Paharnic (cup-bearer) was a court office in Moldavia and Wallachia until the end of the 13th century. The holder was responsible for the wine-cellar of the prince and for serving him cups with wine at banquets, tasting the wine to ensure that it was not poisoned. The office of paharnic (Latin: picerna or buticularius) is first mentioned on Jan. 8, 1392 in Wallachia and on Nov. 18, 1393 in Moldavia. Eventually it became an honorary title in the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia.
There were several ranks of paharnic, the most important being the mare paharnic (great paharnic Latin: magister picernorum), called in Moldavia also Paharnic of Cornar and Hârlău. The mare paharnic was member of the princely council.
The paharnic was also in charge of collecting the desetina a tax equal to one tenth of the wine production, which was to be used by the princely court. He was also in charge of supervising the work in the countrie's wineyards and was in charge of authorizing the harvesting of the wineyards, traditionally on the day of the Holy Cross (September 14).
The wife of a paharnic was called păhărniceasă
- ^ Dregătorii în Tara Românească:importanță și atribuții (1601-1654)
- ^ Dimitrie Cantemir, Descrierea Moldovei, p. 126, 143
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