ARCHIPHERECITES, title. In the Novella 145 of justinian , of 553, the "elders, archipherecites, presbyters, and those called magistrates" were forbidden to use the power of anathema to prevent the reading of the Scriptures in synagogue in Greek, Latin, or another language other than the original. The title was apparently applied to the intellectual leaders of Palestinian Jewry after the abolition of the patriarchate in 425. It is assumed that the archipherecites mentioned by Justinian was mar zutra III, who was at the head of the Academy of Tiberias, by virtue of which position he was the official leader of Palestinian Jewry. The word archipherecites is apparently a hybrid word formed from the Aramaic פִּירְקָא (pirka) and the Greek ἁρχή ("chief") and is thus equivalent to the phrase resh pirka, "head of the school" (cf. Kid. 31b). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: J. Parkes, Conflict of Church and Synagogue (1934), 292–3; Juster, Juifs, 1 (1914), 399 ff.; 2 (1914), 116 ff.; Mann, Egypt, 1 (1920), 58–97, 269.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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