Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in Roman Catholic Western Europe during the Middle Ages. In this region it served as the primary written language, though local languages were written to varying degrees. Latin functioned as the main medium of scholarly exchange, as the liturgical language of the Church, as the working language of science, literature and administration. Medieval Latin represented, in essence, a continuation of Classical Latin and Late Latin, with enhancements for new concepts as well as for the increasing integration of Christianity. Despite some meaningful differences from Classical Latin, Medieval writers did not regard it as a fundamentally different language. There is no real consensus on the exact boundary where Late Latin Medieval Latin begins; some scholarly surveys begin with the rise of early Ecclesiastical Latin in the middle of the 4th century, others around 500, still others with the replacement of written Late Latin by written Romance languages starting around the year 900.
The terms Medieval Latin and Ecclesiastical Latin are used synonymously, though some scholars draw distinctions. Ecclesiastical Latin refers to the form, used by the Roman Catholic Church, whereas Medieval Latin refers more broadly to all of the forms of Latin used in the Middle Ages; the Romance languages spoken in the Middle Ages were referred to as Latin, since the Romance languages were all descended from Classical, or Roman, Latin itself. Medieval Latin had an enlarged vocabulary, which borrowed from other sources, it was influenced by the language of the Vulgate, which contained many peculiarities alien to Classical Latin that resulted from a more or less direct translation from Greek and Hebrew. Greek provided much of the technical vocabulary of Christianity; the various Germanic languages spoken by the Germanic tribes, who invaded southern Europe, were major sources of new words. Germanic leaders became the rulers of parts of the Roman Empire that they conquered, words from their languages were imported into the vocabulary of law.
Other more ordinary words were replaced by coinages from Vulgar Latin or Germanic sources because the classical words had fallen into disuse. Latin was spread to areas such as Ireland and Germany, where Romance languages were not spoken, which had never known Roman rule. Works written in those lands where Latin was a learned language, having no relation to the local vernacular influenced the vocabulary and syntax of medieval Latin. Since subjects like science and philosophy, including Argumentation theory and Ethics, were communicated in Latin, the Latin vocabulary that developed for them became the source of a great many technical words in modern languages. English words like abstract, communicate, matter and their cognates in other European languages have the meanings given to them in medieval Latin; the influence of Vulgar Latin was apparent in the syntax of some medieval Latin writers, although Classical Latin continued to be held in high esteem and studied as models for literary compositions.
The high point of the development of medieval Latin as a literary language came with the Carolingian renaissance, a rebirth of learning kindled under the patronage of Charlemagne, king of the Franks. Alcuin was an important writer in his own right. Although it was developing into the Romance languages, Latin itself remained conservative, as it was no longer a native language and there were many ancient and medieval grammar books to give one standard form. On the other hand speaking there was no single form of "medieval Latin"; every Latin author in the medieval period spoke Latin as a second language, with varying degrees of fluency and syntax. Grammar and vocabulary, were influenced by an author's native language; this was true beginning around the 12th century, after which the language became adulterated: late medieval Latin documents written by French speakers tend to show similarities to medieval French grammar and vocabulary. For instance, rather than following the classical Latin practice of placing the verb at the end, medieval writers would follow the conventions of their own native language instead.
