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In Homeric Greek, the one who takes the lead or makes a beginning, presumably militarily, could be called exarchos, but until the Christian era the term seems to have disappeared. Plutarch called the pontifex maximus by the term exarchos tomn hiereomn. Synodical canons from the fourth century used the term interchangeably with “metropolitan,”* or provincial bishop (see Eparchy), and from the fifth century the term could be applied to the supervisor of a council or of a monastery (see Archimandrite). In the Byzantine ecclesiastical state, “exarch” can designate also a viceroy with civil and military powers, or an archdeacon, as well as the founder of heresy.