Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1774
Palladius, bishop of Ratiaria (Dacia), in his Apology written against Ambrose, bishop of Milan, mentions that he was a presbyter for eleven years before the episcopate, and that his companion, Bishop Secundianus of Singidunum (Moesia) went through all the ecclesiastical grades before episcopal consecration; ca AD 383.
f. 342v 115. Denique dic, sanctissme, |6 quod flagitium in conuersatione, quem lapsum in sermone, quod piaculum |7in fidei professio|8ne uidisti, in quo |9potuisti secundu(m) |10Scribturas eos co(n)|11uincere, ut cum |12concilia soleant |13plurimis diebus |14protrahi, ut per |15adsiduum moni|16tum interueni|17ente correctio|18ne nullus ab spi|19ritali conuentu |20lesus abscedat, |21tu sine cunctabun|22da deliberatione |23intra unam ora(m) |24iudicandos pu|25tares, quorum |26longeuus idem|27que quantum hu|28manae conscie(n)|29tiae interest in|30reprehensibi|31lis episcopatus |32lasciuos sordidos|33que tuos excide|34ret annos. 116. Nam |35unus eorum post |36undecim annos presbyterii triginta quinque annorum tunc cognosceba|37tur episcopus, sicuti etiam et quae non latebat opinio et ipsa aetas tam |38annosam eiusmodi testabatur functionem, sed et lectorum et minis|39trorum a uobis pro moribus uestris institutorum, qui et canitiem |40execrandam et senectutem eius abominabilem uobis cum uolu(m)|41tate audientibus uociferaba<n>tur, indicabat impiaetas. 117. Alter ab |42adulescentia clericus adque per singulos gradus ad episcopatum f. 343r ||1 [...63...] |2inpar stans iudicaretur, idemque secundum Scribturas ipsamque ueritatem fi|3dei suam professionem defendens non iam a ministris, sed a uobis ipsis extre|4mis iniuriis ageretur, te quidem Ambrosio dicente: "Porro taceat", Euseuio ue|5ro adsessore tuo subiungente et ad augendam tuam ut iudicis auctoritatem d|6icente: "Taceat (118) nec saluus!"
(ed. Gryson 1980: 298, 300)
f. 342v 115. Say then, O Most Holy, what flaw you did see in their behaviour, what error in their speech, what crime in their profession of faith, that would allow you to win against them according to the Scriptures. Councils, as frequently happens, go on for many days so that through the continuous admonition of the fraternal correction no one leaves the spiritual gathering hurt. You, however, without any longer deliberation, decided within one hour to pass judgment on those who were holding without reproach (as far as it is possible for the human conscience) the episcopal office for much longer than your lascivious and dirty years. 116. One of them after the eleven years of presbyterate was a bishop for thirty-five years. It is widely known that he exercised this function for a very long time, and his advanced age also gives testimony to that. This is also confirmed by the impiety of lectors and ministers that you appointed according to your liking, who cursed the white hair [of this bishop] and called his old age abominable while you were listening it with pleasure.  117. Another one was a cleric from his youth who arrived to episcopacy through all ecclesiastical grades f. 343r . he had to stand while he was judged as if he was not your peer. When he defended the profession of his faith in conformity with the Scriptures and the truth itself, he was attacked this time not by low ministers but by yourself, Ambrose, as you said: "Let him be quiet!", and your assistant Eusebius, in order to enhance your authority of the judge, joined you saying "Let him be quiet and let there be no salvation for him!"
(trans. M. Szada)


The second bishop described in the apology is certainly Secundianus because he succeeded Ursacius of Singidunum only in the 370s and thus in 381 he was not yet bishop for thirty-five years. The first bishop, the older one, is then certainly Palladius.

Place of event:

  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
  • Danubian provinces and Illyricum
  • Aquileia
  • Ratiaria
  • Singidunum

About the source:

Author: Palladius of Ratiaria
Title: Apology, Fragments de Palladius, Scolies ariennes sur le concile d`Aquilée, Palladii Apologia, Apologia
Origin: Ratiaria (Danubian provinces and Illyricum)
Denomination: Arian
The passage quoted above comes from the apology of the bishops, Palladius of Ratiaria and Secundianus of Singidunum, condemned for Arianism at the council of Aquileia in 381 which survived fragmentarily in the scholia in the fifth-century manuscript Parisinus Latinus 8907. It follows the refutation of the De fide of Ambrose of Milan written by Palladius of Ratiaria. Although the apology of the condemned bishops describes Bishop Palladius in the third person, its author was most probably Palladius himself. He penned the apology between the council in AD 381 and his demise, which was most probably in 383. For the details see Gryson 1980: 79–97 and McLynn 1996.
R. Gryson ed., Scolies ariennes sur le concile d`Aquilée, Sources Chrétiennes 267, Paris 1980.
N. McLynn, "The «Apology» of Palladius: Nature and Purpose,” Journal of Theological Studies 42 (1991), 52–76.


Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Arian
Former ecclesiastical career - Lower clergy
Former ecclesiastical career - Deacon
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Clericus
Impediments or requisits for the office - Age
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1774,