Whereas Latin had no definite or indefinite articles, medieval writers sometimes used forms of unus as an indefinite article, forms of ille as a definite article or quidam as something like an article. Unlike classical Latin, where esse was the only auxiliary verb, medieval Latin writers might use habere as an auxiliary, similar to constructions in Germanic and Romance languages; the accusative and infinitive construction in classical Latin was replaced by a subordinate clause introduced by quod or quia. This is identical, for example, to the use of que in similar constructions in French. In every age from the late 8th century onwards, there were learned writers who were familiar enough with classical syntax to be aware that these forms and usages were "wrong" and resisted their use, thus the Latin of a theologian like St Thomas Aquinas or of an erudite clerical historian such as William of Tyre tends to avoid most of the characteristics described above, showing its p
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor known as Saint Edward the Confessor, was among the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England. Considered the last king of the House of Wessex, he ruled from 1042 to 1066. Edward was the son of Emma of Normandy, he succeeded Cnut the Great's son – and his own half brother – Harthacnut. He restored the rule of the House of Wessex after the period of Danish rule since Cnut conquered England in 1016; when Edward died in 1066, he was succeeded by Harold Godwinson, defeated and killed in the same year by the Normans under William the Conqueror at the Battle of Hastings. Edgar the Ætheling, of the House of Wessex, was proclaimed king after the Battle of Hastings in 1066, but never ruled and was deposed after about eight weeks. Historians disagree about Edward's long reign, his nickname reflects the traditional image of him as pious. Confessor reflects his reputation as a saint who did not suffer martyrdom, as opposed to King Edward the Martyr; some portray Edward the Confessor's reign as leading to the disintegration of royal power in England and the advance in power of the House of Godwin, due to the infighting that began after his heirless death.
Biographers Frank Barlow and Peter Rex, on the other hand, portray Edward as a successful king, one, energetic and sometimes ruthless. However, Richard Mortimer argues that the return of the Godwins from exile in 1052 "meant the effective end of his exercise of power", citing Edward's reduced activity as implying "a withdrawal from affairs". About a century in 1161, Pope Alexander III canonised the late king. Saint Edward was one of England's national saints until King Edward III adopted Saint George as the national patron saint in about 1350. Saint Edward's feast day is 13 October, celebrated by both the Church of England and the Catholic Church in England and Wales. Edward was the seventh son of Æthelred the Unready, the first by his second wife, Emma of Normandy. Edward was born between 1003 and 1005 in Islip, is first recorded as a'witness' to two charters in 1005, he had one full brother, a sister, Godgifu. In charters he was always listed behind his older half-brothers. During his childhood, England was the target of Viking raids and invasions under Sweyn Forkbeard and his son, Cnut.
Following Sweyn's seizure of the throne in 1013, Emma fled to Normandy, followed by Edward and Alfred, by Æthelred. Sweyn died in February 1014, leading Englishmen invited Æthelred back on condition that he promised to rule'more justly' than before. Æthelred agreed. Æthelred died in April 1016, he was succeeded by Edward's older half-brother Edmund Ironside, who carried on the fight against Sweyn's son, Cnut. According to Scandinavian tradition, Edward fought alongside Edmund. Edmund died in November 1016, Cnut became undisputed king. Edward again went into exile with his brother and sister. In the same year Cnut had Edward's last surviving elder half-brother, executed, leaving Edward as the leading Anglo-Saxon claimant to the throne. Edward spent a quarter of a century in exile mainly in Normandy, although there is no evidence of his location until the early 1030s, he received support from his sister Godgifu, who married Drogo of Mantes, count of Vexin in about 1024. In the early 1030s, Edward witnessed four charters in Normandy, signing two of them as king of England.
According to the Norman chronicler, William of Jumièges, Robert I, Duke of Normandy attempted an invasion of England to place Edward on the throne in about 1034, but it was blown off course to Jersey. He received support for his claim to the throne from a number of continental abbots Robert, abbot of the Norman abbey of Jumièges, to become Edward's Archbishop of Canterbury. Edward was said to have developed an intense personal piety during this period, but modern historians regard this as a product of the medieval campaign for his canonisation. In Frank Barlow's view "in his lifestyle would seem to have been that of a typical member of the rustic nobility", he appeared to have a slim prospect of acceding to the English throne during this period, his ambitious mother was more interested in supporting Harthacnut, her son by Cnut. Cnut died in 1035, Harthacnut succeeded him as king of Denmark, it is unclear whether he intended to keep England as well, but he was too busy defending his position in Denmark to come to England to assert his claim to the throne.
