Brill’s New Pauly

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The term klêros (κλῆρος; klêros, Lat. clerus; originally meaning ‘ lot’, ‘share’) as a collective name for Christian officials is based on Acts 1,16-26, where Matthias was chosen by casting lots to succeed Judas [2] as the twelfth disciple. In 1 Petr 5,3, the plural klêroi refers to the ‘part’, the ‘shepherds’ are entrusted with, i.e. the congregation.  Tertullianus [2] was the first to use the Latin term clerus in the modern sense (Tert. De monogamia 11-12; Tert. De fuga 11). Ever since  Cyprianus [2] († 258), clerus refers to the group of presbyters ( Priests VI.), deacons ( diákonos), t…

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“Clerus”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 30 September 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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