Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 118
Presbyter Comasius makes an anti-Priscillianist profession of faith along with his Bishop Symphosius, probably bishop of Astorga in Galicia (Iberian Peninsula) and Dictinius, another bishop from Galicia, in 400 AD. Acts of the Council of Toledo (Iberian Peninsula) 400 AD.
Incipiunt exemplaria professionum in Concilio Toletano contra sectam Prisciliani:
Post habitum iam concilium kal. septembribus, tertio nonas septembris post diversas cognitiones tunc habitas, sub die octavo iduum septembrium excerpta sunt de plenariis gestis professiones domini Symphosii et domini Dictinii, sanctae memoriae episcoporum, et domini sanctae memoriae Comasii, tunc presbyteri. Quas inter reliquos habuerunt in concilio Toletano de damnatione Priscilliani vel sectae eius in hunc modum [...]
There follows the statement of Dictinius in which he wants to concord his faith with the orthodoxy expressed by the Toletan fathers and condemns his own writings
Comasius presbyter dixit: Nemo dubitet, me cum domino meo episcopo sentire et omnia damnare, quae damnavit, et nihil eius praeferre sapientiae, nisi solum Deum, atque ideo nolo ne dubitetis aliud esse facturum aliterve sensurum quam quod professus est; ac proinde quomodo dixit episcopus meus, quem sequor, quicquid ille damnavit et ego damno.
Era qua supra sub diem tertium iduum septembrium professiones sanctae memoriae episcoporum domini Symphosii et domni Dictinii et sanctae memoriae Comasii tunc presbiteri. Comasius presbiter dixit: Non timeo frequenter dicere quod semel dixissem, ut gaudeam. Sequor auctoritatem episcopi mei Simphosii; sequor sapientiam senis. Sentio quod dixi; si iubetis ex chartula relegam. Omnes id sequantur qui voluerint vestro haerere consortio.
Et Comasius presbyter ex chartula legit: Cum catholicam et Nicaenam fidem sequamur omnes et scriptura recitata sit, quam Donatus presbyter ut legitur, ingessit, ubi Priscillianus innascibilem esse Filium dixit, constat: hoc contra Nicaeanam fidem esse dictum, atque ideo Priscillianum huius dicti auctorem cum ipsius dicti perversitate et quos male condidit libros cum ipso auctore condemno.
There follows the condemnation of Priscillian's writings by Bishops Symphosius and Dictinus.
(ed. Vives 1963: 28-30)
The transcripts of professions in the Council of Toledo against the sect of Priscillian begin:
After the session of the council which took place on the Kalends of September [1 September], after various investigations on the third day before the Nones of September [3th September], on the eighth day before the Ides of September [6th September] the professions of Lord Symphosius and Lord Dictinius, the bishops of holy memory, and of Comasius of holy memory, then presbyter, were excerpted from the full acts [of the council]. They were held in the presence of others in the Council of Toledo about the condemnation of Priscillian and his sect in a following manner [...].
There follows the statement of Dictinius in which he wants to concord his faith with the orthodoxy expressed by the Toletan fathers and condemns his own writings.
Comasius presbyter said: "Let no one doubt that I agree with my lord and bishop, and that I condemn everything what he has condemned, and that nothing excels his wisdom, only one God, and for that reason I do not want you to doubt that anything else will be done and thought other than what was expressed. Hence, in the same manner I condemn everything that my bishop whom I obey condemned."
In the same year as above on the third day before the Ides of September [11 September] Lord Symphosius and Lord Dictinius, the bishops of holy memory, and Comasius of holy memory, then presbyter, gave their professions. Comasius said: "I am not afraid to say what I have once said that I am happy to follow the authority of my Bishop Symphosius; I follow the wisdom of the old man. I mean what I said. I will read again from the piece of parchment [ex chartula] if you order. All the people who want to be in communion with you will hold the same opinions."
And presbyter Comasius read from the piece of parchment: "Since we all follow the Catholic and Nicene creed and the text presented by the presbyter Donatus was read out, in which Priscillian said that the Son is unbegetable, it is proved that this was said against the Nicene Creed. Therefore I condemn Priscillian, author of this statement along with the perversity of this statement, and the erroneous books he has written and the author himself. [...]"
There follows the condemnation of Priscillian's writings by Bishops Symphosius and Dictinus.
(trans. by M. Szada)


Most scholars assume that Symphosius was a bishop of Astorga, because he seemed to act like a metropolitan bishop for Galicia. They also identify him with Bishop Symphosius present at the Council of Saragossa in 380 AD. R. Van Dam proposed rather to identify Symphosius from the acts of the Council of Toledo with Symphosius, bishop who was send as an envoy from Galicians to King Hermericus of the Suevi in 433 AD, mentioned by Hydatius in his Chronicle (Van Dam 1992: 109, n. 111).
The phrase tunc presbyteri may suggest that Comasius later became a bishop.

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Toledo
  • Astorga

About the source:

Title: Council of Toledo I, Concilium Toletanum I
Origin: Toledo (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The Transcript of the Professions Held in the Council of Toledo against the Sect of Priscillian has been transmitted in the manuscript tradition separate from the canonical collection of Hispana (Chadwick 1976: 179-181; Burrus 1995: 104-105).
G. Martínez Díez, F. Rodríguez, eds., La colección canónica Hispana, v. 4 Concilios Galos. Concilios Hispanos: primera parte, Madrid 1984.
J. Vives, Concilios visigóticos e hispano-romanos, Barcelona-Madrid 1963.
V. Burrus, The making of a heretic: gender, authority, and the Priscillianist controversy, Berkeley 1995.
H. Chadwick, Priscillian of Avila: the occult and the charismatic in the early church, Oxford 1976.
R. Van Dam, Leadership and community in late antique Gaul, Berkeley, Calif. 1992.
A. Weckwerth, Das erste Konzil von Toledo: philologischer und kirchenhistorischer Kommentar zur Constitutio concilii, Münster, Westfalen 2004.


Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Priscillianist
Change of denomination
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Participation in councils and ecclesiastical courts
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, ER118,