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The name given in later antiquity and the early Middle Ages to those clerics and officials of the Church of Rome who were attached neither to the papal palace or patriarchium , nor to the titular churches of Rome, but to whom one of the city regions, or wards, was assigned as their official district. For internal administration the city of Rome was a divided by the Emperor Augustus into fourteen regions. From the fourth century developed (evidently in connection with the seven Roman deacons ) an ecclesiastical division into seven regions, which gradually replaced the earlier civil divisions. Many branches of the ecclesiastical administration were arranged in accordance with the seven regions — especially the care of the poor, provision for the maintenance of the churches, and whatever else pertained primarily to the office of the deacons, one of whom was appointed over each of the seven regions ( diaconus regionarius ). As the deacons were assisted by seven subdeacons, we also find the term subdeaconus regionarius . The notaries and defensores employed in the administration of the regions were also known as notarii regionarii and defensores regionarii . There is also occasional mention of acolyti regionarii . Little is known about the functions exercised by these regionarii , as in general concerning the ecclesiastical administration in ancient Rome, in as far as it affected the regions.


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The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

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