Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1964
Siricius, bishop of Rome, sends a letter by the presbyters Crescens, Leopardus and Alexander in which he declares that the gathering of the clergy of Rome ("presbyterium") condemned Jovinian and his followers, AD 393. Letter added to the collection of letters of Ambrose of Milan (Maur. 41a) = Letter 7 in the collection of letters of Siricius.
Sirici epistula (Maur. 41a)
<Diversis episcopis Siricius>
Siricius laments over the recent appearance of the heretical doctrine in Rome which is disseminated through a pamphlet denying the value of virginity and continence.
6. Facto igitur presbyterio constitit doctrinae nostrae id est Christianae legi esse contraria. Unde apostoli secuti praeceptum qui aliter quam quod accepimus annuntiabant - omnium nostrum tam presbyterorum et diaconorum quam etiam totius cleri unam scitote fuisse sententiam, ut Iovinianus Auxentius Genialis Germinator Felix Plotinus Marcianus Ianuarius et Ingeniosus qui auctores novae haeresis et blasphemiae inventi sunt divina sententia et nostro iudicio in perpetuum damnati extra ecclesiam remanerent.
7. Quod custodituram sanctitatem vestram non ambigens haec scripta direxi per fratres et conpresbyteros meos Crescentem Leopardum et Alexandrum, qui religiosum officium fidei possint spiritu adimplere ferventi.
(ed. Zelzer 1990: 300-301; summary M. Szada)
Letter of Siricius
<Siricius to a number of bishops>
Siricius laments over recent appearence of the heretical doctrine in Rome which is disseminanted through a pamphlet denying the value of virginity and continence.
6. It has therefore been established at a meeting of clergy (presbyterium) that the doctrine (of the document) contravenes our doctrine, that is Christian law. And so following the precept of the Apostle, we decided that those preaching a doctrine other than the one we have received – take note that this was the unanimous verdict of all of us, both presbyters and deacons and of the entire clergy – namely that Jovinianus, Auxentius, Genialis, Germinator, Felix, Plotinus, Marcianus, Januarius and Ingeniosus, having been found to be the originators of the new heresy and blasphemy, and having been found guilty by divine sentence and by our verdict, are to remain for ever excluded from the church.
7. Being in no doubt that your Holiness will observe this judgement, I have sent you this missive by my brethren and fellow-priests Crescens, Leopardus and Alexander, so that they can perform this religious duty for the faith with a fervent spirit.
(trans. Liebeschuetz 2010: 339)


The present letter of Siricius was probably attached to the collection at the later stage to accompany Letter 15 extra collectionem, see [1965]. Rauschen (1897: 378–381) argued that the letter was written not before 391/392. When Ambrose wrote De institutione virginum (late 391 or 392), he had not yet known about about Jovinian's claim that Mary did not remain a virgin post partu. Moreover, Jerome in the Adversum Jovinianum written in the late 392 or at the beginning of 393 says that he sent his friend Pammachius in Rome the commentarioli of Jovinianus and he says nothing about his condemnation. The Roman synod must have taken place later in 393 (see Zelzer 1997: CXXVII–CXXVIII; Liebeschuetz 2010: 336–337).

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
  • Milan

About the source:

Author: Siricius
Title: Letters, Epistulae
Origin: Milan (Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Ambrose was a bishop of Milan from 374 until his death in 397. We have a collection of his letters organized in three parts. The first one consists of 77 letters organized in ten books most probably by Ambrose himself. He published his letters at some point after the death of Theodosius in 395. From this collection, Book 4 is missing as well as some letters of Book 2 and 4. The second part is the group of letters that survived outside the collection (extra collectionem), and the third is a group of letters concering the council of Aquileia in 381 (together with the acts of this council). For a detailed discussion on the letters and further reading see Liebeschuetz 2010: 27-48 and Nauroy 2016: 146-160.
M. Zelzer ed., Sancti Ambrosi opera pars decima epistularum liber decimus. Epistulae extra collectionem. Gesta concili Aquileiensis, Corpus Scriptorum Ecclesiasticorum Lationorum 82/3, Wien 1982
Ambrose of Milan, Political Letters and Speeches, trans. J.H.W.G. Liebeschuetz, Translated Texts for Historians 43, Liverpool 2010
J.H.W.G. Liebeschuetz, Ambrose of Milan: political letters and speeches, Liverpool 2010.
J.-P. Mazières, "Les lettres d’Ambroise de Milan à Irenaeus.”, Pallas. Revue d’études antiques 26 (1979), 103–114.
G. Nauroy, "The Letter Collection of Ambrose of Milan", [in:] Late Antique Letter Collections: A Critical Introduction and Reference Guide, ed. C. Sogno, B.K. Storin, E.J. Watts, Oakland, CA 2016, 146–160
G. Nauroy, "Édition et organisation du recueil des lettres d’Ambroise de Milan: une architecture cachée ou altérée?", in: La correspondance d'Ambroise de Milan, textes réunis et préparés par A. Canellis, Saint-Étienne 2012, 19-61
J.-R. Palanque, "Deux correspondants de saint Ambroise: Orontien et Irénée”, Revue des Études Latines 11 (1933), 153–163
A. Paredi, S. Ambrogio e la sua età, Milano 1960
G. Rauschen, Jahrbücher der christlichen Kirche unter Theodosius dem Grossen, Freiburg 1897


Travel and change of residence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Administration of justice - Excommunication/Anathema
Described by a title - Conpresbyter
Education - Theological interest
Devotion - Reading the Bible and devotional literature
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1964,