Chorepiscopi are first mentioned by Eusebius as existing in the second century. In the beginning, it seems the chorepiscopi exercised regular episcopal functions in their rural districts, but from the late third century they were subject to city or metropolitan bishops. The Synod of Ancyra (314) specifically forbade them to ordain deacons or priests. The Council of Sardica (343) decreed that no chorepiscopus should be consecrated where a priest would suffice, and so the chorepiscopi in the Byzantine Church gradually disappeared.
The first mentions of chorepiscopi in the Western church are from the 5th or 6th century, where they were found mainly in Germany (especially Bavaria) and the Frankish lands. In the Western Church, they were treated as auxiliary bishops and operated like archdeacons or vicars general. They gradually disappeared as an office by the 12th century in the West and were replaced by archdeacons to administer subdivisions of a diocese.
In the principality of Kakheti in medieval Georgia, the title of chorepiscopus (k'orepiskoposi or k'orikozi) became secular and was borne by several princes of that province from the early 9th century into the 11th.