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mĭnister , tra, trum, adj. (
I.gen. plur. ministrūm, Stat. S. 3, 1, 86) [a double comp. in form, from minus and comp. ending -ter, Gr. τερ-ος; cf.: magister, sinister], that is at hand, that serves, ministers (as an adj. only poet. and later): lumina (i. e. oculi) propositi facta ministra tui, that further, promote; promotive, or in a subst. sense, Ov. H. 21, 114: “minister Grex,Sil. 11, 274: “ardor,Lucr. 5, 297: “ministro baculo,with the aid of a staff, Ov. Ib. 261.—
II. Subst.
A. mĭnister , tri, m., an attendant, waiter, servant; also a priest's attendant or assistant; likewise an inferior officer, underofficial; hence, transf., an aider in a good or bad sense, a furtherer, promoter, helper, an abettor, accomplice: “centum aliae (famulae), totidemque pares aetate ministri,Verg. A. 1, 705: “Phrygius,the cup-bearer Ganymede, Val. Fl. 5, 691; Mart. 12, 15, 7: “Falerni,a cup -bearer, Cat. 27, 1: “ministri publici Martis,Cic. Clu. 15, 43: “hostia Inter cunctantes cecidit moribunda ministros,Verg. G. 3, 488: “ministri imperii tui,inferior officers, under-officials, Cic. Q. Fr 1, 1, 3: “regni,an assistant in the regal government, a minister, Just. 16, 1, 3: “infimi homines ministros se praebent in judiciis oratoribus,” i. e. inform the orators what the law is, Cic. de Or 1, 45, 146: “legum,a minister, administrator, id. Clu. 53, 198: “sermonum,a mediator, negotiator, Tac. H. 2, 99: “consiliorum suorum,Vell. 2, 129, 3: “Tiberius Alexander ... minister bello datus,Tac. A. 15, 28: “ministri ac servi seditionum,Cic. Fam. 1, 9, 13: “ministri ac satellites cupiditatum,id. Verr 2, 3, 8, § 21; so, “furoris alieni,agents, instruments, Lact. 5, 11: “libidinis, Cic Lael. 10, 35: socii scelerum atque ministri,Lucr. 3, 61: “Calchante ministro,with the help of Calchas, Verg. A. 2, 100: “ministrum esse in maleficio,Cic. Clu. 22, 60: “minister fulminis ales,” i. e. the eagle, Hor. C. 4, 4, 1: “calidae gelidaeque (aquae) minister,one who serves, Juv. 5, 63: “me nemo ministro fur erit,by my aid, id. 3, 46.—Esp. (eccl. Lat.), a minister of religion, a preacher of Christ: “ut sim minister Christi,Vulg. Rom. 15, 16; id. Eph. 3, 7: “fidelis,id. ib. 6, 21: “Dei,id. 2 Cor. 6, 4: “optimus,Aug. Conf. 10, 26.—Of inanimate things: “sit anulus tuus non minister alienae voluntatis,Cic. Q. Fr 1, 1, 4: “taedae, ardore ministro, suppeditant novum lumen,Lucr. 5, 297.—
B. mĭnistra , ae, f., a female attendant, maid-servant; a female assistant or minister, at religious worship (class. only in the trop. signif.).
1. Lit.: “una ministrarum,Ov. M. 9, 90; 306; 14, 705: “accipiat missas apta ministra notas,Ov. A. A. 3, 470: “ara deae certe tremuit, pariente ministrā,” i. e. the Vestal Sylvia, id. F. 3, 47.—Also among Christians: “ancillae, quae ministrae dicebantur,” i. e. deaconesses, Plin. Ep. 10, 97, 8.—
2. Trop., a servant, handmaid; in a bad sense, an aider, accessory, abettor: “ministra et famula corporis res familiaris,Cic. Tusc. 1, 31, 75: “voluptatum satellites et ministrae,id. Fin. 2, 12, 37: “Camilla delegit pacisque bonas bellique ministras,Verg. A. 11, 658.
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