It was therefore decided that his elder half-brother Harold Harefoot should act as regent, while Emma held Wessex on Harthacnut's behalf. In 1036 Edward and his brother Alfred separately came to England. Emma claimed that they came in response to a letter forged by Harold inviting them to visit her, but historians believe that she did invite them in an effort to counter Harold's growing popularity. Alfred was captured by Earl of Wessex who turned him over to Harold Harefoot, he had Alfred blinded by forcing red-hot pokers into his eyes to make him unsuitable for kingship, Alfred died soon after as a result of his wounds. The murder is thought to be the source of much of Edward's hatred for the Earl and one of the primary reasons for Godwin's banishment in autumn 1051. Edward is said to have fought a successful skirmish near Southampton, and
A thurible is a metal censer suspended from chains, in which incense is burned during worship services. It is used in Christian churches including the Roman Catholic, Maronite Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic and Oriental Orthodox, as well as in some Lutheran, Old Catholic, United Methodist, Presbyterian Church USA, Anglican churches. In Roman Catholic and Anglican churches, the altar server who carries the thurible is called the thurifer; the practice is rooted in the earlier traditions of Judaism in the time of the Second Jewish Temple. Beyond its ecclesiastical use, the thurible is employed in various other spiritual or ceremonial traditions, including some Gnostic Churches, in Co-Freemasonry. Thuribles are sometimes employed in the practice of ceremonial magic; the workings of a thurible are quite simple. Each thurible consists of a censer section, chains, a metal ring around the chains, a removable metal crucible in which the burning charcoals are placed. Many thuribles are supplied with a stand, allowing the thurible to be hung safely when still hot, but not in use.
Burning charcoal is placed inside the metal censer, either directly into the bowl section, or into a removable crucible if supplied, incense is placed upon the charcoal, where it melts to produce a sweet smelling smoke. This may be done several times during the service. Once the incense has been placed on the charcoal the thurible is closed and used for censing. A famous thurible is the huge Botafumeiro in Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, SpainThe word "thurible" comes from the Old French thurible, which in turn is derived from the Latin term thuribulum; the Latin thuribulum is further formed from the root thus. Thus is an alteration of the Greek word θύος, derived from θύειν "to sacrifice". Due to the ceremonial use of incense, its cultural importance in western Catholicism can be seen e.g. in the introduction of a incense smelling fragrance "Avignon" in 2002. Avignon was created for Comme des Garçons as a part of their incense series by Bertrand Duchaufour, thus the introduction of incense in Christian worship here and there within various denominations is paralleled by wider cultural interest turning again back from the oriental mysticism to western use of incense.
The Roman Missal, as revised in 1969, allows the use of incense at any Mass: in the entrance procession. The number of swings of the thurible to be used when incensing persons or objects is specified in the General Instruction of the Roman Missal: Three double swings: the Most Blessed Sacrament, a relic of the Holy Cross and images of the Lord exposed for public veneration, the offerings for the sacrifice of the Mass, the altar cross, the Book of the Gospels, the Paschal Candle, the priest, the people. Two double swings: relics and images of the Saints exposed for public veneration. A series of single swings: the altar; the priest may incense the offerings for Mass by tracing a cross over them with the thurible instead of using three swings of the thurible, The responsibilities of a thurifer include: Holding the thurible open to enable the priest to put incense in it, after which he blesses it with the sign of the cross without using any formula of words. Carrying the thurible in procession.
Presenting the thurible to the priest or deacon when they need to use it. Incensing the priest after the priest has incensed the offering at Mass. Another server called a boat boy and now more a boat bearer, may carry a boat or container of incense to add as the thurible burns low; these rules, except for the manner of incensing the offerings at Mass, applied before 1969. Earlier editions of the Roman Missal prescribe that the offerings be incensed by forming over them with the thurible first three crosses and three circles, the first two anticlockwise and last clockwise, while saying a prescribed prayer, they direct that incensing of the altar be done with single swings at 29 designated points of an altar attached to the rear wall of the sanctuary, at 22 points of a freestanding altar. Pre-1969 editions of the Roman Missal did not allow the use of incense at Low Mass. In accordance with the conditions laid down in the document Summorum Pontificum of 2007, use of the 1962 edition as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is permitted.
