Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2024
Presbyters Romulus and Ticianus assault the monastery and the church of the Presbyter Mark in Southern Italy. Gelasius I, Letter 3*, Rome, AD 492/496.
Letter 3*
Gelasius Iusto et Probo episcopis.
Religionis probatur iniuria, si ea videantur admitti, que contra regulas et constituta videantur antiqua. Marcus siquidem presbiter monasterii, quod in fundo Luciano noscitur constitutum, petitorii nobis insinuatione deploravit, Romulum et Ticianum presbiteros multam adversus se vel adversus aecclesiae contumeliam commisisse; quos asserit, adhibito sibi Moderato, conductore domus regie, se ex ecclesia sacrosancto die pasce, cum ad processionem venisset, fuisse depulsum, et, effracto sacrario oratorii, ministeria supradicto conductori laico potius com misisse servanda, eiusque presbiteros monasterium depredatos. Et ideo inter supra dictos presbiteros omne, quod natum est, vestro iuditio determinetur ambiguum, quatinus servatis regulis et aecclesiasticis constitutis nichil permittatis audaciae, nichil arbitrio licere; sed que petitorio suggesta sunt universa rimantes, quod religioni et iusticie convenit censeatis. Sciatque frater et coepiscopus noster Lucerinus antistes, aut ita ad monasterium secundum consuetudinem se esse venturum, ut nichil in eisdem locis dampnum clerici valeant perpetrare, aut sibi a conventu eius loci noverit abstinendum.
(ed. Löwenfeld 1885: 2)
Letter 3*
To Bishops Justus and Probus.
The harm done to religion is proven, if things that are regarded as being against the regulations and ancient ordinances are regarded as being permitted. Indeed Mark, the presbyter of the monastery which is known to be established in the Lucian estate, has lamented to us in a petitory claim that the presbyters Romulus and Ticianus committed a serious assault on him and on the church. He maintains that, after he had summoned Moderatus, the lessee of the royal house, he was thrown out of the church on the most holy day of Easter when he had come for the liturgy. When they had broken into the sacristy of the oratory, they permitted the ministries to be served instead by the aforementioned lessee, a layman, while the presbyters pillaged his monastery. And so let the uncertain case that arose between the presbyters mentioned above to be determined by your judgement, so that, by preserving the rules and allowing no presumption against the church’s rules, nothing is left to mere opinion. But searching through everything that has been intimidated in the petitory claim, you should decide on what befits religion and justisce. And let our brother and fellow-bishop, the priest of Lucera,  [or: Lucerinus] know that either he should go to the monastery according to custom so that the clerics in the same places should be unable to contrive any harm, or he should know to stay away from a meeting in that place.
(trans. Neill – Allen 2014: 174-175, slightly altered)


The letter is dated by its editor S. Löwenfeld, for AD 493/494, but I do not know on what basis. "Lucerinus antistes" signifies probably not the personal name of the bishop (in this case he would be Lucerinus), but it is rather the description of an anonymous bishop of Lucera in Puglia (Southern Italy). We do not know where exactly the "fundus Lucianus" was.

Place of event:

  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily

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.
S. Löwenfeld ed., Epistolae pontificum romanorum ineditae, Leipzig 1885, 1-12.
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.


Functions within the Church - Monastic presbyter
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ritual activity - Eucharist
Public law - Ecclesiastical
Relation with - Another presbyter
Administration of justice - Ecclesiastical
Conflict - Violence
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2024,