is the rendering in the Auth. Vers. of the Hebrew word מַצנֶפֶת. (mitsne'pheth, something rolled around the head), spoken especially of the turban or head-dress of the high-priest (Ex 28:4,37,39; Ex 29:6; Ex 39:28,31; Le 8:9; Le 16:4; for its form, see Josephus, Ant. 3:7, 3; Braun, De Vestitu sacerd. Heb. page 624 sq.; Toppffer, De tiaris summi et ninorum sacerdotum,, Vitemb. 1722; Funcke, De tiara pontif. Ebr. Gies. 1728), once of a royal crown ("diadem," Eze 21:26); also צָנַיŠ(tsaniph', from the same root), spoken of a tiara or head-band, e.g. of men (Job 29:14, "diadem"), of women (Isa 3:23, "hood"), of the highpriest (Zec 3:5), and once of the king (Isa 62:3, "diadem," where the text has צָנוֹŠ or צָנוּŠ). SEE BONNET; SEE CROWN; SEE PRIEST.
MITRE is the name given also to the head-dress worn in solemn Church services by the pope, the bishops, abbots, and certain other prelates of the Church of Rome. The name, as probably the ornament itself, is borrowed from the Orientals, although, in its present form, it is not in use in the Greek , Church, or in any other of the churches of the various E astern rites. The Western mitre is a tall, tongue-shaped cap, terminating in a twofold point, which is supposed to symbolize the "cloven tongues," in the form of which the Holy Ghost was imparted to the apostles, and is furnished with two flaps, which fall behind over the shoulders.
Opinion is much divided as to the date at which the mitre first came into use. Eusebius, Gregory of Nazianzum, Epiphanius, and others speak of an ornamented head-dress worn in the church; but there is no very early monument or pictorial representation which exhibits any head-covering at all resembling the modern mitre. A statue of St. Peter, said to have been erected in the seventh century, bears this mark of distinction in the shape of a round, high, and pyramidal mitre, such as those which the popes have since worn, and offers, perhaps, one of the earliest instances of its usage in churches. The most ancient mitres were very low: and simple, being not more than from three to six inches in elevation, and they thus continued till the end of the thirteenth century. Since the 9th century the mitre is found to have been in use quite extensively. From the time of Leo IX until Innocent IV the mitre was worn by cardinals, and instances are recorded in which the popes granted permission to certain bishops to wear the mitre; as, for example, Leo IV to Anschar, bishop of Hamburg, in the ninth century. In the fourteenth century, when the mitre-had come into general use, they gradually increased in height to a foot or more, and became more superbly enriched; their outlines also presented a degree of convexity by which they were distinguished from the older mitres..
The mitre, as an ornament, seems to have descended in the earliest times from bishop to bishop. Among the Cottonian MSS. is an order, dated July 1, 4 Henry VI, for the delivery to archbishop Chichely of the mitre which had been worn by his predecessor. It was in some cases a very costly ornament. Archbishop Pecheham's new mitre, in 1288, cost £173 4s. 1d. The material used in the manufacture of the mitre is very various, often consisting of the most costly stuffs, studded with gold and precious stones. The color and material differ according to the festival or the service in which the mitre is used, and there is a special prayer in the consecration service of bishops, used in investing the new bishop with his mitre.. The mitre of the pope is of peculiar form, and is generally called by the name of tiara (q.v.). There are four different mitres which are now used by the pope. These are more or less richly adorned, according to the nature of the festivals on which they are to beworn. The two horns of the mitre are generally taken to be an allusion to the cloven tongues of fire which rested on each of the apostles on the day of Pentecost.
At first the mitre was by special favor conferred on certain bishops; gradually it became the common right of every bishop to wear the mitre, and later its use was also permitted by special privilege to certain abbots, to provosts of some distinguished cathedral chapters, and to a few other dignitaries. (Compare Walcott, Archceology, p. 383 sq.; Binterim, Denkwiirdigkeiten der Kirche, 1, part. 2, page 348).
In some of the Lutheran churches (as in Sweden) the mitre is worn; but in the Church of England, since the Reformation, the mitre is no longer a part of the episcopal costume; it is simply placed over the shield of an archbishop or bishop instead of a crest. The mitre of a bishop has its lower rim surrounded with a fillet of gold; but the archbishops of Canterbury and York are in the practice of encircling theirs with a ducal coronet, a usage of late date and doubtful propriety. The bishop of Durham surrounds his mitre with an earl's coronet, in consequence of being titular count palatine of Durham and earl of Sedburgh. Before the custom was introduced of bishops impaling the insignia of their sees with their family arms, they sometimes differenced their paternal coat by the addition of a mitre.