The discussion about provosts has reminded me of a nagging 
problem I have about one.  I am working on a history of the 
Arena Chapel in Padua, an oddity because it combined the 
functions of a parish church, a private chapel and a 
semi-private confraternal oratory.  In documents it's 
soemtimes referred to as ecclesia seu capella, or as 
ecclesia parva quasi oratorium (forgive latin, I'm quoting 
from memory).

The Chapel had a prepositus by 1307 (it was dedicated in 
1303), although as far as I can tell it only had one altar 
and presumably therefore only one priest at this date.  It 
was probably already well endowed with lands and became more 
so in 1317 when an endowment speaks of the prepositus (who 
must be a priest) plus three other priests (who must all be 
subject to the Augustian rule), three clergy and an 
unspecified number of servants (acolytes?).  By this date it 
probably also had three altars.

My question is what might the prepositus's role have been in 
1307, when he appears to have had few if any people 'under' 
him? Also, if in 1317 the priests and clerics lived as a 
community under the Augustian rule, does this mean they were 
secular canons?

As an art historian, I am out of my depth in such matters, 
so help would be appreciated.

Laura Jacobus
Birkbeck College, London