Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 351
In the year 545 Pope Vigilius sends Presbyter Ampliatus to govern the Church of Rome during his absence. Account of the Liber Pontificalis (written in Rome, probably in the early 7th c.).
61. Vigilius
Qui ingressus Siciliam in civitate Catinense permissus est facere ordinationem per mens. decemb., presbiteros et diaconos, in quibus retransmisit Romae Ampliatum presbiterum et vicedominum suum et Valentinum episcopum a sancta Rufina et Secunda, ad custodiendum Lateranis et gubernandum clerum.
(ed. Duchesne 1886: 297)
61. Vigilius
When he reached the city of Catana in Sicily he was allowed to perform the December ordination of presbyters and deacons; from there he sent back to Rome the presbyter Ampliatus as his steward (vicedominus), and Valentine, bishop of Sts Rufina and Secunda, to guard the Lateran and govern the clergy.
(trans. R. Davis, slightly modified)


In AD 545 Pope Vigilius was on his way to Constantinople. According to the Liber Pontificalis, he was effectively under arrest because of his reluctance to condemn the Three Chapters. Ampliatus must have been one of the clerics who accompanied him. When on Sicily, Vigilius realised that he might be out of Rome for a long time (in fact he never returned there until his death ten years later), so he sent Ampliatus together with bishop Valentine to act in his place. We know that Ampliatus was performing such tasks in the 550s (Pelagius I, Ep. 14, XXXXXX). One must remember, however, the role played in the church of Rome by the presbyter Mareas [1027] at the same time.

Place of event:

  • Rome
  • Italy south of Rome and Sicily
  • Rome
  • Catania

About the source:

Title: Liber Pontificalis, The Book of Pontiffs, Gesta Pontificum Romanorum
Origin: Rome (Rome)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Liber Pontificalis is a major source for the history of the papacy in the first millenium. It is a collection of the lives of popes, starting from St Peter and kept going through to 870. Liber Pontificalis is prefaced by two apocryphical letters of Pope Damasus and Jerome, but it cannot be dated to that period. Although Mommsen tended to put the date of the actual compilation as late as the seventh century, nowadays Duchesne`s view is generally accepted that there were two editions made in the 530s-540s. The first, presumably completed soon after 530, has not survived as such, though we have two epitomes made from it (known as “Felician” and “Cononian” from the names of the popes at which they end). Duchesne tried to reconstruct it in his edition, but we follow the second edition presented by him, which was completed by the siege of Rome in 546. The work was then left aside for some time, and taken up again probably under Honorius (625-638) or shortly afterwards; hence the additions were written shortly after each pontiff`s death.
Liber starts to provide some more reliable information with the times of Pope Leo I (440-461), and becomes very well informed with the end of the fifth century. The lives of earlier popes cannot be considered as a valid source of information about their lifetime. However, those notices are a precious source for the sixth century: we learn what was considered an old tradition at the time, and how the past of the Roman church was being seen and constructed then. It is especially important when we deal with the liturgy.
 L. Duchesne ed., Le "Liber Pontificalis", vol. 1., Paris 1886.
 T. Mommsen ed., Liber Pontificalis pars prior, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Gesta Pontificum Romanorum 1, Berlin 1898.
The Book of Pontiffs (Liber Pontificalis). The ancient biographies of the first ninety Roman bishops to AD 715, revised edition, translated with an introduction by R. Davis, Liverpool 2000.


Travel and change of residence
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Ecclesiastical administration - Ecclesiastical envoy
Relation with - Another presbyter
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Relation with - Lower cleric
Ecclesiastical administration
Equal prerogatives of presbyters and bishops
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER351,