Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1038
Signatures of the presbyters and "fathers" (abbates) present at the Fifteenth Council in Toledo (Iberian Peninsula, AD 688).
Signatures of the bishops present at the council. Then follow:
Item abbates.
[62] Absalius abba subscripsi.
[63] Felix arcipresbyter subscripsi.
[64] Gerontius abba subscripsi.
[65] Gabriel abba subscripsi.
[66] Castorius abba subscripsi.
[67] Sisebertus abba subscripsi.
[68] Eulalius abba subscripsi.
[69] Inuolatus abba subscripsi.
[70] Adeodatus abba subscripsi.
[71] Vuisandus arcidiaconus subscripsi.
[72] Massacius primiclerius subscripsi.
Item uicarii episcoporum.
[73] Sesuldus indignus arcipresbyter et abba, agens uicem domini sui et pontificis Cipriani Tarraconensis episcopi, subscripsi.
[74] Florentinus presbyter, agens uicem domini et pontificis mei Leoberici Orgellitani episcopi subscripsi.
[75] Daniel presbyter, agens uicem domini et pontificis mei Agripi Ossonobensis episcopi, subscripsi.
[76] Suniulfus abba, agens uicem domini mei et pontificis Flori Mentesani episcopi, subscripsi.
[77] Desiderius presbyter, agens uicem domini et pontificis mei Nandarbi Astigitanae sedis episcopi, subscripsi.
Here follow the signatures of the lay dignitaries.
(eds. Martínez Díez, Rodríguez 2002: 339-342)
Signatures of the bishops present at the council. Then follow:
The abbots.
[62] I, Absalius abbot, signed.
[63] I, Felix archpresbyter, signed.
[64] I, Gerontius abbot, signed.
[65] I, Gabriel, abbot signed.
[66] I, Castorius, abbot signed.
[67] I, Sisebertus, abbot signed.
[68] I, Eulalius, abbot signed.
[69] I, Inuolatus, abbot signed.
[70] I, Adeodatus, abbot signed.
[71] I, Vuisandus, archdeacon signed.
[72] I, Massacius, primiclerius signed.
Then the deputies of the bishops.
[73] I, Sesuldus unworthy archpresbyter and abba acting on behalf of my lord and pontiff Cyprian, bishop of Tarragona, signed.
[74] I, Florentinus presbyter, acting on behalf of my lord and pontiff Leobericus, bishop of Urgell, signed.
[75] I, Daniel presbyter, acting on behalf of my lord and pontiff Agripa, bishop of Ossonoba, signed.
[76] I, Suniulfus abba, acting on behalf of my lord and pontiff Florus, bishop of Mentesa, signed.
[77] I, Desiderius presbyter, acting on behalf of my lord and pontiff Nandarbus, bishop of the see of Astigi signed.
Here follow the signatures of the lay dignitaries.
(trans. M. Szada)


Similarly as in the case of the Thirteenth ([1027]) and Fourteenth Councils of Toledo ([1026]) in AD 683 and 684, I suppose that abbots in the section of the list following the signatures of the bishops are superiors of monasteries (for comparison see signatures of the Eleventh Council of Toledo in AD 675 in which present abbots are identified by their monastery), while abbates in the section of the signatures of the deputies of the absent bishops are members of the diocesan clergy (see Canon 11 of the council of Merida in AD 666 [817], which puts them between presbyters and deacons). We do not know whether they had presbyterial ordination, but Canon 3 of the Eleventh Council of Toledo in AD 675 [857] mentions abbates celebrating Divine Office and Mass. It is possible that abba was a title of a cleric in charge of a basilica (cf. the study of the "abbots of the basilicas" in sixth-century Gaul by Pietri 1983). Bishko (1941) acknowledges the difference between abbots present at the council at their own and those who were representatives of the bishops. He assumes, however, that both these groups belonged to the monastic milieu; he proposes that bishops from distant dioceses were asking the abbots of the monasteries from Toledo and its close proximity to represent them at the council. There is no decisive argument backing this claim. It is, however, accepted by Orlandis (1986).

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Gaul
  • Toledo
  • Tarragona
  • Elne
  • Egara
  • Baeza
  • Ampurias
  • Gerona
  • Ausona
  • Elvira
  • Huesca
  • Calahorra
  • Astorga
  • Acci
  • Valeria
  • Auca
  • Narbonne
  • Carcassonne

About the source:

Title: Concilium Toletanum XV a. 688, Concilium XV Toletanum a. 688, Fifteenth Council of Toledo in 688 AD
Origin: Toledo (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The Fifteenth Council of Toledo opened on 11 May 688 during the reign of King Egica (687–702). It dealt mainly with the Christological issues because the Fourteenth Council of Toledo in 684 that had originally discussed them was attended by sixteen bishops, from the province of Carthaginensis only. On the Christological controversy in Spain see Murphy 1951.
G. Martínez Díez, F. Rodríguez eds., La colección canónica Hispana, Monumenta Hispaniae sacra. Serie canónica 6, Madrid 2002.
C.J. Bishko, "Spanish abbots and the Visigothic Councils of Toledo”, [in :] Humanistic Studies in honor of John Calvin Metcalf, Charlottesville 1941, 139–50 (reprinted in: C.J. Bishko, Spanish and Portugese Monastic History 600–1300, Aldershot 1984).
R. Collins, Visigothic Spain, 409-711, Oxford 2004.
F.X. Murphy, "Julian of Toledo and the condemnation of Monothelitism in Spain,” [in :] Mélanges Joseph de Ghellinck, Gembloux 1951, 361–73.
J. Orlandis, "Abades y concilios en la Hispania visigotica", in Los Visigodos, historia y civilizacion. Actas de la Semana Internacional de Estudios Visigóticos (Madrid –  Toledo – Alcala de Henares, 21–25 octubre de 1985), Antiguedad y Cristianismo. Monografias historicas sobre la antiguedad tardia III, Murcia 1986, 221-233
L. Pietri, "Les abbés de basilique dans la Gaule du VIe siècle”, Revue d’histoire de l’Église de France 69 (1983), 5-28.


Travel and change of residence
Functions within the Church - Archpresbyter
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Abba
Ecclesiastical administration - Participation in councils and ecclesiastical courts
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Another presbyter
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1038,