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36 bytes added, 13:28, April 27, 2009
The title '''''protosyngellos''''' (in Greek, προτοσυνκελλοςπρωτοσυγκελλος; also spelled '''''protosynkellos''''' or '''''protosyncellus''''') is an honorific given by the [[bishop]] to a high-ranking [[clergy|cleric]] in a [[diocese]], usually a [[priest]]. The protosyngellos is often the most senior cleric in the diocese after the bishop. It is sometimes given simply to whomever has the most [[presbeia|seniority]], but it may also be an office, often translated into English as '''''chancellor''''', '''''chief bishop's chaplain''''' or '''''episcopal vicar'''''.
The term ''protosyngellos'' literally means "first cellmate." A ''syngellos'' is simply the cellmate of a monastic, while the cellmate of the bishop (who may often be a monastic) is styled the ''protos'' among the ''syngelloi''. In the early use of this title, it referred to a monastic who lived with the bishop and served him.
Through history, however, as with many such titles from the Eastern Roman Empire, they shifted from referring explicitly to literal roles and became associated with clerical rank, sometimes including an office. In the modern era, the protosyngellos may often act as a chancellor to the bishop or may simply be the highest in seniority.

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