Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1591
Four Donatist bishops and Presbyter Mammarius are allowed to return to Africa by the decision of the Emperor Constantine, transmitted in the letter of the praetorian prefects to the vicarius of Africa, AD 315 (transmitted as the Appendix VIII to Optatus, "Against the Donatists").
Petronius Annianus et Iulianus Domitio Celso uicario Africae.
Quoniam Lucianum, Capitonem, Fidentium et Nasutium episcopos et Mammarium presbyterum, qui secundum caeleste praeceptum  domini Constantini Maximi inuicti semper Augusti ad Gallias cum aliis legis eius hominibus uenerant, dignitas eius ad lares proprios  uenire praecepit, angaliarem his cum annonaria competentia  usque ad Arelatensem portum secundum imperatum aeternitatis eiusdem clementissimi principis dedimus, frater, qua inde Africam nauigarent, quod sollertiam tuam litteris nostris scire conueniat. Optamus te, frater, felicissimum bene ualere.
Hilarius princeps optulit IIII Kal. Maias Triberis
(ed. Ziwsa 1893: 212)
Petronius Annianus and Julianus to Domitius Celsus, vicarius of Africa.
Seeing that Bishops Lucianus, Capito, Fidentius and Nasutius, and the presbyter Mammarius, who at the heavenly bidding of the Lord Constantinus Maximus Invictus ever Augustus had come to Gaul with others of that religion, have been ordered by his Highness to return to their own abodes, we have given to these men, brother, in accordance with the bidding of the same eternal and most clement sovereign, a vessel with sufficient provision to reach the port of Arles, so that they may sail from there to Africa, as this letter should apprise your Vigilance. With our best wishes, brother, for your utmost welfare and happiness.
Hilarius, chief of staff, wrote this on the fourth of May from Trier.
(trans M. Edwards 1997: 195)


After the Council of Arles (AD 314) finished, Constantine ordered that the Donatist delegation must not leave the town. A year later the decision was reversed, as proved by the letter presented here.
Petronius Annianus and Julianus were the praetorian prefects.
The four bishops mentioned here signed the petition to Constantine (Optatus I.22). Presbyter Mammarius is otherwise unknown.

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Latin North Africa
  • Arles

About the source:

Title: Letter of the Pretorian Prefects Petronius Annianus and Julianus to Domitius Celsus, vicarius of Africa, Appendix VIII in the Dossier of Optatus
Origin: Trier (Gaul)
Denomination: Pagan
The letter makes part of the dossier of anti-Donatist documents, probably gathered by the Catholics between 330 and 347. Their only complete text comes from the 9th-century manuscript of the work of Optatus (the manuscript of Cormery), so they are usually edited together with the works of Optatus; their authenticity is discussed, but rather accepted. The letter presented here is usually edited as Appendix 8 to Optatus.
K. Ziwsa ed., S. Optati Milevitani libri VII accedunt decem monumenta vetera ad Donatistarum historia pertinentia, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 26, Prague-Wien-Leipzig 1893.
Optatus: Against the Donatists, translated and edited by Mark Edwards, Liverpool 1997.
 J.L. Maier, Le Dossier du donatisme.  1. Des origines à la mort de Constance II (303-361), Berlin 1987, 187-189.


Travel and change of residence
Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Donatist
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Participation in councils and ecclesiastical courts
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1591,