In the Ambrosian Rite the thurible has no top cover, is swung clockwise before the censing of a person or object. In the Anglican Communion, the use of incense is a reliable guide to how'high' or how'low' a church is. Anglo-Catholic churches may use generous quantities of incense. In recent years, some middle-of-the-road Anglican churches have taken to using incense a few times a year for special occasions. Traditionally, at High Mass, the following rule is observed when censing, which differs from the common Roman Rite: Three sets of
Collegiate Church of Saint Gertrude, Nivelles
The Collegiate Church of St. Gertrude is a historical building in Nivelles, Walloon Brabant, Belgium, built in the 11th century; the church was built to serve the Abbey of Nivelles a monastery of Benedictine nuns founded by Itta of Metz, the widow of Pepin of Landen, mother of Gertrude of Nivelles, the first abbess, in the 7th century. Her remains are buried in a chapel of the church; this structure was built in the early 11th century and consecrated in 1046 by Wazo, Bishop of Liège, in the presence of the Emperor Henry III. It is an example both of Ottonian architecture. With the growing membership of members of the nobility among the nuns starting in the 12th century, the community changed its character from its monastic one until it had become a community of canonesses regular by the 15th century, at the latest. At that point, the church acquired its status of collegiate church. Claudine Donnay-Rocmans writes in the Patrimoine majeur de Wallonie that the interior dimensions recall: "the splendour of the Ottonian liturgy, as people are able to know it from the Abbey of Essen".
The westwork has been reconstructed. Its current appearance is the result of a long reconstruction finished in 1984, following severe damage from bombing by the German Luftwaffe in May 1940, in the course of the Battle of Belgium; the noble Chapter of the canonesses regular became known and had important privileges, Most of the Noble canonesses were daughters of important families. Ursule, Countess of Berlo: Abesse. Marie Magdeleine de Montmorency, daughter of John II de Montmorency, prince of Robecque. Marie Anne of Grave, granddaughter of Gilles van der Noot, Baron of Carloo. Barbe Josephine of Grave, idem. Marie Philippe of Grave, idem. Marie Albertine de Berghes-Saint-Winoc Marie d'Oyenbrugghe de Duras Marie Isabella de la Tour et Taxis, daughter of Eugene Alexandre, married to Guillaume Alexandre de Wignacourt, Count of Lannoy. Maria Clara de't Serclaes, daughet of Count John t Serclaes. Antoinette Francoise of Arberg, daughter of Nicolas, count of Arberg. Marie Josepha Taye, daughter of the Marquess of Wemmel, married to the Marquess of Assche.
Isabeau-Angélique Van Zuylen, dite d'Erpe Helen de Lannoy, daughter of Valentin. Anna Maria de Robles, daughter of Jean de Roblès, 1st Count of Annappes, married to Conrad d'Ursel. Marie-Francoise d'Estourmel, married to Jean-Francois de Jauche. Itta of Metz, foundress of the abbey Gertrude of Nivelles, first abbess of the monastery which this church served Ermentrude, daughter of Reginar IV, Count of Mons and Hedwig of France
Ravenna is the capital city of the Province of Ravenna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Northern Italy. It was the capital city of the Western Roman Empire from 402 until that empire collapsed in 476, it served as the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom until it was re-conquered in 540 by the Byzantine Empire. Afterwards, the city formed the centre of the Byzantine Exarchate of Ravenna until the invasion of the Lombards in 751, after which it became the seat of the Kingdom of the Lombards. Although it is an inland city, Ravenna is connected to the Adriatic Sea by the Candiano Canal, it is known for its well-preserved late Roman and Byzantine architecture, with eight buildings comprising the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna". The origin of the name Ravenna is unclear; some have speculated that "ravenna" is related to "Rasenna", the term that the Etruscans used for themselves, but there is no agreement on this point. The origins of Ravenna are uncertain; the first settlement is variously attributed to the Etruscans and the Umbrians.
