The priests and certain wise men were the depositaries of this mysterious but highly useful art, that was called hik or magic; and one of the chief differences between gods and men was the superior degree in which the former were endowed with magical powers.
In the Greek and Latin Church the few fathers who, like Origen and Jerome, knew something of the language, were wholly dependent on their Jewish teachers, and their chief value for us is as depositaries of Jewish tradition.
The Areois enjoyed great privileges, and were considered as depositaries of knowledge and as mediators between God and man.
During the medieval era of internecine strife the Buddhist priests were the sole depositaries of literary talent, and seeing that, from the close of the 14th century, the ShintO mime (Kagura) was largely employed by the military class to invo,~ce or acknowledge the assistance of the gods, the monks of Buddha set themselves to compose librettos for this mime, and the performance, thus modified, received the name of NO.
The chief depositaries of these Mandaean mysteries are the priests, who enjoy a high degree of power and social regard.