Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1502
Ennodius, deacon of Milan (Italy), writes a letter to the Presbyter Adeodatus of Rome, in which he asks him to inscribe an epigraph composed by him on the tomb of a certain Cynegia. He also asks him to pass his greetings to the Pope and requests from the Pope in some case; ca 500. Letter VII, 28 = no. 361 in Vogel.
Book VII, Letter 28 = no. 361 in the edition of Vogel
Voto meo obsequitur quae ministra ad vos scriptionis existit occasio. nam et praesentiae vice blanditur adloquium et promittit sibi de paginarum promulgatione quod exhibet, quia emendatissimi homines sicut derogari virtutibus suis aestimant, aliquos in diligentiae testimonio praevios extitisse, ita ignominiam reputant exempla neglegere. vixit inter sanctos viros ista communio, ut per intimi hominis providentiam nil noceret terrena sequestratio. par est, domine, ut et votum meum sequaris et formam. ergo salutans principe loco, ut mei memor sis deprecor, ut quod mihi per neglegentiam meam subtrahitur, divinae gratiae per vos suffragio conferatur. indico ergo non mentiens, nocte tertia a profectione mea ingratam mihi sanctam dominam meam Cynegiam apparuisse in ipso lucis exordio, et multum ab ea me de itineris properatione culpatum, quare etiam nullis versibus sepulchrum eius esset honoratum, non sub verborum lenitate conquestam. haec quidem ego non ad imaginem profeticae veritatis adcepi nec nocturnis forte inlusionibus operis mei sudore litavi, sed quia facile suadetur amantibus, debitum opus non laboravit exigere quae monebat. salva est dominae reverentia. versus quos direxi per diem iudicii te coniuro ut in pariete supra ad pedes scribi mox facias. gratum noveris et filio tuo futurum; vult enim merita illius multorum ore celebrari, sed in eo modo quo illos hic invenis. dominam meam Stephaniam et dominam Sabianam, sed et dominam Fadillam pro me saluta. si scripti fuerint, mox rescribe. domno papae dignare dicere, ut aliquid per diaconum Dioscorum de mea causa ordinet. quantum in festinatione veredarii potui, scripsi. domnum et fratrem Hormisdam satis pro me salutate, cui dicite ut clavem illam mittat.
(ed. Vogel 1885: 259)
Book VII, Letter 28 = no. 361 in the edition of Vogel
Ennodius to the Presbyter Adeodatus
The occasion which prompts me to write to you is in accordance with my wishes. Because this conversation as a substitute of the presence is soothing, and the sending of a letter gives me promise of receiving one. The most perfect men consider themselves to be diminished in all their virtue if they are bested in manifesting affection, and they consider it dishonourable to ignore examples [of affection shown to them]. The holy men lived in such a communion that because of the watchfulness of the close person the earthly distance could not harm them. It will be the same with us, my lord, if you embrace both my desire and my manner. In the first place then I greet you and ask you to remember me, so that what I have lost through negligence may be bestowed on me by the divine grace thanks to your help.
I tell you – I do not lie! –, that on the third night after my departure my lady Cynegia appeared to me in an unpleasant dream at the break of dawn and reproached me for making a haste journey and for that reason not honouring her tomb with verse. I did not welcome it as an image of prophetical truth, nor did I work hard in order to satisfy nocturnal illusions. But because one is easily persuaded by the beloved, she did not have to urge me much to obtain a due work. I have shown due respect to the lady. Those verses which I have sent to you, I adjure you on the day of judgement, make them inscribed as soon as possible on the tomb near the feet. You will find me, your son, grateful to you because I want the merits [of Cynegia] to be celebrated by the mouths of many but exactly in the form you find here.
Give my greetings to my Lady Stephania and Lady Sabiana, and also to Lady Fadilla. If they write, I will reply very soon.
Please tell the Pope to send his decision in my case through the deacon Dioscorus.
I have written what I could, pressed by the courier who is in haste. Give my greetings to my lord and brother Hormisdas and tell him to send me the key.
(trans. M. Szada)


Presbyter Adeodatus here is most probably the same as the addressee of other Ennodius's letters, see PCBE, Italie, v. 1, Adeodatus 8. It is possibly also the same person as the Presbyter Adeodatus present at the council of Rome in AD 495 [661] and the Presbyter Adeodatus present at the council in Rome in AD 502 (PCBE Italie, v. 1, Adeodatus 7, 9). It is impossible to say with precision whether we have here one, two, or three different Adeodati.
On the epitaphs for Cynegia, see Consolino 2014.

Place of event:

  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
  • Rome
  • Pavia

About the source:

Author: Ennodius
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Milan (Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia), Rome
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Magnus Felix Ennodius (477/4 - 521) was a Roman noble from the senatorial family, born in Gaul and raised in Northern Italy. He became a cleric in Pavia and was ordained by the bishop of this city, Epiphanius. Later he joins the clergy of Milan where he is promoted to the diaconate around the year 502. In the year 515 (at the latest) he was elevated to the see of Pavia. He was a bishop there until his death in 521. Ennodius was involved in many ecclesiastical and political affaires of his time, and he also gained the reputation of being a good rhetorician and teacher. He maintained the good relations with the Ostrogothic King Theodoric–, and in 507 he even composed the panegyric for the king. During his episcopacy, he was also sent as an envoy to Constantinople in order to negotiate the ending of the schism between Rome and Constantinople (the Acacian schism). For general information on Ennodius see PCBE, Italie, v. 1, Magnus Felix Ennodius; Kennel 2000.
Ennodius authored several works of different genres: discourses, lives of saints, poems, and letters directed to various addresses representing the Church and the state. On the collection of letters see Gioanni 2001, and the Introduction in Gioanni 2010.
F. Vogel ed. Magni Felicis Ennodii opera, Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Auctores Antiquissimi 7, Berlin 1885
F.E. Consolino, "Ennodio e i due epitafi per Cinegia: qualche riflessione su una „ vexata quaestio ””, [in :] Il miglior fabbro: studi offerti a Giovanni Polara. Ed. De Vivo, Arturo & Perrelli, Raffaele (Supplementi di Lexis, 69), Amsterdam 2014, 261–271.
S. Gioanni, "La contribution épistolaire d’Ennode de Pavie à la primauté pontificale sous le règne des papes Symmaque et Hormisdas", Mélanges de l’Ecole française de Rome. Moyen-Age 113 (2001), 245–268.
S.A.H. Kennell, Magnus Felix Ennodius: a gentleman of the church, Ann Arbor 2000.


Writing activity - Correspondence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Deacon
Relation with - Noble
Relation with - Woman
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1502,