Afterwards its territory was settled by the Senones the southern countryside of the city, the Ager Decimanus. Ravenna consisted of houses built on piles on a series of small islands in a marshy lagoon – a situation similar to Venice several centuries later; the Romans ignored it during their conquest of the Po River Delta, but accepted it into the Roman Republic as a federated town in 89 BC. In 49 BC, it was the location. After his battle against Mark Antony in 31 BC, Emperor Augustus founded the military harbor of Classe; this harbor, protected at first by its own walls, was an important station of the Roman Imperial Fleet. Nowadays the city is landlocked, but Ravenna remained an important seaport on the Adriatic until the early Middle Ages. During the German campaigns, widow of Arminius, Marbod, King of the Marcomanni, were confined at Ravenna. Ravenna prospered under Roman rule. Emperor Trajan built a 70 km long aqueduct at the beginning of the 2nd century. During the Marcomannic Wars, Germanic settlers in Ravenna revolted and managed to seize possession of the city.
For this reason, Marcus Aurelius decided not only against bringing more barbarians into Italy, but banished those, brought there. In AD 402, Emperor Honorius transferred the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Milan to Ravenna. At that time it was home to 50,000 people; the transfer was made for defensive purposes: Ravenna was surrounded by swamps and marshes, was perceived to be defensible. However, in 409, King Alaric I of the Visigoths bypassed Ravenna, went on to sack Rome in 410 and to take Galla Placidia, daughter of Emperor Theodosius I, hostage. After many vicissitudes, Galla Placidia returned to Ravenna with her son, Emperor Valentinian III, due to the support of her nephew Theodosius II. Ravenna enjoyed a period of peace, during which time the Christian religion was favoured by the imperial court, the city gained some of its most famous monuments, including the Orthodox Baptistery, the misnamed Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, San Giovanni Evangelista; the late 5th century saw the dissolution of Roman authority in the west, the last person to hold the title of emperor in the West was deposed in 476 by the general Odoacer.
Odoacer ruled as King of Italy for 13 years, but in 489 the Eastern Emperor Zeno sent the Ostrogoth King Theoderic the Great to re-take the Italian peninsula. After losing the Battle of Verona, Odoacer retreated to Ravenna, where he withstood a siege of three years by Theoderic, until the taking of Rimini deprived Ravenna of supplies. Theoderic took Ravenna in 493 slew Odoacer with his own hands, Ravenna became the capital of the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy. Theoderic, following his imperial predecessors built many splendid buildings in and around Ravenna, including his palace church Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, an Arian cathedral and Baptistery, his own Mausoleum just outside the walls. Both Odoacer and Theoderic and their followers were Arian Christians, but co-existed peacefully with the Latins, who were Catholic Orthodox. Ravenna's Orthodox bishops carried out notable building projects, of which the sole surviving one is the Capella Arcivescovile. Theoderic allowed Roman citizens within his kingdom to be subject to Roman law and the Roman judicial system.
The Goths, lived under their own laws and customs. In 519, when a mob had burned down the synagogues of Ravenna, Theoderic ordered the town to rebuild them at its own expense. Theoderic died in 526 and was succeeded by his young grandson Athalaric under the authority of his daughter Amalasunta, but by 535 both were dead and Theoderic's line was represented only by Amalasuntha's daughter Matasuntha. Various Ostrogothic military leaders took the Kingdom of Italy, but none were as successful as Theoderic had been. Meanwhile, the orthodox Christian Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, opposed both Ostrogoth rule and the Arian variety of Christianity. In 535 his general Belisarius in 540 conquered Ravenna. After the conquest of Italy was completed in 554, Ravenna became the seat of Byzantine government in Italy. From 540 to 600, Ravenna'
Late Latin is the scholarly name for the written Latin of late antiquity. English dictionary definitions of Late Latin date this period from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD, continuing into the 7th century in the Iberian Peninsula; this somewhat ambiguously defined version of Latin was used between the eras of Classical Latin and Medieval Latin. There is no scholarly consensus about when Classical Latin should end or Medieval Latin should begin. However, Late Latin is characterized by an identifiable style. Being a written language, Late Latin is not the same as Vulgar Latin; the latter served as ancestor of the Romance languages. Although Late Latin reflects an upsurge of the use of Vulgar Latin vocabulary and constructs, it remains classical in its overall features, depending on the author who uses it; some Late Latin writings are more literary and classical, but others are more inclined to the vernacular. Late Latin is not identical to Christian patristic Latin, used in the theological writings of the early Christian fathers.
