Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 2373
Tertullian, presbyter of Carthage, defends the heretic Montanus and in this opposes Soter, bishop of Rome (169-174). Arnobius the Younger, Praedestinatus, probably c. 440 in Rome.
Praedestinatus 1.26
[...] Scripsit contra eos librum sanctus Soter papa urbis et Apollonius Ephesiorum antistes, contra quos scripsit Tertullianus presbyter Carthaginiensis, qui cum omnia bene et prime et incomparabiliter scripserit, in hoc solum se reprehensibilem fecit, quod Montanum defendit agens contra Soterem supradictum urbis papam, asserens falsa esse de sanguine infantis, trinitatem in unitate deitatis, paenitentiam lapsis, mysteriis eisdem unum Pascha nobis cum. [...]
(ed. F. Gori 2000, 22)
Praedestinatus 1.26
[...] Holy pope of Rome Soter and Apollonius, bishop of Ephesus, wrote books against them [i.e. Montanists]; in reply to whom the presbyter Tertullian of Carthage wrote against them. While he wrote everything well, first-rate, and incomparably, he made himself worthy of reproach in this only that he defended Montanus against aforementioned Soter, the pope of Rome, asserting that the thing about the blood of infants is false [the Montanists were being accused of drinking it], the Trinity in the unity of God, penance of the lapsed and that we and them have the same Easter with the same mysteries. [...]
(trans. M. Szada)


There are two passages in the works of Tertullian in which he attacks the bishop of Rome, e.g. De pudicitia 1.6 (though some argue that it might be a reference to the bishop of Carthage, and not of Rome) and Adversus Praxean 1.5. He does not mention the bishop by name so there is some discussion in the scholarship which bishop or bishops he had in mind. Eusebius of Caesarea in the Ecclesiastical History 5.3 mentions "the followers of Montanus, Alcibiades and Theodotus in Phrygia" whose opinions on prophecy reached Gaul and caused some confusion in the Christian communities. They then from prison wrote to Pope Eleutherus (Soter's successor) "negotiating for the peace of the churches." Eusebius suggests that it was the first time the Montanist teachings reached Rome so the Praedestinatus claim, not confirmed elsewhere, that already Soter wrote against the Montanists is dismissed. See Salmon 1882: 938. The bishop against whom Tertullian writes in Adversus Praxean is usually identified with either Eleutherius or Victor (for further references see White 2007: 175n140).

Place of event:

  • Latin North Africa
  • Rome
  • Carthage
  • Rome

About the source:

Author: Arnobius the Younger
Title: Praedestinatus
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian, Pelagian
The author named Arnobius (usually called Arnobius the Younger to distinguish him from the third-century author Arnobius of Sicca) is known only from the works attributed to him in the manuscript tradition: the so-called Praedestinatus, the Commentarii in Psalmos, and several others smaller works (e.g. Liber ad Gregoriam, a consolation to a woman in difficult marriage). From the evidence of these works we can say that their author was a monk who lived in Rome in the mid-fifth century. Praedestinatus was surely written during the pontificate of Sixtus III, ca 435 (but there are some who doubt attribution to Arnobius, see note in Clavis Patrum Latinorum 243). His most famous work is the Conflictus cum Serapione on the Christological positions held by the churches of Rome and Alexandria. This works assumes the positions promulgated at the Council of Chalcedon so it was written after 451.
The Praedestinatus is a treatise opposing the doctrine of predestination as formulated by Augustine during his involvement of the so-called Pelagian controversy. The cited passage comes from the first part of the work, the catalogue of heresies based on Augustine`s De haeresibus.
Gori, F. (ed.), Praedestinatus qui dicitur, Corpus Christianorum Series Latina 25B, Turnhout, 2000.
D. Stiernon, "Heracleon", in Di Berardino, A. (ed.), Encyclopedia of Ancient Christianity, vol. 2, col. 213


Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Montanist
Change of denomination
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Writing activity
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER2373,