Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 37
Evodius, presbyter in Clermont (Gaul), attacks bishop Gallus of Clermont with violent accusations. He is pardoned. However, he is subsequently unable to rise to a bishopric himself. Account of Gregory of Tours, "Life of the Fathers", Tours (Gaul), ca 590.
Evodius quidam ex senatoribus presbiter, cum [eum] in convivio eclesiae multis calumniis atque convitiis lacessisset, consurgens sacerdos, loca basilicarum sanctarum circuibat. Tamen cum hoc Evodio fuisset perlatum, post eum cursu veloci diregens et se ante pedes eius in ipsam plateam prosternens, veniam petiit, deprecans, ut eum oratio eius cum omnipotente Iudice non fuecaret. At ille benigne eum collegens, cuncta quae locutus fuerat clementer indulsit, eum arguens, ne haec ultra contra sacerdotes Domini auderet appetere, quia ipse episcopatum numquam promereretur accipere. Quod postea probavit eventus. Nam cum in Gabalitano ad episcopatum iam electus, iam in cathedram positus, iam cuncta parata, ut benediceretur episcopus, ita subito contra eum omnis populus consurrexit, ut vix vivus possit evadere. Qui postea presbiter transiit.
(ed. Krusch 1885: 233)
Once a certain presbyter called Evodius, who belonged to a senatorial family, attacked him during a feast of churchmen with many calumnies and insults. The bishop got up and walked around the holy basilicas. Evodius was told of this, and ran rapidly after him, throwing himself at his feet in the middle of the road, asking his pardon and begging that the bishop should not blacken his name in his prayers to the Almighty Judge. The bishop raised him up kindly and excused him generously from all the things he had said, charging him only that he should in future not dare to assail the bishops (sacerdotes) of the Lord, because he himself would never merit the rank of a bishop (episcopatus). This indeed was afterwards confirmed. In fact, having been elected bishop of Javols, and while he was already sitting in his episcopal chair and all was ready for the consecration, suddenly all the people rose against him, so that he was barely able to escape with his life. In the end he died as a presbyter.
(trans. James 1991: 37-38, slightly altered by J. Szafranowski).


Convivium eclesiae mentioned in this passage is not entirely clear. It may indicate either an ecclesiastical council or, more probably, a joint meal of Clermont clergy.
Evodius had a son, Eufrosius, who also served as a presbyter in Clermont, see [1747].

Place of event:

  • Gaul
  • Clermont
  • Javols

About the source:

Author: Gregory of Tours
Title: Life of the Fathers, Vita Patrum, Liber Vitae Patrum
Origin: Tours (Gaul)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Gregory of Tours (bishop of Tours in Gaul in 573-594) started writing his Life of the Fathers some time before 587 and finished it around 592 or slightly later, as shown by the cross-references to his other works. It is a collection of twenty Gallic saints` lives of different lengths. They all are in some way connected to Gregory`s family or church interests, while also exemplifying different virtues leading to sanctity. Saints presented in the Life of the Fathers are all either ascetics or bishops.
More on the text: James 1991, ix-xxv.
B. Krusch ed., Gregorii Episcopi Turonensis Miracula et Opera Minora, Monumenta Germaniae Historica, Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 1.2, Hannover 1885, 211-294.
Gregory of Tours, Life of the Fathers, trans. by E. James, Liverpool 1991.


Social origin or status - Social elite
Ecclesiastical transfer
Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
Impediments or requisits for the office - Improper/Immoral behaviour
Impediments or requisits for the office - Personal animosities
Ecclesiastical administration - Participation in councils and ecclesiastical courts
Relation with - Bishop/Monastic superior
Further ecclesiastical career - None
Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: J. Szafranowski, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER37,