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Canon XCVI.

Those who by baptism have put on Christ have professed that they will copy his manner of life which he led in the flesh.  Those therefore who adorn and arrange their hair to the detriment of those who see them, that is by cunningly devised intertwinings, and by this means put a bait in the way of unstable souls, we take in hand to cure paternally with a suitable punishment:  training them and teaching them to live soberly, in order that having laid aside the deceit and vanity of material things, they may give their minds continually to a life which is blessed and free from mischief, and have their conversation in fear, pure, [and holy386386    These words only in the Latin.]; and thus come as near as possible to God through their purity of life; and adorn the inner man rather than the outer, and that with virtues, and good and blameless manners, so that they leave in themselves no remains of the left-handedness of the adversary.  But if any shall act contrary to the present canon let him be cut off.

Notes.

Ancient Epitome of Canon XCVI.

Whoever twist up their hair into artistic plaits for the destruction of the beholders are to be cut off.

For the intricate manner of dressing the hair used in the East, and for a description of the golden dye, see the scholion of Zonaras.  Van Espen remarks that the curious care for somebody else’s hair in the form of wigs, so prevalent with many laymen and ecclesiastics of his day, is the same vice condemned by the canon in another shape.387387    It is curious to note that so great was the care of the clergy for their wigs that the very shape of the vestments was changed so as not to disturb them, and the surplices were slit all the way down the front, as they continue in some places even down to our own days, after the original cause had long passed away.


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