While Christian writings used a subset of Late Latin, pagans wrote extensively in Late Latin in the early part of the period. Late Latin formed when mercenaries from non-Latin-speaking peoples on the borders of the empire were being subsumed and assimilated in large numbers, the rise of Christianity was introducing a heightened divisiveness in Roman society, creating a greater need for a standard language for communicating between different socioeconomic registers and separated regions of the sprawling empire. A new and more universal speech evolved from the main elements: Classical Latin, Christian Latin, which featured sermo humilis in which the people were to be addressed, all the various dialects of Vulgar Latin; the linguist Antoine Meillet wrote, "Without the exterior appearance of the language being much modified, Latin became in the course of the imperial epoch a new language", and, "Serving as some sort of lingua franca to a large empire, Latin tended to become simpler, to keep above all what it had of the ordinary".
Neither Late Latin nor Late Antiquity are modern concepts. A notice in Harper's New Monthly Magazine of the publication of Andrews' Freund's Lexicon of the Latin Language in 1850 mentions that the dictionary divides Latin into ante-classic, quite classic, Augustan, post-Augustan and post-classic or late Latin, which indicates the term was in professional use by English classicists in the early 19th century. Instances of English vernacular use of the term may be found from the 18th century; the term Late Antiquity meaning post-classical and pre-medieval had currency in English well before then. Wilhelm Sigismund Teuffel's first edition of History of Roman Literature defined an early period, the Golden Age, the Silver Age and goes on to define other ages first by dynasty and by century. In subsequent editions he subsumed all periods under three headings: the First Period, the Second Period and the Third Period, "the Imperial Age", subdivided into the Silver Age, the 2nd century, Centuries 3–6 together, a recognition of Late Latin, as he sometimes refers to the writings of those times as "late."
Imperial Latin went on into English literature. There are, insoluble problems with the beginning and end of Imperial Latin. Politically the excluded Augustan Period is the paradigm of imperiality, yet the style cannot be bundled with either the Silver Age or with Late Latin. Moreover, in 6th century Italy, the Roman Empire no longer existed. Subsequently the term Imperial Latin was dropped by historians of Latin literature, although it may be seen in marginal works; the Silver Age was extended the final four centuries represent Late Latin. Low Latin is a vague and pejorative term that might refer to any post-classical Latin from Late Latin through Renaissance Latin depending on the author, its origins are obscure but the Latin expression media et infima Latinitas sprang into public notice in 1678 in the title of a Glossary by Charles du Fresne, sieur du Cange. The multi-volume set had many expansions by other authors subsequently; the title varies somewhat. It has been translated by expressions of different meanings.
The uncertainty is understanding what media, "middle", infima, "low", mean in this context. The media is securely connected to Medieval Latin by Cange's own terminology expounded in the Praefatio, such as scriptores mediae aetatis, "writers of the middle age." Cange's Glossary takes words from authors ranging from the Christian period to the Renaissance, dipping into the classical period if a word originated there. Either media et infima Latinitas refers to one age, which must be the middle age covering the entire post-classical range, or it refers to two consecutive periods, infima Latinitas and media Latinitas. Both interpretations have their adherents. In the former case the infimae appears extraneous; the two-period case postulates a second unity of style, infima Latinitas, translated into English as "Low Latin". Cange in the glossarial part of his Glossary identifies some words as being used by purioris Latinitatis scriptores, such as Cicero, he has said in the Preface that he rejects the a
A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They have the authority or power to administer religious rites, their office or position is the priesthood, a term which may apply to such persons collectively. According to the trifunctional hypothesis of prehistoric Proto-Indo-European society, priests have existed since the earliest of times and in the simplest societies, most as a result of agricultural surplus and consequent social stratification; the necessity to read sacred texts and keep temple or church records helped foster literacy in many early societies. Priests exist in many religions today, such as all or some branches of Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism, they are regarded as having privileged contact with the deity or deities of the religion to which they subscribe interpreting the meaning of events and performing the rituals of the religion. There is no common definition of the duties of priesthood between faiths.
