Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1504
Ennodius, deacon of Milan (Italy), writes a letter to the Presbyter Adeodatus of Rome, in which he speaks about the return of the praetorian prefect Faustus from Milan to Rome. He sends his letter through Faustus together with a book which he had borrowed from Adeodatus; he asks Adeodatus for the return of the book he had lent him or for sending him another one,509/512. Letter IX, 16 = no. 440 in Vogel.
Book IX, Letter 16 = no. 440 in the edition of Vogel
Olim ad beatitudinis tuae scripta responderam, si facile fuisset Romam pergentium itinera deprehendi. ecclesiastica humilitas a mundi potentibus quasi res peregrina transitur. ut primum tamen domnus Dioscorus Romam perfunctus pii laboris remeavit officio, ad restitutionem debiti reverentiam vestram suspiciens adspiravi. vos filios vestros, domnum Faustum vel sanctam progeniem ipsius redire Romam cupitis, nos manere: dispar sententia ad unum affectionis callem sine errore revertitur. deus tamen optimus dispensator quod felicitati eius scit convenire disponat. mihi domni Fausti suorumque prosperitas praesentiae vice blanditur. domine mi, salutationis cultum pleno amore dissolvens codicem quem dedistis filio vestro domno praefecto remeante transmitto: vos meum aut illum quem promisistis, si placuerit, destinate, illud tamen specialiter conferentes, ut orationum vestrarum numquam me propugnatione nudetis, quia nullus mihi murus potior esse adversus peccati arietem poterit, quam si illarum me tutela defenderit.
(ed. Vogel 1885: 304)
Book IX, Letter 16 = no. 440 in the edition of Vogel
Ennodius to Adeodatus
For a long time, I was responding to your letters, whenever it was easy to get a person travelling to Rome. Churchly humility passes for a foreign thing among the powerful of this world. But as soon as the lord Dioscorus returned to Rome having accomplished the mission of the pious effort, I aspired to restore the debt with regard to your Reverence. You wished your sons, the Lord Faustus and his holy offspring, to return to Rome, I wished them to stay: discordant opinions returns without error to the same road of affection. God is, though, the one who knows best what is appropriate for one’s happiness and He gives that. For me, the prosperity of the Lord Faustus and his family is as good as his presence. My lord, paying you with all my love honours of salutation, I send you back through your son, the prefect travelling back to Rome, the codex which you gave me. Please send me mine or the one which you promised; but especially I ask you to never strip me of the defences of your prayers becasue when their protection defends me, there is no stronger wall for me against the battering-ram of sin.
(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 (also [1503], [1505]). 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.
Faustus mentioned in the letter is the praetorian prefect Anicius Probus Faustus (he held the prefecture from 509 to 512), see PLRE II, s.v. Anicius Probus Faustus 9,  454-56. His son, mentioned but not named by Ennodius, was Rufius Magnus Faustus Avienus, later also the praetorian prefect of Italy (from 527-28).

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 joined the clergy of Milan where he was promoted to the diaconate around the year 502. In the year 515 (at 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, he also gained the reputation of a good rhetorician and teacher. He maintained good relations with the Ostrogothic King Theodoric - 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 the 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
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. Gioanni ed., Ennode de Pavie. Lettres, vols. 1-2, Paris 2010.
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 - Deacon
Relation with - Secular authority
Relation with - Noble
Education - Theological interest
Devotion - Reading the Bible and devotional literature
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1504,