Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 30
Emperor Heraclius allows patricius Caesarius, Byzantine Governor of Spain, to punish a wicked presbyter, according to the letter of Caesarius to King Sisebut ca AD 615 (Iberian Peninsula) in the collection Epistulae Wisigothicae.
Letter 4
Caesarius, probably Byzantine Governor of Spain, writes to King Sisebut. He relates that his envoys returned from Constantinople with the letters of the emperor Heraclius. According to those letters Caesarius is allowed (and intends) to accuse an anonymous presbyter (called in the letter "pseudo-presbyter'') who is allegedly a criminal and does not practice chastity and abstinence. King Sisebut was somehow engaged in the case of this presbyter and he probably persuaded Caesarius not to condemn him.
(ed. Gil 1992: 11-13 = letter 5 ed. Gundlach 1892: 666-667)


It is not clear which office Patricius Caesarius held - scholars are debating whether he was magister militum Spaniae or one of the exarchs of Africa (PLRE Caesarius 2; further bibliography Morossi 2013: 153-155). From the extant correspondence with King Sisebut we can only say that he was a Byzantine officer who was engaged on behalf of emperor Heraclius to negotiate to end hostilities between the Byzantines and Visigoths.

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula

About the source:

Title: Epistulae Wisigothicae
Origin: Iberian Peninsula
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
The letter is a part of the collection of the 18 letters called Epistulae Wisigothicae. The letters were written between the last quarter of the 6th c. and the first quarter of the 7th c.  The senders and adresees represent different groups - there are King Sisebut, bishops, monks, Byzantine patricians, and Visigothic nobles. The Latin of these letters is sometimes excruciatingly difficult (for the linguistic study see Martin-Iglesias 2014).
Epistulae Wisigothicae, in: J. Gil ed., Miscellanea Wisigothica, Annales de la Universidad de Sevilla. Serie Filosofia y Letras 15, Sevilla 1992, 3-49.
W. Gundlach ed., Epistolae Wisigothicae, Monumenta Germaniae Historica. Epistolae 3, Berlin 1892, 658-690.
D. Morossi, "The Governors of Byzantine Spain", Bizantinistica. Rivista di Studi Bizantini e Slavi 15 (2013), 131-56.


Sexual life - Sexual activity
    Usurping presbyterial power
      Public law - Secular
        Relation with - Monarch and royal/imperial family
          Relation with - Secular authority
            Administration of justice - Secular
              Described by a title - Pseudo-presbyter
                Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER30,