Eparchy

While Greek of the fifth century b.c. (Aeschylus) could identify a commanding officer as eparchos, significant usage began with observation of the expansion of Roman jurisdiction. From Polybius the term equates the Latin praefectus (1 Clem. 37.3) and eparchia, the province under his jurisdiction (Acts 23:34). Patristic citation, while noting the variations of third century a.d. Roman imperial reform, retained the basic meaning, adding only to it the awareness of Christian ecclesiastical presence directly within the imperial framework. Hence “eparchy” became also the jurisdiction of the metropolitan,* that bishop of a province being referred to as eparchiotems.