On the subject of the rural bishops, or Chorepiscopi, who voted in synods, and conferred the minor orders, see Thomassin, Discipline de l'Eglise, tom. i. p. 447, etc. and Chardon, Hist. des Sacramens, tom. v. p. 395, etc. They do not appear till the fourth century; and this equivocal character, which had excited the jealousy of the prelates, was abolished before the end of the tenth, both in the East and the West.