Eparchy(redirected from eparchial)
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(or diocese), a territorial unit of ecclesiastic administration in the Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican churches, headed by a bishop. In Kievan Rus’ the division into eparchies was brought about under Grand Prince Vladimir Sviatoslavich in the tenth century, at which time they numbered not more than eight. Subsequently the division of Russia into eparchies corresponded roughly to the administrative division into provinces. By the early 19th century Russia had 36 independent eparchies, each headed by an eparchial bishop. At the present time the boundaries of the eparchies—where they exist—roughly correspond to the administrative division of the USSR into oblasts and republics.