Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 336
Paschasius, a monk in Dumium, dedicates his translation of the Liber geronticon to Martin, presbyter and abbot of the monastery in Dumium (Iberian Peninsula), ca 550-556. Preface to the Liber geronticon de octo principalibus vitiis.
Domino venerabili patri Martino, presbytero et abbati, Paschasius.
Vitas patrum, Graecorum ut cetera, facundia studiose conscriptas, iussus a te, sanctissime pater, in latinum transferre sermonem, insolito si licuisset operi renituissem. Nec enim umquam quod scribi uel legi possit excludi, ingenii uecordis conscientia prohibente. Scire enim me quod nihil sciam non audeo dicere, ne uerbum hoc, propter hoc uerbum, sapientissimo Socrati subripiam. Sed quia tuae me parere necesse est iussioni utar. Non gloriarbor ingenio, fidemque quam tibi debeo etiam in opere iniuncto praestabo. Verum qui eloquentium uirorum sunt plurimae sermone latino conscriptae quarum lectiones me expertem esse te etiam adstruente testificor, si quid de illis aut hic insertum forte reperis aut minus elegenter expressum, ne meae culpae reputetur exoro. Quia sicut in dato mihi codice reperi scripta sic transtuli, licet nec ea studiose posse profitear. Vnde restat ut quod te iubente coepi, te orante perficiam. Quae tamen si scribenda decreueris, ut tuo polire sermone digneris exposco. Neque enim mihi liquebit quaedam tibi placuisse, nisi et aliqua displicuisse cognouerim.
(ed. Freire 2011: 165-166)
Paschasius to my venerable lord and father Martin, presbyter and abbot.
When you asked me, most holy father, to translate into the Latin language the Lives of the Greek Fathers, which are carefully and eloquently composed, like many other works of the Greeks, I should have refused this unfamiliar task, if I had been allowed. I have never yet fashioned anything to be either written or read, being prohibited by my lack of ability and self-conviction. Lest I should be stealing an expression from the very wise Socrates, I dare not say that I know that I know nothing. Since I must accede to your request, I shall not mention my ability, but rather shall display even in an assigned work the confidence which I owe to you. But since there are many books of these eloquent men written in the Latin language, with the reading of which I have been admittedly acquainted under your instructions, if you happen to find anything inserted here from those sources or anything not eloquently expressed, please do not consider it my fault, because I have translated those writings exactly as they were in the manuscript that was given to me, although I admit that I am not able to do even that correctly. Hence, it remains for me to finish through your prayers what I have begun by your request. If you decide that it should be published, you must consent to improve it with your own words, for I shall not be satisfied that you liked any of it until I know that you disliked some of it.
(trans. by C. Bralowe 1969: 117; slightly altered)


For a detailed discussion on the preface, its date and authenticity, and on the person of Paschasius, see Freire (2011: 1-7).

Place of event:

  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Dumio

About the source:

Author: Paschasius of Dumiium
Title: Liber geronticon de octo principalibus vitiis
Origin: Dumio (Iberian Peninsula)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Paschasius was a monk in a monastery at Dumium founded  by Martin of Braga ca 550. Martin became a bishop of Dumium in 556, so the preface must have been written sometime between 550 and 556 (Barlowe 1969: 113).
J.G. Freire, A versão latina por Pascásio de Dume dos Apophthegmata patrum, vol. 1, Coimbra 2011 (reprint of 1971 edition).
C.W. Barlowe, Iberian Fathers, v. 1, Martin of Braga, Paschasius of Dumium, Leander of Seville, Washington D. C. 1969.
J.G. Freire, A versão latina por Pascásio de Dume dos Apophthegmata patrum, vol. 1, Coimbra 2011 (reprint of 1971 edition).


Education - Monastic education
Further ecclesiastical career - Bishop
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Described by a title - Abba
Described by a title - Titles of respect
Monastic or common life - Monastic superior (abbot/prior)
Reverenced by
Writing activity
Devotion - Reading the Bible and devotional literature
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: M. Szada, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER336,