An apocrisiarius (Latinized from the Greek Αποκρισιάριος; sometimes Anglicized as apocrisiary) was a high diplomatic representative during Late Antiquity and the early medieval period.

The 'purist' Latin term was responsalis "he who answers". The closest modern equivalent is a papal nuncio, but the term "apocrisiarius" is a title still employed by the Anglican church.

To posts in the East

An apocrisiarius was a cleric who served as the representative (also described as legate, a less precise term) of a Patriarch.

The most famous apocrisiarii were sent from circa 452 till 743, by the Pope, as head of the Catholic Church and (then still only Western) Patriarch of Rome, to the Byzantine "New Rome", Constantinople, the secular capital of the Eastern Roman Empire. This post was filled by several notable clergymen. Some went on to become pope themselves, including Pope Gregory I, Pope Sabinian, Pope Boniface III and Pope Martin I.

The title was also used for the representative of a metropolitan archbishop at the court of his 'territorial' patriarch in either Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch or Jerusalem. Furthermore, the same title was used for secular officials carrying correspondence of the Byzantine Emperor.

In the West (after the fall of Rome)

At the court of the Exarchate of Ravenna, "apocrisiarii" were the permanent representatives of the Pope and the Byzantine Emperor. In turn, at least during the pontificate of Pope Gregory I, the Archbishop of Ravenna had a special "responsalis" at the papal court.

From the reign of Charlemagne, the court of the Frankish king/emperor had clerical members styled "apocrisiarii". However, they were only royal archchaplains decorated with the title of the ancient papal envoys, since they did not perform any diplomatic duties.


In the modern Anglican Communion, representatives of the Archbishop of Canterbury to various churches are styled "apocrisiarioi". [ [http://www.europe.anglican.org/partners/partners_apocrisiarioi.htm Partners - Apocrisiaroi ] ]


ources and references

* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01600a.htm various articles in the Catholic Encyclopaedia]
*"Nouveau petit Larousse illustré" (1952, encyclopaedic dictionary in French)

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  • Apocrisiarius — • Indicates in general the ecclesiastical envoys of Christian antiquity, whether permanent or sent temporarily on missions to high ecclesiastical authorities or royal courts Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Apocrisiarius      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • APOCRISIARIUS — quoque officii Monastici nomen est, quod sic describit Udalricus Consnetud. Cluniac. l. 3. c. 12. Apocrisiarius est, qui cusiodit Ecclesiae thesaurum et in cuies manu est, quidquid ad Altaria offertur etc. Idem Thesaurarius, item Legatus, dicitur …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Apocrisiarĭus — (v. gr.) 1) bei den byzantinischen Kaisern ein an einen andern Hof Abgesandter; 2) Geschäftsträger des römischen Bischof an dem Hof zu Constantinopel; bes. 3) (Responsales negotiorum ecclesiasticorum), am fränkischen Königshofe der… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Apocrisiarĭus — (griech.), 1) der ständige geistliche Gesandte aller Patriarchen und unter ihnen auch des römischen Papstes am kaiserlichen Hof zu Konstantinopel. – 2) Im fränkischen Reich der oberste kirchliche Würdenträger am königlichen Hof, eine Art… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Apocrisiarius — Apocrisiarĭus (grch. Apokrisiarios), früher Titel eines bischöfl., bes. des röm. Abgesandten am kaiserl. Hofe in Konstantinopel; am fränk. Hofe Titel des obersten Geistlichen, der zugleich Oberaufseher über die Hofkanzlei war …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Apocrisiarius — Apocrisiary Ap o*cris i*a*ry, ||Apocrisiarius Ap o*cris i*a ri*us, n. [L. apocrisiarius, apocrisarius, fr. Gr. ? answer, fr. ? to answer; ? from + ? to separate.] (Eccl.) A delegate or deputy; especially, the pope s nuncio or legate at… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • apocrisiarius — ap·o·cri·si·ar·i·us …   English syllables

  • apocrisiarius — Same as apocrisarius …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • apocrisiarius — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Papal apocrisiarius — The apocrisiarius or apocrisiary was the legate from the Pope to the Patriarch of Constantinople, circa 452 743,[1] equivalent to the modern nunciature. Contents 1 Nomenclature 2 History and functions …   Wikipedia

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