Robes, a term denoting, in general, the ecclesiastical garments worn by the clergy when performing the offices of the Church. More strictly it applies to the black gown and the dress worn by a bishop. In early times this badge was so essential that writers often use the robe to denote both the person and the office of the bishop. It was at first worn by all bishops, but afterwards became the distinctive badge of archbishops, metropolitans, and patriarchs. Tradition narrates that Mark the evangelist, as bishop of Alexandria, first assumed the robe and left it for his followers. Nothing is known of the form and quality of the robe in the first centuries, save that it was a seamless garment made of white linen, and hung loosely from the shoulders. It was made afterwards of woollen. In the 12th century it was made of white woollen, having a circular gathering on the shoulders and two scarfs hanging over it behind and before. On the left side it was double, and single on the right. Previous to the 8th century it had also four purple crosses upon it, one before and behind, and one on either side. It was fastened by three golden pins. The robe itself was styled πολυσταύριον. See Coleman, Christ. Antiq. p. 83.