ANF 4 (1885), 5-12. Online.  Checked.

• V. HUNINKTertullian, De Pallio, a commentary by Vincent Hunink, J.C. Gieben, publisher, Amsterdam 2005; ISBN 90 5063 439 7; [332 p].  Latin text and English translation online.


• Le sieur de TitrevilleTertullien. Du Manteau… [paraphrase] par le sieur de Titreville. [Avec une préface par M. de Grenaille.]  Publisher : Paris : Georges Josse (1640). Description : pičces limin., 274 p. ; 12° (Details from the Montpellier library catalogue)

• F. MANESSIERLivre de Tertullien, du Manteau, traduction nouvelle [suivie du texte latin], Publisher : Paris : Pierre Promé (1665). Description : 2 parties en 1 vol. ; 12°. Notes : Traduit par F. Manessier d’aprčs le privilčge Le Texte latin est celui de l’édition de Rigault avec quelques corrections. 43392RES. Cachet de l’abbé Flottes. Other titles : De Pallio. Texte latin, trad. française. (Details from the Montpellier library catalogue)

• A. DE GENOUDE, Oeuvres de Tertullien: Du Manteau, Paris (1852).  3 vols.  Vol. 2.  (Details from BNF catalogue).  Online.

• M. TURCANloc. cit., 2007.


• G. MARRAloc. cit.

• Q. CATAUDELLAloc. cit.

• Pino BLASONEIl Pallio. 2006 


• H. KELLNERÜber Das Pallium, oder, Den PhilosophenmantelBKV2 7 (1912). pp.11-33Checked.  Online


• H. U. MEYBOOMOver den mantel (Oudchristel. geschriften, dl. 46). Leiden (1931).  pp.219-238. Checked.

• A. GERLOloc. cit.


• Selvaggia BORGHINIOpere di Tertulliano tradotte in Toscano. Rome (1756). p.243-266.  Personal copy. Checked

• Giuseppe MARRA, Tertulliano, De pallio; prima traduzione italiana con introduzione, testo critico a fronte e commentario a cura di Giuseppe Marra. Napoli : A. Morano (1937) 117 p. ; 20 cm. (Details from BN Florence OPAC

• J. (Josephus = Giuseppe) MARRAloc. cit., (1954). 2nd edition.

• S. COSTANZA, Tertulliano, De pallio / testo, traduzione e commento a cura di S. Costanza. Napoli : Libreria scientifica editrice (1968) 167 p. ; 22 cm. ( Collana di studi classici ; 3.) (Details from BN Florence OPAC


• E. DE UBANI, La Capa de Tertuliano. Madrid, 1631. (Details from Quasten, also in BN Spain)

• J. PELLICER DE OSSAU, Version parafrastica castellana de Palio de Tertuliano. Barcelona, 1658.


• Dante TRINGALI, O “De pallio” de Tertuliano.  Sao Paulo : Universidade, Faculdade de Filosofaia, Letras e Ciencias Humanas (1980) . 233 p. ; 23 cm. Coleccion: Universidade de Sao Paulo ; Boletim no 29. (Details from http://cisne.sim.ucm.es/)


• S. TOKI, TERUTYURIANUSU [Tertullian, volume] 1 : Purakuseasu hanron [Adversus Praxean]; Parriumu ni tsuite [De pallio], trad. by Shôsaku TOKI, Tokyo: Kyobunkan, 1987, 205p. (Kirisutokyô kyôfű chosakushu [Works of the Fathers of the Church], 13)  Not checked (Details from CTC 88,5).  (De Pallio is attributed to a ‘pseudo-Tertullian’).


• Андрей Яковлевич Тыжов (Andrey Jakovlevich TYZHOV), Квинт Септимий Флоренс ТертуллианО плаще. (2000). 216 pp. 18 cm. Series: Серия Античное христианство . Источники (= Series Antique christianity. Sources). ISBN 5-89329-316-9. (Details from Russian State Library OPAC)


• László VANYÓ &c, Tertullianus muvei (The works of Tertullian), Budapest: Szent István Társulat (1986) 1100pp. (Ókeresztény frók 12). (Details CTC 2002.75).  The older translations of István Városi (Pat, Apol, Orat, Ux, Cult) and Marcell Mosolygó (Mart) have been recycled; the rest are new.


• M. HAUPTAnalecta XIX (On De Pallio 5, De Spectaculis 10), Hermes. Zeitschrift für Classische Philologie 1 (1866) pp. 259-261

• Gaston BOISSIER, Le traite du manteau de Tertullien, Revue des Deux Mondes 94.5 (1889) pp. 50-78

• M. ZAPPALA, L’ispirazione cristiana del De Pallio di Tertulliano: RR 1 (1925) 132 ff; idem, Le fonti del De Pallio: RR 1 (1925) 327-344.

• D. S. ROBERTSON, Tertullian, De pallio IV: Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society (1932) 151-153.

• GUILLARD, La place du De pallio dans l’oeuvre de Tertullien. Paris, 1935.

• L. CASTIGLIONI, Ad Tertullianum adnotationes: Studi Ubaldi. Milan, 1937, 261 f.

• A. GERLO, Textkritische nota’s bij De pallio van Tertullianus: RBPh (1939) 393-408.

• C. ALBIZZATI, Il costume nel De pallio di Tertulliano: Athenaeum (1939) 138-149.

• J. H. WASZINK, Mnem 3, 9 (1941) 131-137.

• D. VAN BERCHEM, Un temoignage meconnu sur l’attitude des chretiens a regard de l’empire, le De pallio de Tertullien: Bulletin de la Societe des Études de Lettres (1943) 129-130; idem, Le De pallio de Tertullien et le conflit du christianisme et de l’empire: Museum Helveticum 1 (1944) 100-119.

• J. M. VIS, Tertullians’ De Pallio tegen de achtergrond van zijn overige werken. Diss. Nijmegen, 1949.

• Q. CATAUDELLA, Il De pallio di Tertulliano, REC 6 (1955), 51-65. (Details APh26).

• P. McKECHNIETertullian’s De pallio and life in Roman CarthagePrudentia 24.2 (1992) pp.44-66.  Online.  By permission of the author.


1 http://www.tertullian.org/manuscripts/title_variations.htm

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