Although the functions associated with someone charged with responsibility for the doors of a church—and by extension for the church building as a whole—were required, the development of a specific office that would be institutionally and ritually recognized was not inevitable. The ambiguities attached to the office relate to its name, where and whether it was situated in the clerical cursus, and the range of presumed actual and symbolic duties. Gathering together the scattered evidence for Gaul, Spain, and Italy from the later fourth century until the eighth century merely exacerbates the confused situation. That it became the first step in the clerical cursus is mainly due to the dominant influence of three sources deemed to be authoritative: the Statuta ecclesiae antiqua, the De septem ordinibus ecclesiae, and certain writings of Isidore of Seville.

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