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with over 17,000 men serving on their staffs, another 5,500 or so holding very good jobs in the palatine ministries, and thousands more holding lesser positions. Many of these bureaucratic jobs were new during the fourth century

Each of the over 2,000 bishops had his own clergy The number of clerics varied considerably city by city. Most cities were small, and their bishops supervised a small clerical staff of priests, deacons, subdeacons, readers and gravediggers. Metropolitan bishops had larger staffs for their episcopal churches, as many as sixty or more. The clergy of cities that administered large surrounding territories included still more priests and deacons who served in parish churches and shrines. Basil of Caesarea's subordinate clergy included fifty 'rural bishops', who presumably ministered to the labourers on the vast imperial estates and ranches in Cappadocia. The bishops at the largest cities had enormous clerical staffs that kept expanding. At the end of the fifth century there were more than 500 clerics at Carthage. By the middle of the sixth century, the emperor Justinian decreed that the staff at Constantinople should be set at 'the ancient number' of 485 clerics, including 60 priests, 100 deacons, 90 subdeacons, 110 readers, 25 singers and 100 doorkeepers, as well as 40 deaconesses. The true astonishment is that this new total was a reduction in size, and that it represented only the primary clergy. Justinian also sanctioned a corps of 800 men to provide proper funerals.12

A century after Constantine the total of bishops and clerics in the empire was approximately one-third, perhaps even one-half, the size of the Roman army, and it certainly surpassed the number of magistrates and bureaucrats in the imperial administration. Many of these episcopal and clerical offices were also new during the fourth century. Increases in the size of the imperial administration and the army had already strained the resources of the empire and its cities. Now this large brotherhood of bishops and clerics was added to the financial burden.

A second important distinction from the imperial administration was a difference in tenure and attitudes. The imperial administration went down from the imperial courts to the level of provinces and cities. Even at its lower levels men used offices in the imperial ministries to improve their rank, prestige and wealth. Ambition fuelled office-holding, and men hoped for promotions by moving upward from office to office. At its upper levels men held offices for comparatively short tenures, governorships typically for a year or two, vicarates and prefectures for longer periods, and they would often return to

12 Rural bishops in Cappadocia: Gregory of Nazianzus, Carmina 2.1.11.447. Clerics at Carthage: Victor of Vita, Historia persecutionis Africanae provinciae 3.34. Constantinople: Justinian, Novellae 3.1, 43.1.

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