Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1901
Eberulf, the treasurer of King Chilperic, is prohibited from accessing the church of Saint Martin in Tours through the sacristy by a presbyter in charge of the door keys, ca 584. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Histories", Tours (Gaul), AD 584–594.
Eberulf, the treasurer of the late King Chilperic, was accused of murdering the latter by Queen Fredegundis. He escaped to the sanctuary of Saint Martin in Tours and lived in the sacristy (salutaturium) there. Servants of Eberulf used the sacristy door to enter the otherwise locked church and look at the decorations of Saint Martin's tomb. When the presbyter in charge of the door keys (qui clavis ostei retenebat) learned of this, he decided to add a new lock to prohibit them from this sacrilege. Eberulf was furious with this decision and gravely insulted Bishop Gregory of Tours and this presbyter, accusing them of cutting off his access to the fringes which hang round the Saint's tomb. Eberulf then threatened to kill as many clerics (clerici) as he could if he were to be forcibly removed from the sanctuary.
(ed. Krusch 1937: 341–343; summarised by J. Szafranowski)


These events took place shortly after the death of King Chilperic in 584.
Eberulf was probably worried that, with the doors closed, he would be unable to quickly access the tomb of Saint Martin, the very place that granted him asylum.

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.


Functions within the Church - Urban presbyter
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Clericus
    Ecclesiastical administration - Administering Church property
    Relation with - Noble
    Conflict - Violence
      Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1901,