The Parabolani of Alexandria were a charitable
corporation, instituted during the plague of Gallienus, to
visit the sick and to bury the dead. They gradually
enlarged, abused, and sold the privileges of their order.
Their outrageous conduct during the reign of Cyril provoked
the emperor to deprive the patriarch of their nomination,
and to restrain their number to five or six hundred. But
these restraints were transient and ineffectual. See the
Theodosian Code, l. xvi. tit. ii. and Tillemont, Mem.
Eccles. tom. xiv. p. 276 - 278.
The History Of The Decline And
Fall Of The Roman Empire
—Fall In The East