Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1685
Letter of Bishops Germanus, the Deacons Felix and Dioscorus, and the presbyter Blandus to Pope Hormisdas informing him that the Church of Constantinople returned to the communion with Rome, AD 519. Letter 64 in the collection of the letters of Hormisdas "Magna misericordia" (= letter 100 in the Collectio Avellana compiled in the second half of the 6th c. "Magna est dei").
225. [in Coll. Avell.]
The legates refer to the previous letter sent to the Pope (Letter 65 in the collection of the letters of Hormisdas = 167 in the Collectio Avellana) which related the events in Thessalonica where the legates did not obtain the subscription under the libellus of faith from Bishop Dorotheus. After the reconciliation of the Churches of Rome and Constantinople, one of the legates, Bishop John travelled from Constantinople to Thessalonica together with the Presbyter Epiphanius, brother of Bishop Inlustris, and the comes scholae Licinius sent by the emperor. In Thessalonica they were welcomed by the Presbyter Aristides and two bishops who demanded emendations in the papal libellus before it is accepted. The legates refused. At another meeting on the same issue, Bishop John and other legates were attacked by the mob, two servants of the bishop were killed and the bishop himself seriously hurt in the head. They found asylum in the basilica of saint Mark and were later rescued by the secular authorities of the city. They further explain that the riots were inspired by Bishop Dorotheus who is also responsible for the death of a certain John who was not in communion with Dorotheus because of the Council of Chalcedon and who was the host of the papal legates in Thessalonica. This John was most probably lynched by the mob because it is said that he died "a death of saint Proterius (of Alexandria)". The emperor learnt about those events and promised to punish Dorotheus. The legates confirmed to the emperor that Dorotheus would not be received into communion by the Pope and that no bishop shall be in communion with Dorotheus. The letter was received at Rome on the fourth day before the Kalends of December in the year of consulship of Eutharicus [=28 November AD 519; thus, it was most probably sent from Constantinople in the mid-October].
(ed. Guenther 1895: 688-690; summary by M. Szada)


On the events in Thessalonica see also [1662].

Place of event:

  • East
  • Rome
  • Constantinople
  • Thessalonica

About the source:

Author: Hormisdas
Title: Collectio Avellana, Epistulae, Letters
Origin: Constantinople (East)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Hormisdas was a bishop of Rome from 514 until his death in 523. During his pontificate he managed to resolve the Acacian schism (see the discussion in [1581]) in 519.
Collectio Avellana is a collection containing 244 letters issued by emperors, imperial magistrates and popes. The earliest item is dated to AD 367, the latest to AD 553. Hence, the compilator worked most probably in the second half of the sixth century. Two hundred documents of the Collectio are not known from any other collection. The editor of the Collectio, Günther noticed that it can be divided into five thematic parts (Günther 1896: 3-96; Steinacker 1902: 14-15; Blaudeau 2013: 4):
1) Nos. 1–40 are an independent collection making use of the records of the prefecture of the city of Rome concerning two episcopal elections;
2) Nos. 41–50 are derived from the records of the bishopric in Carthage, and consist of the letters of Innocentius I and Zosimus;
3) Nos. 51–55 are the late letters of Leo I not known from any other source, regarding the exile of Bishop Timothy II of Alexandria;
4) Nos. 56–104 are the group of letters from the pontificates of Simplicius, Gelasius, Symmachus, John, Agapet, and Vigilius;
5) Nos. 105–243 are the letters from the records of Hormisdas.
The modern name of the collection is derived from the codex Vaticanus Latinus 4961 copied in the monastery Sancti Crucis in fonte Avellana that was considered the oldest by the brothers Ballerini who edited the Collectio in 1787.
O. Guenther ed., Epistolae Imperatorum Pontificum Aliorum Inde ab a. CCCLXVII usque DLIII datae Avellana Quae Dicitur Collectio, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Latinorum 35/1, 35/2, Prague, Vienna, and Leipzig 1895
A. Thiel ed., Epistolae Romanorum Pontificum genuinae et quae ad eos scriptae sunt a s. Hilaro usque ad Pelagium II, vol. 1, Brunsberga 1868
P. Blaudeau, "Un point de contact entre collectio Avellana et collectio Thessalonicensis?”, Millennium Yearbook / Millenium Jahrbuch 10 (2013), 1–12.
A. Grillmeier and T. Hainthaler, Christ in Christian tradition, London 1995.
O. Guenther, Avellana-Studien, Wien 1896.
O. Guenther, "Zu den Gesta de nomine Acacii”, Byzantinische Zeitschrift 3 (1894), 146–149.
D. Moreau, "Les actes pontificaux comme sources des historiens et des chroniqueurs de l'Antiquité tardive", in: L'historiographie tardo-antique et la transmission des savoirs, ed. P. van Nuffelen, P. Blaudeau,  Millenium-Studien 55, Berlin, Boston 2015, 23-54.
H. Steinacker, "Ueber das älteste päpstliche Registerwesen”, Mitteilungen des Instituts für Österreichische Geschichtsforschung 23 (1902), 1–49.
A.A. Vasiliev, Justin the First. An Introduction to the Epoch of Justinian the Great, Cambridge, Mass. 1950.


Writing activity - Correspondence
Travel and change of residence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
Conflict - Violence
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1685,