The Parabalani (Late Latin parabalānī “persons who risk their lives as nurses”, from Ancient Greekπαραβαλανεῖς) or Parabolani (from παραβολᾶνοι or παράβολοι)[1] were the members of a brotherhood, who in early Christianity voluntarily undertook the care of the sick and the burial of the dead, knowing that they themselves could die.

Generally drawn from the lower strata of society, they also functioned as attendants to local bishops and were sometimes used by them as bodyguards and in violent clashes with their opponents.

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