Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2308
Gregory the Great orders Subdeacon Sabinus to convey the garden of the late Presbyter Felicianus (located at the foot of the Aventine hill) to the convent of certain Euprepia. Gregory the Great, Letter 2.46, AD 592.
Letter 2.46 to Subdeacon Sabinus of Rome (August 592)
Gregorius Sabino subdiacono de horto monasterio tradendo
Officio pietatis impellimur monasteriis prouida consideratione ferre consultum, ne hii qui Dei <se> seruitio deputasse noscuntur necessitatem aliquam possint, quod auertat Dominus, sustinere. Ideoque experientiae tuae hac auctoritate praecipimus uti hortum Feliciani quondam presbiteri, positum regione prima ante grados sanctae Sabinae, excusatione postposita, monasterio Euprepiae, in quo ancillarum Dei congregatio esse cognoscitur, iure proprietario possidendum tradere sine ambiguitate festinet, quatenus nostrae iutae beneficio largitatis, in Dei seruitio, ipso quoque suffragante, securis mentibus perseuerent.
(ed. Norberg 1982: 138)
Letter 2.46 to Subdeacon Sabinus of Rome (August 592)
Gregory to Subdeacon Sabinus on a garden to be given to a convent
We are compelled by our duty of piety to make a decision for the monasteries, with prudent consideration, so that those who are known to have alloted themeselves to the service of God, may not endure any need. And for that reason we order your Experience with this authority to hand over quickly and without uncertainty the garden of the late presbyter Felicianus. It lies in the first region, before the steps of Saint Sabina. Leaving aside any excuse, give it to the convent of Euprepia, in which a community of nuns are known to live, for them to possess with a proprietary right, so that aided by the benefit of our generosity, they may persevere in serving God, with his support also, with secure minds.
(trans. Martyn 2004: 227, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski)


It is hard to determine in what way the garden belonged to the late Felicianus, but since Gregory disposed of it, it was church patrimony which sustained him rather than his private property.

Place of event:

  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Rome
  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Tres Tabernae
  • Rome
  • Velletri

About the source:

Author: Gregory the Great
Title: Letters, Epistulae, Epistolae, Registrum epistularum, Registrum epistolarum
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory, later called the Great (Gregorius Magnus), was born ca 540 to an influential Roman family with some connection to the ancient gens Anicia. His great-great-grandfather was Felix III, who served as the bishop of Rome from 526 to 530. Possibly, Agapetus I, pope between 535 and 536, was his relative as well. Little is known about his early career, but in 573 Gregory ascended to the high office of city prefect. Shortly afterwards, however, he resigned from his post and adopted the monastic way of life. He founded a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew within his family estate on Coelian Hill, next to the library established by Agapetus and Cassiodorus. Six other monasteries were founded in the estates his family owned in Sicily. Soon after his monastic conversion, he started to be given various tasks by Popes Benedict I (575–578) and Pelagius II (578–590). At that time, he was ordained a deacon. Between 579 and 585/6, Gregory acted as Pelagius` envoy in Constantinople. In 590, he was elected Pelagius` successor to the bishopric of Rome. The registry of his letters contained copies of Gregory`s papal correspondence up to his death in 604. The scope of Gregory`s original registry is still the subject of scholarly speculation. There are 854 extant letters gathered in fourteen volumes, most of them (686 letters) originating from the collection compiled at the time of Pope Hadrian I (772–795).
It is worth remembering that the majority of Gregory’s correspondence was jointly produced by the pope and his subordinates, see Pollard 2013.
D. Norberg ed., S. Gregorii Magni Registrum Epistularum, Corpus Christianorum: Series Latina 140, 140A, Turnhout 1982.
The Letters of Gregory the Great, trans. J.R.C. Martyn, Mediaeval Sources in Translation 40, Toronto 2004.
R.M. Pollard, A Cooperative Correspondence: The Letters of Gregory the Great, in: M. Dal Santo, B. Neil (eds.), A Companion to Gregory the Great, Leiden-Boston 2013, pp. 291–312.


Functions within the Church - Urban presbyter
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Administering Church property
Economic status and activity - Ownership or possession of land
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2308,