Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2003
Sabinus, bishop of Sala Consilina near Salerno (Southern Italy) ordains two slaves of a certain Placidia under her absence; one of them, Antiochus is ordained a presbyter. Gelasius I, Letter 21, Rome, AD 492/496.
Letter 21
Frequens equidem et assidua nos querela circumstrepit de his pontificibus, qui neque antiquas regulas nec decreta nostra noviter directa cogitantes, obnoxias possessionibus obligatasque personas venientes ad clericalis officii cingulum non refutant. Nuper enim actores illustris feminae Placidiae petitorii oblatione conquesti sunt, Sabinum Marcellianensis sive Casilinatis urbis Antiochum servum iuris patronae suae, absentis dominae occassione captata, ad presbyterii honorem usque productum, eiusque fratrem Leontium clericalis officii privilegio decorasse. [...] Antiochum vero, quia propter sacerdotium non iam potest retolli, si in suam ecclesiam in hoc, in quo est, honore desiderat collocare, non veluti redditum sibi, sed habeat pro mysteriorum celebratione susceptum.
(ed. Thiel 1868: 389)
Letter 21
Indeed a frequent and consistent complaint screams at us concerning these pontiffs, who, with no thought either for the ancient regulations or the decisions recently arranged by us, do not restrain persons who are obligated and bound by possessions from taking the belt of clerical office. Recently, indeed, the managers of Placidia, the femina illustris, have complained through the presentation of a plaintiff, to the effect that Sabinus, from the city of Marcellianum or Consilinum, taking advantage of the absence of the owner, advanced to the rank of presbyter Antiochus, the legal slave of his mistress, and honoured his brother  Leontius with the privilege of clerical office. [...] But because Antiochus cannot at present be restored on account of his priesthood, if he wishes to move to his own church in the office which he has, it should not be restored to him, as it were, but he should hold it for the celebration of the mysteries.
(trans. Neil - Allen 2014: 194, slightly modified)


Gelasius I writes that Leontius, who was ordained as a lower cleric, should be deposed, but Antiochus, who is already a presbyter, cannot be deposed. See [2002].

Place of event:

  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Sala Consilina

About the source:

Author: Gelasius I
Title: Epistulae, Letters
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gelasius I was the bishop of Rome between AD 492 and 496.
Thiel A. ed., Epistulae Romanorum pontificum genuinae et quae ad eos scriptae sunt a S. Hilario usque ad Pelagium II, 1, Braunsberg 1868, 287-510.
B. Neil, P. Allen edd.,  The Letters of Gelasius I (492-496): Pastor and Micro-Manager of the Church of Rome, Turnhout 2014.
B. Neil, P. Allen edd.,  The Letters of Gelasius I (492-496): Pastor and Micro-Manager of the Church of Rome, Turnhout 2014.


Social origin or status - Peasants
    Social origin or status - Slaves
    Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
    Impediments or requisits for the office - Social/Economic/Legal status
      Relation with - Noble
      Relation with - Woman
      Reasons for ordination
      Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2003,