Parasiti (παράσιτοι, fellow-waiters), assistants to certain priests among the ancient Greeks. The gods to whose service parasites were attached were Apollo, Heracles, the Anaces, and Athena of Pallene. They were generally elected from the most ancient and illustrious families, but what were the precise duties assigned to them it is difficult to discover. They were twelve in number, and received as the remuneration for their services a third part of the sacrifices offered to their respective gods. Parasites were also appointed as assistants to the highest magistrates in Greece. Thus there were both civil and priestly parasites. The term is now generally used to denotes flatterers or sycophants of any kind. Paratorium, a name sometimes given to the Oblationarium (q.v.) of the Ordo Romanus, because when the offerings were received preparation was made out of them for the Eucharist.

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