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Cupbearers (right) in ancient times were often slaves - here, for example, in ancient Greece (460–450 BC).

The cupbearer , also Butigler or later Hofschenk ( Latin pincerna or buticularius , derived from it probably Pütker, as the court office in the Principality of Lüneburg was called - see also Cellarius or Kellerer , lat.cellarius ) was a court servant in the Middle Ages who was responsible for the supply of drinks - especially with wine  - was responsible, since Carolingian times, for the administration of the royal vineyards. At larger royal courts, the function of cupbearer developed into court office , which was often hereditary as an honorary position in a high-ranking aristocratic family, but was in fact usually performed by a deputy.

The office of cupbearer is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 40.1-23  EU , where the Pharaoh's cupbearer is mentioned, as well as in Neh 1,11  EU / Neh 2,1  EU and 1 Kings 10,5  Lut . Nehemiah himself was cupbearer of the Persian king Artaxerxes Longimanus, the son of Xerxes I in Susa . The office is also occupied by the Assyrian court (e.g. Aššur-bunaja-usur under Shalmaneser III ). There the cupbearer was a senior civil servant who could, for example, perform the office of eponymous civil servant .

The cupbearer's office was an office with a very high level of responsibility , but also a position of trust. Similar to the office of the pre-taster , which was already known in antiquity , the ruler entrusted the cupbearer with his health and well-being. Furthermore, the cupbearer had direct access to the king if he was in a good mood and available for favors. This position of trust led to the high reputation of the office into the high Middle Ages .

In the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation , the office of cupbearer was one of the four ore offices that would be associated with the secular electors . Thus the King of Bohemia was the arch-cupbearer of the Roman-German emperor . But all of these were purely honorary titles. The actual tasks associated with the offices were performed by the owners of the so-called Reichserbämter on behalf of the electors . The Reichserbschenk ( pincerna imperil ) for example, was at the ceremony for the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor in Frankfurt responsible, among other things, that free wine was served to the people.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: cupbearer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Cupbearers  - Collection of images, videos, and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Butigler . In: Prussian Academy of Sciences (Hrsg.): German legal dictionary . tape 2 , issue 5 (edited by Eberhard von Künßberg ). Hermann Böhlaus successor, Weimar 1963, DNB  453942601 , Sp. 662 ( - first edition: 1933, unchanged reprint).
  2. Fabian Fahlbusch, Simone Peschke: Family names according to occupation and personal characteristics (= German family name atlas. Volume 5). Walter de Gruyter, Berlin 2016, ISBN 978-3-11-042782-0 , p. 206 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  3. Joachim Ernst von Beust: From the post law and today's post quality. Volume 2. Cröker, Jena 1748, p. 916 u. 918 ( digitized version in the Google book search).