These include blessing worshipers with prayers of joy at marriages, after a birth, at consecrations, teaching the wisdom and dogma of the faith at any regular worship service, mediating and easing the experience of grief and death at funerals – maintaining a spiritual connection to the afterlife in faiths where such a concept exists. Administering religious building grounds and office affairs and papers, including any religious library or collection of sacred texts, is commonly a responsibility – for example, the modern term for clerical duties in a secular office refers to the duties of a cleric; the question of which religions have a "priest" depends on how the titles of leaders are used or translated into English. In some cases, leaders are more like those that other believers will turn to for advice on spiritual matters, less of a "person authorized to perform the sacred rituals." For example, clergy in Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy are priests, but in Protestant Christianity they are minister and pastor.
The terms priest and priestess are sufficiently generic that they may be used in an anthropological sense to describe the religious mediators of an unknown or otherwise unspecified religion. In many religions, being a priest or priestess is a full-time position, ruling out any other career. Many Christian priests and pastors choose or are mandated to dedicate themselves to their churches and receive their living directly from their churches. In other cases it is a part-time role. For example, in the early history of Iceland the chieftains were titled goði, a word meaning "priest"; as seen in the saga of Hrafnkell Freysgoði, being a priest consisted of offering periodic sacrifices to the Norse gods and goddesses. In some religions, being a priest or priestess is by human election or human choice. In Judaism the priesthood is inherited in familial lines. In a theocracy, a society is governed by its priesthood; the word "priest", is derived from Greek via Latin presbyter, the term for "elder" elders of Jewish or Christian communities in late antiquity.
The Latin presbyter represents Greek πρεσβύτερος presbúteros, the regular Latin word for "priest" being sacerdos, corresponding to ἱερεύς hiereús. It is possible that the Latin word was loaned into Old English, only from Old English reached other Germanic languages via the Anglo-Saxon mission to the continent, giving Old Icelandic prestr, Old Swedish präster, Old High German priast. Old High German has the disyllabic priester, priestar derived from Latin independently via Old French presbtre. Αn alternative theory makes priest cognate with Old High German priast, from Vulgar Latin *prevost "one put over others", from Latin praepositus "person placed in charge". That English should have only the single term priest to translate presbyter and sacerdos came to be seen as a problem in English Bible translations; the presbyter is the minister who both presides and instructs a Christian congregation, while the sacerdos, offerer of sacrifices, or in a Christian context the eucharist, performs "mediatorial offices between God and man".
The feminine English noun, was coined in the 17th century, to refer to female priests of the pre-Christian religions of classical antiquity. In the 20th century, the word was used in controversies surrounding the women ordained in the Anglican communion, who are referred to as "priests", irrespective of gender, the term priestess is considered archaic in Christianity. In historical polytheism, a priest administers the sacrifice to a deity in elaborate ritual. In the Ancient Near East, the priesthood acted on behalf of the deities in managing their property. Priestesses in antiquity performed sacred prostitution, in Ancient Greece, some priestesses such as Pythia, priestess at Delphi, acted as oracles. Sumerian en were top-ranking priestesses who were distinguished with special ceremonial attire and held equal status to high priests, they owned property, transacted business, initiated the hieros gamos with priests and kings. Enheduanna was the first known holder of the title en. Nadītu served as priestesses in the temples of Inanna in the city of Uruk.
They were recruited from the highest families in the land and were supposed to remain childless, own