Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1041
Orosius, presbyter from Braga (Iberian Peninsula) addresses his work on the Priscillianist and Origenist heresies to Bishop Augustine of Hippo (Latin North Africa), whom he considers his teacher, in order to inform him what spiritual dangers threaten the Christianity in Spain, Orosius`s fatherland. Orosius, Commonitorium written in North Africa, AD 414.
1. Iam quidem suggesseram sanctitati tuae, sed commonitorium suggestae rei tunc offerre meditabar, cum te expeditum animo ab aliis dictandi necessitatibus esse sensissem. Sed quoniam domini mei, filii tui, Eutropius et Paulus episcopi eadem qua et ego puer uester salutis omnium utilitate permoti commonitorium iam dederunt de aliquantis haeresibus nec tamen omnes significarunt, necesse me fuit festinato edere et coaceruare in unum omnes perditionum arbores cum radicibus et ramis suis et offerre ignienti spiritui tuo, ut tu uiso agmine perspectaque nequitia permetiaris, quam possis dispositionem adhibere uirtutis. Tu tantum, beatissime pater, malignas aliorum plantationes uel insertiones erue atque succide et ueram sparge sementem nobis de tuis fontibus rigaturis. Ego deum testem spondeo et incrementum operis tui spero, quia terra illa quae nunc ingratos fructus insincera cultura exhibet, si eam de manna illo recondito apud te mandando et replendo uisitaueris, usque in centesimum fructum profusa aliquando liberius ubertate proficiet. Per te dominus deus noster, per te, inquam, beate pater, quos castigauit in gladio, emendet in uerbo. Ad te per deum missus sum; de te per eum spero, dum considero qualiter actum est quod huc ueni. Agnosco, cur uenerim: sine uoluntate, sine necessitate, sine consensu de patria egressus sum, occulta quadam ui actus, donec in istius terrae litus adlatus sum; hic demum in eum resipiui intellectum quod ad te uenire mandabar. Inpudentem non iudices, si accipis confitentem. Fac me ad dilectam dominam meam idoneum negotiatorem, inuenta margarita, non fugitiuum seruum euersa substantia reuerti. Dilacerati grauius a doctoribus prauis quam a cruentissimis hostibus sumus. Nos confitemur offensam: tu peruides plagam; quod solum superest: adiuuante domino largire medicinam! Breuiter ergo et quid - ante male plantatum conualuit et quid postea peius insertum praeualuit, ostendam.
(ed. Schepss 1889: 151-152)
Orosius to the most blessed father Augustine, bishop.
1. I had, indeed, broached the subject to your Holiness earlier, but even then I was intending to present a memorandum on the subject I spoke of—once I was aware that youhad been freed from other matters demanding your attention. Since my masters, your sons, the bishops Eutropius and Paul, were motivated by the same concern for the salvation of all people as I, your child, and have already furnished a memorandum concerning several heresies, though they did not indicate them all, it was necessary for me promptly to reveal and gather into a pile all the trees of perdition, with their roots and branches, and offer them to your ardent spirit, so that, after you had seen their array and contemplated their evil, you might measure exactly what disposition of virtue you can employ. You, most blessed father, just remove and cut down the evil plantings or grafts of the others, and sow the true seed for us who will water them from your fountains. I pledge God as my witness, and I hope for the increase of your work, since that land now produces poor fruits because of improper cultivation. Yet, if you visit it with that hidden manna, entrusted to my keeping and restoring it, the landwill bear fruit up to a hundredfold, once your richness has beenpoured out upon it very profusely. Through you, blessed father, through you, I say, may the Lord our God correct by the word those whom he has chastened by the sword. I have been sent to you by God. Through him I place my hope in you, while I ponder how it happened that I have come here. I do recognize why I have come. It was not by choice, not by necessity, and not by common agreement that I departed from my native land. Rather, I was prompted by some hidden force, until I was delivered to the shores of this land. Here, at last, I have come to the realization that I was being ordered to come to you. Do not judge me impudent, but receive me as I make my confession. Allow me to return to my beloved mistress as a proper merchant who has found the pearl, and not as a runaway servant who has squandered his fortune. We have been more gravely wounded by evil teachers than by the most bloodthirsty of enemies. We, for our part, admit the blow; you, for yours, clearly discern the wound. Dispense, with the help of the Lord, the medicine which is alone sufficient! To this end, I will show briefly what was perniciously planted earlier and has gained strength, and what was, even worse, grafted on later and has now grown strong.
(trans. Hanson 1999: 168-169)


A war in Spain  mentioned here by Orosius is a consequence of the invasions of Vandals, Seuvi, and Alans.

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Hippo Regius

About the source:

Author: Orosius
Title: Commonitorium de errore Priscillianistarum et Origenistarum, Pauli Orosii ad Aurelium Augustinum Commonitorium de errore Priscillianistarum et Origenistarum, Ad Augustinum de errore Priscillianistarum et Origenistarum, Inquiry or Memorandum to Augustine on the error of the Priscillianists and Origenists
Origin: Hippo Regius (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Orosius, presbyter of Braga (Iberian Peninsula), composed the Commonitorium shortly after his arrival in North Africa in AD 414 and addressed it to Bishop Augustine of Hippo whom he encouraged to write a treatise on the Priscillianists and Origenists, Ad Orosium contra Priscillianistas et Origenistas (Hanson 1999: 99-100).
G. Schepss ed., Orosius, Commonitorium de errore Priscillianistarum et Origenistarum, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 18, Vienna 1889, 151-157
C.L. Hanson trans., Orosius, Book in defence against the Pelagians, in: Iberian Fathers, v. 3, Washington 1999, pp. 115-167


Travel and change of residence
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Heretic/Schismatic
Writing activity
Education - Theological interest
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1041,