Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2245
Presbyter Irenaeus of Lyon (Gaul), later bishop of that city, is sent regarding some church matters to Rome, ca 177. Jerome, "On Illustrious Men", Bethlehem, AD 392–393.
IRENAEUS, Photini episcopi qui Lugdunensem in Gallia regebat ecclesiam presbyter, a martyribus eiusdem loci ob quasdam ecclesiae quaestiones legatus Romam missus, honorificas super nomine suo Ad Eleutherum episcopum perfert litteras. Postea iam Photino prope nonagenario ob Christi martyrium coronato, in locum eius substituitur. Constat autem Polycarpi, cuius supra fecimus mentionem, sacerdotis et martyris hunc fuisse discipulum.
(ed. Cushing Richardson 1896: 25)
Irenaeus, a presbyter of Bishop Photinus who governed the church of Lyons in Gaul, was sent to Rome as a delegate by the martyrs of that city concerning some matters of the church and brought a letter to Bishop Eleutherius which honoured his name. Later, when Photinus attained the crown of martyrdom for Christ being nearly ninety years old, Irenaeus replaced him. It is clear that he was a disciple of Polycarp, the priest and martyr, whom we have already mentioned.  
(trans. Halton 1999: 57, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)


Irenaeus was a native of Smyrna in Asia Minor. In his Against Heresies (3.3.4) he recalls meeting Bishop Polycarp as a young boy. Like some other Christians from Asia Minor at that time, he then moved to Gaul, where he was ordained to presbyterate, probably by Bishop Photinus of Lyon. Jerome's account is based on the letter Irenaeus allegedly authored, which was partially preserved in Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History (5.4.1). In Eusebius' narrative, it follows another letter, quoted in length, which recapitulates the martyrdom of a group of Christians from Lyon, including Bishop Photinus. Eusebius dates these events to AD 177.
See also Efthymios Rizos, Cult of Saints, E00212 –

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Rome
  • Lyon
  • Rome

About the source:

Author: Jerome of Stridon
Title: On Illustrious Men, De viris illustribus, De viris inlustribus De viris inlustribus, On the Lives of Famous Men
Origin: Bethlehem (East)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
At the beginning and end of his De viris illustribus, Jerome writes that he finished the book in the fourteenth year of Theodosius` reign, that is, between 19 January 392 and 18 January 393. The De viris illustribus contains short biographies of 135 Christian authors, with Jerome himself being the subject of the last. The goal of Jerome`s project was to manifest that Christian literature should be seen on a par with the pagan literature in terms of both the quantity of great writers and the quality of their work. The dedicatee of the De viris illustribus is Flavius Lucius Dexter, a Roman official in the service of Theodosius and son of Bishop Pacianus of Barcelona.
E. Cushing Richardson ed., Hieronymus liber De viris inlustribus; Gennadius liber De viris inlustribus, Leipzig 1896.
Jerome, On Illustrious Men, trans. Th.P. Halton, The Fathers of the Church 100, Washington 1999.
R. Norris, "Irenaeus of Lyon" in: The Cambridge History of Early Christian Literature, ed. F. Young, L. Ayres, and A. Louth, Cambridge 2004, pp.  45–52;
R.M. Grant, Irenaeus of Lyons, London 2006.


Non-Latin Origin - Greek
Travel and change of residence
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2245,