I don't disagree with your assessment that a presbyter is a sub-bishop and I don't 
disagree that a presbyter is essentially a chorepiscopos. All I wanted to bring up 
was the chorepiscopos originally was an actual rural bishop (as the name 
implies) used on the understanding that (traditional) bishops were for assigned to 
metropolises and chorepiscopos were assigned to rural areas. Eventually, the 
chorepiscopos developed into a sub-bishop model.
I'm not so sure auxiliary bishops and titular bishops were ever consider a rank on 
their own. If I gave that impression, I apologize. I merely pointed out that the 
existence of auxiliary bishops hinges on the concept of titular bishops. One can 
only be ordained bishop on a diocese, even a defunct diocese. Conceptually, this 
is no different than a general bishop ordained on a non-physical diocese.
Was the use of ordaining bishops as titular bishops an abuse of the canon? 
Maybe. It looks like it was a sneaky work around. But the opposite view is 
justifiable. The existence of titular bishops was a theological declaration that 
even defunct diocese were not a mere passage of history. Rather they are (not 
were) also part of the full One Catholic Apostolic Church that transcends time. 
And since the One Catholic Apostolic Church shall by no means pass away, any 
defunct diocese is not considered extinct or passed, but found alive fully in some 
other medium. It would seem theologically wrong to say the Holy Spirit guided 
certain holy bishops to create diocese by cooperating with civil administration 
only to turn around and say now that a particular diocese does not exist and that 
church passed away, it was never really part of the Church.
It is difficult to state when the existence of titular bishop was found. According to 
The new Schaff-Herzog encyclopedia of religious knowledge, we begin to see 
some useful information. 
“If, therefore, occasion arose for the designation of a representative to perform episcopal 
functions in the place of an incapacitated bishop, it was necessary to call upon some neighboring 
bishop or one who happened to be in those parts. In the ninth and tenth centuries, certain 
Spanish bishops who had been driven from their sees by the Saracens, and in the tenth, some 
from Prussia and Livonia who were in a similar position, served in this capacity….So even after all 
hope of the recovery of these territories had been abandoned, bishops continued to be 
consecrated for these dioceses, called episcopi in partibus infidelium (bishops in the regions of 
the unbelieving)”
As one can see, there is a development from auxillary bishops (who happened to 
be unable to return to their sees and who helped similar diocesan bishops) to 
titular bishops (who were seen a diocese of unbelievers or potential believers). 
Both were never seen as violations of canonical law.
In anticipation of your exegesis on titular bishops occurring before the 
Rome/Constantinople schism, especially how St Gregory's case was an abuse, I 
would offer some comments on Chalcedon that must be factored in.
"The first and most obvious point is that all parties took for granted the happy coincidence of 
church and empire. As Christian apologists had recognized long before, the church’s universal 
vocation (“go into all nations”) and the Roman Empire’s aspirations to universality neatly 
complemented each other. As Vittorio Peri has put it, “The ecumenism of the Church and that of 
the State were so intertwined culturally and so ‘harmonized’ between themselves that they became interdependent in the common consciousness and behavior of Christians.” [6] In this 
situation, relationships of filiation and dependence in the ecclesiastical sphere quite naturally 
corresponded closely to the prevailing patterns of government and public life. The gospel spread 
from major cities to outlying areas, from capitals to dependencies. To a high degree, therefore, 
the geopolitical importance of a city and the antiquity of its church’s foundation coincided, 
reducing the potential for conflict between “accommodation” and “apostolicity..." (Chalcedon 
Canon 28: Yesterday and Today by Very Rev John H. Erickson)
As you can see here, the process of establishing diocese or organization of the 
Church was interdependent with that of the State. When Emperor Valens created 
the province, a church in Sasima was rightly established, as the custom had 
always been. It was not an abuse on St Basil's part, but on St Gregory for 
rejecting the common practice of the Church and exerting his preference for an 
established metropolis over a “land of barbarians”. We can’t blame St Gregory 
too much. Both he and St Basil were setting and redefining precedence. There 
was no standard here. It also doesn’t seem to be a big deal since both saints 
honored and wrote many things on the other. Not something you would do if your 
friend were really a tyrant.
We must also remember that the titular bishop practice and "extended" 
interpretation of Church canons was not exclusive to the Roman Catholic and 
Coptic Churches only.
"Meletios (Metaxakis), former archbishop of Cyprus and then archbishop of Athens, who served 
as patriarch of Constantinople from December 1921 to July 1923 and later went on to become 
patriarch of Alexandria. During his brief but busy tenure in Constantinople, ... particularly 
significant for our present purposes – introduced the canons of Chalcedon, and especially canon 
28, as justification for a series of interventions on Europe and America ... establishment of the 
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, on the grounds “the enactments of the 
canons and the traditional practice of the Church give to the most holy and apostolic patriarchal 
and ecumenical see the spiritual government of Orthodox communities outside of the regular 
boundaries of each of the Churches of God” (same source above)
If the establishment of the titular bishops and general bishops are a violation to 
the spirit of the canons, so is the establishment of the current GO archdiocese in 
America and Europe under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In 
addition, the patriarchate of Constantinople alone has three titular archdiocese,
58 titular sees in Turkey (which includes Sasima), 31 titular sees in outside 
Turkey, 53 historical sees that are not officially titular sees but could theoretically 
become titular sees. We are not confined to the single example of St Gregory. 
We are now applying canon justification for episcopal ordination in lands (1) 
without a flock and (2) far away from their respective mother churches. This 
leads us back to at least Chalcedon.
I eagerly await your long post.

http://tasbeha.org/community/uploads/FileUpload/c7/9f8af7cbca066551f9de3e2dc88099.pdf