Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2151
Marius, presbyter and ascetic from the region of Valtellina in northern Italy, is joined by Antony, ascetic from Noricum. Marius wants to ordain Antony because of his merits, but Antony refuses. Ennodius of Pavia, "Life of Antony", early 6th c., probably in 513/521.
Antony is born in Noricum in the city Valeria. His parents die when he is eigth and he is later raised by his paternal uncle, Constantius, bishop of Lauriacum. In the time of the disastrous invasion of Pannonia by Franks, Heruls, and Saxons, Constantius dies.
15. Post cuius resolutionem Antonium nostrum famuli ad Italiae partes, quibus caelitus fuerat deputatus, Christo duce perducunt. principe loco Tellinae vallis, quae id sortita est vocabuli, limen ingreditur; quam montium ex utroque latere brachiis fabricata naturae ditat amoenitas et de verticibus fecundis amnium plebe locupletat uber solum, quod avaris respondet iuxta desideria inmoderata cultoribus, non tamen ita aristis praegravidum aut dotatum pascuis aut arbustis conpositum aut fluminibus laetum, ut non ei plus supervenientis personae gratia praestaret quam ipsius originis variata et distincta formositas. 16. illic Mario presbytero, qui spiritibus inmundis dominabatur, adiunctus est: quia haec est rerum condicio, ut novi hominis mores divulget inventa sodalitas, et qui ignoratur per originem, similium clarescat affectu. deprehenditur mens secreta per socios, et cui non licet ad liquidum supervenientis aestimare conscientiam conceditur, ut de suis deprehendat externos. 17. nam cum eum beatus Marius illis oculis, quibus mentes videntur, inspiceret et interioris decorem hominis absconditis percontaretur optutibus, voluit eum clericorum sociare collegio et inter ecclesiasticos coetus praestantem meritis dedicare personam. sed fugit honorem velut veneni poculum , qui semper potentiam credidit subiacere et servire patienter praetulit regali dominatui.
(ed. Vogel 1885: 187)
Antony is born in Noricum in the city Valeria. His parents die when he is eigth and he is later raised by his paternal uncle, Constantius, bishop of Lauriacum. In the time of the disastrous invasion of Pannonia by Franks, Heruls, and Saxons, Constantius dies.
15. After his [Constantius] death, his servants having Christ for a guide, led our Antony to the regions of Italy where he was destined to go by the celestial decision. At first place, they entered the region which is called the Tellina valley. Nature made this place, from both sides delimited with mountain chains and the fertile soil, which responds even to the immoderate desires of the greediest farmers, is enriched by the crowd of rivers flowing down from the peaks. It was not, however, so burdened with crops or so endowed with pasturages or so covered with forests or so abundant in rivers as not to be enriched with the grace of the newcomer which surpass its original beauty of great variety and distinctiveness. 16. There [Antony] joined the presbyter Marius who ruled over unclean spirits. This is the order of things that the discovered fraternity reveals the ways of a new man, and one whose origins are unknown, shines because of feelings of his peers. His hidden personality was revealed through his companions, and even one unable to perfectly assess consciencs of a newcomer is allowed to judge foreigners with reference to those whom he knows. 17. Therefore, when the blessed Marius had looked at him with this sight with which he could inspect minds and had scrutinized the beauty of the internal man with his invisible eyes, he decided to join him to the fellowship of clerics and to place his person, excellent in virtues, in the congregation of ecclesiastics. But he shyed away from this honour as from the chalice full of venom because he always believed that might is subjected to the Lord's domination and preferred to serve Him in submission.
(trans. M. Szada)

Place of event:

  • Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia
  • Valtellina

About the source:

Author: Ennodius of Pavia
Title: Life of Antony, Life of Blessed Antony, Vita Antonii, De vita beati Antoni
Origin: Pavia (Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia)Milan (Italy north of Rome with Corsica and Sardinia),
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Magnus Felix Ennodius (477/4 - 521) was a Roman noble from the senatorial family, born in Gaul and raised in Northern Italy. He became a cleric in Pavia and is ordained by the bishop of this city, Epiphanius. Later he joins the clergy of Milan where he is promoted to the diaconate around the year 502. In the year 515 he was elevated to the see of Pavia. He was a bishop there until his death in 521. Ennodius was involved in many ecclesiastical and political affaires of his time, he also gained the reputation of a good rhetorician and teacher. He maintained the good relations with the Ostrogothic King Theodoric - in 507 he even composed the panegyric for the king. During his episcopacy, he was also sent as an envoy to Constantinople in order to negotiate the ending of the schism between Rome and Constantinople (the Acacian schism). For the general information on Ennodius see PCBE, Italie, v. 1, Magnus Felix Ennodius; Kennel 2000.
Ennodius, well-known of his correspondence and the panegyric of Theoderic, was also the hagiographer. At the beginning of the 6th century, before his episcopate he composed the Life of Epiphanius of Pavia (see [1498] and [1499]). Later he also penned the short life of Antony, ascetic from Noricum who moved to Italy and later to Lerins. For the lack of clear chronological indications, it was dated on the basis of the political remarks of Ennodius or on the place of the Life in Ennodius` collection. That way, the Life was traditionally dated to 506 but Gioanni (2007: 140-146) argued that it is well possible that Ennodius composed it already as bishop in Pavia between 513-521.
F. Vogel ed., Magni Felicis Ennodii opera, Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Auctores Antiquissimi 7, Berlin 1885, no. 240 (opusc. 4)
French translation in:
 S. Gioanni, "Une figure suspecte de la sainteté lérinienne: saint Antoine d`après la Vita Antoni d`Ennode de Pavie", Recherches augustiniennes et patristiques 35 (2007), 133-187
S.A.H. Kennell, Magnus Felix Ennodius: a Gentleman of the Church, Ann Arbor 2000.
M. Pignot, E02348, Cult of Saints in Late Antiquity database, consulted on 10 November 2018


Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Clericus
    Monastic or common life - Hermit
    Impediments or requisits for the office - Unwillingness
      Ritual activity - Ordaining
      Reverenced by
      Relation with - Monk/Nun
      Described by a title - Ecclesiasticus
        Devotion - Supernatural experience
        Pastoral activity - Spiritual direction
        Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2151,