Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1739
Presbyter Eufronius, instead of presbyter Cato, is appointed bishop of Tours by king Chlothar I, AD 556. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Histories", Tours (Gaul), AD 573-594.
Turonici autem audientes, regressum fuisse regem de caede Saxonum, facto consensu in Eufronio presbitero, ad eum pergunt. Data quoque suggestionem, respondit rex: "Praeciperam enim, ut Cato presbiter illuc ordinaretur; et cur est spreta iussio nostra?" Responderuntque: "Petivimus enim eum, sed venire noluit". Haec illis dicentibus, advenit subito Cato presbiter, depraecans regem, ut, eiecto Cautino, ipsum Arverno iuberet institui. Quod rege inridente, petiit iterum, ut Turonus ordinaretur, quod ante dispexerat. Cui rex ait: "Ego primum praecipi, ut Turonus te ad episcopatum consecrarent, sed quantum audio, despectui habuisti ecclesiam illam; ideoque elongaveris a dominatione eius". Et sic confusus abscessit. De sancto vero Eufronio interrogans, dixerunt, eum nepotem esse beati Gregorii, cui supra meminimus. Respondit rex: "Prima haec est et magna generatio. Fiat voluntas Dei et beati Martini, electio compleatur". Et data praeceptione, octavos decimus post beatum Martinum sanctus Eufronius ordinatur episcopus.
(ed. Krusch 1937: 147)
The citizens of Tours, heaving heard that King Chlothar had come back from his battle against the Saxons, and having agreed that they wanted the presbyter Eufronius [as their bishop], came to the king. They put their proposal to him, to which he answered: "I decreed that the presbyter Cato should be ordained there. Why was my order not carried out?" "We asked him to come", they replied, "but he refused". While they were speaking, the presbyter Cato suddenly appeared and asked the king to dismiss Cautinus and have him established as bishop of Clermont. When the king laughed at this suggestion, he asked that might be ordained in Tours, [to the post] which he previously rejected. To whom the king said: "At first I had commanded that they should consecrate you in Tours, but I have learnt that you had turned down this Church; therefore, you will be banned from ruling it". And thus Cato departed confused. The king made inquiries about Saint Eufronius, and he was told that he was a grandson of Blessed Gregory [bishop of Langres] (whom we have mentioned above). The king responded: "This is a foremost and powerful family. Let the will of God and Saint Martin be done; let the election be completed". The documents were given and Saint Eufronius war ordained the eighteenth bishop after blessed Martin.
(trans. Thorpe 1974: 210-211, altered by J. Szafranowski)


According to Gregory of Tours (Histories X.31.XVII), Bishop Guntharius, Eufronius' predecessor, died in the end of 555. Eufronius was, therefore, likely ordained in 556.
Eufronius is once again mentioned by Gregory at the end of Histories (X.31.XVIII) as part of the catalogue of the bishops of Tours, see [1945].
The "foremost and powerful family" mentioned by the king is Gregory's own.

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Tours

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: The History of the Franks, Gregorii episcopi Turonensis historiarum libri X, Histories
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory of Tours (Gaul) wrote his ten books of Histories (known commonly in English as the History of the Franks) during his episcopal reign in Tours between 573 and 594. The books vary in scope and length. The first book covers 5,596 years from the creation of the world to AD 397, that is the death of Saint Martin of Tours, Gregory`s predecessor in bishopric. The second book deals with the history of Gaul between 397 and 511, the latter being the year of death of King Clovis I. The third and fourth books cover the next 64 years till the death of Austrasian King Sigibert II in 575. Finally, the following six books describe exclusively the sixteen years from 575 to 591. Probably in 594, Gregory added the list of bishops of Tours in the end of the Histories, with brief accounts of their actions.
B. Krusch ed., Gregorii Episcopi Turonensis Historiarum Libri X [in:] Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingiciarum 1.1, Hannover 1884 (repr. 1951): 1­-537.
Gregory of Tours, The History of the Franks, trans. L. Thorpe, London 1974.


Social origin or status - Social elite
Social origin or status - Clerical family
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Reasons for ordination - Pastoral needs of the Christian community
Fame of sanctity
Relation with - Another presbyter
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1739,