TIARA, the papal crown, a bee-hive shaped, somewhat bulging head-covering, ornamented with three crowns (whence triregnum or "triple crown"). It has no sacral character, being solely the ensign of sovereign power (cf. Innocent III. Serm. vii. in S. Silvest.), and is therefore never worn at liturgical functions, when the pope always wears the mitre. The tiara is first mentioned, under the name of camelaucum, in the Vita of Pope Constantine (d. 715), and next under the name of pileus phrygius or plirygium, or the Constitutum Constantini, the so-called "Donation of Con stantine." In the 9th century it appears in the 9th Ordo of Mabillon in connection with the description of the consecration of the pope. On papal coins it first appears on those of Sergius III. (d. 911) and then on those of Benedict VII. (d. 983). At this period it was, according to the Ordo above mentioned, a sort of cap of white stuff, and helmet-shaped. Before the 9th century the tiara was certainly without any crown ; any such ornament would not have been in keeping with the circumstances of the time, and seems also to be excluded by the terms of the Constitutum Constantini.
At the beginning of the 12th century, however, the papal tiara was already decorated with a circlet, as the r2th Ordo and state ments made by Bruno of Segni (d. 1123) and Suger, abbot of St. Denys (1121-51), prove; but it is only in representations of the tiara dating from the late 13th century that the circlet appears as a regular spiked crown. The two pendants at the back of the tiara (caudae, infulee) are likewise only traceable to this period. The second circlet was added by Boniface VIII., as is proved by three statues executed during his lifetime (one in the Lateran church and two in the crypt of St. Peter's). The earliest effigy of a pope with a triple-crowned tiara is, therefore, that of Ben edict XII. (d. 1342), of which the head is preserved in the museum at Avignon, while an effigy of the same pope in the crypt of St. Peter's at Rome has a tiara with only two crowns.