sphere of a
See also:bishop's jurisdiction . In this, its
See also:modern sense, the word
See also:diocese (dioecesis) has only been regularly used since the 9th century, though isola ted instances of such use occur so early as the 3rd, what is now known as a diocese having been till then usually called a parochia (
See also:parish) . The Greek word &oL,cnois, from meaning " administration, came to be applied to the territorial circumscription in which ad-ministration was exercised . It was thus first applied e.g. to the three districts of Cibyra,
See also:Apamea and Synnada, which were added to
See also:Cilicia in
See also:time (between 56 and 5o B.C.) . The word is here
See also:equivalent to "
See also:assize-districts " (Tyrrell and
See also:Purser's edition of Cicero Epist. ad fam. iii . 8 . 4; xiii . 67; cf .
See also:Strabo xiii . 628-629) . But in the reorganization of the
See also:empire, begun by
See also:Diocletian and completed by
See also:Constantine, the word " diocese" acquired a more important meaning, the empire being divided into twelve dioceses, of which the largest—Oriens—embraced sixteen provinces, and the smallest—Britain—four (see RoaIE:
See also:History; and W . T .
See also:Roman Provincial Administration, pp . 187, 194-196, which gives a
See also:list of the dioceses and their subdivisions) . The organization of the Christian
See also:church in the Roman empire following very closely the lines of the
See also:civil administration (see CHURCH HISTORY), the word diocese, in its ecclesiastical sense, was at first applied to the sphere of jurisdiction, not of a bishop, but of a metropolitan.' Thus
See also:Anastasius Bibliothecarius (d. c . 886), in his
See also:life of
See also:Pope Dionysius, says that he assigned churches to the presbyters, and established dioceses (parochiae) and provinces (dioeceses) . The word, however, survived in its general sense of "
See also:office " or " administration," and it was even used during the
See also:middle ages for " parish " (see Du Cange, Glossarium, s . " Dioecesis " 2) . The practice, under the Roman empire, of making the areas of ecclesiastical administration very exactly coincide with those of the civil administration, was continued in the organization of the church beyond the
See also:borders of the empire, and many dioceses to this
See also:day preserve the limits of long vanished
See also:political divisions . The
See also:process is well illustrated in the case of
See also:English bishoprics . But this practice was based on convenience, not principle; and ' For exceptions see
See also:Hinschius ii. p . 39, note T . the limits of the dioceses, once fixed. did not usually
See also:change with the changing political boundaries . Thus
See also:Hincmar, archbishop of Reims, complains that not only his metropolitanate (dioecesis) but his bishopric (parochia) is divided between two realms under two
See also:kings; and this inconvenient overlapping of jurisdictions remained, in fact, very
See also:common in
See also:Europe until the readjustments of
See also:national boundaries by the territorial settlements of the 19th century .
In principle, however, the subdivision of a diocese, in the event of the
See also:work becoming too heavy for one bishop, was very early admitted, e.g. by the first council at
See also:Lugo in Spain (569), which erected Lugo into a metropolitanate, the consequent division of diocese being confirmed by the
See also:king of the second council, held in 572 . Another reason for dividing a diocese, and establishing a new see, has been recognized by the church as duly existing " if the
See also:sovereign should think
See also:fit to endow some
See also:village or
See also:town with the
See also:rank and privileges of a city " (
See also:lib. xvii. c . 5) . But there are canons for the punishment of such as might induce the sovereign so to erect any town into a city, solely with the view of becoming bishop thereof . Nor could any diocese be divided without the consent of the primate . In England an
See also:act of parliament is necessary for the creation of new dioceses . In the reign of
See also:Henry VIII. six new dioceses were thus created (under an act of 1539); but from that time onward until the 19th century they remained practically unchanged . The Ecclesiastical Commissioners Act 1836, which created two new dioceses (Ripon and Manchester), remodelled the state of the old dioceses by an entirely new
See also:adjustment of the revenues and patronage of each see, and also extended or curtailed the parishes and counties in the various jurisdictions . By the ancient
See also:custom of the church the bishop takes his title, not from his diocese, but from his see, i.e. the place where his
See also:cathedral is established . Thus the old episcopal titles are all derived from cities . This tradition has been broken, however, by the modern practice of bishops in the
See also:United States and the
See also:British colonies, e.g. archbishop of the West Indies, bishop of Pennsylvania,
See also:Wyoming, &c . (see BISHOP) .
See Hinschius, Kirchenrecht, ii . 38, &c.;
See also:Joseph Bingham, Origines ecclesiasticae, 9 vols . (184o) ; Du Cange, Glossarium, s . " Dioecesis "; New English
See also:Dictionary (
See also:Oxford, 1897), s .
DIO CHRYSOSTOM (c. A.D. 40-115)
DIOCLETIAN (GAIUs AURELIUS VALERIUS DIOCLETIANUS) (...
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