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.
- 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 ( adw.uni-heidelberg.de - first edition: 1933, unchanged reprint).
- 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).
- 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).