Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1944
Leo, abba of the basilica of Saint Martin in Tours (Gaul) skilled in woodcarving, is ordained bishop of the city, AD 526. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Histories", Tours (Gaul), AD 594.
X.31 (catalogue of the bishops of Tours)
XIII. Leo ex abbate basilicae sancti Martini ordinatur episcopus. Fuit autem faber lignarius, faciens etiam turres olocriso tectas, ex quibus quaedam apud nos retinentur. In aliis etiam operibus eligans fuit. Sedit autem menses VI et sepultus est in basilica sancti Martini.
(ed. Krusch 1937: 532)
X.31 (catalogue of the bishops of Tours)
Leo, abba of the basilica of Saint Martin [in Tours], was consecrated the thirteenth bishop [of Tours]. He was a skilled woodcarver, also making liturgical vessels (turres) covered entirely with gold (olocrysi, cf. ὁλόχρυσος). Some of them have survived to our times. He was exceptional in other works as well. He occupied [the see] for six months and was buried in the basilica of Saint Martin.
(trans. J. Szafranowski)


According to Gregory of Tours (Histories III.17), Leo died in 526, albeit, seven, not six, months after the episcopal ordination.
Abba Epifanius was almost certainly a presbyter responsible for a basilica, in this case the church of Saint Martin in Tours, rather than a monastic supervisor. For other known abba of the Tours' basilica, see [1902]. More on presbyters described as abba, see Pietri 1983.

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.
L. Pietri, Les abbés de basilique dans la Gaule du VIe siècle, "Revue d'histoire de l'Église de France" 69 (1983), pp. 5–28.


Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Functions within the Church - Cathedral presbyter
Functions within the Church - Urban presbyter
Described by a title - Abba
Economic status and activity - Artisanship
Education - Special skills
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1944,