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AEDIT´UI

AEDIT´UI (νεωκόροι, ζάκοροι, ἱεροφύλακες), more anciently called AEDITUMI or AEDITIMI (Varr. R. R. 1.2.1; L. L. 7.12, 8.61; Gel. 12.10.4: aedituentes, Lucr. 6.1275; Gel. 12.10.8), persons who took care of the temples, and attended to the cleaning of them. Notwithstanding this menial service, they partook of the priestly character, and are sometimes even called priests by the Greek grammarians. (Suid., Hesych., Etym. M. s. v. ζάκορος; Pollux, 1.14.) In many cases they were women, as Timo in Herodotus (6.134), who also speaks of her as ὑποζάκορος, from which it is clear that in some places several of these priests must have been attached to one and the same temple, and that they differed among themselves in rank. Subsequently the menial services connected with the office of the Neocori were left to slaves, and the latter became a title given to priestly officers of high rank, of whom an account is given in a separate article. [NEOCORI] The aeditui lived in the temples, or near them, and acted as ciceroni to those persons who wished to see them. (Plaut. Curc. 1.3, 48; Cic. Ver. 4.44, 96; Liv. 30.17; Schol. ad Hor. Ep. 2.1, 230; Suet. Dom. 1.) They seem also to have had the administration of the property of the temple, and were anciently held in great honour (Serv. ad Verg. A. 9.648). They were probably the same as the curatores templi, frequently mentioned in inscriptions (Orelli, Inscr. 220, 6: cf. Paul. Diac. s.v. Varr. L. L. 7.12; Cic. de Har. Resp. 14, 31).

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